I have to admit, sometimes my desire to buy an aftermarket part is mainly based on the company’s reputation. Of course, the design and specs are important too, but when a company becomes a well loved brand it really gets my attention. This is especially true when it comes to wheels. In my case, I’ve always wanted Volk Racing wheels on a car, and Method Race Wheels on a truck.
The reason I mention a brand’s reputation is because well, the world is mean. Customers have never been more judgemental, critical, and skeptical about products than they are now. Hate comes much easier to most people and the internet has a way of scaling that in a big way. So when a company builds a brand that seems to be loved by everyone, it really means something. Method Race Wheels is one of those companies.
Take a look at the majority of custom pre-runner style trucks on the internet. Why do so many of them have Method wheels? Well, to put it plainly: it’s because they’re awesome. In this review, I’m going to share why.
Method Race Wheels is a high performance wheel company based in Temecula, California. Founded in 2009, they quickly became known for having the lightest, strongest wheels on the market. It’s more than just a catchy name – Method has many years of racing experience that helps them engineer and torture test their wheels.
Their product lineup ranges from cast, one-piece wheels for the street, to forged beadlock wheels for desert racing and rock crawling. They’ve recently entered the rally racing market as well. Everything they learn from racing trickles down throughout their entire line and it shows.
The rugged, simulated beadlock appearance of Method’s lineup of street wheels has created a fashion trend in the custom truck world. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and this is certainly true in Method’s case. Other companies have scrambled to mimic Method’s styling and designs, but one thing they can’t replicate is Method’s reputation. Being active in the racing world has proven that Method lives up to their “Race Wheel” name.
Method Race Wheels Quality
Many people are surprised by the price of Method wheels – in a good way. To compare them to the wheels from racing companies in the car world, these are a bargain. It’s natural to question the quality of something that’s offered at a reasonable price point.
Quality is not a concern in Method’s case, though. Method uses a group of sponsored drivers (such as “Ballistic” BJ Baldwin) to do everything they can to destroy their wheels on a regular basis. They’re subjected to the abuse of competing in (and winning) races such as the Baja 1000. Anyone familiar with desert racing knows that Baja is no joke.
The main goal of Method Race Wheels is to minimize weight while maximizing strength. This is what they’ve based their entire company on and it has translated directly into their lineup of street wheels.
Cracked or Broken Method Race Wheels
As with any other company, there may be some extremely rare cases of cracked or broken wheels. It’s important to remember that nowadays if something is even slightly negative, it’ll be broadcast all over the internet. People are much more likely to share bad experiences than good ones.
That being said, a quick google search (both web and image) for broken and cracked Method wheels turns up no real results. All I’ve seen is a single story of a cracked wheel that was purchased second hand and a few balancing issues. No other horror stories on forums or anything. This is incredible for any wheel company – even high end ones.
In the unlikely event that you were to end up with a defective wheel, it’s not the end of the world. Method wheels have a lifetime warranty. It’s not an empty promise either – anyone that has had an interaction with Method has reported that they have fantastic customer service. No company can be perfect at all times so it’s good to know that they’re more than willing to stand behind their product.
Where Are Method Wheels Made?
Method is an American company. Their wheels are designed, engineered and tested in the USA. They are, however, manufactured in China. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though.
I agree that “Made In America” products are far more patriotic but that comes at a cost. Unions, cost of living, and employee entitlement are all things that cost companies a lot of money here in North America. Many of them turn to factories in China for their cheaper labor rates which results in lower prices.
Chinese manufacturing has received a bad rap over the years and for good reason. A lot of the products that come from China are inferior and cheaply made. Not all of them though.
You see, the factories still have a contract to answer to with the American company. It’s up to the company to set rules and guidelines in terms of the level of quality that will be accepted. If the factory wants to continue doing business, they need to keep the American company happy with the quality.
Method is able to manage this relationship successfully. This results in a win-win for everybody and it’s how they’re able to give us awesome wheels at a very fair price. Method Race Wheels definitely don’t have a “Made In China” feel to them. In the end, you’re getting a high quality product from an American company.
Method MR301 “The Standard”
The Standard is arguably Method’s most popular street wheel model. It’s a one-piece cast aluminum wheel with a simulated bead lock. Their fat 10 spoke design is just as sturdy as it is good looking. Method adds even more style by machining their name into one of the spokes and using stainless steel bolts around the lip of the wheel.
Yes, those are real bolts – but they aren’t holding anything together. Make no mistake, these are “Bead looks” not beadlocks. True beadlock wheels are illegal for street use in most areas so this is the only way to achieve the look without breaking the law.
The Standard is available in 15″ to 20″ wheel sizes and in 2 different finishes – matte black or “Diamond Cut Machined”. Some owners have reported that the Diamond Cut finish isn’t as durable as the black powder coat when it comes to corrosion.
I tend to believe them because the warranty is actually different between the 2 finishes. The Diamond Cut wheels do have a clear coat on them so at least they aren’t raw. Something to think about if you live in a salty area though.
Push-through center caps are included with the wheels but valve stems aren’t. You can reuse the TPMS sensors from your OEM wheels (in my case I chose to disable the system instead).
A 17×8.5″ Method Standard wheel weighs in at 27.7 lbs. These are very lightweight compared to most stock truck wheels. I’m not sure their weight is as important as it would be for a high performance car though.
Most of the people who buy these wheels will be mounting really heavy off road tires to them which takes away the advantage of a light wheel. I suppose every pound of weight savings does count for something.
Method Race Wheels have a lifetime warranty for structural failures. They also have a 1 year warranty for chrome finish defects (I’m assuming that includes the Diamond Cut Machined finish) and a 2 year warranty for painted finish defects.
Are Method Race Wheels Hub Centric or Lug Centric?
Method’s street wheels are all lug centric. That means the lug nuts you use are even more important than a hub centric wheel. Your original lug nuts won’t work. You’ll need a set of aftermarket “acorn” style lug nuts like these.
Lug centric wheels are a bit different than your typical hub centric ones. There are a couple things you need to do to ensure you won’t have any vibrations:
If the shop is having trouble balancing them, make sure they’re using a machine that bolts the wheel on by the lug nuts, rather than a single cone.
When mounting the wheels to your vehicle, you need to tighten the lug nuts progressively. Zipping each one on all the way (even in a star pattern) could cause vibrations. Put them on hand tight, then torque each one down in stepped increments like 25, 50, 75, then 100 ft lbs or whatever the recommended setting is for your vehicle. You still need to use the traditional star pattern too.
What’s The Difference Between The Standard and Double Standard?
There’s a few subtle differences between these two models. First, The Standard has 10 spokes and the Double Standard has 12 thinner spokes. The Standard has 20 stainless steel bolts on the simulated beadlock while the Double Standard has 24 zinc plated bolts. The bolts are also recessed on the Double Standard.
In my experience, the bolt design on the Double Standard is less durable. The zinc plating eventually wears off and the recessed holes tend to trap water and contaminants. The exposed stainless bolts on the Standard are much easier to clean thoroughly which makes them last longer.
How To Clean and Care For Your Method Wheels:
In general, you really shouldn’t need more than car soap and some brushes to clean your wheels as long as they haven’t been neglected. For more cleaning power you can step up to a mild, non-acidic wheel cleaner like Nextzett Colortec (but always test first).
Matte finishes tend to suffer from issues with water spots. They can be really hard to scrub away after they dry on the porous finish. One way to fix that is to use spray wax on them. It’ll protect them and make them easier to clean, but it’ll also add a bit of extra gloss as well.
I decided to take it to the next step by ceramic coating my Methods with Gtechniq C5 Wheel Armor. This offers the ultimate protection and makes them very easy to clean in the future. The majority of dirt, mud, and brake dust simply falls off with a pressure washer.
To clean them all the way, a mild car soap is all that’s needed. In the 2 years I’ve had my Methods, I’ve never used a wheel cleaner on them. Not even once. I thank the ceramic coating for that. If you plan to keep your wheels for a long time, it’s a great investment.
Replacement bolts for the simulated beadlocks can be purchased through Method dealers or directly from Method.
How They’re Holding Up:
I’m running 17×8.5″ Standards on my 4runner in matte black, wrapped in 285/70/17 Goodyear Duratracs. The 0 offset and 4.75″ backspacing cause them to sit perfectly flush in the fenders. I couldn’t have picked better sizing myself. These fit like they were custom made for this exact vehicle.
I’ve had these wheels for 2 years. I used nothing but spray wax and car soap to maintain them throughout the first winter. I ceramic coated them for their 2nd year.
Currently, they look exactly the way they did when I took them out of the box. The matte finish is perfect. The stainless bolts are perfect. No issues with corrosion at all. My chrome lug nuts started to rust during the first winter to give you an idea of the conditions they see.
A friend of mine bought a set of Method NVs for his first truck a number of years ago. 2 years ago, he replaced it with a brand new truck. One of the first things he did was swap his Method wheels over to the new one. When he eventually started to get bored with the look of the original finish, he chose to have them custom powder coated instead of replacing them with new wheels.
The only wear he noticed was on the zinc plated bolts. I think this is a great testament to the durability and long lifespan of Method wheels.
Method Race Wheels are inexpensive and made in China. Despite that, they really are as good as people say they are. They’re light, strong, and durable. These aren’t just claims from the company either – it’s been proven in the real world time and time again.
I wouldn’t hesitate to buy another set – that is if I could ever let my Standards go. It would be impossible to find a higher quality wheel for the same price. Oh, and they look fantastic too.
- Race proven
- Light and strong
- Awesome styling
- Great customer service
- Lifetime Warranty
- Diamond Cut finish isn’t as durable as the matte black finish
Grab a set at Tire Rack:
Tim is the creator of Canadian Gearhead. His experience with auto detailing and working for Toyota shows through all of the articles posted here. He runs the Canadian Gearhead site and YouTube channel full-time now and currently owns a 2007 4runner, 2006 Tacoma, and 1991 MR2. Read more about Tim: