Aftermarket wheels aren't just for improving your ride's looks. Sure, a larger set of rims with low-profile tires fills out your car's wheel wells and gives it a more sporty, streamlined appearance. They also give you the option to choose your own custom slick spoke design and color.
However, a nice set of lightweight aftermarket wheels also gives your car some very noticeable performance benefits. To understand how, it's important to have some basic knowledge of rotational mass.
Dropping Weight Improves All Aspects of Performance
Regardless of where the weight comes from, reducing the poundage of your ride makes it perform better in every way. The lighter your car, the less weight your engine has to lug around, which translates into improved handling.
Likewise, your brakes will be able to stop your car in a shorter distance with less weight working against them. Handling is also improved, with less weight pulling your car from side to side as you whip through tight corners.
Rotational Mass 101
When it comes to dropping weight to increase performance, reduced rotational mass is by far the most beneficial way to get more speed out of your ride. Regular mass includes components like your chassis, body panels, and interior parts. Rotational mass consists of all the components that are powered into motion by your engine, including components like the transmission system, drive shaft, and wheels.
Think of non-rotational mass as a book bag and rotational mass as a pair of shoes. Throw a couple of five-pound weights in your book bag, and you can probably carry them without much of an issue. However, tie those same weights to your shoes, and your leg muscles will be sore and worn out way faster.
Freeing up Power to Go and Stop
Similarly, all of the rotational mass that your engine has to power robs it of horsepower. Driving a set of 40-pound wheels requires twice as much power as driving a set of 20-pounders. Installing a set of lightweight aftermarket wheels frees up some of this lost horsepower and allows your car to accelerate more quickly.
Your braking and handling performance will also greatly improve with a set of lightweight wheels. When you stomp your brake pedal, your brake rotors have to fight against the weight of the wheels spinning around them to bring your car to a stop.
Lightening up your wheels frees up stopping power, making your car stop more quickly and smoothly while also decreasing the wear and tear on your pads and rotors. Handling is similarly improved due to the reduced inertia of your wheels pushing against the direction you want to turn.
If you want to improve all aspects of your car's performance while giving it a cool, customized aesthetic, consider starting with a set of aftermarket wheels such as Moto metal wheels.