Choosing the Right Go Kart Wheels
There are a few important criteria to keep in mind when selecting wheels for your go kart.
First is material. Go kart wheels are usually made of either aluminum or magnesium. Aluminum wheels are a good all-round choice balancing price and performance. They are manufactured either by casting or forming. Magnesium wheels have the advantage of being very strong and light, but are more expensive.
Next you need to know which pattern wheels and hubs you have. American, Metric, and CRG are the most common pattern. For more information on how to tell which pattern you have, see the information below.
Finally, you need the right size. Go kart racing wheels are usually either 5" or 6" in diameter. Rear wheels are generally wider than the front wheels, although that depends on the type of racing you do. The width of the wheels and the width of the tires need to match. We'll cover that more in bit.
Front wheels can either be spindle-mounted or hub-mounted. American (US) spindles are 5/8" in diameter while metric spindles are 17 mm or 25 mm in diameter. Rear wheels are hub-mounted. Hubs also come in both American as well as metrics bolt patterns. CRG front wheels have a slightly different pattern than the standard metric one. See the graphic below to tell what type of hub you have on your kart.
Now let's try an example to find the right wheel size for your tire.
Choosing the Right Wheel Size
This is not as "tuff" as you think. The size on the tire tells you all you really need to know.
Lets take a tire size of 10 x 4.50 - 5. Working backwards, the last number, 5, is the diameter of the wheel on which the tire mounts. In this case, it is a 5" wheel.
The first number, 10, represents the overall tire diameter. In this example, the tire is 10" in diameter. You don't actually need to use this number to pick a wheel.
That leaves the middle number 4.50 which we'll cover next.
Matching Wheel Width to Tire Width
The 4.50 represents the tire width in inches, and that tells you how wide of a wheel you can use. Wheel width is measured from inside bead to inside bead. In go kart racing, especially oval racing, you can mount tires on wheels that are 1 to 2 inches wider than your tire. For example, if your tire is 4.50" wide, you could mount it on wheels between 4.50" and 6.50" wide.
American vs. Metric Bolt Pattern
The difference between American and Metric Wheels
American or US: A=2.125", B=1.75" with 1/4" or 5/16" studs also known as 3 on a 2.5" bolt circle. The 3 bolt holes are evenly spaced on an imaginary circle 2.5" in diameter.
Metric: A=50 mm (2"), B= 40 mm (1.5") with 8 mm studs also known as 3/58 pattern. The 3 bolt holes are evenly spaced on an imaginary circle 58 mm in diameter.
CRG Front: A=60mm (2 3/8"), B=55 mm (2 3/16") with 8 mm studs also known as 3/67 pattern. The 3 bolt holes are evenly spaced on an imaginary circle 67 mm in diameter.
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Want to change from metric to American pattern wheels? Click here to check out our dual pattern and conversion options!