Rotiform is a name that practically everyone who is into cars will have heard over the last couple of years.
They came out of nowhere and quickly grew into one of the biggest wheels brands on the planet.
However, not everyone is a fan of their work, with some people being critical about their designs and quality.
In this post, I’m going to cover Rotiform in detail, their wheels and just how good they really are.
History on Rotiform Wheels
Rotiform was founded in 2009 by Brian Henderson and Jason Whipple in California, two car guys that both have a long history in the car scene and have been involved in various motorsports and car builds over the years, including a number of SEMA cars.
The Rotiform BLQ and MIA wheels were some of the first designs produced, and due to the fact that they offered affordable wheels in wide range of sizes and PCDs, including many that fit European cars with specific fitments that had very few aftermarket wheels options, Rotiform quickly became very popular especially with the VW & Audi scene.
They quickly started producing custom 3 piece wheels, being one of the first companies to offer mass market custom multi-piece wheels.
Rotiform specialised in taking unique and popular wheel designs, such as those of OEM wheels from previous decades and remaking them in custom sizes and fitments that the original wheel was never offered in, as well as multi-piece configurations. The BMW M1 wheels are a perfect example of this. Here are the Rotiform BM1s on the left, and the original BMW M1 wheels on the right:
Along with these, they also made many of their own unique designs, and they would take the ones that became popular and produce them in a cast monoblock version that was more affordable for people who couldn’t afford to buy the forged 3 piece versions. This model proved very successful and is partly how Rotiform became so big.
Rotiform didn’t do what most wheel companies do which is focus on one particular style or one particular type of car, but instead they made many designs spanning all types of cars and styles including Euro, JDM and even Domestic.
MHT Wheels Inc, who owns numerous other wheel brands across the different market segments, including DUB, Niche Fuel, Foose etc, was Rotiform’s supplier for wheels, and in 2015 they bought Rotiform out, adding the brand to their umbrella. However, they kept Brian and Jason on to manage the brand and keep its image.
Eventually, Rotiform also began making forged monoblock designs more focused on performance and started making partnerships with race teams including Ferrari.
In 2019, MHT got bought out by Wheel Pros, an even bigger wheel supplier, which included the Rotiform brand among the others.
Rotiform continue to expand their partnerships in different parts of motorsport and the auto industry and even partnered with the late Ken Block and Hoonigan to supply wheels for all of his cars.
They release a new line of wheels almost every year, keeping the popular designs and discontinuing others in order to make room for the new ones.
How Rotiform Wheels Are Made
Rotiform currently offer both cast and forged wheel options.
Rotiform cast wheels were made in China, and from what I can gather continue to be made there. Unfortunately, Rotiform do not release much information regarding the cast wheel line, aside from the fact that they use low pressure casting.
What I did find out is that Wheel Pros has been establishing casting facilities in America to bring casting production to the USA, with more and more cast wheels being produced domestically. So it’s possible that in the near future that the cast wheel line will also be produced in the USA.
Rotiform’s forged wheels are all made in the USA out of 6061 T6 aluminium. Rotiform have a facility in California where they produce all the wheels, allowing them to make up to 150 wheels per day, which is around 3000 wheels per month.
Producing all the wheels in house allows them to ensure a high standard of quality, where the wheels have to pass various quality checks.
During assembly, once all the parts of the wheel are made and matched, they partially assemble the wheels and then check the runout to ensure that no part of the wheel is more than 0.030 inches out, and adjust anything that needs to be adjusted before fully assembling the wheel.
Here is a good video showing a tour of the Rotiform facility and how their wheels are made:
Rotiform wheels are available in a wide variety of finishes including custom finishes to match whatever vision you have.
Rotiform offer a range of standard finishes which mainly include paint or powder coat in either matte or gloss finishes, available in a wide range of colors. These finishes generally come standard on their wheels at no extra cost.
Speciality finishes include practically anything you can dream up. From hand brushed with a clear coat to fully polished with a candy color on top, Rotiform will produce whatever you can come up with to make your perfect set of wheels.
How Good Are Rotiform Wheels?
No matter how good wheels look, the quality is always important to ensure they are safe and will last.
In terms of Rotiform wheels, their latest wheels appear to be very high quality, and were good enough for the Ferrari race team to use them in one of the harshest environments you can put wheels through – competitive racing.
Like most companies, they may have had some issues when they were just starting out, and you can find some old reports claiming that their barrels and lips were not the best quality and prone to cracking. However, those issues seem to have been resolved for many years now.
It’s also important to remember that their wheels were made for a certain target market, which was the street/show car.
In recent years, they have been getting more and more involved in motorsport, which would have me believe that the quality of their wheels is up to standard. It’s unlikely that serious race teams would team up with a wheel manufacturer who made poor quality wheels and risk a failure during a race, even if they could afford to keep replacing them.
With that being said, it’s important to consider what you will use the wheels for, as cast wheels are not usually ideal for regular track use no matter who made them. So that also plays a factor in terms of how well the wheels will do what you want them to do.
Overall, I see no problems with Rotiform wheels quality – If it’s good enough for Ferrari, odds are it’s good enough for you.
Are Rotiform Wheels Reps?
This is a common question and in my opinion, no, Rotiforms are not reps.
While Rotiform do use designs from other wheels, in my opinion what sets that apart is a couple of things.
- They don’t blatantly rip off wheel designs to make it look exactly the same
- They produce wheel designs that have long since been out of production, and make them in sizes and configurations that were never offered in the first place
- They make high quality wheels which are actually well made
- They don’t make “fake splits” with imitation bolts/rivets
Typically, rep wheel companies are just out to make a quick buck, and will produce blatant rip offs with no creativity that are often low quality.
What Rotiform is doing is taking wheel designs that people want but are no longer available or were never available in a certain size or fitment, and produce them to a very high standard and with a wide range of customization options.
The other thing I like is that they don’t produce any fake multi-piece wheels. A lot of wheel brands that produce reps love to put the fake rivets on their 1 piece reps, which I personally can’t stand, and I’m glad that Rotiform has not done this but has instead redesigned their multi-piece wheels for the cast versions to be a true monoblock with no fakery.
Therefore, I have no issue with what Rotiform are doing and don’t consider them a rep wheel company for this reason.
So Why Do Some People Dislike Rotiform?
No matter what you do, someone somewhere is going to be upset, that’s just the way it is.
Some people don’t like Rotiform because they see the fact that they are a relatively new company and that they base their designs on other wheels, and automatically assume they are low quality reps.
Also, Rotiform wheels are very popular with the Stance and VW Audi scene, which makes sense since the founders were heavily into that. However, that puts a lot of people off, especially track and performance enthusiasts, which I can also understand.
All this makes a lot of people associate their wheels with “show” rather than “go”, combined with the fact that not many people tend to use them on the track (probably due to the high cost).
However, for the vast majority of people who are not professional racers or even club level racers actually competing, I don’t see any problem with Rotiform wheels for street cars and even performance cars who will do some track driving (except maybe the cast wheels which might not be ideal).
Plus, Rotiform is getting more and more involved in motorsport as I mentioned earlier, so you will probably see their wheels more and more at the track.
Personally, I like what they are doing with the creative use of old school wheel designs and the wide variety of customization options, and could see many cases where one of their wheels would perfectly suit a car.
Rotiform Wheel Lines
Rotiform offer so many different wheels that I can’t list them all otherwise we’d be here all day. However, here are the different wheel lines that they offer, along with some popular wheel options.
Probably their most popular line, these are cast monoblock wheels which are the most affordable. They are where Rotiform started and are still made in many different designs, sizes and fitments.
Forged Monoblock Rotispec
These wheels are forged monoblock wheels which are made to Rotiform’s preselected specs and finishes. Designed to be more affordable and always in stock, these are perfect if you are looking for lightweight forged wheels which won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Forged CustomSpec – 1, 2 & 3 Piece
Rotiform’s famous fully custom wheels. Available in a huge range of designs in 1, 2 and 3 piece options, these wheels are made fully custom for you to your specs and with your chosen finishes at Rotiform’s USA facility.
Designed to fit LAS-R, RSE and BUC-M wheels in certain sizes, the aerodiscs are an add-on that screws onto the face of the wheel with the center nut to give it the look of the aerodynamic racing wheels of old.
5 Spoke Rotiform Wheels
Rotiforms cast and forged wheels line contains many 5 spoke wheel designs including:
3 Piece Rotiform Wheels
Many of Rotiform’s forged wheels come in a 3 piece configuration, making them extremely customizable. No matter what car you have, Rotiform will be able to create a 3 piece wheel to suit, completely customized to suit your specs and fitment as well as finish requirements.
BMW Rotiform Wheels
Rotiform make a wide range of wheels that are popular with BMW, the most notable of which is probably the BM-1, based on the original BMW M1 wheel.
Because Rotiform make custom wheels, practically all of their forged wheels can be made in sizes and fitments to suit many BMW models. On top of that, they offer a variety of BMW fitments and sizes in their cast and Rotispec wheels.
Audi Rotiform Wheels
Audi is where Rotiform started. Many Audis tend to have peculiar wheel fitment that require odd sizes and PCDs not commonly available. Rotiform because popular because they offered many wheel options for Audis, and to this day create many wheels including their off-the-shelf models to suit many Audis. No matter what you have in mind, Rotiform is sure to have a wheel for you.
Porsche Rotiform Wheels
Porsches have become incredibly popular in the car modifying scene, particular with widebody kits like Pandem and RWB. These require very wide wheels, which Fuchs often don’t supply. Rotiform has wheels specifically made in the style of the popular Fuchs wheels, but in sizes and multi-piece configurations that Fuchs never offered. If you are looking for wheels for your Porsche, whether it is standard or a custom widebody, Rotiform will have the perfect wheel for you.
Rotiform Rally Wheels
Rotiform offer a range of designs inspired by wheels used in rally over the years. Not only that, but Rotiform are actively involved in various forms of Rally from Hill Climbs to teaming with Audi Sport to develop wheels for the Audi RS Q e-tron. Whether you just want the rally look or you need wheels for your rally car, Rotiform has you covered.
Conclusion – Should You Buy Rotiforms?
Personally, I think if you like the design of a Rotiform wheel, I can’t think of any reason not to buy them.
Despite not being around for very long, Rotiform has not messed around in getting involved in practically all corners of the car scene from stance shows to professional motorsport, and they make some very cool and creative wheels.
They also have a range of options from more affordable cast wheels to fully custom 3 piece forged wheels that can be made to suit your car, no matter how ridiculous your plans are. It’s also clear that they care about quality and put great effort into ensuring their wheels are second to none.
While they do tend to lean more towards “show” wheels, Rotiform is getting more and more involved in motorsport and I think we will see this perception shift in the near future.
Overall, from everything I have seen, I think Rotiform are one of the best wheel brands out there and are doing a great job at making unique, high quality wheels and catering to practically every car enthusiast, no matter what you are into.
FAQ About Rotiform Wheels
Are Rotiform Real Wheels?
Yes, Rotiform wheels are real. Rotiform make a wide range of custom and unique wheel designs which are either cast monoblocks or forged wheels. They do not produce any direct replicas or any fake muli-piece wheels.
How Much Are Rotiform Wheels?
Rotiform wheels range form as low as $260 per wheel for their cast monoblock wheels, to several thousand dollars for their fully forged custom 3 piece sets.
Where Are Rotiform Wheels Made?
Rotiform’s cast wheels are made in China, whereas their forged wheels are made at their facility in California, USA.
Are Rotiform Wheels Heavy Or Light?
Rotiform’s cast wheels tend to be heavy, often being heavier than OEM wheels. However, Rotiform’s forged wheels, particularly their lightweight monoblocks, are designed to be as light as possible for track and motorsport use.
Can Rotiform Do Standard Finishes On Cast Wheels?
Rotiform’s cast wheels come in redone finishes specific to each wheel.
How Do I Polish Rotiform TMB Wheels?
Rotiform wheels usually have protective coating such as clear powder coat even on polished surfaces, so in order to polish your Rotiform TMB wheels you will have to strip the factory finish and then use regular metal polishing methods to create the polished finish.
How Wide Are Rotiform Wheels?
Rotiform cast wheels usually come in widths ranging from 8.5-11 inches wide. The exact width is going to depend on the particular wheel model you are looking to buy. Rotiform Forged Customspec wheels are available in custom sizes and can be made to any width you desire.
Who Owns Rotiform Wheels?
Wheel Pros currently owns Rotiform. Wheel Pros purchased MHT Wheels in 2019, who owns Rotiform, making Wheel Pros the new owners of Rotiform Wheels.
Are Rotiform Wheels Lightweight?
Rotiform’s forged wheels are made to be lightweight, especially their forged monoblocks. However, their cast wheels are usually quite heavy.
Are Rotiforms Heavy?
Cast Rotiforms are heavy, often heavier than OEM. Their forged wheels are much lighter, especially their forged monoblock wheels which are now being used in motorsports including by Ferrari race teams.
Is Rotiform European?
No, Rotiform is not European. They are an American company based in California.
Are Rotiform Wheels Cast?
Rotiform do have a line of cast monoblock wheels which are their lower priced models. Rotiform also have an extensive line of forged and custom made forged wheels.