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It's All In the Numbers: Choosing the Perfect Wheel for your Bronco

The latest iteration of the Ford Bronco was designed with the versatility to perform on the highway as well as to dominate the trails. The flexibility to completely and easily change the functionality of your own vehicle opened up a world of options for modifications and upgrades. Whether you envisioned a daily driver or a rock crawler, updating the wheels and tires has become the quintessential first step towards creating your perfect Bronco.

More options are usually better, but it can also make narrowing down on a new set of wheels a daunting task if you don’t have time to do the research. There are things to consider, like your offset measurements or tire sizes. What do all those numbers really mean, anyway? We can help you decode your way through all those numbers, and find the perfect wheel for your Ford Bronco.


WHY SWITCH FROM FACTORY?

While your factory equipped Bronco has a perfectly shortened wheel base, Hoss suspension and G.O.A.T. Mode, the stock wheels and tires can only handle so much. Rougher terrain calls for tougher side walls to avoid punctures, bigger tread blocks for a better grip, and a bigger tire for higher ground clearance. One of our most popular off-road options that ticks all the aforementioned boxes is the Icon Rebound Double Black Wheel. The Rebound was designed to accommodate beefier, updated brake calipers, as well as optimize the wheel position so that suspension and steering function remain un-hindered, even on rocky terrain. Before we go much further, however, there are a few factors that play an essential part in choosing a new set of wheels for your Bronco.

Shop more Icon wheels here-

ICON Rebound 17x8.5 6x135 6mm Offset 5in BS 87.1mm Bore Double Black Wheel , unmounted, desert

Ford Bronco front view with negative offset wheels

WHAT IS OFFSET AND WHY DOES IT MATTER?

Before you throw down on a new set of wheels and tires, it’ll help to know your current offset so that you can establish your desired offset. So, what is offset and why does it matter? Offset is the distance from your wheel’s mounting surface to the center line of your wheel. It is measured in millimeters, and a proper offset can mean the difference of having sufficient clearance to accommodate your new wheels without them rubbing against fenders, fender liners, or suspension components. A good offset can provide greater clearance for aftermarket suspension, and provide more stability via a wider stance. The opposite is true of an improper offset, which can reduce clearance and stability, interfere with braking systems and even cause damage to body panels. In some cases, changes to your Bronco's offset can dictate the removal of OEM fender liners in favor of aftermarket fender liners, or cutting away the factory crash bars to make way.

View our selection of wheels and tires-


OFFSET OPTIONS

It is important to establish the appropriate offset option for the preferred usage of your specific vehicle; an off-road Bronco would do well with a negative offset because it would create that wider stance and extra stability that is so beneficial on the trail, whereas a track car might benefit from a positive offset to reduce tire scrub. A conventional trail set-up would look something like +0mm to -12mm. Check out the offset examples below to determine which offset option you’d like to push for.

ZERO OFFSET- Zero offset is when the hub mounting surface is in line with the center of your wheel.

POSITIVE OFFSET- When the hub mounting surface is positioned more toward the street side of your wheel, this is a positive offset. A positive offset pulls the wheel further under the fender.

NEGATIVE OFFSET- A negative offset is when the hub mounting surface is back behind the wheel’s center line, which pushes the wheel out from under the fender, commonly referred to as “wheel poke.”

**TIP--Adding wheel spacers will have a similar effect of running a wheel with a negative offset. Click below to view our wheel spacer options-

Borne wheel spacer kit

measuring tapes

FINDING YOUR OFFSET

Offset measurements are usually stamped inside of the wheel, but not always. Here is a quick guide on how to calculate the offset of a wheel-

1. Place the wheel face down onto a level surface. It’s never a bad idea to lay it on cardboard to prevent scratches on your wheels.

2. Lay a straight edge across the entire wheel, so that it creates a level line from edge to edge.

3. Measure from the level surface that the wheel is sitting on to the bottom of the straight edge to determine entire depth of wheel. **Remember that offset is measured in millimeters.

4. Divide the total depth measurement of your wheel by 2 to determine the center of the wheel, or your CENTER LINE.

5. Next, measure from the hub mounting surface to the bottom of the straight edge. **TIP– This specific measurement in inches is considered your backspace measurement, but we’ll get to that a little later.

6. Subtract the smaller number from the greater sum to get your offset.

**TIP-- if the number from the hub to the straight edge is greater than the center line number, you have a POSITIVE OFFSET. Inversely, when the opposite is true, you have a NEGATIVE OFFSET.

Click below to see some of Method's negative offset wheel options-


BACKSPACING

There is a direct correlation between your offset and the backspacing of your wheels. Backspacing is all that space you have between the hub mounting surface to the back edge of the wheel. The look and functionality of your upgraded wheels will depend a lot on the offset and subsequent backspacing set-up that you choose. Just think of it this way; a positive offset creates more backspace, whereas a negative offset reduces backspace. For instance, street racing applications tend to lean towards wheels with a positive offset. This gives them more backspace for the larger brakes that are common on these types of cars. On the other hand, less backspacing and a negative offset pushes the wheels out, allowing for better suspension travel, a wider stance and that aggressive look that functions better for your off-road Bronco.

Check out some of our Bronco suspension upgrades here-

Lifestyle image of Ford Bronco driving down the highway in the desert.

OEM Bronco Wheel Guide

Trim Package Wheel Size Wheel Offset Bolt Patterns

Base

16x7

+55

6x139.7

Big Bend

17x7.5

+55

6x139.7

Outer Banks

18x7.5

+55

6x139.7

Black Diamond

17x7.5

+55

6x139.7

Badlands

17x8

+55

6x139.7

Sasquatch

Wildtrak

Everglades

1st Edition

Heritage

17x8.5

+55

6x139.7

WHEEL SIZE

The bolt pattern for the 2021+ Ford Broncos is 6x139.7, and it hasn't changed since it came off the production line. As for your wheel size, you can find your factory Bronco wheel size using our handy OEM Bronco Wheel Guide, but if you’re not sure that you’re rolling on OEM wheels, it’s easy enough to measure them. Your diameter is measured across the face of the wheel, not including the wheel lips. The width is also measured between the wheel lips. Wheel diameters and widths are measured in inches, and if you’re wondering why, it’s because Ford created the market and the specifications in that they were the highest producing manufacturer back in the day.

Click below to view our wheel accesories for Broncos-


WHICH WHEEL IS RIGHT FOR YOU?

Now that you've brushed up on what all those numbers mean, it's time to choose some wheels. There are a lot of reasons to upgrade your wheel and tire set-up, but ultimately, you’ll want to consider how you want your Bronco to function and what that end goal looks like. For example, if you want your Bronco to function as a daily driver on the weekdays, with a bit of trail action on the weekends, you can probably get away with bumping up to a 34" tire. This will allow you to keep your stock suspension, and won't affect your MPGs too much, while giving you a little extra clearance, traction and aggressive styling. Anything above a 35" upgrade is going to set you up for some serious off-roading, but will require a bit of modification to your chassis or suspension. If you're leaning in that direction, we've got you covered, click here to read up on big upgrades.

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Front view of Method wheel in bronze color

Hopefully this will give you some good ideas for wheels that function in a way that works for you. If you have any questions, or need some wheel configuration advice, feel free to give us a call (410) 840 - 3555 or shoot us an email at sales@iagoff-road.com - we’d love to help!

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