Updated: Apr 9
First let me say reps in most cases sounds like a dirty word. Car culture can be quite snobby and toxic at times. Mostly people will hate on Reps but the truth is not everyone can afford a thousand dollars per wheel especially if you own a five thousand dollar project car. Reps have made their way into car culture and they are not going away any time soon. A clean beautiful wheel is a clean beautiful no matter who makes it. More and more we are experiencing better quality reps and lower quality originals and paying more for less is just not an option for most of us. That being said let's talk about Reps!
In my experience there are basically 3 types of Reps. We will call them grade A, B, and C. We'll talk about it from worse to best starting with C.
Grade C Reps should be avoided at all costs. They may be cheap but they'll cost you in the long run. They tend to bend easily and even Crack or break. They are usually a cheaply casted aluminum or magnesium based wheel. Usually originating from China these would be the wheels that are so cheap they seem to be too good to be true. If you don't mind a disposable wheel go for it but if you daily drive or do any extreme driving please avoid grade C. The good is that they are cheap if they break just buy new ones. The bad is they are not very durable and the chances of being damaged is high as well as lead to damage to your vehicle from failure.
Grade B wheels consist of your standard cast aluminum alloy wheels. Generally these wheels stand up to a lot more abuse and even can be a worthy street and road race choice. These are the most reasonable choice in reps in terms of price and durability. Mostly they tend to weigh just a bit more than the original that they are based on. They also tend to be mostly visibly accurate copies of their counterpart. Most times being nearly identical but not quite due to copyright or known infamous design. Most true replicas are intercepted by customs and often seized so exact copies are rare. These are a good choice for anyone looking for an affordable and durable wheel and are the lowest quality we feel comfortable selling. The good is they are always priced accordingly and we've had no complaints. The bad is they tend to be just a little off in terms of comparing them to their counterpart, so if you are looking to fool your friends be aware that a true wheel expert can tell a rep when they see it. Its not often but it happens.
Grade A is usually an aluminum alloy wheel that tends to be lightweight and durable. Often times being machine forged with a premium finish. These reps can be quite mainstream. Brands like Drag, Rota, Axis, Aodhan, and Mst all utilize designs from popular manufacturers thus making them reps. Sorry I don't make the rules🤷🏾. Grade A reps are the best alternative to the originals and very comparable in every way but price. Usually being half the price of their counterpart but just as durable. The good is grade A reps last, they are durable and the finish is often just as good as their counterpart. The bad well their really is no bad except they aren't original. They cost less they perform well and overall make a good choice on a lower budget.
To summarize Grade C try to avoid or buy at your own risk. Grade B is a good choice but won't be fooling any so called wheel experts. Grade A is a yes just yes all around. If you are on a budget they can't be beat.