hre wheels-19" HRE Wheels FF01 Flow Form Black Concave Rims

If you are looking into aftermarket wheels for your ride, it won't be very long before you hear the name HRE. HRE Wheels are some of the most recognizable, and costly, wheels on the market today. There is ample reason for their popularity.

Many people wonder what makes them so expensive. Others wonder how they compare to different high-end wheels that are available like BBS and Volk. One thing is clear, in every corner of the internet, people are talking about HRE Wheels.

We researched HRE Wheels, made a comparison with Volk and BBS wheels and compiled all the information for you. Find out what people are saying about HRE Wheels and discover how they stack up to the competition.

HRE Wheels


hre wheels-19" HRE Wheels FF01 Flow Form Black Concave Rims

Pros

  • One of the most beautiful and recognizable wheels on the market
  • HRE Wheels are so well built, racing teams use them
  • Affordable price points for quality wheels
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    The 3-piece sets are customizable, and nobody else does that

Cons

  • Expensive

QUALITY

PRICE

RATINGS

$$$$

Pros and Cons

This list of pros and cons is slightly lop-sided. After our research and comparison, it is clear that HRE Wheels are very popular. The few poor reviews we found mentioned only one detrimental factor about them.

HRE Wheels - What's the Big Deal?


Before we talk about the HRE difference, let's talk about how critical well-formed wheels are for your vehicle. It isn't just about looks, although some fresh new wheels are a gorgeous way to make your ride stand out. If your wheels are too heavy, though, your car won't perform at its full potential. Conversely, if you try to save money and purchase generic off-brand wheels, you might be disappointed. Off-brand, generic wheels have been known to bend and break which could cause an accident or worse.

The weight and the size of the wheels that you choose have a direct bearing on how your car drives and handles. Large, heavy wheels mean that your vehicle has a lot of unsprung weight. The term unsprung weight refers to the extra weight that you have on your car that your suspension does not support. So, things like tires, wheels, and the actual suspension itself all count as unsprung weight. If your car has too much unsprung weight, you will lose performance value in speed and handling.

With lightweight, well-made wheels you will experience:

  • Better traction
  • Greater control
  • Safer handling overall
  • Fun fact: There was a set of HRE Wheels on the Gumpert Apollo when it hit speeds of more than 220 mph and set a track record on the Nurburgring in Germany in 2009.

HRE Wheels get high marks in safety

HRE nailed the science and produced wheels that even have racing teams in love with them. The company, using science and top of the line technology, created wheels that the top performers demand on their vehicles. Additionally, HRE Wheels are thoroughly tested and carry both TUV and JWL/VIA certifications.

TUV stands for Technischer Überwachungsverein. The English translation is Technical Inspection Association. While the acronym TUV is archaic, obtaining the TUV certification is still a big deal. TUV-SUD is a world leader in product testing and certification.

The JWL/VIA certifications are based on Japanese standards. JWL stands for Japan Light Alloy Wheel standard. It is a set of standards that are adhered to by manufacturers. Manufacturers who comply with the standards self-certify their product. The Vehicle Inspection Association of Japan (VIA) conducts independent testing of wheels for compliance with the JWL and JWL-T (Truck) standards.

Budget

Your best bet, if you are in the market for wheels, is to budget for the best wheels on the market. Like many after-market products, wheels can be purchased super cheap. However, like all those other super-cheap after-market buys, in the end, it's never worth it. It's best to take the time and save up to do it right the first time.

Don't worry, though, HRE reworked a few things, and there are wheels available now at more affordable prices than you might think. It's easier than ever to sport the most recognizable brand of wheels on the market.

FlowForm

Recently, HRE made an exciting shift to help accommodate people who want to rock a set of their wheels but worry about the cost. They now use FlowForm technology. FlowForm wheels start with a cast wheel, then adds heat to stretch and compress the metal. The result is a wheel comparable in strength to their top-of-the-line forged wheels at about half the price.

Cast wheels are made using a mold filled with molten aluminum, which is not as strong as starting with a full block. A lot of wheel companies stop right there, and you can purchase a cast wheel as is. However, HRE took this process a step further. They added heat and compression to the barrel, and the result is a much stronger wheel at about half the price of the forged version.

FlowForm wheels are a little heavier than forged wheels. However, as far as strength and durability are concerned, they more than meet their mark.

Forged Monoblok wheels

HRE's forged wheels are the original wheels that the company initially made and marketed. You can get a set of these beauties and blow your friend's minds the next time you pull up at a meet.

Forged wheels are the top-of-the-line. They are formed starting with a solid block of aluminum. Then, using a lot of pressure and heat, the metal is first hollowed out into the proper shape. Then, using even more pressure, rollers, and heat, the metal is formed into its final shape. The result is a solid and very light wheel that set the industry standard when they first came on the market.

Forged 3-piece

HRE forged three-piece wheels are where it's at if you need a custom design. For nearly four decades HRE has made their mark with these stunning aftermarket wheels.

The 3-piece wheels are forged just like the Monoblok, but with a little more room to play, as it were. Because of the three-piece design, you can custom order these to fit your car. This design allows you to have a large aftermarket caliper. It can also be used to offset your wheels a little extra for that wide-stance look in the back.

What will it cost to purchase a set of HRE Wheels?

What will it cost to put your very own set of HRE Wheels on your favorite car? As you have already learned, the prices vary quite a bit depending on the construction process.

If you start at the high-end with the forged 3-piece sets, pricing begins as low as $$$$ for each wheel. Most of the sets, though, in this category cost on average $$$$ for each wheel. The prices vary widely. If you get a custom order, the price will go up. However, remember, with a custom order they can fit over that massive caliper or create a larger offset for even better handling and grip around corners.

If you can't quite afford the 3-piece, not to worry, there are still a couple we haven't talked about yet. If you are interested in a set of the Forged Monoblok wheels, those start at around $1,300 and on average.

HRE's most affordable option, the exciting new FlowForm wheels, start as low as $$$ a piece. That price is less than half of the Monoblok wheels, and their strength is comparable to the forged wheels. The only real difference between the two is the weight.

Fun fact: In 2007, when the Shelby Ultimate Aero twin turbo set a speed record of 256.15 mph, it sported HRE Wheels.

Now, Let's do Some Comparison Shopping


We compared HRE Wheels with a couple of other brands during our review process. We used wheels made by BBS and Volk in our comparison because we felt they offered a fair representation of the wheel industry.

HRE R-Series vs. BBS F-Series


BBS as a brand is just as recognizable as HRE. That said, the wheels are forged mainly using the same processes. So let's get down to it and see what sets them apart.

The differences between HRE 20" R-and series and BBS 20" F-series are subtle at first. It honestly comes down to tiny details, design preference, and price differences. On the message boards, people have split down the middle as far as what they prefer.

  • Each wheel has a sleek design
  • They both use forge construction
  • Both sets of wheels are super-light
  • The HRE wheel weighed 23.4 lbs. and the BBS weighed 24.8
  • The HRE Wheels has an MSRP starting at $1,300, and the BBS wheels have an MSRP starting at $1,700
  • In this design, neither one is customizable
  • BBS wheels are almost never customizable, but some HRE 3-piece wheels offer that option

HRE19" P40 vs. the Volk 19" Progressive ME


Volk is another brand name you hear a lot on the message boards. At Volk, they use the same types of processes that HRE uses. However, there are more than a few fundamental differences.

  • The Volk wheels have an MSRP starting at $900 each, and the HRE P40's have an MSRP starting at $1,500 each
  • The Volk ME weighs in at 22 pounds, and the HRE weighs 23 pounds (the HRE wheel is about an inch wider which adds the extra pound)
  • While both companies do use the same techniques, the HRE has a look that the Volk just can't beat
  • In this design, neither one of the wheels is customizable.
  • HRE does offer a customizable version, but Volk does not

What's Everyone Saying About HRE Wheels?


Now, let's get down and dirty. Let's talk about what real end-users are saying about HRE Wheels. Do they live up to the hype? You bet your ass they do.

For BMW Blog, Chuck Vossler reviewed a set of HRE's Flowform wheels. He mounted them on an E92 M3 for a test run. Here are some of the highlights.

  • He noted the sleek design - the finish was "smooth and uniform," with "absolutely no pitting."
  • The edges where the spokes hit the barrel are "without flaw."
  • There was much more contact patch (rubber meets the road) with the HRE Wheels than the BBS he had on there previously - 30 mm more grip in the rear on each side
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    Vossler said that, in the corners, the extra grip from the HRE Wheels was "noticeable."
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    He also noted that even in a lowered car, there was no need to roll the fenders as the HREs were a perfect fit - even under full power through corners
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    Ride quality did not suffer from the larger tire

The HRE difference

The thing about HRE that people can't stop raving about, the one thing that stands the company head and shoulders above the rest, is the fact that the 3-piece wheels are customizable. A commenter on a BMW M3 forum calling himself the_road_less_traveled, comment #8 mentions price and customizability:

The thing that makes HRE the superior wheel manufacturer is that they are truly custom. Try calling BBS or Volk and work with them on custom offsets or colors. Pay over $2k a wheel for an FI and you can count on your left hand the available color, you'll have a few left over fingers too. Yeah you can spend another couple hun a wheel to have them finished by somebody luke IND, but its not a factory finish and often this voids the manufacturer warranty. For truly custom wheels, there is only one.....HRE, end of story!

Now, Start that Savings Account


Now and then a product comes along, and it changes an industry by setting a standard that everyone else has to try and meet. That's what HRE did when the company opened its doors in 1978. The people at HRE continue to excel in their craft all while trying to bring down the cost to help you make your car stand out like no other.

In the countless hours of research, I didn't come across a single bad review of HRE Wheels. The only downside I could find was the fact that they cost so much. However, it's easy to see when you look at these gorgeous wheels why people are lining up to pay any cost so they can sport them on their car.

Remember, even if you don't get a set from HRE, don't cheap out on wheels. You wouldn't cheap out on brakes or suspension parts, I hope, so apply that to your wheels as well.

Do you have something helpful to add? Have you tried the HRE experience? Tell us all about it in the comments.

Now and then a product comes along, and it changes an industry by setting a standard that everyone else has to try and meet. That's what HRE did when the company opened its doors in 1978. The people at HRE continue to excel in their craft all while trying to bring down the cost to help you make your car stand out like no other.

In the countless hours of research, I didn't come across a single bad review of HRE Wheels. The only downside I could find was the fact that they cost so much. However, it's easy to see when you look at these gorgeous wheels why people are lining up to pay any cost so they can sport them on their car.

Remember, even if you don't get a set from HRE, don't cheap out on wheels. You wouldn't cheap out on brakes or suspension parts, I hope, so apply that to your wheels as well.

Do you have something helpful to add? Have you tried the HRE experience? Tell us all about it in the comments.

hre wheels-19" HRE Wheels FF01 Flow Form Black Concave Rims

QUALITY

PRICE

RATINGS

$$$$

Featured Image: CC0 Public Domain via Amazon, with text, banner, and logo added.

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