Photography By: 
Quadratec File Photo

When you are shopping for that next great set of wheels for your Jeep, one selling feature you’ve probably heard or read about is how the wheel is ‘hub centric.’ Or maybe you’ve noticed people trying to steer you away from ‘lug centric’ rims, but are not quite sure why.

Hub centric. Lug centric. What’s the difference? After all, the wheels you want do have the correct lug pattern and that is the most important thing, right?

Well, sure, things like bolt pattern, offset and backspacing are certainly major factors when contemplating a wheel purchase. But whether these new wheels are hub or lug centric will determine just how they fit on the vehicle, as well as where the vehicle weight sits.

Basically, hub centric means the space inside the wheel’s center bore is designed to fit perfectly on the axle. This way, the wheel is centered by the hub connection and the lugs can hold it flush against the mounting plate. In a hub-centric design, this connection will bear the weight of the Jeep. Most OEM wheels, as well as some aftermarket versions like Rugged Ridge, Tactik and Quadratec Hardrock, will be hub centric and many believe these provide the best ride quality.

Lug centric is where the wheel is attached and centered by the lug nuts – instead of the hub. Most aftermarket wheels fall into this category as manufactures make these with larger hub diameters to fit a wide range of vehicles. So, when installed, there usually is a space between the axle and hub instead of flush contact.

As far as what is better, some report no difference in drive quality between hub and lug centric wheels, especially when using acorn style lugs to center. But many others say lug centric rims cause a degraded driving experience and could even fail depending on conditions. This is because driving – especially off-road driving - on lug-centric wheels can mean some impacts will apply shear force to the lug studs, sometimes more than they are designed to handle. This can potentially cause the lug studs to bend, leading to vibration as the wheel slips around on the mounting plate - possibly damaging the wheel's center bore if it has enough play to contact the axle.

A good way to correct this, should you choose lug centric and have an issue, is to purchase hub centric wheel spacers. These spacers fit inside the wheel hub and then fit over the axle, making that that lug-centric fitment into a hub-centric one.


Top Jeep Articles

Differences Between Soft Top Materials
  • Matt Konkle
  • February 19, 2019
A Jeep soft top isn't just a one-size-fits-all application. And one of the most important things to consider before purchasing is what kind of material makes up that top. Here are some of the most important material differences.
Differences Between Jeep Gladiator And Wrangler
  • Matt Konkle
  • February 14, 2019
You may think the latest Jeep design is nothing more than a bed on a Wrangler, but in reality it is so much more.
Jeep truck driving in snow
10 Essential Items For Your Jeep Winter Emergency Kit
  • Matt Konkle
  • February 5, 2019
You never know when something may happen while on the road or trail during winter months. So a good Jeep winter emergency kit is definitely high on the recommendation list.
Jeep truck on road
Jeep Confirms June Arrival For Gladiator, Pleased With Customer Interest
  • Matt Konkle
  • January 16, 2019
FCA announces release date for Jeep's newest vehicle during the North American International Auto Show.
FCA Recalling 1.6 Million Jeep, Dodge, Chrysler Vehicles To Fix Air Bags
  • Matt Konkle
  • January 11, 2019
Wrangler and Ram are some of the affected models in this latest recall involving faulty Takata air bags.
Fiat Chrysler To Pay Some Jeep, Ram Owners In Diesel Emissions Settlement
  • Matt Konkle
  • January 10, 2019
Automaker will not admit to diesel emission cheating in $800 million deal with US Government and state agencies.
Rendering of Jeep Gladiator Hercules truck
Will A Hercules Lift Jeep Gladiator Against Raptor And ZR2?
  • Matt Konkle
  • January 8, 2019
While not official, a high-performance version of Jeep's new Gladiator truck would directly compete with popular Ford and Chevy editions, giving Jeep a foothold into yet another market.
How Do I Know When My Jeep Needs New Tires?
  • Eric Ammerman
  • January 7, 2019
Wear alone isn't the only reason you may need new Jeep tires. There can be several reasons what you have now needs replacement.
Differences Between Full, Mid-Width Or Stubby Bumpers
  • Matt Konkle
  • January 4, 2019
With the amount of aftermarket bumpers around, it can quickly become confusing which one is best. We break down three of the most popular