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Old 10th June 2012, 20:52   #1
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Default Structure Wheels - Steelies that look like alloys!

I came across these "structure wheels" as they are called on the Internet. These looks like a good economical idea compared to the regular steel wheels provided by the manufacturer. Car manufacturers are already providing plastic wheel trims for most cars these days running on steelies so why can't they give something like this? It uses less steel compared to a regular steel wheel and the hubcaps needs less plastic compared to full round wheel trims (so they can save some cost there) and still end up looking better.

Kerb rash? Just change the fake alloy trims.

So wonder why these aren't made mainstream yet?

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Last edited by Sankar : 10th June 2012 at 21:11.
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Old 10th June 2012, 22:38   #2
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Default Re: Structure Wheels - Steelies that look like alloys!

The Chevy BEAT already comes with something like these. I have to agree they look far better than standard steel wheels without hubcaps.
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Old 10th June 2012, 22:56   #3
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Default Re: Structure Wheels - Steelies that look like alloys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sankar View Post
It uses less steel compared to a regular steel wheel and the hubcaps needs less plastic compared to full round wheel trims (so they can save some cost there) and still end up looking better.

Kerb rash? Just change the fake alloy trims.

So wonder why these aren't made mainstream yet?
Perhaps Low strength is the reason. Steel wheels have less strength than alloy wheels. Reducing the amount of steel may results in less strength.
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Old 10th June 2012, 23:10   #4
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Default Re: Structure Wheels - Steelies that look like alloys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sankar View Post
Kerb rash? Just change the fake alloy trims.So wonder why these aren't made mainstream yet?
Perhaps these steels could lose shape quite easily and wobble due to the lesser strength. They only resemble alloys but the characteristics and advantages of alloys would be missing. In other words they provide only a cosmetic touch.

Last edited by rajeev k : 10th June 2012 at 23:31.
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Old 11th June 2012, 07:43   #5
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Default Re: Structure Wheels - Steelies that look like alloys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellmet View Post
The Chevy BEAT already comes with something like these. I have to agree they look far better than standard steel wheels without hubcaps.
Yep Chevy beat comes with similar wheels but without fake alloy trims.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anb View Post
Perhaps Low strength is the reason. Steel wheels have less strength than alloy wheels. Reducing the amount of steel may results in less strength.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rajeev k View Post
Perhaps these steels could lose shape quite easily and wobble due to the lesser strength. They only resemble alloys but the characteristics and advantages of alloys would be missing. In other words they provide only a cosmetic touch.
Would the strength of such wheels be seriously compromised? These use less steel but maybe the grade of steel is different and maybe the stamped shape adds some strength? I see two advantages with these kind of wheels - 1) better aesthetics and 2) weight savings.

Some new police cruisers in the US sport these kind of wheels but without the fake trims.
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Old 11th June 2012, 12:40   #6
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Default Re: Structure Wheels - Steelies that look like alloys!

I too suspect the long term durability of these wheels. Because of the design, they might not last as many kms as "full" steel wheels - they could be bent out of shape over our roads
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Old 11th June 2012, 13:53   #7
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Default Re: Structure Wheels - Steelies that look like alloys!

Here's my post from the Chevrolet Beat Review thread:

Quote:
Base version’s non-alloy steel pressed wheels. Could pass off as alloy wheels to the casual observer. Just one of those things that make you go “Why didn’t anyone think of this earlier”? These kind of wheels are so much better than wheelcaps:
Quote:
Perhaps Low strength is the reason. Steel wheels have less strength than alloy wheels. Reducing the amount of steel may results in less strength.
I don't think there is an issue of durability, else mainstream car manufacturers would never use them in the first place. We have several Beat owners on the forum and not one of them has complained of a bent wheel.
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Old 11th June 2012, 13:57   #8
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Default Re: Structure Wheels - Steelies that look like alloys!

Even the normal steel wheels end up bent sometimes due to our road conditions. How will this one fare in the long run ?
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Old 11th June 2012, 14:19   #9
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Default Re: Structure Wheels - Steelies that look like alloys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by esteem_lover View Post
Even the normal steel wheels end up bent sometimes due to our road conditions. How will this one fare in the long run ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
I too suspect the long term durability of these wheels. Because of the design, they might not last as many kms as "full" steel wheels - they could be bent out of shape over our roads
Even full steel wheels aren't safe, the early Zens with 13" wheels were known for bent wheel rims and Maruti replaced the 13" wheels with 12" wheels with a higher profile tyre.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I don't think there is an issue of durability, else mainstream car manufacturers would never use them in the first place. We have several Beat owners on the forum and not one of them has complained of a bent wheel.
I think so too. Otherwise police cruisers (Dodge Charger) wouldn't be using this as these cars have everything beefed up over their civilan versions.

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Old 11th June 2012, 15:37   #10
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Default Re: Structure Wheels - Steelies that look like alloys!

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Originally Posted by anb View Post
Steel wheels have less strength than alloy wheels....
Hi,

Sorry for asking a very naive question, and that too, OT. But, I was under the impression that alloy wheels were less stronger than the stock steel wheels. When I was planning on upgrading to alloys, I received a lot of 'advice' to the effect that alloys would have to be run more gently than stock wheels and that they would bend more easily than steel wheels. I was told that practically, the only advantage with alloys was that they enhanced the looks of the car. So, I'm a bit confused.

M_83.
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Old 11th June 2012, 15:46   #11
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Default Re: Structure Wheels - Steelies that look like alloys!

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Originally Posted by Maelstrom_83 View Post
Hi,

Sorry for asking a very naive question, and that too, OT. But, I was under the impression that alloy wheels were less stronger than the stock steel wheels. When I was planning on upgrading to alloys, I received a lot of 'advice' to the effect that alloys would have to be run more gently than stock wheels and that they would bend more easily than steel wheels. I was told that practically, the only advantage with alloys was that they enhanced the looks of the car. So, I'm a bit confused.

M_83.
Good name brand alloy wheels are stronger than steel wheels, and they cost a lot more too. But can't say the same about cheaper alloys most widely sold in the market.

Good alloy wheels can withstand abuse (rally cars use them) and take a beating, but when they give up they break. Steel wheels takes abuse too but they're easily bent with rough usage, when they give up they get bent out of shape.

Either use good alloy wheels or stick with steel wheels. Do your research and buy from manufacturers with repute.
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Old 11th June 2012, 15:47   #12
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Default Re: Structure Wheels - Steelies that look like alloys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maelstrom_83 View Post
Hi,

Sorry for asking a very naive question, and that too, OT. But, I was under the impression that alloy wheels were less stronger than the stock steel wheels. When I was planning on upgrading to alloys, I received a lot of 'advice' to the effect that alloys would have to be run more gently than stock wheels and that they would bend more easily than steel wheels. I was told that practically, the only advantage with alloys was that they enhanced the looks of the car. So, I'm a bit confused.

M_83.
Steel wheels does indeed have less strength than alloy wheels. They can get bent out of shape over a period of time, but they can be beaten back into shape (most of the time) with a hammer! Alloy wheels can go out of shape too, but it will last a longer time. Once bent, you will have to throw the wheels away.

Anyway, advantages of alloy wheels -

- Lighter than steel wheels (good for fuel efficiency)
- Lower weight at the 4 corners (good for handling)
- Good looks
- Lasts longer than steel wheels (assuming hammer Jugaad is not done on competing steel wheel).
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Old 11th June 2012, 16:12   #13
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Default Re: Structure Wheels - Steelies that look like alloys!

Very cool looking!

Given the amount of people who want alloys just for the looks, this could change the face of the after-market wheel market.

Imagine this : You could change your wheel design / style whenever you wanted, for just a few hundred or thousand rupees! That too without having to remove, re-mount & rebalance tyres!

Quote:
Originally Posted by anb View Post
Perhaps Low strength is the reason. Steel wheels have less strength than alloy wheels.
"Strength" is a very vague term, especially when dealing with metals. See my last para below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by esteem_lover View Post
Even the normal steel wheels end up bent sometimes due to our road conditions. How will this one fare in the long run ?
Steel wheels end up bent at the rim. These would also end up bent at the rim, since the rim is the same. Its just the dish thats different, which is not the part which takes the brunt of a hit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sankar View Post
I think so too. Otherwise police cruisers (Dodge Charger) wouldn't be using this as these cars have everything beefed up over their civilan versions.
The police cruisers probably use these steel wheels for a few reasons :

1) Cheap
2) Cast alloy wheels will crack when hit hard. This will leak more air than a steel wheel, which will only dis-form/bend. Forged wheels on the other hand and super light & "strong", but they will shatter when there is a hard enough impact.

cya
R
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Old 11th June 2012, 16:18   #14
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Default Re: Structure Wheels - Steelies that look like alloys!

Safari lower end models (from DiCOR 3.0 onwards) also come with these.
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Old 11th June 2012, 16:22   #15
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Default Re: Structure Wheels - Steelies that look like alloys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Here's my post from the Chevrolet Beat Review thread:

I don't think there is an issue of durability, else mainstream car manufacturers would never use them in the first place. We have several Beat owners on the forum and not one of them has complained of a bent wheel.
I just recalled that some versions (not top end) of Chevrolet Tavera always came with these "structured" steel wheels. So in a way, Chevrolet India has been a "pioneer" in introducing these wheels in India.

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[Pics from Google Images]

So you are right - if these wheels have been used in a Tavera, there is no issue of durability/strength as such. Perhaps then, such wheels are a bit more expensive than standard steel wheel, but not as expensive as an alloy?

Last edited by smartcat : 11th June 2012 at 16:23.
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