Wire-spoke wheels are also known in America as "Wire Wheels" and are a typical feature of classic cars and classic older sports cars. The rims shape the appearance of the car enormously and stand for durability, precision and absolute smoothness. The spoked wheels are known on certain British car models from Triumph, Jaguar, Morgan, MG, Austin Healey and also from the manufacturer Aston Martin. Incidentally, wire-spoke rims almost always form the basis for the crazy ones Elbow wheels the so-called "Slab Culture".
Which variants are differentiated?
The wheels with the chic wire spoke constructions are made of different materials. For example, a distinction is made between aluminum wire-spoke wheels and chrome-spoke wheels. The materials differ in weight, appearance and also in the need for care. Chrome-plated wire-spoke wheels can also be powder-coated to withstand the weather conditions. Chrome wire wheels are used, for example, in the MG series and in the Austin Healey. Old-timer wire-spoke wheels with chrome surfaces are particularly sensitive.
Tip: New wheelset planned? Our Tire calculator says if it fits!
Only a mild care product should be used for care. Rim cleaner should not be used on wire-spoke wheels. Especially if it contains acidic agents. Wire spoke constructions made of aluminum can be found, for example, in older Maserati vehicles. The aluminum surfaces should also only be treated with mild care products. Oxidation can already be seen in places (fogged rim rings), then a complete restoration of the wire spoke wheels should be carried out.
Restoration of wire spoke wheels
Wire-spoke wheels are durable and contribute to the special look of classic cars and classic sports cars. The articles can be prepared and restored by specialized companies. The professional restoration also includes centering the wire spoke wheels. Such reprocessing may also make it necessary to replace vintage tires. The companies specializing in classic car restoration can give interested customers appropriate advice and generally have contact points for original spare parts. It may be necessary to assemble and prepare the tires to see whether the tires with the original rims run properly. If you are not familiar with classic cars, you can quickly cause an unbalance that damages the wheels and also the vehicle. The old spoke technology has different requirements than modern rims and wheels.
Manufacturing the rims is very complex
The manufacturing method for wire-spoke wheels is different for many types of wheels and in some cases extremely complicated. Some are made using the so-called spinning technique, which requires a special spinning tool. These types of rims are often "cold" processed, thus ensuring maximum homogeneity of the material. Only later does heat treatment take place, which gives the material the required degree of hardening. Only high quality stainless steel spokes should be used for the wire spoke wheels. When the rim is finished, the unsprung masses are reduced by up to 25% when compared to conventional steel wheels. This benefits the handling of the car, the reaction and the comfort.
What are the advantages of wire spoke wheels?
Wire-spoke wheels can be repaired by specialists and are considered elastic and robust. The wheels should be taken down every year for maintenance and the wire spokes should then be checked. If the spoke heads are lost, this can lead to the wheel running out of true. In this case, there is a need for repairs and the wire-spoke wheels should be taken to the restorer. There are dealers who offer a free inspection of the spoked wheels and make a non-binding offer for the spoked wheel restoration. Incidentally, this type of rims is not only available for classic cars, but can also be installed on current cars. A good example would be the 17 or 18 inch S-Ray / X-Ray from the manufacturer Borrani, which is available for the Audi A1, for example.
Wire spoke wheels - conclusion
Wire-spoke wheels are known and loved on classic cars, British sports cars and other, older car models. The rims known as “Wire Wheels” contribute to the respective appearance of the oldtimers and offer many advantages. The wheels are considered to be durable and easy to repair. The wheels can be made of aluminum, for example, or they can be available in chrome-plated and powder-coated versions. Wire spoke wheels require regular maintenance and should be checked annually. Specialized companies offer controls and professional restoration of classic vintage bikes.
PS: The rims are often fastened with special wing nuts, all information on this topic is available here and also with the often necessary Knock-off adapters we have already dealt with it.
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Très interesting. Belle pub pour Borrani, legendary Italian marque!