If you have been looking for a new set of wheels for your vehicle, you may be tempted by all the options available to you. After all, there are some amazing aftermarket options that will really improve your ride. However, sometimes the simple design wins in the end, like the Steelies. What are steelies and why should you consider these wheels?
In this guide, we evaluate what makes steel wheels so popular. We also look at the main differences between steel wheels and other wheels. At the end of the article you will find approximate prices for various types of wheels.
What are the Steelies?
Steelies is a name given to describe steel wheels. Most steel wheels come with hubcaps or hubcaps on top. It just doesn’t get more basic than that. These wheels are created from steel billets that are pressed using hydraulic machines.
The cheapest wheels on the market are steel and alloy wheels are close behind. Additionally, Steelies are popular and can be found on a variety of vehicles.
1. Low cost
It doesn’t cost as much to produce steel wheels as others. They are inexpensive to create and can be covered with a simple set of hubcaps or wheel covers.
The steel wheel has been standard on all economy vehicles for many years. You’ll see it as standard equipment on many economy cars.
Steel is made from carbon and iron, making it stronger than most other designs. In fact, steel wheels are often used for winter travel, mainly for their durability.
You will often find steelies on off-road vehicles for this reason. Additionally, if steel wheels become damaged during these off-road activities, they are less expensive to replace.
Disadvantages of the Steelies
With greater durability and strength comes more weight. When comparing apples to apples with aluminum, the steel wheel will weigh much more.
The additional unsprung weight of steel wheels can increase handling difficulty. You may notice some differences when making sharp turns or trying to maneuver.
2. Lack of design
There is not much flexibility in the design of steel wheels. You won’t find a range of options due to the way the steel wheel is produced. In fact, the only designs that can be done with the steel wheel are to drill holes in the face, which also helps cool the brakes.
Additionally, it is difficult to find steel wheels in a variety of sizes. You won’t be able to get many steel wheels in the larger diameters. However, it is possible to put hubcaps on the wheel or paint the metal to give it a better appearance. Just be careful because if you don’t paint the wheels the right way, rust could form.
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Steelies vs alloys
Alloy wheels have aluminum in the construction, making them more modern. Additionally, alloy wheels are lighter due to the metal mix. What you’re left with is more agility and better maneuverability. Additionally, alloy wheels come in a much wider range of sizes, including some as large as 20 inches.
The steel wheel will be heavier and less beautiful. However, these wheels are likely to be cheaper and geared more toward the budget-conscious consumer.
Steelies vs chrome
The chrome wheel may look the best of the three, with a mirror-like shine. There’s definitely something to be said for the attention-grabbing ability of stylish chrome wheels. However, it’s not just the style that chrome wheels offer, but also the protection. Because the chrome sits on the wheel as a protective layer, there is less chance of rust, which prevents rust from occurring.
Chrome wheels also offer a level of resistance against off-road driving, making them better than alloy wheels, but perhaps not as durable as steel ones. You can even find chrome wheels for less, making them more affordable than you might think.
However, chrome wheels can be difficult to keep in good condition. You should clean the wheels regularly to ensure the finish doesn’t peel off. These wheels should be polished and you should avoid leaving salt or brake dust on the surface.
Additionally, chrome wheels can be heavy, which can reduce performance. The chrome wheel is created by adding several metallic layers, such as copper and nickel, to the base material. Then the chrome is applied. With all of these layers in place, the chrome wheel can easily weigh more.
How much do steel wheels cost?
If you need a replacement steel wheel, you could spend between $45 and $90, although the price varies greatly depending on the size you need. If you add a tire to the purchase, the price also increases accordingly.
Alloy wheels may be a little more expensive, but they are still quite reasonable. These prices start at around $50 per wheel, so you can still get a set on a budget.
On the other hand, it’s easy to spend a lot more on a set of high-quality chrome wheels. Although you can get the shiny look for as little as $100 per wheel, some models cost thousands. Apart from a stylish look, there are not many other benefits that justify the cost of chrome wheels. Deciding what’s best for you requires you to consider how you drive, your budget, and your desires.