Wheel Backspacing vs. Offset

Wheel Backspacing vs. Offset

4+3? 6+1? 25mm? We put to bed the UTV industry debate on what measurement is better, why we use wheel offset and wheel backspacing in the powersports industry, and we do a deep dive into why each measurement matters.
Does lightweight matter? Reading Wheel Backspacing vs. Offset 5 minutes Next What is a Dual-Drill UTV Wheel?

Offset Basics:

What is the difference between wheel offset and backspacing? Good question! Let's make this easy on you.

Correct backspacing allows enough room for the suspension, brake, tires, and steering systems to operate without interference from the wheel. Below you'll find a bunch of numbers that correlate to how your wheels will mount on your vehicle's hub assembly. Depending on the offset/backspacing of the wheels you select, the wheels may push out past OEM width, remain stock, or possibly tuck under your fender. This movement of the wheel assembly is done exclusively by wheel offset/backspacing and without any other modifications to your suspension or vehicle. 

Why is this important? Let's dig in.

video difference wheel offset backspace utv atv sxs

TLDR Conversion Chart

OFFSET
BACKSPACE
V01 +15mm 4.59
V02 +20mm 4.79
V03 +25mm 4.98
V03 -32mm 2.74
V04 +15mm 4.59
V05 +35mm 5.38

 

If you're like most brand new UTV customers, you're probably thinking you want to keep your suspension and vehicle width as close to stock. The thought is that your vehicle's manufacturer spent thousands of hours and dollars engineering the perfect machine. Well, in this case, knowing your UTV's OEM offset will help you find wheels that come as close as possible to OEM fitment so your wheel placement remains the same. 

Example: Polaris RZR Turbo S

The 2021 Polaris RZR Turbo S has a 72" width straight from the factory. Tinkering with your offset can adjust the overall vehicle width by several inches so if you're concerned about fitting a super wide machine like the Turbo S in your new enclosed trailer, inches matter.   

2021 RZR Turbo S wheels: 15x7 55mm (or 6.17)

EXAMPLE 1 OFFSET BACKSPACE
'21 Turbo S +55mm 6.17"
Valor V05 +35mm 5.38"
DIFFERENCE +20mm 0.79"

 

EXAMPLE 2 OFFSET BACKSPACE
'21 Turbo S +55mm 6.17"
Valor V01 +15mm 4.59"
DIFFERENCE +40mm 1.58"

 

Now you know that the Turbo S has a +55mm offset which translates to a 6.17" backspacing. You will hear people say this is a 6+1, which refers to 6" backspacing and 1" lip for a 7" total wheel width.

Looking at the examples of the Polaris Turbo S offset and backspacing above, the Valor V05 would be considered a 5+2 and the V01 would be considered a 4+3. You can quickly see why general backspacing isn't as specific as offset as most people generalize a 4.59+2.41 as a 4+3. Valor Offroad will always use the offset measurement as we feel this gives the end user an exact fitment measurement.

Let's look at some extreme visual examples below to give you a good overview of how backspacing can drastically change the fitment of your wheels/tires. 

 

A negative offset (-47mm) has VERY deep wheel spokes that bend back from the lip edge creating a super deep dish styling. You'll commonly see this type of offset on sand machines who want to transfer power to the back wheels for better traction. On the other extreme end is a +50mm offset which is very close to the OEM wheels of the Polaris Turbo S. As you can see in the example, the spokes have little to no depth and are almost flush with the lip edge. The reason why your OEM wheels are pretty boring straight from the factory is because they have a VERY high offset which allows for little to no lip or spoke design/depth. 

Backspacing is a general measurement that takes into consideration the available space you have behind the mounting pad of your wheels, hence why high offset wheels have a high backspace (6+1) and deep dish negative offsets have a low backspacing (1+6), first number being the space behind mounting area and second number being the available space in front of the mounting pad (think spoke design). An even easier example of this conversion would be a 7" wide wheel with a 3.5 inch backspacing. This would be the equivalent to a zero offset (+0mm) wheels since the mounting surface aligns with the centerline of the wheel

Want to keep things stock? Get a high offset or 6+1 aftermarket wheel.

OFFSET

WIDTH GAIN

6+1 / +55mm 0.0-1.5" wider per side over stock
5+2 / +35mm 1.0-1.5" wider per side over stock
4+3 / +15mm 1.5-2.0" wider per side over stock
3.5+3.5 / +0mm 1.5-2.5" wider per side over stock
2+5 / -47mm 4"+ wider per side over stock

Why do we have two measurements for the same thing? 

This is the biggest gripe with new UTV and ATV owners. If offset and backspacing both give you basically the same information, why do we have two version? Offset is the automotive industry standard and the powersports industry has adopted backspacing. If you come from an automotive background, more than likely you're used to offset, hence why we see both. 

Need to find out what Valor Offroad products fit your specific vehicle? Check out our Fitment Guide.

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Wheel Backspacing vs. Offset
Backspacing

Wheel Backspacing vs. Offset

4+3? 6+1? 25mm? We put to bed the UTV industry debate on what measurement is better, why we use wheel offset and wheel backspacing in the powersports industry, and we do a deep dive into why each measurement matters.

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