What’s The Difference Between Offset And Backspacing?

What’s The Difference Between Offset And Backspacing?

If you are thinking about upgrading your wheels but you’re unsure of whether or not they will fit your truck, you may find yourself looking for the opinion of an aftermarket wheel expert. There are many factors that go into the proper fitting of a wheel and tire. It often means choosing a wheel that matches the ideal size, pattern, offset, and backspacing that is compatible with a manufacturer. You’ll need to know about the wheel size your vehicle has currently and what other size wheels it can support.

Some phrases may hear from an OEM wheel installation expert are backspacing and offset. The difference between the two can change the way that your wheel will mount on a truck. Offset and backspacing measures how a wheel mounts. Even though these two measurements are similar, they measure different values and fits of a tire. Offset measures the overall distance between the center of the wheel and the mounting surface and the backspace measures the distance between the mounting point and the inside edge of the wheel.

Why Offset Measures Are Important

A wheel offset measure calculates the distance between the center of the wheel and the mounting surface. The measurement is normally done in millimeters and offset can be positive, zero or negative. A positive offset will mean that the mounting surface is on the front side of the centerline of the wheel. Negative offsets will mean that the mounting surface is towards the backside of the centerline. A zero offset means that the mounting surface is exactly at the centerline.

The right offset for your wheels is important for the appearance and the fit. As the offset measurement goes higher, the fit of the wheel will change and sit farther inside the truck. This will give you a clearer look from the tire and fender but decreases the space that the wheel has on the inside edge close to your suspension. It’s a great way that you can upsize your tires for off-roading while maintaining regulations. A decrease in offset will mount the wheels towards the outside of your truck and fenders. This increases the space between the suspension and tire and it will give you the choice of using wider tires. If you’re going to be lifting your truck, this could be an important consideration to get the clearance and suspension.

Backspacing

A backspace will measure the distance between the inside edge of the wheel and its mounting fix. Decreased backspacing gives you access to better clearance on the inside of the wheel. With less backspacing, there is a smaller amount of the wheel actually in the wheel well. This can reduce the chance of the wheel rubbing along the brakes and suspension. Increased backspacing improves inside wheel clearance. This will leave more of the wheel in the wheel well but it can lead to the chance that the wheel rubs against the brakes and suspension as well as products like mud flaps. Increasing backspacing is important if you’re lifting your truck but there is a maximum allowable backspace from your manufacturer to prevent damage to the frame and tires. 

Although these measurements are extremely important in installing new wheels and upsizing your wheels, you will want to consider these installations depending on the type of terrain that you’re going to be driving on regularly. The extra load needs to be considered if you are loading up your vehicle with equipment as well. Keep some of these top ideas in mind if you want to learn more about the fit and function of OEM wheels.

Contact us today for all of your tire offset and backspacing needs! Let’s ride!


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