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.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. I still have my gen 5 2001 Prelude 5spd with 2inch lower in the front and 1.75 in in the back with 17 inch Racing Hart C5's . Anyone else love the H22 as much as I do?

  2. Different folks different strokes,, if im broke iant gone get escort on twitter, ill just go to massage place with a happy ending still,, whatever fits ya budget

  3. Was wondering if you could give me a quick review of my wheels. Advan model T5 17". I just bought them used with bends and cracks had them fixed and powder coated near perfect. 2k invested. I know its high but Ive wanted them forever. I have loved these wheels since I was a kid but I dont know much about them. Even though there dated do you think they still look good? Quality? How much did I over pay? There on my is300. Would post a pic but wont let me

  4. All these people saying "buy what you can afford" or "whatever makes you happy" simply dont get it. how would you feel if another company copied what you did and changed one minor detail and sells it cheaper because its a cheaply made product and no designing or r&d went on. real parts matter for a reason. Cant afford a set off 3 piece ccws or monoblock volks right now? either stop being a broke ass and save some money or buy a wheel from the many manufacturers that make good quality cheap wheels like enkei or cosmis(even tho some of there wheels dont look original enought for me). but really, the car community needs to stop being impatient and taking time and keep quality in mind

  5. In my opinion a Fake wheel is a wheel that is an exact copy or close to the same design of an original being sold as the actual if its the original brand, mainly a “knock off” a replica is an identical wheel made to “replicate” an original designe but of corse sod under a different brand and a different style model name. Like a single piece made to look like an original 2 or 3 piece. For example OE replicas, that look identical, might be offered in different finishes or even larger diameter.

  6. I run fake 3 piece wheels… SOLEY AS A WINTER WHEEL ON MY DAILY” my summers are awesome 1 piece wheels that were properly converted two 3 piece.. but they still only cost me 1,400 bucks..

  7. Ohh, and my fake winter splits were 450 bucks and are tough as nails under any and all driving conditions, only real downfall I see with them are that they are pretty damn heavy

  8. Do a video on oem manufactures car company wheels on a different bran of car, for instance “Jeep” wheels on an “Audi” imo it’s one of the smartest moves for someone looking to do a nice set of wheels on a budget if it’s excecuted properly

  9. In my opinion the difference between real and fake would be durability if they are identical in every other way then it's a replica but a fake would have say casting flaws internally that would cause it to fail or break or be weaker for some reason

  10. How can you talk about "Real" Wheels and not mention CCW SSR or BBS !? They are 3 of the best Wheel companies in business today! And while we're on the topic… I've never seen you give any recognition to BARRAMUNDI who is basically the Japanese version of CCW, but IMO they have better options & definitely have Original designs! They deserve a review on your channel. I ran a set of Barramundi Snook's on my 99' GC8 Type RA & ended up selling them when I bought my Evo 8 bcuz of the PCD change.

  11. After months and months of ridicule for fake/rep wheels (depending on who's clowning), I did some research to see what my wheels were a clone of. To this day (some ~5 years later), I still can't find a better match for XXR 527s than WedsSports TC105Ns.. which have a fairly flat face (compared to XXR's concave face like WedsSports larger TC105N wheels), high offset (anywhere from 20~48 vs 0) and thinner wheel (7" max vs 8.25")..

    Might not quite be 50%, but it's enough to give me the look I wanted with better fitment at a cheaper price.. Since purchasing the XXR527s, Advanti has come out with Storm S1 wheels that are essentially the same but lighter weight.. but after my curbing with my XXRs and a friend's curbing with the Advanti Storm S1s, I'm sticking with the XXRs.. mine got a small dent, his peeled open like a container for ready to bake pillsbury rolls..

  12. How about fake car guys? Case in point: Alex Choi and everyone else who gives car guys a bad name by ripping 30 yard burnouts in broad daylight.

  13. All these broke peasants defending rip off wheels lol, you can't afford and therefore don't deserve the original.

  14. Because I love them, but can't afford the real ones…I really wish someone would replicate the Ronal R10 turbo wheels.

  15. I agree 100%! Being in a car club and going to a lot of; shows and cars and mustang crashes RRRR. I ment coffee! Esw XXR vossen's get NO respect and no love whatsoever even though vossen conned work racing manufacturing their wheels I don't know how many Lexus Mercedes even Corvettes that are running vossen's they were made in Chinahe thought he had a good hide or around cuz that's what the salesman told me when I proceeded to tell him they're crap they're no better than spec ones he was pissedand I proceeded to tell him don't bother buying the work manufactured vossen's because Boston has a horrible name and it'll always be a second-rate wheel as well as ESR!; Told them it is the Hyundai and Kia of wheels nice and pretty plenty of features but horrible quality control . When I told him we repair wheels for a living bent bent ones cracked ones the rep wheels fake wheels anything made in China is garbage. Told him to save his money by some SSR CCW avant-garde volk racing work racing for real Japanese wheels he told me his buddy had the three piece work / vossen wheelsI should have did not matter because it still has the horrible reputation of being a cheap wheel

  16. SO the obvious question is: If you, as a retailer, know that there are wheels out there that are unsafe due to the way they are made (e.g. cast replicas of forged wheels), do you refuse to sell those wheels? In other words, can WE the consumers trust YOU to help us avoid crap wheels?

  17. I'd rather stick with the original oem wheels than buy reps. Don't understand why you'd want to spend money on a worse quality set of wheels.

  18. Im using fake wheels for my daily driver cars, seem no problem. Still worried if it get stolen, because the wheels+tyre is expensive to replace lol! 🤐🤫😂

  19. Cars, in general, is a feisty crowd of high school girl mentalities. Fakes, reps, real, whatever! It's the only culture where anything other than "real" isn't good. In sports, all jerseys are replicas unless you buy a COUNTERFEIT, aka fake, or have a REAL on-field player jersey. Reputation shouldn't be a criteria to be considered a new wheel. That's a shit opinion, and good thing it's just that-an opinion. The mentality is, "Well, I've never heard of it so it must be fake." The level of validity sought out in the car culture is mind numbing, specifically the asian import scene.

  20. I say buy a lightweight set of drag slicks made American and put 800 horse down like I do and pull these wannabe cars down the road.

  21. Replica wheels $400-$700 new. The Work Meister S2R’s I found on OfferUp that were powder coated purple and have the lip vinyl stickers from factory, $240 with burner tires. Best $240 I’ve spent this decade.

  22. Fake wheels=terrible build quality

    Replica wheels=good quality wheels no street rep

    Real wheels=bumping wieners with your other real wheel homies

  23. I bought some Platinum wheels for my mountaineer and they were the definition of cheap wheels, but they looked good and were within my budget. They have held up for 5+ yrs towing a camper and going through the same Wisconsin winters as when this video was made. I can say however that if my mountaineer was a show car or anything other than functional I would save for better wheels. The Platinums started chipping and looking beat up pretty quick. I would have a hard time under any circumstance dropping over 1k on a single wheel (then decent tires ect) cause I wouldn't be able to sleep on them when my wife booted me. But killer cars need killer wheels so I get it. Wheels will always make or break a vehicle more than any other mod, and when your talking sub 1500 bucks for a set, the design choices are limited to say the least.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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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