Picking the right wheels Round 1 Performance

Picking the right wheel isn’t easy, there are loads of options out there. This step by step will help narrow down that list making your decision easier.

First things first is requirements. This sets the stage entirely. A Daily Driver setup that needs to get good gas mileage and have long treadlife will require different criteria then a Autox Only or a Dual Duty (Street/Track) setup. These simple steps apply to all setups that are concerned about performance. I’ll do a separate article for the Form guys as well.

Ask yourself What do I want/need these for?

This is also when you determine tire width, as tire width is the most important aspect of what you plan on using the wheels for. Tire width can be limited by AutoX class, price, availability, or overall height.

This process sometimes requires a few rounds to get it exactly right. This process isn’t about finding a wheel fast, this is about finding the right wheel for your needs.


  1. Determine what diameter wheel you want/need to run.
  2. Determine what width you’d like to run based on your desired tire choice and how much work you want to do.
  3. Figure out if that width wheel and tire would work and what offset would be required to clear the suspension inboard, you always want the highest possible offset you can get away with.
  4. Finalize offset range generally a 5-10 mm range is smart to broaden your available options.
  5. Search for wheels that fit your criteria. Compile a nice list of all the wheels available and start your elimination process.
  6. Eliminate wheels that do not clear your brakes. For the Subaru Impreza WRX STi this is rather challenging as many wheels do not clear the brembos in the right offset, don’t get discouraged though as there are plenty of high quality wheels out there that will work.
  7. Eliminate wheels by price, if it’s out of your budget then it’s out of your budget. If you’re dead set on an expensive set of wheels either save up or find a set used. Don’t settle for a wheel you only sorta like because it saved you $200, in the long haul it isn’t worth it.
  8. Eliminate by weight/style/availability.
  9. Pick your favorite and start doing the fender work required to run the new setup, (come on if you’re willing to go through this process I know you’re not trying to run a stock sized wheel with a 225 tire).
We will be doing more articles on choosing the right wheel, tire combo here in the near future.

If you run into any snags in these steps don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or visit our Consulting page.

Hopefully this helps answer a few questions and gets the ball rolling in your wheel search.


P.S. Enkei RPF1 FTW

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