Backspace vs. Offset Explained and Conversion Calculators

Mar 14th 2024

Backspace vs. Offset Explained and Conversion Calculators

The most common question we receive is how to measure wheel offset, and wheel backspace and how to convert one to another. Both measurements play pivotal roles in determining how your wheels will sit within the wheel wells. We've created easy to use calculators to help convert these measurements.

Wheel Offset:

  • Definition: Wheel offset refers to the distance between the wheel's centerline and the mounting surface, whether it's towards the inside (positive offset), at the centerline (zero offset), or towards the outside (negative offset).
  • Effect: Offset influences the overall stance of your vehicle. Positive offset tucks the wheels inside the wheel wells, creating a more conservative look, while negative offset pushes the wheels outward for a more aggressive appearance.
  • Common Use: Front-wheel-drive vehicles typically feature positive offset, providing a neat, tucked-in look. Rear-wheel-drive or high-performance vehicles may lean towards negative offset for a wider and sportier stance.

Wheel Backspace:

  • Definition: Wheel backspace measures the distance from the wheel's mounting surface to the inner edge (lip) of the wheel. It essentially determines how much clearance there is between the wheel and internal components like suspension or fenders.
  • Effect: Backspace ensures your wheels fit correctly within the wheel wells without interfering with suspension parts or inner fenders. It is vital for both aesthetics and functionality.
  • Common Use: Proper backspacing is crucial for avoiding clearance issues and achieving a balanced, well-fitted appearance. It is relevant for various types of vehicles and wheel configurations.

How to Differentiate:

  • Offset Focus: Offset considers the relationship between the wheel centerline and the mounting surface, affecting the overall width and stance.
  • Inner Clearance Focus: Backspace concentrates on the clearance between the wheel's mounting surface and the inner wheel edge, preventing interference with internal components.

Backspace To Offset

Offset to Backspace

Seek Professional Guidance:

If you're unsure about measuring or understanding wheel backspace, it's always advisable to consult with a qualified automotive professional or a tire and wheel specialist. Contact and one of our wheel specialists will help you choose the right wheels for your vehicle, ensuring safety, performance, and aesthetics.


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