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What Makes a Wheel Real?

What Makes a Wheel Real?

– Hey guys, what’s going on? It’s Alex from Fitment Industries and today we are going to be talking about something that’s a
little bit controversial. Now, there are a few
things in the car community that people tend to get a
little bit feisty about. rota in general So, today we decided to talk about it because there’s really nothing else to do cause Wisconsin just
got 18 inches of snow. So, before we dive into this the first thing that we
want to talk about and cover are the definitions because a lot of people confuse almost every single
definitions in terms of fake, rep, real, and
everything in between. So first and foremost would
probably be just fake wheels and what we kind of define fake wheels is that it’s an exact copy of another wheel, there’s no margin for error, there’s no adjustments to the design, there’s no adjustments to the
lip or anything like that. It is a straight on
copy that is attempting to be another wheel. So, second up we have the rep wheel. Now, replica, I know sounds bad, but just hear me out because
it is kind of a step up from being just an overall fake wheel. In our eyes, a replica wheel would be something that is taking inspiration or design cues from an original wheel and then twisting it into their own way to actually re-publicize it,
repost it, re-promote it, and then sell it as their own wheel. Now, this is where that
whole line in the sand can get a little hazy because there are a
lot of wheels out there that borderline between
being a replica wheel and being just an all around fake wheel and it can be tough to decipher. Now, I just want to say that I don’t like it when people make an entire company a rep company. So, a lot of times
there’s a lot of companies that have been founded off of taking inspiration from another wheel. There’s not a lot of
wheel companies, if any, out there that started making wheels with their own original designs, almost every single one started as a copy of a previous wheel
that’s come out in the past. For instance, one example
would be Rotiform. Rotiform has taken inspiration from their original Lamborghini wheel to actually found the
Rotiform company and brand. Now, Rotiform is not a rep company because that’s blanketing every single wheel that they
produce out there to date and the line really
doesn’t get drawn there. There’s a lot of international companies that also take designs
from other manufacturers, put their twist on it and then sell it to another domestic or
international market. ENKEI is a brand that’s
done that in the past. There have been other brands
out there that have done it just to test to see if
the design would do well in the market segment and if it does they’ll actually put a
further twist on the wheel and then resell it and rebrand it for that specific market, and finally we have the real wheels. These are the static three
piece, multi-piece, stance guys that are talking a whole
bunch of smack on the internet every single time they
see a ROTA Grid get posted or something of that. Now when we talk about real wheels, we’re talking about companies like Work, RAYS, Volk, Avant Garde, companies like that that have
their own original designs, their own original quality control, their all original
reliability and testing, and rigidity testing,
and manufacturing plant, and they have history, they
have heritage behind the brand. So there’s a difference between what we’ve talked about in the past and what we’ve talked about now because the real wheels kind
of have their own history, they’re kind of the like
the cool kids on the block, they’re the seniors in high school, they’re the ones that you want to go to when it comes to going
to a fraternity party. (record scratch) I can’t believe I just
called it a fraternity party, it’d be called a frat party, but you can tell how many I went to, and real wheels are just
what they say they are, they’re original, a lot of
their designs weren’t copied or mimicked from anybody because they were there
when the thing first began, they’re the aftermarket original company. But, that’s not always the case, there are original wheel companies that have taken designs in the past, but for the most part, they
mostly stick to themselves. A lot of their wheel brand
is pretty much similar in what they make, create,
maintain, and test, because it’s just what they know and they know that it works. So what makes a wheel real? Three things, in our eyes. I would say, the design aesthetic, the actually integrity of the wheel, and the company’s reputation. So the first one would be design. Now, there’s only so many ways that you can make a single five spoke or double five spoke wheel. I’m sorry, it’s just the way that it is and it’ll continue to be that way forever. But, how can you make it different where you’re adding step
lifts, or concavity, or different material,
or colors, or sizing to make it unique to what
you’re trying to sell as a wheel company. So, there are companies out
there that already do that. Rota is one of those companies where they take a look at a design and they try to change
it at least 20 percent before redistributing it and reselling it and we can see how well
that’s going for them. I would say 50 percent of the
wheel needs to be different, overall design aesthetic, whether that’s with step lifts,
designs, rigidity testing, things like that, colors, twists, and all that sort of stuff, that’s really going to
make a wheel original or just different and a lot of wheel companies
are trying to get to that point and obviously with simple designs you can only do it so many ways, but, it’s something that
you just have to fight when you’re looking at becoming
an original wheel company. The second thing is going to
be the integrity of the wheel. Now if you don’t know, there are certain designs
that work very, very well when the wheel is forged, but forging wheels is much
different than low pressure cast, or just gravity cast wheels, so when you’re looking at a design that’s been replicated or
copied in a forging matter and it’s then put into a low
pressure cast or gravity cast, you can actually have a
very dangerous side effect of having non-safe wheels because the technique on producing that
specific wheel for forging is a lot different than if the material is just gravity cast or low pressure cast. So when we talk about
integrity of the wheel we’re talking about the reliability, we’re talking about the safety, we’re talking about how is the wheel made, the strength of the wheel, what sort of testing has
the wheel gone through, all sorts of reliability and
just overall testing because it doesn’t matter if you
have an expensive wheel if the wheel in fact is garbage. But, if you have a wheel
that you can look at, that looks different more than 50 percent, that has integrity, that’s gonna really hold on
to what you’re suppose to do and it’s not gonna break,
it’s not gonna bend, it’s not gonna do anything bad while you’re just going
up and down the road, then, we’re almost there. But, the last one that
probably matters the most to a lot of people, is
the company’s reputation. So, you might be wondering why is the company’s reputation important in terms of making a wheel real. Well, it’s the same reason that when XXR came out with their own single fully-forged
wheel, nobody trusted it. It’s the same reason that ESR
can sometimes have troubles with launching their
new rotary forged line, because it’s ESR. The company reputation
is huge in this game, especially when it comes down
to who they’re selling to. A lot people that are selling and buying after market wheels are the younger crowd. The brand loyalty is severe. If a company’s reputation
is that of quality, is that of standards, is that of having good quality control, and listening to it’s customer base, and has great customer service, and has great response rate. Those are good things for a company because it shows that they care about who they’re selling to. If a company doesn’t have any of that or a company just is
really, really bad at it, it really doesn’t matter
if the wheel itself is good or if the integrity of
the wheel is good as well, because you’re not gonna get
the wheel in the first place. We’ve seen companies like
Art in Motion and WCI sometimes have troubles with
those sort of wheel problems just because of the service
aspect of the entire community. So, why does that matter? Well, because if you
don’t have the first two you’re probably not gonna get the third, if you don’t have the second two, you’re probably not gonna get the first. It’s just how it works, but there’s a lot of other fake
wheels out there that exist solely just to look
like the original wheel, but instead of it being a rep like most people would say, fake wheels are exactly
trying to replicate or copy the original wheel
manufacturer’s design with the center cap and all. But, that’s our case on
what makes a wheel real. Let us know what you think in the comments if you agree or disagree. It’s probably already on fire down there, but I’m Alex from Fitment Industries. Let us know what you
would like to see next, but we’ll see you later, peace.

12 comments on “What Makes a Wheel Real?

  1. My car came from the factory with knock off wheels. The 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix GXP. It originally came with 2 piece Alcoa's from the factory but GM, for whatever reason, decided to go with 1 piece Chinese knockoffs. Google it. I'd assume this happens frequently.

  2. It’s funny how many people are defending fake or cheap wheels saying there’s no difference. Personally I’m not gonna risk having a wheel break going around a tight corner at 100km/h in my Audi S4 B8.5. The car is worth $37,000 NZD so it would be pointless to cheap out on some wheels and potentially wreck the whole car (any myself!) because the wheel snapped mid corner and sent me into a ditch. I bought some mint condition second hand Advan RS2’s. Yes they’re second hand but I checked them over very thoroughly and they’re absolutely mint condition, not a single scratch. They cost me $1650 NZD but would normally retail for $3500 NZD.

  3. Just curious if you guys could put out a list of fake or real? I’ve had a few sets of what I think are real wheels cuz they are unique in my opinion. Ronal Teddy Bears, MRR HR3 a few others but I can see if it might cause an issue in your business side of things to say BBS real ESM fake if you sell both. But between us maybe a pm. Party

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