So, perhaps the day has come when baby needs new shoes. Don’t be sad, we all outgrow our shoes sooner or later, and when it’s time for the new set of rollers to usher in a new time of Godzilla’s life, Forgeline is here to bring the best in booty stomping footwear. You can consider Forgeline the Michael Johnson gold medal-winning shoes for the automotive world except, no funny stuff- when Forgeline makes wheels they make wheels to be track perfect, show perfect works of automotive racing perfection. Now I know you’ve been seething with jealousy over Michaels magnificent kicks, but sit tight, grab a beer and relax. What you read below is exactly what baby’s parents need to hear.
Forgeline makes wheels for the automotive industry and competes only with the best in the business. The wheels that come out of the design house from Forgeline are run by big names like Turner Motorsports and AMS, and run on tracks from Buttonwillow to Sebring, and can be found in Grand Am, ALMS, SCCA Pro Racing, as well as virtually every amateur sports car series in the US and beyond. Suffice it to say, these guys have been rolling across every racetrack and showroom floor from L.A. to Miami, and are well acquainted with what it means to create a perfect wheel. The process of creating a wheel is not something that just happens overnight. The team wanted the strongest, lightest, most practical wheel that they could create. Thus was born their racing roller the SX3-R. The ZX3-R (seen here with matte black center, polished lip, and center locking conversion) which replaced the original, along with all of the wheels from Forgeline, is a wheel crafted for the track. The wheel is a true piece of engineering, and since I can’t say it better myself-here’s what they have to say about it:
The ZX3-R is a 10 spoke evolutionary design. Each spoke is tapered 10 degrees and extra machining is used to reduce weight even further than the original SX3-R design. Each wheel is built with true forged 6061 T6 centers, 6061 T6 spun rim halves, stainless steel fasteners (titanium fasteners and jet nuts are optional), and feature a powdercoated silver or gunmetal finish with a polished lip. This design is 3 pounds lighter than the standard 3-piece Forgeline wheels. The ZX3-R is available in sizes from 17×7.0 to 19×13. Since each wheel is built to order, Forgeline can offer special features like custom offsets, center locking hubs, and a choice of center finishes.
Lightweight wheels are a common racing term, but most people don’t fully understand the ideas behind using them. Weight is a racecars biggest enemy, and unsprung weight (the weight under the springs which moves up and down as the vehicle rides over uneven roads and leans in the corners), and rotational weight (all parts that spin including everything in the vehicle’s driveline from the engine’s crankshaft to its wheels and tires) are the biggest factors in a racecar. The idea of reducing weight will result not only in a higher top speed and lower lap times, but handling increases dramatically as those two hindrances are conquered. In short, by reducing unsprung weight, the shock absorbers and suspension can react faster, creating a better constant contact patch resulting in better traction. The more traction in any motorsport, the better the vehicle will handle during at-the-limit driving. Unsprung weight is just as important. By reducing the amount of weight in any rotating mass (think: flywheel, driveshaft, rotors, pulleys, crankshaft, etc…) like a wheel and you affect the energy required to change speed as the vehicle accelerates and brakes. Obviously, less is more in this case.
There is a downside to reducing wheel weight however. As seen in the spectacular picture from the Ostrava Rally, a weak wheel will break when its limits are reached- and it’s a guaranteed that when it does break, it will be the worst time for it to happen. There’s never a good time for a wheel to break, but on a track at high speeds is the last place you want to lose a wheel. Forgeline knows this and that’s why everything they make is strength tested and designed for ultimate performance using computer stress analysis models, and real time on the track to beyond SAE standards. So forget exploding wheels on the track!
One of the coolest things to come out of Forgeline over the past 15 years, other than amazing wheels is some of the hardware options that they have come up with. The biggest one would have to be center lock conversion kit that they offer. This converts your regular 5 lug wheels into a Formula One ready machine. Not only does it cut down on weight, but makes your wheels a lot harder to steal without the proper tools! The kit works for most cars, and the conversion includes adapters, drilled and machined for the car, specially machined centers, and a set of forged Hex or GT Style nuts. The adapters bolt on to the vehicle with special lug nuts that act as drive pins. The wheel then slips over the adapter and on to the lugnut drive pins. Tighten the forged nut down with the supplied wrench and you’re ready to go. Hex nuts or GT Style nuts are available in a host of different finishes including anodized, polished and brushed. On the track, the benefit and ease of wheel changing from this kit would be incredible. One lug, that’s all. The team over at Forgeline has led an industry first by bringing this race-proven technology to the masses.
Click below For a complete catalog of Forgeline wheels and their hardware and accessory options.