Do the number of spokes on a car wheel matter?

In this guide, we explain why car wheels feature spokes and if the number of spokes a wheel has makes any significant difference.

Look at the wheels of pretty much any car and you’ll observe that the design of each wheel includes a number of rods radiating from the wheel’s centre. These are known as spokes and in between the gaps of these spokes you can usually see things like the brake disc which is also connected to the wheel.

But you may be wondering why car wheels have spokes and if there is any reason or significant difference made when the wheels on a car have more or fewer spokes included.

While it is possible that a car wheel could be designed without any spokes (and therefore no gaps), the solid lump of metal you’d need to make for such a wheel would be heavier than car wheels need to be. The extra weight added by such wheels would ultimately harm the car in terms of braking, agility and efficiency.

A wheel with spokes is sufficiently strong to work on a car, so saving materials, weight and cost where it’s possible makes a whole lot of sense to manufacturers.

The spokes on a car’s wheel have the very important job of connecting the rim (outer diameter) of the wheel to the plate at the wheel’s central section - where the bolt holes and lugs that connect the wheel to the vehicle are stored.

The spokes play a large part in determining the overall weight and strength of a wheel. When designing and building a car, manufacturers will make sure the spokes on the wheels they use will provide sufficient strength when taking into account things like the car’s weight, performance and the size of the tyres that’ll be used.

You’ve probably noticed though that the wheels on different cars have a different number of spokes. Depending on which car you’re looking at, the wheels could have as little as three or four spokes, or as many as five, seven or even nine or more.

Is there a significant difference made when it comes to the number of spokes a car wheel has? In truth, the number of spokes a wheel has barely makes any difference really. The impact on the wheel’s weight, strength and aerodynamic performance will be minimal at best.

It is usually reasons regarding styling more than anything else which motivates how many spokes a manufacturer puts on the wheel of a car they offer.

Find prices for new cars here at carkeys.co.uk

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