View Full Version : Question: Aftermarket Wheels

11-12-2005, 09:24 PM
Hello all. I am planning to purchase my first set of winter tires in a few weeks - vredestein from Radial Tire Company in Silver Spring. During the summer, I purchased a 2003 530i (E39) equipped with a sport package.

Since I do not plan to remove the winter tires from my OEM wheels, I am beginning to research aftermarket wheels. While I am considering a set wheels from the BMW catalog, I am also looking at Borbet, Beyern, Rondell, and Voxx brands. Hopefully, I will be able to save a few bucks!

I am naive for considering non-BMW wheels? That is, is there a real quality difference that I should be concerned with? Also, have any of you had a negative experience ordering from Tire Rack, Discount Tire, or the Wheel Exchange. I believe their prices are better than buying from a local distributor. Thanks!

11-13-2005, 07:01 AM
You get what you pay for. You want to make sure the wheel is hub centric and reasonably strong for the area potholes. Sam at Radial Tire can probably make you as good a deal Tire Rack etc especialy if you have your tires mounted at a Tire Rack approved place in the area where the going rate is anywhere between $20 to$40 a wheel. Radial charges around $10. You know they will fit from Radial. Of the ones you mention I would choose Borbet. The others forget they are cheap for a reason Also consider Ronal.

Dave Apker

11-13-2005, 11:32 AM
Having winters on separate wheels is the way to go and same goes for a track set, when appropriate.

Sounds like your summers are worn out and it’s a good time to consider options. However, I’m not sure why consider new wheels for summer use. Do you want to plus-up? Are your OEMs damaged? Want a different look?

For winter use, I run the smallest diameter wheels possible maximizing sidewall for the more compliance and traction. Elected to keep the fronts and rears the same size (not staggered) and I rotate season to season. I also run Dunlop Winter Sport M3s and recommend such (also heard good things on Vredestein). For comparison, check out http://www.tirerack.com/tires/surveyresults/surveydisplay.jsp?type=W&VT=C (http://www.tirerack.com/tires/surveyresults/surveydisplay.jsp?type=W&VT=C).

I really prefer BMW OEM styled wheels. I believe BMW’s design folks best know how to select wheels to compliment the body style. I feel any other design cheapens the car. The E39s came with many different OEM styles if a NEW look is desired. Check out http://www.realoem.com/bmw/select.do (http://www.realoem.com/bmw/select.do) and navigate to ‘wheels’ to see the OEM line-up.

I have used OERs (replicas) for winter use. They are very close to the OEM styles (different enough to not mix OERs and OEMs), somewhat heavier (but then so are winter tires), may not be as strong (not going to be pushing them hard anyway), and most appreciable cheaper (save the money here - they are only on the car 2-3 months a year). I also choose styles that are easy to clean. I have bought two winter sets of OERs with tires mounted and balanced from http://www.lakeshorewheelandtire.com (http://www.lakeshorewheelandtire.com/) and am pleased.


11-13-2005, 09:42 PM
Thanks for the feedback...I will ask Sam at Radial to provide me with a quote for a set of Borbet Type E.


With regard to why I am seeking a change, my OEM (Cross Spoke Composite II #42) are a beast to clean and I prefer the five star look. The other style that I really like are Black mesh-type BBS with Chrome lip (weekly brake is dust less obvious). I not sure that they are still being manufactured or that I can afford them!

My next upgrade after wheels are performance software and CAI by Dinan.