What Are Floater Rims?

Written by heilyn cabrera
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Have you ever seen a car that seems to float over the ground? In reality, the car is not floating. The car tires are still firmly planted on the ground. What makes it appear otherwise is a visual illusion created by floater rims. These are custom-made wheel rim attachments that do not rotate with the wheel. Floater rims are weighted and designed to work in conjunction with rims with larger diameters that use thinner tires.


A newer design derived from the original spinner rim favoured during the height of the hip-hop culture in the U.S., floater rims use ball bearings like the spinner rims, but the rims are weighted to stop them from rotating with the wheel. Two visual illusions are created by floater rims. One, the rims appear stationary while the car moves and two, the car appears to float over the ground.


The new floater rim, called "Dub Floater" was invented by Scott Baker, following the design concept of the spinner rims. Rolls Royce uses floater rims on its cars to get the Rolls Royce logo to always be in the correct position when the car is moving or is parked. The concept has been applied to movies, too. Floater rims were also used on the Batmobile in the "Batman" movie franchise.


Floater rims should snugly fit over the car wheels. If the fit is too tight, the floater rim may be damaged, if they too loose, they will fall off while you are driving. The floater rim has a metal ring with an indent and a valve stem stamp. The valve stem on the wheel should fit into this stamp. Push the floater rim over the wheel to engage the floater rim tabs and secure them in place. Tug the rims to ensure that these will not come off when the car is moving.


Car customisation costs a lot of money. One floater rim may cost more than a full set of tires for a vehicle. At a discount shop online, name brand floater rims start at £666 per wheel for a 20-by-8-1/2 inch rim. A single 24-by-9 floater rim costs £1,007. A 28-by-10 inch rim for an SUV costs £1,527. All prices are as of March 2011.

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