Choosing the Right Wheel: Split Rim vs Split Ring Comparison

When it comes to wheels, there are many different types of designs and technologies available. Designs that have gained popularity in recent years are the split rim and split ring.

Split rims and split rings are two popular types of wheel assemblies commonly used in the automotive industry. Both of these designs have their unique advantages and disadvantages, making it essential for drivers and mechanics to understand the key differences between the two.

In this article, we’ll explore these differences and help you determine which type of wheel assembly is right for your needs.

Split Rim vs Split Ring

Split rims and split rings may seem similar at first glance, just like split rims vs solid rims, but there are some key differences between the two.

Split RimSplit Ring
A split rim involves splitting the rim into two halves.A split ring involves splitting the ring of the rim into two halves.
Split rims consist of two separate pieces (the outer rim and the inner bead seat).Split rings are single, continuous rings.
Split rims require special tools for tire maintenance and installation.Split rings do not require special tools

What Is a Split Rim

Split Rim is a  multi-piece wheel consisting of a side ring that maintains the tire’s position on the wheel during inflation. Split rims are composed of two separate pieces, the outer rim and the inner rim/inner bead seat.

These two pieces are attached to the wheel hub using bolts to secure the tire, making it possible to separate them for tire maintenance or replacement.

The outer rim is responsible for providing support to the tire, while the inner bead seat holds the tire in place.

This design is popular in heavy-duty applications, such as commercial trucks and agricultural vehicles, as it provides a more secure fit and reduces the risk of tire failure.

Further, split rims can be converted to regular rims.

What Is a Split Ring

Split rings are a  type of wheel mounting system that consists of a single-piece ring that fits over the tire. The ring is then secured to the wheel using bolts.

This design allows the ring that holds the tire in place to be separated from the wheel itself, making it easier to change the tire.

Split rings are typically used in light-duty applications, such as passenger vehicles and in racing industries.

Split Rings, just like solid rims, are designed to be used with tubeless tires, which are tires that do not require an inner tube.

Comparison Between Split Rim vs Split Ring

Here’s a comparison between the two in terms of their impact on performance and reliability.

Build quality

Split rims are typically made from steel or aluminum with multiple components, including the rim base, locking ring, side ring, and tire.  Split rings, on the other hand, are typically made from a single piece of forged steel or aluminum.

Regarding build quality, split rings are generally stronger and more durable than split rims. The welded joint in a split ring creates a continuous, uninterrupted structure, whereas the bolted joints in a split rim can be a weak point in the wheel structure.

Load capacity

When it comes to loading capacity, both split rims and split rings are designed to handle heavy loads. However, split rings are often considered to be more reliable in this regard because they are less likely to come apart due to the stress and strain of heavy use.

Split rims are typically used in agricultural and industrial applications where the load capacity is less than 5,000 pounds per wheel. Split rings, on the other hand, are used in off-road and military applications where the load capacity is higher than 5,000 pounds per wheel. 


Split rims are highly customizable, as they are made up of multiple components that can be replaced or modified as needed. Split rims can be customized with different liners, valves, and rims to suit specific applications.

Split rings, however, are less customizable than split rims. The welded joint in a split ring makes it difficult to modify the structure once assembled. However, split rings can be customized with different rims and tire sizes to suit specific applications.


Split-rim wheels are more affordable than split-ring wheels because they are easier to manufacture. Split rims have more parts, and each part has a more straightforward design, which results in lower production costs.

In contrast, split rings have fewer parts, and each piece requires more complex manufacturing techniques, leading to higher production costs.


Split rim wheels are more widely available than split ring wheels. Split-rim wheels have been in use for more than a century and are frequently used on heavy-duty vehicles. In contrast, split ring wheels are not as common, and they are typically utilized on specialized vehicles

Stability, and Control

Split ring wheels provide better stability and control than split rim wheels. Split-ring wheels have a more robust design, and the lock ring provides a secure connection between the wheel components.

In contrast, split-rim wheels have more parts, and these parts can loosen over time, leading to instability and potential safety concerns.

Benefits and Limitations of Split Rims

There are the benefits and limitations of split rims to understand their aspects below.


  • Higher Load Capacity
  • Better Stability and Control
  • Cost-effective
  • Customizable
  • Availability


  • Vulnerability To air leak rust and corrosion
  • Less Accessible for the average driver.
  • Split rims are more complex than other types of wheel designs, requiring additional maintenance and assembly time.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Split Rings

There are some benefits and limitations of split rings below.


  • Split rings are safer than split rims
  • Quick And Easy Installation
  • Ease Of Use
  • Improved Safety


  • Designed to be used with tubeless tires
  • Split rings are generally more expensive than split rims.
  • Difficult Tire Changes
  • Compatibility Issues

Similarities of Split Rim and Split Ring

Despite their differences, split rims and split rings do have some similarities when compared to traditional wheel assemblies. The similarities highlight that both have:

  • Improved stability
  • Improved traction
  • Both also have a higher load capacity, making them ideal for heavy-duty vehicles such as trucks and buses

Determining The Best Choice For Your Vehicle

So, which one is the best choice for your vehicle? The answer to this question will depend on your individual needs and preferences.

If you are looking for a durable and efficient solution for heavy-duty vehicles, split rims may be the best choice. However,  if you’re after a modern and user-friendly solution, split rings may be the way to go.

Ultimately, the choice between split rims and split rings will come down to your specific needs and the type of vehicle you have. Also, you can convert your split rims to regular rims. Check out how to convert split rims to regular rims.

However, before making a decision, it’s important to do your research properly. Also, make sure to speak with a knowledgeable professional to determine the best option for your vehicle


Split rims and split rings are two popular options for heavy-duty vehicles, each offering its own set of benefits and limitations. Whether you’re looking for increased stability, greater versatility, or easier maintenance, it’s important to consider your specific needs when deciding between the two.

We recommend consulting with a professional mechanic or checking with the manufacturer of your vehicle to make sure you’re choosing the right solution for your needs. With a little bit of care and regular maintenance, your split rims or split rings will provide a smooth and safe driving experience for many miles to come.

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