Golf carts have evolved beyond their traditional roles on the green and are now widely used for various purposes, from neighborhood transportation to leisurely rides. One of the easiest, and most popular customizations that golf cart enthusiasts often consider is upgrading their wheels and tires. Today we'll explore the merits of upgrading from the standard 8" wheel to larger options such as 10", 12", 14" or even 15” golf cart wheel and tire combos. Let's delve into the pros and cons of this modification and the mechanical features required to complete the job.
Pros of Upgrading Golf Cart Wheels and Tires:
Alright, this is easily the number one reason to make a change to your golf cart. Upgrading to larger wheels and tires can dramatically improve the overall look of your golf cart. The increased wheel size provides a sportier and more stylish appearance, making your cart stand out. Bigger, better, badder and bolder, am I right??
Improved Ground Clearance:
Larger wheels and tires contribute to increased ground clearance. This is particularly beneficial when navigating uneven terrains, ensuring a smoother ride and reducing the risk of getting stuck in challenging conditions. Most of our customers are driving around HOA’s and community streets here in Florida, but a number of our Navitas golf cart owners do love hitting the back country, where the standard wheel we offer is 14” with 23” All-Terrain tires.
Better Traction and Stability:
Larger tires offer a larger contact patch with the ground, resulting in improved traction. This enhanced grip is especially advantageous when driving on slippery or wet surfaces, and in Florida we know slippery and wet surfaces!. Additionally, the increased width of the tires contributes to better stability during turns.
Upgrading wheels opens up a world of customization. Enthusiasts can choose from a variety of styles, colors, and finishes to match their personal preferences and the overall theme of their golf cart. Our 12” golf cart wheel selection from Steeleng has 43 different designs and nine different tire choices providing an incredible number of selections!
Cons of Upgrading Golf Cart Wheels and Tires:
Now this could actually be a Pro feature as well. Larger wheels can affect the accuracy of the speedometer. Since the speedometer is calibrated based on the standard wheel size, upgrading may lead to a discrepancy in speed readings. Increasing the tire diameter has the cheap and easy effect of increasing your golf cart’s speed. Most carts are coded for 15 mph with 8” wheels. Changing to 12” wheels and larger tires can take the speed up to 19 mph or even more, in some cases.
Potential Strain on Motor:
Installing larger wheels increases the rolling resistance, potentially putting additional strain on the golf cart's motor. This could result in a slight reduction in speed and acceleration. It's essential to consider the cart's motor capacity and whether it can handle the upgraded wheels.
Altered Gear Ratio:
The change in wheel size can impact the gear ratio of the golf cart. This alteration might affect the overall performance and efficiency of the vehicle. It's advisable to consult with a mechanic or expert to ensure the proper adjustment of the gear ratio.
Mechanical Features Required:
Now here is where it gets fun! To accommodate larger wheels and tires, a lift kit may be necessary. This kit provides the additional clearance needed to prevent rubbing and ensures the proper functioning of the suspension system. All standard carts can accommodate a 12” wheel with 20” tire without a lift kit. After that, you will need to investigate your lift kit options. We are proud to offer the Steeleng brand for Club Car, Ezgo and Yamaha golf carts right on our website. We also have access to Rhox, MadJax and GTW brands, just ask!
Wheel spacers may be required to create the necessary space between the wheels and the cart's frame. This helps prevent interference and rubbing, ensuring a smooth and safe ride.
Speedometer Recalibration Kit:
If upgrading to larger wheels affects the accuracy of the speedometer, a recalibration kit can be used to adjust the settings and provide accurate speed readings. However, most golf carts are programmed for certain speeds. As mentioned earlier, most carts are set to 14 or 15 mph. Speed codes can be upgraded to 19+ mph. In Florida, street legal or Low Speed Vehicles have a maximum speed allowance of 25 mph.
Upgrading the wheels and tires of your golf cart can be a thrilling customization, offering both aesthetic appeal and functional improvements. However, it's crucial to carefully weigh the pros and cons, considering factors like speedometer accuracy, motor strain, and gear ratio adjustments. With the right mechanical features and proper considerations, you can elevate your golf cart's performance and appearance for an enhanced driving experience.
To make getting this upgrade easier we are offering the Tire Fire Sale for just one week, starting January 24th and going through to the 31st. We have reduced all our wheel and tire combos by $40 for this week only! You can order your perfect combo right on our website and they will be delivered to your door. If you have any questions do not hesitate to leave a comment, or give us a call at (239)302-2789.