Monday, September 4, 2017

Hub Centric Adapters 101

Photo by Vlad Grebenyev on Unsplash

Hub centric adapters are one of two common adapter set ups. They’re the standard, and as such, sometimes overlooked. They’re actually very useful, powerful tools that help you get the stance and the hardware you want onto your vehicle.

Standard Adapter Placement

Hub centric adapters are the most common adapters on the market. They’re essentially the standard for wheel adapters. The other common model is lug centered. Hub centric adapters are built around the hub of the wheel. That’s what they push against the most, passing most of the torque of the axle through to the hub. In a lug centric design, this torque is absorbed by the lug nuts themselves. While this can work, it’s not as safe. Lug nuts are smaller, easier to break or damage metal pieces. The hub as a whole is strong. When you know you’re going to be using hub centric adapters, you can ensure it’s standard ahead of time. Even still, check your adapters, hubs, and tires frequently (every 100-150 miles) to be sure everything’s working as it should. When properly installed, this should be a two-minute check and not a burden.

Why Use an Adapter Over a Spacer

One question people have is why choose hub centric adapters over wheel spacers. If you just want offset wheels, go ahead and just get a simple spacer. They work well, and don’t add as much pressure to your tires. Adapters are essential when you need to change the lug bolt pattern of your tires. Each manufacturer, and sometimes each model, as a pattern of lug bolts. This pattern only fits with certain tires, hub caps, etc. This is a way for hardware to stay distinct, and can also be part of a branding attempt. Wheel adapters are hacking the system. Find the right wheel adapter, and you can use whatever tire, hub cap, etc., that you would like on your vehicle.

In addition to being an adapter, a hub centric adapter also works like a spacer. They widen the stance of the vehicle and allow you to offset your tires. Offset tires can result in better handling, increased torque, and a smoother ride over uneven ground. They also just look cool--the more the tire sticks out, the more aggressive and dynamic the vehicle looks. Even when it’s standing still.

Hub centric adapters are a safer alternative to lug centric adapters. They allow you to change your car’s hubcaps and tires to fit your preference. They also act as a spacer, giving you the perks of both worlds.

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