Bent Wheels? Longevity of alloy wheels?

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[Linked Image from pennlive.com] I've had aftermarket 18" wheels with 235/40 tires and never had issues with bent wheels. Likewise stock 17" wheels with 235/45 tires with no issues... just one tire bubble from an unmaintained road. I had a co-worker with 16" wheels with 205/55 tires and after bending 2 wheels from Orange Co. NY roads, he continued with running steel wheels after winter, and no issues since (until he turn is TDI in from Dieselgate).
 
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1,492
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iowa
After spotting hundreds of bent wheels while spinning on my wheel balancer, i doesn't take much a bend at all to be visible watching the rim flange on the back part of the wheel, which the weakest point. It's flexible like the open end of a bucket. I wouldn't safely recommend it, but you could see a bent wheel from the backside with both, or all drive wheels in the air spinning at about 10-15mph. I can see a wheel that's only bent like .030 inches. And if I steadily point a laser at the rim flange, and turn it by hand and find exactly where it's bent, and sometimes even egg shaped in 2 or 3 directions. I've also put bent wheels back on cars explaining options to the customer, but if it's on the rear they usually don't even feel it.
 
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7,688
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The Midwest
Tire selection can help prevent wheel bending to a point. This may seem odd, but stronger sidewalls can help prevent wheels from becoming bent.
A tire such as the Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS has a THREE ply sidewall. Very, very few passenger car tires have 3 ply sidewalls. Most have 1, some have 2. The impact on a 3 ply sidewall gets spread over a wider area of the tire lessening the impact shock from going straight to the alloy wheel which can bend it.
 
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10,284
Location
MA
Tire selection can help prevent wheel bending to a point. This may seem odd, but stronger sidewalls can help prevent wheels from becoming bent.
A tire such as the Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS has a THREE ply sidewall. Very, very few passenger car tires have 3 ply sidewalls. Most have 1, some have 2. The impact on a 3 ply sidewall gets spread over a wider area of the tire lessening the impact shock from going straight to the alloy wheel which can bend it.

Always an old thread coming back to life. Probably easy way to tell is the load rating. A higher load rating would probably be a stronger tire than the same size in a lower rating. Only problem is that it will probably ride rougher.
 
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down in the park
Almost cast alloy wheel seems prone to bending, and cheaper or fashionable aftermarket wheel often aren't true when new. The bigger the diameter the higher the chance they are out of round.

However, flow formed wheels are much better out of the box, take less weights to get balanced and the flow forming process makes for a barrel and hoop on the inside that are less prone to permanent bending. Forged wheels will be the same or better but at a signicantly higher cost.
 
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Scottsdale, AZ
Never had an issue with Aluminum wheels bending or being a wear item even with my old Honda that lived in Buffalo, NY and Kew Gardens, NY most it’s life. Minimum sidewall I’ve run has been 65. Sounds like narrow sidewall thing claims another victim.
 
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1,276
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Texas, USA
How my wheels get bent? :rolleyes: :LOL:

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1,067
Location
Arizona
If you have low profile tires and have bad roads. when you get new tires adjust the size to get more sidewall. Go up profile from 50/55 60/65 and so on. the extra inch or so you can fit will definitely help the wheels.
 
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10,284
Location
MA
Never had an issue with Aluminum wheels bending or being a wear item even with my old Honda that lived in Buffalo, NY and Kew Gardens, NY most it’s life. Minimum sidewall I’ve run has been 65. Sounds like narrow sidewall thing claims another victim.
Same thing here til I got 17/18 inch rims. Had a few cracked rims with the 18 and just a couple bent ones with the 17. The 18 had 40's series and the 17 had 45 series. Prior to that had 60 series and up and never had a bent rim.

If you have low profile tires and have bad roads. when you get new tires adjust the size to get more sidewall. Go up profile from 50/55 60/65 and so on. the extra inch or so you can fit will definitely help the wheels.
A little tricky to do as the other problem with low profile tires is that the sport suspension these days don't give you a lot of room. Plus you run into the problem of the tire shop not wanting to mount tires that aren't the correct size for the car.
 
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1,067
Location
Arizona
Same thing here til I got 17/18 inch rims. Had a few cracked rims with the 18 and just a couple bent ones with the 17. The 18 had 40's series and the 17 had 45 series. Prior to that had 60 series and up and never had a bent rim.


A little tricky to do as the other problem with low profile tires is that the sport suspension these days don't give you a lot of room. Plus you run into the problem of the tire shop not wanting to mount tires that aren't the correct size for the car.
If you compare specs online what you'll find is that the sidewall/treadwidth ratios are not dramatic so going up one profile still fits inside the fender. Typically trading ~1 inch larger Diameter for <1 inch narrower width or so. Never had a problem i go in and tell them what size to put on and they do it.
 
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