Nefarious Racing

2024 BBS Wheels Review: Are They Really That Good?

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Every single car enthusiast on the planet knowns about BBS. They are one of the biggest brands in the car industry, and we all know they make good wheels.

But just how good are their wheels really? Are they really that much better than absolutely everyone else?

In this post, I’m going to go over BBS in detail and answer the question of whether they truly are the best wheel company on the planet.

The History of BBS

BBS was founded in 1970 by Heinrich Baumgartner and Klaus Brand in the Germany villiage of Schiltach.

The name BBS is a combination of Baumgartner, Brand and Schiltach, spelling BBS.

They started off by making plastic auto body parts, but soon found that there wasn’t a large market for that at the time, since body kits weren’t really a big thing back then.

They soon moved on to making wheels, and released their first design, the BBS-Mahle. The name Mahle comes from the fact that they partnered with Mahle, and engine parts manufacturer, to make the first 1000 wheels, since they didn’t have their own facility at the time.

The wheels proved to be a big hit, and in 1972 they made their first multi piece wheel design and stopped making all other parts to focus exclusively on wheels.

This was also the year where they were approached to make wheels for Group 2 and Group 5 races, and they came up with an air cavity design which allowed the wheels to be extremely light. In 1973, the BMW Motorsport factory team started using the wheels, and the decades long partnership between BBS and BMW was born.

By 1978 they were making all the parts for their wheels themselves, but to honor Mahle for their partnership in the beginning, they named all of the wheels that featured the “spider web” mesh design as “BBS-Mahles”.

In 1979, BBS as a company exploded, prompting them to go public in the early 80s and open subsidiaries in Italy, Japan and America.

In 1983 the very famous BBS RS was made, and was offered as the standard sport wheel for new cars including BMWs and Volkswagens, and eventually ended up being the OEM wheel for 18 different car manufacturers.

The company kept growing and they got heavily involved in motorsport including Formula 1, WRC, 24 Hours of LeMans and practically all other forms of motorsport.

In 1994, they developed a forged magnesium wheel for Formula 1 which was 20% lighter than the cast aluminium wheels that were being used. They also developed the first flow formed wheels using FEM analysis in 1995.

However, in 1995 they actually went bankrupt, and used that as a way to restructure the company. They went bankrupt again in 2010, and were acquired by Punch International. In 2012, Tyrell Equity AG bought them out, and then in 2015 a Korean firm called Nice Corp acquired BBS.

They used the acquisition in 2010 to shift their focus heavily on the OEM and motorsport production and stop being as involved in the aftermarket industry, and in 2015 they moved some of their HQ and production to Japan, where their forged wheels are made.

However, in 2020 BBS took a hit on the OEM side of the company as new car demand rapidly decreased in Europe, causing BBS GmbH (the OEM arm of BBS) to once again file for insolvency. They were acquired by KW Automotive GmbH (the suspension manufacturer), and they restructured the company, this time refocusing on aftermarket wheels where there is now a much bigger demand.

BBS continue to make wheels for almost every OEM manufacturer and many different forms of motorsport, as well as expanding their aftermarket wheel range.

How BBS Wheels Are Made

One of the things BBS is known for is quality, and this is because of the way they make their wheels.

BBS does the entire process themselves completely in-house. Their wheels are all designed by them, they have their own foundry, make their own tooling, do the forging or casting, testing and finishing. Literally every part of the process is done by BBS.

BBS puts a big focus on performance perfection, and their wheels are designed and made using science and mathematics. They are not focused on making flashy wheels like other brands such as Vossen and Rotiform, but rather focus on acheiving the absolute best quality and performance.

Their wheels are made using a few different wheels, depending on the methods.

Low Pressure Cast

Low pressure casting is a form of wheel casting that uses pressure to move the molten metal through the mold, resulting in more density and consistency of the metal than gravity casting.

While the cost is higher, the quality is the wheel is better, and it also allows BBS to make the wheels lighter than if they used gravity casting.

Every cast wheel goes through an X-ray review to ensure there are no inconsistencies or impurities, as well as a long list of tests that BBS put all their wheel through to ensure they are the best quality.

The cast wheels are typically on OEM applications as well as their aftermarket wheels and are some of the cheaper options available. All their cast wheels are made in Germany.

Flow Formed

BBS actually invented flow forming and have been producing flow formed wheels since 1996.

Flow formed wheels start as a cast center that is made narrower than the finished wheel, with extra material to make the barrel.

The cast wheel is then put on a machine and spun at high speeds while heat is applied. Rollers then apply pressure to form the barrel.

This results in a much tighter and more consistent grain structure of the metal, making for a lighter and stronger wheel than a regular cast wheel.

Die Forged

For their forged wheels, BBS use a special two stage die forging process, and are one of the few companies on the planet able to produce die forged wheels.

Die forging is done by forging the actual wheel design into the blank, rather than milling it out later like regular forging.

This process can require up to 18 million pounds of pressure, and is the hardest and most expensive method of producing wheels.

However, it also results in the highest quality, strongest and lightest wheels possible, which is why BBS uses this.

BBS use this method to create their forged wheel line which includes their multi-piece wheels like the LM and RS-GT, and is the process they used to create the original BBS RS.

Magnesium Wheels (BBS Racing Wheels)

BBS also produce a number of race wheels in both cast and forged magnesium, including for Porsche center lock cars.

These wheels are sold as “track use only” and are the lightest wheels you are going to get, specifically designed for maximum performance.

Safety Testing

BBS put their wheels through an incredibly amount of testing to ensure they are the absolutely highest quality.

Unlike most brands that have a “cheap” line that is usually not the greatest quality, BBS ensures that every wheel they make is nothing short of perfect.

Most of their testing exceeds OEM standards by 10x, and their wheels are TUV, ECE, KVA, ABE and JWL certified.

Their wheel tests include:

  • Fatigue test that includes 2 million cycles (10x more than the OEM requirement)
  • Rotational testing
  • Biaxle load testing
  • Impact testing
  • Bead area lazer testing
  • And more

They do this to ensure that there is no chance of a bad wheel getting out there and tarnishing their reputation, which could not only cost them in aftermarket sales but could end their OEM and motorsport partnerships.

It also makes sure that everyone knows that if you buy BBS, you are getting quality, there is no doubt about that.

Are BBS Wheels Really That Good?

BBS RS wheel on a Volkswagen Golf Mk2

The short answer is yes, yes they are.

While BBS may not have the flashiest designs or the biggest range, they don’t focus on that.

What BBS focus on is being the best wheel brand in terms of quality and performance, and they over deliver on both of those fronts.

Every single BBS wheels has to be perfect because their reputation and partnerships with OEMs and motorsport teams rely on it.

If they produce a low quality wheel, their entire racing heritage will be tainted and they are likely to lose their partnerships which is most of their business.

So it’s actually very vital for them to make sure every wheel is absolutely top quality.

This is why so many of their old wheels such as original BBS RS from over 30 years ago are still around today even though they have been rebuilt, finished and barrelled probably several times over.

In the case of BBS, you really do get what you pay for – you pay top dollar for top quality wheels.


Why Are BBS Wheels So Expensive?

BBS wheels are expensive because of the engineering, design, high quality manufacturing and safety testing that goes into each wheel.

When you consider the fact that every single step of the process is done to the highest standard, from the technology and design with all the R&D behind it, to the quality of the materials and the manufacturing methods which are the best in the world, and then the rigorous safety testing, a lot of time, money and manpower go into it all.

This is why BBS wheels cost more than most other wheels on the market. They are simply one of the best, if not the best, in every possible way.

It would be impossible to achieve that by pricing their wheels low.

BBS’ focus is on the upper end of the market who want and have the money to pay for the best, and that is what they do well.

BBS Wheel Lines For Road Cars

While BBS has a wide range of wheels available for OEM, aftermarket and racing applications, I will give you the road car wheel lines here.

Design Line (Cast)

BBS’ cast line is designed for street cars that want a good looking, top quality wheel that is relatively affordable but brings the quality and technology that all BBS wheels have. While being cast, these wheels still feature the optimal stiffness to weight ratio that BBS is known for.

Performance (Flow Formed)

The Performance line are BBS’ flow formed wheels which are designed as a midway point between the more affordable cast option and the top of the line forged wheels.

These wheels deliver high performance in terms of being very lightweight and durable, yet cost less than a forged wheel, making them a fantastic mid-tier option.

Forged (Die forged)

The forged line are the holy grail of BBS road wheels. This is where you will find wheels like the LM, RG and Super RS, designed with maximum performance, lightweight and strength in mind. If you want the best wheels in the game, these are it short of buying race only wheels.

Conclusion – Should You Get BBS Wheels?

If you want the best wheels in the game, yes, you should buy BBS wheels.

BBS produce some of the highest quality wheels in the world and they take no shortcuts. From the design to the manufacturing and the finishes, everything is done to the absolute highest standard.

As far as performance wheels go, BBS are hard to beat, being some of the lightest and most durable wheels produced, which is what got them so many motorsport partnerships.

The only downside is that BBS do not offer a huge range of designs, and they are not as customizable as some other brands. So if that’s what you are after, BBS might not be able to supply what you need.

However, if you want timeless wheels that offer the best performance, BBS wheels are definitely one of your top choices.


FAQ About BBS Wheels

Are BBS Wheels Good?

Yes, BBS wheels are good. BBS wheels are some of the best wheels on the planet, made using the best materials and manufacturing methods available.

Why Are BBS Wheels Good?

BBS wheels are made using the best technology, design, materials and production methods available. They are also put through many tests that far exceed OEM requirements to ensure they are the highest quality wheels available. When you buy BBS, you know you are getting the best you can get.

Where Are BBS Wheels Made?

BBS cast and flow formed wheels are made in Germany, and BBS forged wheels are made in Japan.

How Much Are BBS Wheels?

BBS wheels cost as low as $265 for some of the cast wheel models all the way up to $3200 or more per wheel for the high end forged or racing options.

What Does BBS Stand For?

BBS stands for Baumgartner, Brand and Schiltach, the names of the two founders and the name of the town in Germany where they started.

How to Tell If BBS Wheels Are Real?

There are several things you can look for to tell if a BBS wheel is real.

Most fake BBS wheels are copies of BBS RS or LM models, which are multi-piece, but the fakes are always monoblock with fake bolts.

BBS wheels will also have BBS stamped on the wheels, whereas most fake wheels do not. The fakes also usually go by some other variation of the name like 885, BB5 or BBW.

Fake BBS wheels are also usually significantly cheaper than the real deal and are available in sizes, variations and finishes that original BBS wheels were never offered in, so compare them to the wheels offered by BBS.

Where to Buy BBS Wheels?

You can buy BBS wheels for the best price here:


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