Wheel designs - What else is out there?

General conversations about BMW E28s and the people who own them.
Foonfer
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Wheel designs - What else is out there?

Post by Foonfer »

Silly topic, but as the title says: What are your thoughts on aftermarket wheel designs, outside of the BMW-BBS-Alpina-Hartge universe, that actually LOOK GOOD on E28s?

I ask because among contemporary aftermarket manufacturers, 16" diameter is getting harder and harder to even find - everyone seems to be focused on 18" and larger wheels.

As a reference, and just so it is clear where my preferences lie:
- I don't like AC Schnitzer 5-spoke wheels. In fact, I have never seen a single 5-spoke wheel design that I like on E28s (but am open to exploration). This statement is applicable even to the legendary Style 37 "M-parallels". Which takes us to the next point
- I don't like how 17" wheels look on E28s. 16" is the sweet spot. Sweet 16".
- I think Style 32 wheels on the E28 are some of the wrongest of the wrong. No, they do not look like Alpinas, snap out of it.
- The *only* wheel styles produced after 1990 that I think look OK on E28s are Style 8 and Style 29 (both of these are "meant to be"), Style 33 (meh, visually and literally heavy), and Style 42 (surprisingly ok but not in "meant to be" category).
- Not all "period correct" wheels are OK. Style 4, Style 7, Style 9, Style 20 - all horrible.
- Alpina, and Hartge to a slightly lesser degree: Some of the most timeless master strokes of wheel design. How is it possible that the same wheel looks "meant to be" on a late 60s and on an early 2000s car? It's mindblowing.

What else is out there?
Last edited by Foonfer on Jan 19, 2024 12:23 AM, edited 1 time in total.
Mike W.
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Re: Wheel designs - What else is out there?

Post by Mike W. »

I don't know about new, but both Racing Dynamics and Mille Miglia made some decent 5 spoke wheels once upon a time. I agree on 29s on an E28, I think they look great and are of course available in 16s. Style 42s came in 16X7 for E36/42 chassis, with spacers they would be 16" and fit and look good.

Then again I don't even like Alpinas, so what do I know?
Shawn D.
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Re: Wheel designs - What else is out there?

Post by Shawn D. »

Yeah, 16" wheels are "so '90s" and choices are getting thin. It's even worse for 15" for older/muscle cars, not so for wheels, but for tires. The only 15" "performance" tires out there (not counting Hoosiers) are BFG TAs and Cooper Cobras, and they're terrible. This is why I went from 15" to 17" on both my '57 Chevy and my '79 AMC Spirit.

What do you think of Minilites? Not cheap.
Foonfer wrote: Jan 17, 2024 10:54 PM - I think Style 32 wheels on the E28 are some of the wrongest of the wrong.
It's OK to have one of the wrongest opinions, I don't think any less of you for it. :poke:
gwb72tii
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Re: Wheel designs - What else is out there?

Post by gwb72tii »

These are Racing Dynamics RGR in 16"
Image
Dimm6
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Re: Wheel designs - What else is out there?

Post by Dimm6 »

I know you’re not into ACS wheels, but I can’t get enough of the classic 5 spoke design in 15”. I use these in the winter.

Image


My 16” set of wheels are Rial Mesh. They’re staggered 8” in front and 9” out back. Nothing beats a classic mesh look wheel on this car.

Image

The only way to find nice wheels in these sizes is to find old wheels and have them refinished. That’s what I’ve learned after many years of collecting old wheels.
BMWCCA2
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Re: Wheel designs - What else is out there?

Post by BMWCCA2 »

Not sure I understand your problem. You like Style 29 which are readily available in 16-inch size to the extent that I have them on both of my E28s. Tires are simple and because they are only 7-inch-wide wheels there is no fitment issue at the left rear wheel arch. :dunno:

Pardon the pin-stripe in the second photo. It's gone now!

Image

Image
stuartinmn
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Re: Wheel designs - What else is out there?

Post by stuartinmn »

I have Azev type A wheels on my car. I like them cause they're simple (which also makes them easy to keep clean) and they're unusual, at least in the US. Mine are 16" but they were available in 17" as well.

Image
Mike W.
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Re: Wheel designs - What else is out there?

Post by Mike W. »

Dimm6 wrote: Jan 18, 2024 4:38 PM I know you’re not into ACS wheels, but I can’t get enough of the classic 5 spoke design in 15”. I use these in the winter.

Image
Oh man, I'm not the OP, but I really like Schnitzer wheels. Never see them up for sale though.

I had these on an E12 I sold a couple of years ago, came off a 524td in a junkyard. I really liked them too. Not the greatest picture, but you get the idea.

Image
Etip
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Re: Wheel designs - What else is out there?

Post by Etip »

I have Hartge on mine staggered 7&8"

They come up for sale every now and then.
The three piece Hartge are RARE but sick...

And I like the style 32's. I just saw a post with 3 piece Style 32 that were awesome looking.

I know, no help for your question, but fun to talk about wheels
Foonfer
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Re: Wheel designs - What else is out there?

Post by Foonfer »

Shawn D. wrote: Jan 18, 2024 6:04 AM
Foonfer wrote: Jan 17, 2024 10:54 PM - I think Style 32 wheels on the E28 are some of the wrongest of the wrong.
It's OK to have one of the wrongest opinions, I don't think any less of you for it. :poke:
WHOA... SHOTS FIRED! :heehee:

Minilites probably have their niche. They make me think of midrange British cars from the 60s for some reason.
Foonfer
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Re: Wheel designs - What else is out there?

Post by Foonfer »

BMWCCA2 wrote: Jan 18, 2024 8:21 PM Not sure I understand your problem. You like Style 29 which are readily available in 16-inch size to the extent that I have them on both of my E28s. Tires are simple and because they are only 7-inch-wide wheels there is no fitment issue at the left rear wheel arch. :dunno:

Pardon the pin-stripe in the second photo. It's gone now!
No problem on my end, just shootin the sh*t about wheels. Mine looks like yours (Delphin FTW), and my pinstripe has grown on me. The only fault I find on Style 29s is the center cap - I don't like it that much. With the center cap it looks too "buttoned up", and without it looks a bit raw.
Foonfer
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Re: Wheel designs - What else is out there?

Post by Foonfer »

gwb72tii wrote: Jan 18, 2024 2:21 PM These are Racing Dynamics RGR in 16"
Image
Oh my. This photo is giving me weird tingly feels in odd places - darned Catholic upbringing. Of course, you need the red paint to pull this trick off.
Foonfer
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Re: Wheel designs - What else is out there?

Post by Foonfer »

I think the following links help reinforce what I wanted to point out in my original posts:

Beautiful cars, ruined by the wrong wheels (stolen from a parallel thread going on right now):
https://www.grautogallery.com/vehicles/ ... 8-bmw-535i
https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1986-bmw-m535i-4/

Wheels that look perfectly OK (actually quite nice) on disembodied photos, but I bet any money they'd look awful on an E28 -in this case it's just because they are "outies", not "innies": https://www.ebay.com/itm/145523071837?_ ... p_homepage
tn535i
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Re: Wheel designs - What else is out there?

Post by tn535i »

The only brand new wheel I've seen that would have me consider it would be an Apex Arc8. 17x8 is the smallest but it does come et20. My son has that wheel on his e46 ZHP and it's better than BMW offered on that car, IMO. However, an old style 29 is my favorite on the e28 and you sort of see the resemblance of the two, Arc8 is like an evolution of the 29. Given any of the pictures submitted in any color, and I believe the car would look 'better' in a style 29. But again we are just musing and giving opinion.

If it were feasible and profitable someone should have figured out how to cut the rim off old TRX wheels and married them to a 16x7 (or your choice) readily available wheel. I think I've seen a one-off of something like that and it looks period correct. While the cores would have been readily available at some point, assuring the safety of that if you were a seller would be a no-start.

When I was a kid just having any sort of alloy wheel was a big deal. At least we don't have to consider the best steelies and hubcaps we can find in a 14".
John in VA
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Re: Wheel designs - What else is out there?

Post by John in VA »

tn535i wrote: Jan 20, 2024 10:16 AMIf it were feasible and profitable someone should have figured out how to cut the rim off old TRX wheels and married them to a 16x7 (or your choice) readily available wheel. I think I've seen a one-off of something like that and it looks period correct. While the cores would have been readily available at some point, assuring the safety of that if you were a seller would be a no-start.
There was a company (in Louisiana, I believe) in the late 80s/early 90s advertising in the BMW CCA magazine that created non-metric wheels from TRXs.
athayer187
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Re: Wheel designs - What else is out there?

Post by athayer187 »

John in VA wrote: Jan 20, 2024 1:37 PM
tn535i wrote: Jan 20, 2024 10:16 AMIf it were feasible and profitable someone should have figured out how to cut the rim off old TRX wheels and married them to a 16x7 (or your choice) readily available wheel. I think I've seen a one-off of something like that and it looks period correct. While the cores would have been readily available at some point, assuring the safety of that if you were a seller would be a no-start.
There was a company (in Louisiana, I believe) in the late 80s/early 90s advertising in the BMW CCA magazine that created non-metric wheels from TRXs.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/196043110251?c ... dSEALw_wcB

There's a couple people doing 3 piece wheels with TRX centers. Looks terrible in my opinion. I love the look of style 29's. I also really like the look of style 5's (but I prefer a moderate polish or machined lip to a high polished one). I run them with black centers on my car - moderate polish on the lips to match the other anodized aluminum accents on the car. My car is white, so black centers just work (I generally hate black centered wheels).

I also really like the BMW M-System turbine wheel covers. They're super expensive these days, but they look great in my opinion.

https://bringatrailer.com/listing/bmw-s ... -m-system/
tn535i
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Re: Wheel designs - What else is out there?

Post by tn535i »

athayer187 wrote: Jan 22, 2024 11:31 AM I also really like the look of style 5's (but I prefer a moderate polish or machined lip to a high polished one). I run them with black centers on my car - moderate polish on the lips to match the other anodized aluminum accents on the car. My car is white, so black centers just work (I generally hate black centered wheels).
I'm with you on too much polish on a wheel and did my M6 wheels with a moderate polish to sort of match the bumpers and window trim then did a grey center on my Style 5 wheels. Darker much easier to keep clean (or not). On an everyday driver like my 5 you can't beat the style 29 though.
Foonfer
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Re: Wheel designs - What else is out there?

Post by Foonfer »

tn535i wrote: Jan 20, 2024 10:16 AM The only brand new wheel I've seen that would have me consider it would be an Apex Arc8. 17x8 is the smallest but it does come et20. My son has that wheel on his e46 ZHP and it's better than BMW offered on that car, IMO. However, an old style 29 is my favorite on the e28 and you sort of see the resemblance of the two, Arc8 is like an evolution of the 29. Given any of the pictures submitted in any color, and I believe the car would look 'better' in a style 29. But again we are just musing and giving opinion.
*climbs on soapbox* *clears throat*

Looked into those Apex Arc8s, and wow I was impressed. They do look good on an E39 and an E46... haven't seen them on an E28.

Here's the thing. Cars are objects that move, they are dynamic. Cars have hundreds of parts that move about, but there's only 4 of them that are inescapable to our attention - the wheels, the most visibly dynamic part of a car.

In architecture, in design, in graphics, in engineering, a triangle is the strongest, most stable shape (I don't know of any mainstream 3-spoke wheel designs other than the well-known late-80s/early-90s Range Rover and some weird 70s-80s Fiats, I think). Up from a triangle (and in general) even numbers suggest stasis, quiet, gravitas, whereas odd numbers suggest imbalance, therefore movement, therefore dynamism. It is no coincidence that the lowest number above 4 (which is 5) is the go-to for all wheel designs to signify "sporty", "dynamic", "agile", etc. There are not many examples of successful 6-spoke wheel designs (Mercedes pulled it off on one of the evolutions of the 190e 2.3-16, not sure how, and kept it - it is horrible).

Now, in wheel design, at 7-elements, perhaps at 8-elements (such as the Apex Arc8 wheels), a fun thing starts to happen: The eye starts getting confused, and can't easily tell if there is an odd or an even number of spokes, and the wheel starts looking "dynamic" just because there's many elements. This is why the Arc8 (8-apparent spokes), Style 29 (10-apparent-spokes), Hartge (11-spokes), Style 5 (17-apparent-spokes) and Alpina (20-spokes) shine. My personal issue with Style 32s (15 spokes, and one of the worst-looking wheels on BMWs), is that the spoke-to-void ratio is too low - there doesn't seem to be enough "meat" to tie the center of the wheel with its periphery, and at 17 inches there doesn't seem to be enough "rubber meat" there either.

BUT OF COURSE - to each their own.

*steps down from soapbox* go on... nothing to see here....
BMWCCA2
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Re: Wheel designs - What else is out there?

Post by BMWCCA2 »

FWIW:
18-inch ARC 8 on my E82, and 16-inch Style 29 on my E28

Image
Panici
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Re: Wheel designs - What else is out there?

Post by Panici »

BMWCCA2 wrote: Feb 09, 2024 8:38 AM FWIW:
18-inch ARC 8 on my E82, and 16-inch Style 29 on my E28
That's a great shot.

Wheels definitely related but each sized and shaped appropriately for the respective car.
Foonfer
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Re: Wheel designs - What else is out there?

Post by Foonfer »

Panici wrote: Feb 09, 2024 8:45 AM
BMWCCA2 wrote: Feb 09, 2024 8:38 AM FWIW:
18-inch ARC 8 on my E82, and 16-inch Style 29 on my E28
That's a great shot.

Wheels definitely related but each sized and shaped appropriately for the respective car.
Totally, no-questions-asked agree
tn535i
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Re: Wheel designs - What else is out there?

Post by tn535i »

Foonfer wrote: Feb 09, 2024 12:37 AM
*climbs on soapbox* *clears throat*

*steps down from soapbox* go on... nothing to see here....
What you said while on your soap box I cannot argue with or agree more... :cool:

I did not originally notice the Arc8 on BMWCCA2 post because they were grey rather than silver. BMWCCA2 has good taste!
Foonfer
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Re: Wheel designs - What else is out there?

Post by Foonfer »

OK hear me out now please - Can anyone identify THOSE wheels at the link below? They're giving me all kinds of tingly feels...

https://www.mye28.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=151500
JF
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Re: Wheel designs - What else is out there?

Post by JF »

BBS RX 223 16"
Mdreamer
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Re: Wheel designs - What else is out there?

Post by Mdreamer »

Foonfer,

I'm going to attempt to provide some options that may provide some options for you, but before I do, I'd like to get on my own soapbox for a few moments. ;)

I imagine the fact that we are on this forum that that we likely have more than a passing interest in wheels in general, and that we are purveryors, in particular, for our e28s. That said, I hope we can agree to disagree on some of your opinions because I certainly disagree with some of yours vehemently.

To my eyes, style 32s are some of the best "modern" OEM BMW wheels to fit on an e28, and I detest the style 29s (with or without centers) on our cars because they look too "pedestrian" and "buttoned up" to me--like an old dude wearing a sweater and corduroys as he moves around wherever he is at a 3/10ths pace. If I ever get on board with that wheel it is likely because they've finally McMurphyed me in the ward and there is simply no more vigor left in mye28. ;)
We agree on our apparent lust for the concave BBS RXs that you inquired about (and that JF supplied the answer about), and I generally prefer 16s (though I really like some 17 inch wheel and tire combinations too). I tried to follow your triangle, seven, and eight elements theory, but in my days I've found that there are too many exceptions to such rules when it comes to my liking a set of wheels on e28s (or any car, for that matter). As an example, some Mille Miglias were fitted with a remarkably "flat" face on some of our friends' cars, while others had a noticeable concave to them when they came on the scene some 25 (+/-) years ago. Although they were the exact same wheel design, the "flats" always looked very unappealing to me, while the concaves made me want to sell or trade something to get a set everytime I saw them in person. Wait--using a five spoke wheel as an example may be a bad start for you based on your intro (even though gwb72tii's RGRs caused you to have weird, tingly feelings)... We'll switch to flat BBS RXs versus concave ones for our discussion, even though the reaction we revisited above kind of supports my position on this matter. My position being that, although we may have some guidelines that we subscribe to when it comes to liking certain wheels for certain cars, there tend to be designs and applications that make it hard for us to simply rule out entire segments without seeing them fitted. Of course, if this theory is taken to the extreme holes can be poked in it, but I'm on my personal soapbox so my outlook takes precedent here. :laugh: Ok, I think I'm done with that phase of this post... Except to say that I really like the Alpina treatment alpinass did on some style 32s that I saw somewhere a while back, and, separately, that I am likely to highly polish the lips of my RZs before I fit them because I've entered an age where I would probably walk around with the top two or three buttons of my shirt opened with a couple of gold chains and a medallion or two on my chest if my daily routine supported such boldness. I felt it necessary to slide that in there just to give you some context regarding the duality with which I love our cars, and to provide an idea of how I tend to travel through life as a whole.

I promise I'm done with all of that sidebar talk now! Based on your original question and the guidelines you gave us for your preferences (with price being no object and the wheels being brand new), here you are:

https://www.imagewheels.co.uk/bps-alloy-wheel/ (although the picture shows four lug, they can be purchased in five)

https://www.fikse.com/wheel/classic-fm10/

That's all I can think of right now, but if others come to me I'll come back and add them to the thread.
Last edited by Mdreamer on Mar 14, 2024 9:56 AM, edited 1 time in total.
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