Rims are not only functional but fashionable. They keep tyres in contact with the road surface and can be changed to make a statement. The latter is the main reason many get new rims according to Kyle Gregg, Managing Director — B.D. Gregg & Bro. Ltd, one of the top rim and tyre dealers in Jamaica.
“It’s your personal choice. Some of the stock wheels that come with cars these days are quite blah. Getting new rims is just the owner’s way of customizing their car. You choose what you like. It gives you that little flair and makes your car stand out more,” said Gregg.
He advised that the number one thing to do when purchasing new rims is to come alone.
“A lot of people come to us with a bunch of people trying to find a rim, and that’s the problem. Everyone has their own style. You choose what you like because you’re the one that’s going to be looking at it every day,” he laughed.
With over two decades in the rim business he added that similar to fashion, rim styles shift constantly.
“Back in the day, when I started it was basically just a Panasport style rim that was popular. Over the years it went from a lipped rim, to a flush rim, to now a concave design where they can see the depth of the rim,” Gregg said.
He was happy to show off the company’s best sellers based on size.
This rim is from B.D. Gregg’s own brand, BDG. Gregg said it’s the company’s best seller. It has a universal four-lug pattern due to the fact it has eight-lug holes allowing it to fit a wide variety of vehicles and conveniently it is easy to clean.
“People love the concave shape to the spokes and the fact that it sticks out about an inch from underneath the car.”
The most popular 17-inch rim is also from the in-house BDG brand. It’s available in both a four and five-lug pattern, increasing the amount of vehicles it can be mounted on. It has the current trend of concave spokes.
“This is one of the cleanest designs we sell. A lot of people love it. It’s also easy to wash and is constructed very strong.”
For big rollers the TSW Clypse is a popular choice. The gloss black ten spoke concave wheel, from TSW —a top rim brand, is built to deal with the demands of high performance European cars.
“You can get this rim in staggered sizes, which means the rear rims would be wider than the front rims, a common trait on high performance German sedans.” Gregg added that the rim can be used on five-lug Japanese cars as well.
The off-road market has seen an explosion due to the growing trend pickup buyers, and Gregg hasn’t ignored this group with the Black Rhino brand.
“We bring this brand in for all the trucks, Toyota Hiluxes, Mitsubishis, Isuzu, Ford Rangers, anything with a six-lug pattern.”
Gregg explained that off-road rims tend to be tougher due to the expected weight of the vehicle and the heavy duty use expected. Design-wise they’re more visually aggressive than passenger car counterparts. The Black Rhino Apache are available in sizes from 17 to 22-inches and in different colours. Their standout feature are the faux bolts around the lips that mimic the bead locks of competition off-road rims.
“We’ve been selling Black Rhino for fifteen years plus, and it’s one the strongest truck wheels on the market.”
Other than personal taste there are some set technical considerations to make before purchase. These are:
- The rim diameter – this is in inches and it must match the tyres being used. If a car comes with 14-inch tyres and the plan is to retain that size then the rim diameter must match. If the number is changed then the tyre size must be changed as well. You can’t put a 14-inch tyre on a 15-inch rim.
- The width is also in inches. Tyres need to match this number or they won’t seat properly.
- The offset balance has an effect on the correct fitment of the rim under the wheel well. This basically determines how deep the rim is. A negative offset pushes the centre of the rim inward making it deeper, while a positive offset makes the rim edge shallower. Get it wrong and the rim might make contact with suspension or body pieces.
- The lug pattern is the arrangement of the holes to bolt the rim to the vehicle’s hub. All this information can be gained from the vehicle manual or in many cases it’s moulded into the rim itself.
Ultimately, Gregg recommends when buying rims to always check in with an expert or reputable source like B.D. Gregg & Bro. Ltd. “Sometimes people sell rims just to sell rims,” however, he can attest to the expertise and quality of the products and services offered.