Mercedes-Benz G-Class Wheels 18" x 9" Echo by AlphaEquipt $315
At the time of writing for this product description (05/01/20), there had been a scarcity of options for Mercedes-Benz G-Class wheels with a diameter in the range of 18 inches. Many of the later model G-Class trucks had brake calipers that were too big for the smaller wheels to fit. Tire manufacturers were also hardly offering tire sizes that matched well with common wheel sizes on the G-Class.
Enter AlphaEquipt with its owner's 30+ years in wheel manufacturing experience, and you now see this promising solution! Viking has determined from initial conversations with AlphaEquipt's executive sales team that they put a lot of thought into these wheels, beautifully designed for the G-Class, while placing function as the highest priority. AlphaEquipt's "Echo" model is their 5-spoke design.
Diameter: 18 inches
Width: 9 inches
Backspace: 5.98 inches
Bolt Pattern: 5x130mm (5 bolts spaced apart at 130mm)
Weight: about 30 Lbs.
Besides hitting the sweet spot in wheel diameter (18") that so many G-Class owners have been asking for, the AlphaEquipt wheels come with many well-thought-out features.
- Knurled Rim Flange
A series of small ridges/beads are built into the rim flange for grip to help create friction on the tire bead and reduce its chances of slipping off the wheel, particularly while aired down. While off roading, if you air down too low on regular rims, your tires can slip off. This "knurled rim flange" feature allows you to air down low enough for most off roading situations without need for heavy beadlock wheels unless you're doing more extreme off roading like rock crawling. The design of this lip helps to hold onto the tire better than an average wheel, but not to the degree of the clamping action you'll get out of a beadlock. This medium point, however, is an intelligent approach for most G-Class owners because they usually use their trucks on the street and as a daily driver...maybe over 90% of the time. For purposes of off road and street driving, it's generally considered a good practice to keep your truck as light as possible (better fuel efficiency for street and off road as well as more nimble maneuvering and a lighter footprint over off road terrain). Going with beadlocks for a daily driver will contribute to poorer fuel efficiency because your truck will be unnecessarily heavier, and beadlocks are even an unnecessary feature for most off roading applications. Although beadlocks serve a function, for most people heavy beadlocks will decrease street and off road handling due to higher unsprung weight. If you're off roading more intensely than most (rock crawling) or you simply want the look, beadlocks are a great way to go. However, the Alpha Equipt wheels hit what we've seen is a sweet spot for the majority of G-Class owners.
- Dual Valve Stem
This feature enables you to check your tire pressure while airing your tires up or down. It also allows for very rapid air-down.
- Valve Stem Collar Protection
This offers long-overlooked protection for the sensitive valve stem of the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) that can so easily break off, particularly while off roading.
- Serrated Rim Edge (On the outward rim face. "Echo" Model Only...CLICK ON THIS TO THE ECHO MODEL)
In our opinion, this "feature" serves more to fulfill the personal aesthetic preference of some users. However, this feature may make scratches and wear a little less obvious.
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