As winter approaches in the northern hemisphere, so does the old dilemma of fitting winter tires on alloy or steel wheels.
There’s no question that alloy rims look much better than their steel counterparts, but looks aren’t everything when it comes to driving on frozen, pothole-ridden roads.
What also matters is how strong the wheels are and how they deal with shocks — such as hitting a big hole in the asphalt. One extreme way to test the stress resistance of wheels (and of any objects, for that matter) is to subject them to the might of the hydraulic press.
That’s exactly what the guys from the Hydraulic Press Channel did. Using a 150-ton press, they filmed some tests where they crushed alloy and steel wheels to see how they would behave. The wheels had tires on them and were crushed both in vertical and horizontal positions.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that the alloy wheels have more rigidity and require more force to crush. Unfortunately, that also means they break into pieces when that happens. The steel wheels, on the other hand, absorb the punishment without splitting into parts.
Finally, steelies are much cheaper so they don’t put that big of a dent in your pocket. They may bend more easily when hitting a pothole at high speeds, but at least you can have them fixed. Good luck doing that with a broken alloy wheel.