Looking for a good explanation on wheel offset and backspacing? You’re not alone. These can be pretty confusing terms, which is why we put together this handy guide on what these terms mean.
What Is Wheel Offset?
Image Credit: FordAuthority
The wheel offset is the distance between the wheel mounting surface and the centerline of the wheel. In other words, the mounting surface is where the lug holes are. The centerline is the center of the wheel.
There are three different offset ranges:
- Positive: When the mounting surface is in front of the centerline and closer to the outside rim than the back part of the wheel
- Zero: When the mounting surface is right where the centerline is; this gives your wheels a centered look
- Negative: When the mounting surface is recessed past the centerline; this gives your wheels a deep 3D look
What Is Backspacing?
Backspacing is the distance between the wheel mounting surface and the back of the wheel. You need to get the wheel offset and backspacing measurements right in order to keep your car’s performance and handling optimal.
There are problems that come with too much positive or negative offset, the most common ones being poor handling and additional stress on the wheel bearings and suspension system. If your new wheels are wider than the original wheels, you have to factor in the backspacing with the offset. It’s important to keep the new offset within 5 millimeters within the old offset.