We sort out the best aftermarket car wheels in 2021 to help bump up your car’s aesthetic appeal.

Bumping up the aesthetic appeal of your car with aftermarket components helps in standing apart from the crowd and also brings in a lot of perks in terms of ride quality. These bumps can range from a simple decal pack to a fully-fledged body kit. But among all these, the most versatile option is to swap those factory rims with a cool set of aftermarket ones. There are relatively easy swaps as opposed to the hardcore body kits, and the plethora of designs can help you relieve one closer to your imagination! We assist you by giving you an insight into the types of alloy wheels, their perks, and the best ones to buy in 2021.

Perks Of Going For Aftermarket Wheels

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Cool Looks And Loads Of Designs: It is all about the aesthetic appeal first. The technical bits of losing weight and improved handling are secondary. With various dedicated manufacturers bringing out newer and cooler designs day on day, cool looks are a necessity when it comes to aftermarket wheels, and you are sure to get hold of one that will make you stare at your ride, every single time!

Lightweight And Improved Dynamics: Now comes the technical part. Aftermarket wheels are generally opted for amplifying your car’s cool looks. But the correct set of wheels should always be lighter than your stock ones. It helps in reducing the unsprung mass which in turn helps in improving the handling, acceleration, and braking.

Types Of Aftermarket Car Wheels

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There are 3 major types of aftermarket car wheels and are based on the manufacturing processes involved.

Cast Wheels: Casting is the most common method of manufacturing custom alloy wheels and these are the cheapest aftermarket wheels available right now. The root formula is to fill up a mold and let it cool. But hardcore fanatics will know that there are two types of casting processes for wheels as well - Gravity cast (the old school one) and Low-pressure cast. Gravity cast, as mentioned earlier, make use of gravity as you fill up molten aluminum in mold. Give it time, and it settles down. But there is a scope of air bubbles being formed that can affect the rigidity of the wheels.

This is where the low-pressure casting method comes in. Instead of filling into a mold from the top, this method injects the molten metal from the bottom, effectively eliminating the chances of bubble formation. Apart from this, both methods don’t bring about any major changes to the tensile strength or crystalline structure.

Flow Formed Wheels: These are wheels made using a hybrid method that puts it in between the cheaper cast wheels and the top-of-the-line forged wheels. This starts with a pre-mature cast rim that is loaded into a machine that spins it. This is done while pressing rollers against the rim, to pull it outwards into its final width. This genius method stretches the metal and thus realigns the structure of aluminum allow which improves its tensile strength and strengthened crystalline structure. These wheels end up being about 25% lighter than cast wheels without any changes in size or shape.

Forged Wheels: Forged wheels are the priciest and the strongest of this bunch. As the name suggests, these wheels are forged out of a single chunk of aluminum billet which also means that it requires less alloy content to achieve the targeted strength. There are again two processes in which a forged wheel is manufactured - mold-form forging and machine forging.

Mold forging requires a lot of brute force and involves the chunk of aluminum being pressed using a 10,000-ton forging machine. This helps the alloy’s internal grain structure and fiber flow to adapt to the wheel’s shape. This provides for greater strength and improved flexing properties.

Machine forging makes use of a CNC mill to cut out the wheel from the chunk of metal. In these wheels, the grain structure is pre-defined and doesn’t change with the wheel’s shape. These have impressive strength and are extremely light, but it still lags behind the mold form forged wheels in terms of rigidity and flexing properties.

Things To Keep In Mind While Choosing Your Set Of Aftermarket Wheels

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Manufacturer: Choosing a well-revered manufacturer is important for an aftermarket alloy wheel. Wheel manufacturing is an art and, the more experienced the artists, the more polished products you get. Companies like Volk, BBS, TSW, Enkei, Konig, and BORBET to name a few have testimonials that make them some of the most sought-after brands when it comes to the road as well as track use.

Choosing the type of wheels: Choosing from the cast, forged or flow-formed wheels is dependent on your budget and type of usage. If you are a budget-friendly person who is picking a set of track use, then going for flow-formed wheels makes sense. If it’s for project road car but budget-friendly then cast wheels would suffice. And if you want the absolute best of the wheel world, then forged rims are the way to go. A newer trend coming up is carbon fiber wheels which are extremely light and are mostly famed among luxury and supercar owners, as well as competitive racing.

Your style: This is where your imagination comes to play. With the increasing portfolio of design out there, you have the liberty to even materialize a design that you have in mind as well. So, make sure you take your own sweet time and choose one that you would stare at all day!

Pricing: Pricing is not a standalone factor, as manufacturers and types of wheels also play a crucial role. But the simplest method would be to the first lock onto your budget, and then go about choosing a wheel. This way you can finally end up on the absolute best that your money can buy.

Here Are The Best Aftermarket Car Wheels To Buy In 2021

BBS CH-R

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This is one of the most iconic aftermarket wheels of all time and chances are high for you to remember it from Need For Speed Underground! These are the performance series from BBS and are flow-formed wheels. These make it stronger and lighter than cast wheels but also more on the pricey side as well. Quality is impeccable and it comes in 3 diameters (18, 19, and 20-inches) and 8 widths. All of this allows for a wider scope of application of varying wheel hub sizes. There are 4 colors offered, all of which look dapper. Order your news wheels from Amazon today!

  • Leave it
    • Pricey
    • Too glossy. Not everyone’s cup of tea

Kansei KNP

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This is all about classic JDM appeal. This is a rather new manufacturer which is gaining traction for tickling with nostalgia. This unique 5-spoke design makes it look both aggressive and classy at once and goes on well with cars from different years as well. It comes in 17 and 18 inches and is offered in 3 varying widths, mostly in line with the classic JDM machines like the Honda Prelude, Mitsubishi Eclipse, and Honda Integra. Kansei has stuck to the original designs which help it stand apart from the seat of custom wheels. Order your news wheels from Amazon today!

  • Leave it
    • Limited color and size options
    • Pricey

Enkei Raijin

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This is also an iconic design in the tuner world but takes on a more sharp layout rather than the old-school JDM ones. The funny part about this brand is that many people know of it from cool decals and stickers on modified cars (they sure make some dope full body stickers). Raijin is more of an all-rounder with a daily drivable nature as well as occasional aggressive driving. It is offered in 2 diameters - 18 and 19-inches and comes in 4 widths and 4 colors. We dig the copper finish and this design goes well with all sharp-looking cars. It manages to cater to a neutral ground when it comes to value. Order your news wheels from Amazon today!

  • Leave it
    • Poor paint quality (not quite chip resistant)

Cosmis Racing XT-206R

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This is a very popular wheel design from Cosmis Racing and many in the car scene know the brand because of this design. It is known for sheer versatility as it comes in an insane list of 18 shades, 6 diameters, and 9 widths. So, this wheel can literally fit anything and everything out there! Its multi spoke design helps it stand out and provides a distinguishing appeal, no matter the car type. Slap this on a Ferrari and it will look quite appealing as well. Order your news wheels from Amazon today!

  • Leave it
    • Pricey

Aodhan DS-07

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This is a one-piece alloy that is very much common among the multi-spoke options. Pricing is its winning point as all the other multi-spoke options about its style carry a much premium price tag. It is offered in 2 diameters - 18 and 19 inches, 4 widths, and 3 contrasting colors. The rim is shaded in silver to look like a multi-piece unit. This one looks expensive but is surprisingly value-for-money. Order your news wheels from Amazon today!

  • Leave it
    • Contrasting color options might not be of everyone’s taste
    • Restircted diameter options

TSW Sebring

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Another wheel, another iconic manufacturer. This wheel is particularly common among high-rollers. It has a classy design appeal without compromising on performance. the 2 split 5-spoke design has a trippy appeal and forms a mesmerizing 3D pattern. This is available in 2 diameters - 17 and 18-inches and looks cool in both its shades - titanium silver and mystic matte black. Order your news wheels from Amazon today!

  • Leave it
    • Limited rim diameter options; thus restricted fitment options
    • Pricey

Konig OVERSTEER

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This is also an iconic wheel manufacturer but like many out there, not based in Japan. This German aftermarket alloy manufacturer is all about class and appeal. But they don’t compromise on performance and are very much common among supercar owners. This is a 5-spoke unit that is build using casting. It comes in just one size of 18 inches, the fit and finish on this one are marvelous. It is quite lightweight at just 20 pounds and has been told to take on the forces of nature with ease. Order your news wheels from Amazon today!

  • Leave it
    • Lug nuts nor included in the box
    • Pricey

AVID.1 AV-06

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This has to be the most popular aftermarket alloy wheel design to date. It is a chunky 6-spoke unit and is offered in 2 diameters - 17 and 18 inches. This is one of those few wheels that will go well with any car out there differentiated by body styles as well as age. And to top it all, this wheel is priced quite right for what it puts on the table. it is offered in 6 shades - black, blue, bronze, gloss black, hyper black, and white. Order your news wheels from Amazon today!

  • Leave it
    • Not for the big boys like crossovers

American Racing AR105

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Finally one for the muscle fam. This is an iconic alloy wheel design that is very much common among muscle car tuners for its seamless transition with all those burbly body types of the 80s and 90s. The AR105 is built out of high-grade aluminum which makes it impressively light and durable. It can take on miles and take on the forces of nature without losing that shine. It weighs just 17 pounds which is ironic to be put on a muscle car, but it sure does help in improving the handling characteristics. It is offered in the widest diameter options in this bunch - from 16 to 22 inches. Order your news wheels from Amazon today!

  • Leave it
    • Offered in just one shade

Motegi Racing MR107

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This set from Motegi flaunts the brushed aluminum and contrasting black layout with ease. Constructed using aluminum, it is quite light and doesn’t compromise on rigidity. It is offered in 4 diameters - 16, 17, 18, and 20 inches which help you to find the perfect one for your ride. Varying off-sets and widths also make it a good choice for custom projects as well. It comes in just one shade - bedazzling gloss black. Order your news wheels from Amazon today!

  • Leave it
    • The chrome highlights is not everyone’s cup of tea
    • Offered in just one shade

Our Pick Of This Bunch

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We are more into the icons here, and those nostalgic wheel designs take us on a trip down memory lane. AVID.1 AV-06 is our choice here as its iconic chunky 6-spoke design coupled with the bronze shade is too irresistible. Morover, unlike the other icons in this bunch from BBS and Enkei, AVID provides its nostalgia at a very accessible price point. It goes on well with any type of car and this feat makes it a no-hater option out there.

Tijo Tenson
Tijo is an Automobile Engineer who loves putting his passion into words. When not, he is busy fiddling with anything on wheels. Love for cars and motorcycles goes back to his childhood days when he stumbled upon Auto magazines. And it hasn't dulled down a bit, ever since.  Read full bio
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