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Old 05-29-2013, 06:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Is There a Benefit to Heavy Wheels?

I've been doing some reading on old threads about the benefit of minimizing the weight of the wheels. The two reasons is obviously just reducing the overall weight of the vehicle, but also because the lighter the item that you are trying to spin the easier it will be to spin it, therefore, requiring less energy. (Do I have this right?)

My question, which I can't seem to find, is if there is ever a time that heavier wheels are actually a benefit. For example, in rainy/wet conditions or snow, sand, or gravel, etc.

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Old 05-29-2013, 06:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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...inertia is good for flat-land coasting, but you pay a price getting up to speed.
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Tele man View Post
...inertia is good for flat-land coasting, but you pay a price getting up to speed.
Makes sense, your basically using your wheels like a fly wheel.
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If you could figure out a way to drive on train tracks then wheel weight wouldn't matter much, but as it is every time you hit a bump or pot hole your wheel has to be lifted up and over that bump, the lighter the wheel the easier it is for it to move with the suspension.

The ONLY time that I can think of that you want heavy wheels is on very very slow heavy equipment when you want very low ballast weight to keep the tires on the ground, in those situations you also want the weight as far out at each corner as possible to keep from tipping over or flipping forward or backwards so the tires get filled with fluid to make them heavy.
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Old 05-29-2013, 09:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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So what your saying is that any large equipment should have heavy wheels. So the heavy vehicles that have those large beams come out of each side to help hold it down should have heavy wheels. Basically for any passenger vehicle used for normal use, heavy wheels aren't really necessary.

Is this correct?
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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In an ideal driving situation without any forced stops of any kind, heavier wheels would help you coast further using P&G (engine off). It would take more energy to get the vehicle up to a given speed, versus lighter wheels, but coasting distances would be longer.

Unfortunately few of us experience those ideal conditions, therefore lighter wheels are better.

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Old 05-29-2013, 10:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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the answer is no.
You can try and create all the exceptions you want.....the answer is still no. It's the wheel.
No, you dont 'need' heavy wheels on heavy equipment.
why?
just add a weight, the exact amount you want.
why make the turning of the weight a drain???
why stress the tranny and bearings.
A wheel is designed to roll and move, not weigh down the load.
if you want to stick to the road, put weights in the trunk or the foot wells.
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Mechanic View Post
In an ideal driving situation without any forced stops of any kind, heavier wheels would help you coast further using P&G (engine off). It would take more energy to get the vehicle up to a given speed, versus lighter wheels, but coasting distances would be longer.

Unfortunately few of us experience those ideal conditions, therefore lighter wheels are better.

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what about stopping.....odd thing.....we all have to stop.
now you have 4x the weight (dynamic, moving, swinging) and you are using the wrong pads and bushing to stop.(you didnt upgrade for the greater weight) So they wear out much quicker. But you got to coast a little longer.

the answer is no.
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Tele man View Post
...inertia is good for flat-land coasting, but you pay a price getting up to speed.
And the way physics are, you can never get that energy back for the full 100%.

So, it'd pay not to put in this extra energy in the first place, and use lighter wheels.


There is of course a practical limit to this, as very lightweight wheels come with a very heavy price tag ...
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
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we all have to stop.
now you have 4x the weight (dynamic, moving, swinging) and you are using the wrong pads and bushing to stop.(you didnt upgrade for the greater weight) So they wear out much quicker.
The original 15" wheels were 7 kg.
In 2006-2009 I had been running 10.2 kg 17" wheels.

Since early 2009 I h've been running 7.5 kg wheels - which became the winter wheels after summer 2010.

Since August 2010, I've been running heavy (10.9 kg !) 16" wheels on Hägar in summer.


While the extra weight can be felt in the steering (even despite power steering), there are no signs of drastically increased brake wear - pads and disks have done 192.000 km.

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