Zugzwang
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:54 am

Steel vs. Alloy rims

Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:20 am

Hi,

Would anybody care to share their thought process or views on steel vs. alloy rims?

I am getting winter tires for a 2018 Leaf and trying to investigate whether alloy is worth the additional cost.

It sounds as though alloy is lighter, which I would imagine is better for range efficiency, but I've seen written on this forum that this isn't necessary always the case.

I'm not too worried about appearance, but I'd like a quality rim. Are there other advantages to alloy that I might be overlooking?

As always, I appreciate the discussion on this board - you people really know your EV's!

powersurge
Posts: 1118
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:24 am
Delivery Date: 06 Dec 2014
Location: Long Island, NY

Re: Steel vs. Alloy rims

Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:08 am

I originally had steel rims on my "S". I was able to get the original alloy rims with the identical ecopia tires. I found that the alloy wheels were not lighter, but 5 pounds HEAVIER each....

I don't know what the new alloys weigh, but I know that the original Leaf alloys are heavier. For a spare set of winter tires, which you will use maybe 1/3 of the year, I would go with the steel rims.. You can be minimalist and use the bare black rims or put on a pair of $20 plastic covers.

Also, that way, if you ever want to sell them or use them on another car, then you are not locked into the Leaf rim design.... Easier to sell?

nrvous
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:12 pm
Delivery Date: 08 Sep 2018

Re: Steel vs. Alloy rims

Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:58 pm

Zugzwang wrote:Hi,

Would anybody care to share their thought process or views on steel vs. alloy rims?

I am getting winter tires for a 2018 Leaf and trying to investigate whether alloy is worth the additional cost.

It sounds as though alloy is lighter, which I would imagine is better for range efficiency, but I've seen written on this forum that this isn't necessary always the case.

I'm not too worried about appearance, but I'd like a quality rim. Are there other advantages to alloy that I might be overlooking?

As always, I appreciate the discussion on this board - you people really know your EV's!


Long time winter tire user here multiple vehicles...I'll share a story.

Once upon a time I hit a pretty bad pothole caused by the usual winter freeze/thaw cycles. The hit was so bad it bent my steel wheel. A quick trip to my mechanic and in just a few minutes he banged out the bend in the wheel and it was fine. That's something you can't do with an alloy wheel since it probably would just crack and need to be replaced.

Zugzwang
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:54 am

Re: Steel vs. Alloy rims

Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:36 am

Thanks to you both!

To be honest, I was half-expecting a warning not to cheap out and to spring for the alloy. But it sounds like there is something to be said for steel here.

Much appreciated.

BrockWI
Posts: 699
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:28 am
Delivery Date: 28 Mar 2014
Leaf Number: 423875
Location: Green Bay, WI.
Contact: Website

Re: Steel vs. Alloy rims

Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:33 am

3 kw solar pv - XW6048 - eight L16's
4 ton GSHP
2003 VW TDI 180k miles - 52 mpg lifetime
evse level 2 - Clipper Creek HSC-40
2013 S model with QC package Mar of 2013
@70k miles - 56.56Ahr - 86 SOH - 82.55 Hx - 245 GID

powersurge
Posts: 1118
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:24 am
Delivery Date: 06 Dec 2014
Location: Long Island, NY

Re: Steel vs. Alloy rims

Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:13 am

Zugzwang wrote:Thanks to you both!

To be honest, I was half-expecting a warning not to cheap out and to spring for the alloy. But it sounds like there is something to be said for steel here.

Much appreciated.



Look, this is not a complex issue... Steel has been around forever. When I was a kid, only hot rods had aluminum alloy wheels. Get what you like, and forget it... I, personally would get steel, as I already wrote. easy, simple..

nrvous
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:12 pm
Delivery Date: 08 Sep 2018

Re: Steel vs. Alloy rims

Thu Nov 01, 2018 1:04 pm

powersurge wrote:
Zugzwang wrote:Thanks to you both!

To be honest, I was half-expecting a warning not to cheap out and to spring for the alloy. But it sounds like there is something to be said for steel here.

Much appreciated.



Look, this is not a complex issue... Steel has been around forever. When I was a kid, only hot rods had aluminum alloy wheels. Get what you like, and forget it... I, personally would get steel, as I already wrote. easy, simple..



Another consideration...if you touch the curb with a steel wheel you'll most likely scratch up the wheel cover. Not too bad to just replace the cover. If you get curb rash on an alloy it's a bit of a pain to get it reconditioned/repaired and probably more expensive than a wheel cover. Then again people really like the look of the alloys over wheel covers so to each their own I guess. The alloys are sharp looking for sure but I kinda like my 2018 wheel covers too! :)

komondor5
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:20 pm
Delivery Date: 0- 0-2019

Re: Steel vs. Alloy rims

Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:37 am

Depending on where you live you could also have corrosion issues with alloy wheels vs steel.

You might look at used wheels too, some areas have shops that specialize in used wheels.

I had an Eagle Talon years ago and I picked up a set of Cadillac wheels with the same offset and bolt pattern the cost for 4 was less than replacing on that had bad curb rash.

RonDawg
Posts: 2895
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:46 am
Delivery Date: 11 Jan 2013
Leaf Number: 027089
Location: SoCal

Re: Steel vs. Alloy rims

Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:13 am

nrvous wrote:Once upon a time I hit a pretty bad pothole caused by the usual winter freeze/thaw cycles. The hit was so bad it bent my steel wheel.


One thing the OP should also look into is if he/she is planning on getting a trim level that includes rims larger than 16 inches to consider getting 16 inch rims/tires for the winter set. The increased sidewall depth will help better protect the wheels from damage caused by potholes and chunks of ice that tend to drop from cars.

6.5JJx16 ET40 rims will fit the 2018 Leaf per https://www.wheel-size.com/ The bolt pattern is 5 X 114.3. The same size wheel (including offset) and bolt pattern is used on newer Sentras and the Juke, and older Altimas and Maximas, so there's plenty of cheap used sets on eBay or Craigslist to choose from.
Blue Ocean 2012 Leaf SV, lost that 1st bar at 34 months/26,435 miles. Lease returned 2 months later. Final LeafStat figures: 225 Gids, 17.44 kWH, SOC 91.89%, SOH 82.36%, 69.49% HX, 54.57 Ahr, battery temp 61.8 F.
Now driving a 2015 VW eGolf SEL.

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