So, what's the difference between rims and wheels?
While "wheels" and "rims" are both considered interchangeable, they each have specific meanings that refer to parts or sections of parts on vehicles. If you are from a region or state that refers to them as wheels, it can be quite confusing when you hear someone refer to them as rims. On the other hand, if you and your buddies are used to calling a UTV a "bike", it can be just as perplexing to hear someone refer to their UTV as a "machine".
Slang aside, it's important to understand what the terms "wheels" and "rims" actually refer to, so that you can sound like you know what you're talking about the next time you're discussing your favorite styles.
The truth is, "rims" are actually just one part of the full wheel. The rim is the outer edge of the utv wheel (sometimes called the lip) which holds the tire in place. It is the outer circular design and surrounds the decorative area of the wheel's hub and spokes. The tire's edges actually lay against the rim, specifically the tire bead.
The wheel is the name for the total circular piece of metal that includes the spokes, lug nuts and other parts that are used to keep the tire fixed on. The tire is wrapped around the wheel which turns the tire with it, providing traction and therefore movement for the vehicle.
Why do people call wheels rims?
Our best guess why people mistakenly refer to wheels as rims is because aftermarket wheels come in dramatic designs that typically include a variety of rim styles: deep dish utv wheels, high offset utv wheels, sand utv wheels. Instead of using a generic term like wheels, the slang for wheels became rims for the variety of options a wheel can be purchased.