If you are wanting to buy high end looking wheels you’ve probably come across Niche wheels.
Niche sell a very wide range of wheels designed to suit everything from supercars to SUVs.
What makes them even more attractive is that they have wheels for very low prices.
But are they any good?
In this post, I’m going to go over Niche wheels in detail and answer how good they are.
The History of Niche Wheels
Niche was found in 1992 by MHT, one of the giants in the wheel industry who is part of Wheel Pros and owns a range of when brands including Rotiform, Dub, Foose, Fuel and more.
Niche are based in California and have been making eye catching wheels for 3 decades now.
What makes Niche interesting is that they don’t really focus on any one particular market segment like many wheel companies do.
Instead, they make a very wide range of wheels in different styles to suit everything from sports cars to luxury sedans and even SUVs and off-roaders.
They specialize in making stylish wheels that look good while not breaking the bank, which has made them very popular within many car enthusiast circles.
Unlike many wheel companies that are involved in motorsport, Niche focus more on making street and show wheels and don’t really focus on making wheels that are designed for racing. So don’t expect to find their wheels on any racecars.
How Niche Rims Are Made
Niche offer a selection of wheels including cast monoblocks as well as forged monoblock, 2 piece and 3 piece options.
Niche have an extensive line up of cast wheels in their selection.
While they don’t offer any specifics about how or where their cast wheels are made, MHT usually have their cast wheels produced in China, so I would say that it’s very likely to be the same for Niche.
Cast wheels tend to be the heaviest and weakest of all wheels, but they are also cheap which is why many OEMs and aftermarket wheel brands make them.
When it comes to Niche cast wheels, they are definitely on the heavier side, some being even heavier than your typically OEM wheel.
Niche offer a wide selection of forged wheels in practically every configuration from monoblocks to 3 piece modular wheels.
They make their forged wheels at their facility in California from Californian sourced aerospace grade 6061 T6 aluminium.
What American wheel companies typically do is get forging blanks from various suppliers and then mill and assemble the wheels in-house, and it appears that Niche do this also.
Niche offer a huge range of customization options on their forged wheels including different 36 monoblock forgings with different profile options, as well as a huge range of configurations for their multi-piece wheels that I will cover a bit later in this article.
Niche offer a range of finishes for their wheels and also offer custom finishes for all their wheels including their cast wheels that they can apply at their custom paint facility.
This means you can order your wheels with the exact finish you had in mind.
Niche wheels come with a limited materials and workmanship warranty of 1 year, chrome and plated finishes come with a warranty of 1 year, and PVD finishes come with a 2 year warranty.
Unfortunately, I was not able to find any definitive information on whether or not Niche wheels are JWL or VIA certified or if they have been put through any safety testing.
Niche Wheel Selection
Niche make a very wide selection of wheels ranging from cast monoblocks to 3 piece forged wheels. Here are the current wheel options that they offer:
Niche cast wheels come in 17-24” diameters and a range of widths, offsets and finishes.
Niche Forged Monoblocks come in 19-26” sizes and are available in 36 different configurations including standard or reverse drop center and various concave profiles.
Niche 2 piece forged wheels are available in a variety of configuration options including exposed or hidden hardware, lightening pockets, spoke undercut lightening and more. They come with forged milled centers and spun forged rims. Custom made to your specs in almost any size you need.
Niche 3 piece wheels come in almost endless configuration options which including standard and convex faces, concave and deep concave faces, standard and step lips, elevated spokes and more. They are available in many sizes and are custom made to your requirements.
Truck & SUV
These are cast wheels specifically designed for the extra load rating required for larger vehicles such as trucks and SUVs.
Quality of Niche Wheels
Niche wheels have a decent reputation when it comes to the quality of their wheels.
Being owned and made by MHT who are one of the biggest wheel manufacturers on the planet, they are made to high standards and typically don’t have issues when it comes to the construction of their wheels.
However, the same can’t be said about the finish of their wheels. There are many reports of their wheels chipping and flaking after a short period, especially with chrome on the lips. It seems that their finishes, or at least up until now, haven’t been of the highest quality.
The finishes are also sensitive to wheel cleaners, which will cause damage to them. So be aware not to use any wheel cleaning products if you have or are considering buying Niche wheels.
Niche’s customer service also isn’t very highly regarded, with a number of complaints regarding very slow or no reply to emails when there is an issue with their wheels.
Are Niche Wheels Heavy?
Niche wheels are typically quite heavy. Their cast wheels have a reputation for being heavy and can be up to 51 lb (23kg) for some of the bigger 24” sizes, which is more than many OEM wheels.
Their forged wheels are lighter but are still heavy for forged wheels.
Niche wheels aren’t exactly designed for maximum performance on the track, so if you are looking for lightweight performance wheels you are better off going with another option like BBS wheels, Volk Racing wheels or SSR wheels.
Conclusion – Should You Buy Niche Wheels?
Overall, if you are looking for street or show wheels that look good, Niche wheels are a decent option. Their cast options are surprisingly low cost and are decent quality in terms of manufacturing, giving you a wide range of designs and finishes to choose from.
Just realize that you are not getting lightweight racing wheels, that their finishes are not very durable, and that their customer service probably won’t be easy to deal with if you have an problems.
If these factors don’t bother you, I don’t really see an issue with Niche wheels. You can get them here for the best price:
FAQ About Niche Wheels
Are Niche Wheels Reps?
No, Niche wheels are not reps. They have been around almost 3 decades making unique wheels. However, be aware that some of their cast wheels have fake bolts and are made to look like multi-piece wheels, when in fact they are one piece.
Who Makes Niche Wheels?
Niche wheels are owned and made by MHT, one of the biggest wheel companies on the planet.
Are Niche Wheels Strong?
Niche wheels are relatively strong. Not many people have had issues in terms of Niche wheels breaking, which is usually a good sign that the wheels are strong.
What Are Niche Wheels Made Of?
Cast Niche wheels are made of cast aluminium, while the forged wheels are made of Californian sourced aerograde 6061 T6 forged aluminium.
How Heavy Are Niche Wheels?
Niche wheels are relatively heavy wheels, especially their cast options. Depending on the size, they weigh anywhere from 20-51 lb (9-23 kg).
Are Niche Rims Aluminum?
Yes, Niche rims are all aluminum. Their wheels are either cast aluminum or forged aluminum, depending on the wheel models.
Are Niche Wheels Real?
Yes, Niche wheels are real, they don’t make replica wheels. However, Niche do make many cast wheels with fake bolts that look like multi-piece wheels, but are actually one-piece. These are not to be confused with their forged wheels which are actually multi-piece.