10 vs 12 Golf Cart Wheels: (What Size is Best?)

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Tires are an essential component of golf carts and play an important role in traction, stability, speed, and overall maneuverability. Not only are these designed to look classy, but a lot of R&D goes into tire production and usage, especially the different sizes and purposes they serve.

In general, you should always choose a slightly bigger tire for your golf cart. A 12-inch tire has several advantages over a 10-inch equivalent which are higher ground clearance, a minimal speed increase, and improved durability because of the extra tread.

Golf cart tires are offered in different sizes, starting from 8″, going all the way up to 24″ (these require a hefty lift kit!). But we focus on the two most popular sizes, 10 and 12 inches because they can be fitted on most standard carts like an EZ-Go, Yamaha, Club Car, Star, and Evolution without the need of fitting a lift kit.

How Much is a Set of 10 or 12 Inch Golf Cart Wheels?

A set of 10-inch golf cart wheels cost between $160 and $280. While a set of 12-inch golf cart wheels cost in a range of $230 – $370. Prices are partly dependent on whether you want SS-rated (Super Sport) golf cart wheels or standard.

Both 10″ or 12″ wheels from the best suppliers are sturdy and lightweight, made of high-strength aluminum, and are generally finished in black/machined.

12' TEMPEST Black/Machined Golf Cart Wheels and 215/40-12 DOT Golf Cart Tires - Set of 4

These wheels are designed to take on any kind of tough terrain and can be relied upon with confidence to tackle many miles of driving either on the golf course, off-roading, or on local roads.

These wheels are compatible with DOT-approved, all-terrain tires. They make an ideal choice for tough roads and challenging turfs. If tires are inflated to OEM set pressure and compatible sizes are matched, these don’t even require a lift kit on the majority of carts.

These wheels are offered in different, multi-spoke patterns, carry 4 sets of 4 lug nuts and standard bolts to fit them without any hassle.

What Size Tires Should I Put on My Golf Cart?

Tire size is an important aspect for optimal performance, road grip, and stability of a golf cart. Golf cart tires come in different sizes, tread design and depth, DOT approval, and Turf safety rating. The bigger the size the better, and 12 inches is the standard recommended size.

Although the tire size depends strictly on how you plan to use your golf cart, wheel size, and terrain. But overall you could put 18 to 20-inch tires, paired with 8 to 10-inch wheels on your golf cart for suitable usage in all conditions.

12' MODZ® Bomber Matte Bronze Golf Cart Wheels and Low Profile Tires Combo Set of 4

It’s best to go and see a golf cart dealer or custom shop and ask an experienced technician about tire sizes and possible re-fits for your golf cart as every make and model has limitations on what you can and can’t do.

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But you can check out the following different options:

  • If your plan is to get low-profile turf-style tires on your non-lifted golf cart, you can pair 12-inch wheels with either 18.5-inch or 20.5-inch tires without rubbing, based on the make and model of your golf cart.
  • If you’re looking to install all-terrain tires on a non-lifted golf cart, you will have to choose in the range of 8-inch to 10-inch wheels, combined with 18 to 20-inch tires.
  • If you’re planning to install 12 or 14-inch wheels with 20″ or taller all-terrain tires, you’d have to get your golf cart lifted to maintain proper clearance.
  • You’d also have to keep in consideration the type of terrain and usage of your cart while selecting the tire size, apart from the wheels and tire combination.

Will Bigger Tires Make My Golf Cart Faster?

You can expect an increase of 2-4 mph in your golf cart’s speed if you install bigger tires. Don’t expect to get crazy acceleration from your cart with bigger wheels, as the low-end torque gets compromised when the tire size is increased.

Although most people would install a bigger battery, get a more powerful motor, shed some weight, and make other modifications in the golf cart to make it go faster. But increasing the tire size can also increase the speed of your golf cart slightly.

20' Tall MASSFX QUAKE Golf Cart Gunmetal Wheel 20x10-10 and Tire Kit 10x7 4/101.6 4/4 Rim 4 PACK

By installing bigger tires, certain physical and mechanical aspects change that leads to increased speed, such as:

  • When the tire size is increased, the surface area gets larger and more ground is covered with each tire rotation.
  • Larger tires make a golf cart go faster as they add more leverage to the mechanical movement of the cart.
  • When the tire size increases, the resistance in the axle is reduced. Hence, the movement becomes easier.
  • Larger wheels also face less resistance while moving over potholes and other rocks.

Again, keep in mind that increasing the tire size would hamper the low-end torque and sacrifice the initial acceleration for increased top speed.

What Size Are Factory Golf Cart Wheels?

The majority of the factory golf cart wheels are offered in either 8 or 10-inch wheels, as they are considered universal and can serve “all-purpose” such as driving on semi-rough terrains and being able to tackle even the most undulating golf courses in relative comfort.

Golf cart wheel sizes range from 8-inch to 24-inch. But the factory sizes are usually meant to serve the purpose of general usage on golf courses, off roads, and tarmacked streets for street legal driving.

10' SILVER BULLET Polished Aluminum Golf Cart Wheels and 205/50-10 DOT Golf Cart Tires Combo - Set of 4

In some cases, a 12-inch set of wheels can also be selected while purchasing a golf cart, from the factory. And aftermarket is flooded with even larger sizes to suffice the need of enthusiasts for stylish wheels with low-profile tires.

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You would need to get your golf cart lifted if you plan to install large-sized rims and tires to keep the clearance optimal. Golf cart kits can cost hundreds of dollars.

Are Golf Cart Wheels Universal for All Makes?

The major brands all use the standard 4×4 bolt pattern so in general, yes golf cart wheels are universal and can be fitted across different makes and models despite their being differences in size, material, and shape.

The major difference between the wheels offered by different makes is that of the wheel studs, which may require a different type of lug nut and tools for accessing.

Where standard golf carts use a 4×4 bolt pattern, some larger golf carts use a 5-lug pattern and are not universal.

The type of wheels you should opt for depends on how you intend to use your golf cart and what kinds of terrain you will be driving over.

Particularly, the kind of wheels and tire combination you get depends on whether you use your golf cart solely on the golf course or whether you also use it on the off-road trails.

So make sure you have the right tools and matching bolt pattern before you buy a new set of wheels.

Should Golf Cart Tires Be Rotated?

Tires on a golf cart should be rotated to increase their life span, and ensure equal wear on all 4 of them. It is recommended to rotate your golf cart tires routinely and diagonally from front to back so that the tread erosion occurs evenly in all areas.

This increases the lifespan as the tires wear evenly and slowly. Keep in mind that if the tires are directional, they should be kept on the same side while rotating.

Directional tires have specially designated arrows that define their side, as they have treads designed to direct water displacement away from the body.

With all these points in mind and regular rotation of tires on your golf cart, they would last much longer and serve you better.

Conclusion

Golf cart wheels are available in a variety of sizes, shapes, and materials. Selecting an ideal size is important and depends on your requirements.

Larger-sized wheels with similar-sized tires have an increased top speed and reduced resistance, while smaller tires have a higher initial acceleration.

The most common factory sizes for golf cart wheels are 8, 10, or 12 inches, with tires being in the range of 18 – 20 inches. Where large size wheels are good for golf course turf & roads, smaller wheels are good for off-roading due to better clearance.

It is important that you rotate the tires on your golf cart to increase the lifespan and ensure equal tread wear on all four of them. Wheels and tire combination has an important role in your golf cart’s performance and usage, so you should select them wisely.