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Comparing Chrome Plated Steel to Stainless Steel

Stainless steel vs.Chrome steel

Q: What are the differences between stainless steel spokes and nipples and chrome steel spokes and nipples?

A: Stainless steel spokes and nipples do not rust while chrome steel does. Stainless is also stronger than chrome steel and is better suited for heavier cars or where the horsepower and handling of the automobile have been improved. Sadly, without expert polishing, stainless steel is not as shiny as chrome steel and has a satin-type patina to it that some owners find objectionable. 
For owners who are not able to keep the spokes and nipples as dry as possible or who live in a high humidity locale, stainless steel is a good consideration. However, the rest of the wheel cannot be ignored simply because stainless steel spokes are in-place. It does little good to have rust-free spokes if the chrome surfaces are rusting away. The wheels will still demand attention and the need for drying away water and keeping the surfaces clean. The nipples will trap water and are a gateway for rusting to begin. Stainless steel nipples will prevent rust.
Please be aware that in all applications, the wheel hub and outer rim are still chrome steel and must be maintained to avoid rust or corrosion.

Comparison of stainless steel and chrome wire wheels

Above: The brand of wire wheel on the left has stainless steel spokes and chrome plated steel nipples. The Truespoke® wheel on the right uses chrome plated steel spokes and nipples.

Comparison of stainless steel and chrome plated steel

Above: Close-up on left is of a wire wheel with stainless steel spokes and chrome plated steel nipples. On the right is a Truespoke® wire wheel with chrome plated steel spokes and nipples.
Below: Our Truespoke
® Premium Stainless Spokes and Nipple Upgrade. Using American-made, hand-cut and threaded stainless steel. Stainless steel grade: 302 with added carbon for high strength.
The surfaces are highly polished to minimize the stainless patina. Closest to chrome-like shine. The nipples are also made from polished stainless steel material

Truespoke® Premium Stainless Steel Wire Wheel


The advantages of our all-chrome plated wire wheels over our Premium Stainless Steel wheels are:

1)  Cost savings. Our Premium wire wheels are more expensive.

2)  Appearance. Our all-chrome plated steel wire wheels are shinier and all surfaces have the same shine.

Disadvantages of our all-chrome wire wheels:

A)  Spokes and nipples may rust if not maintained properly.

B)  Spokes and nipples are not as strong as stainless steel components. This may be especially important where the owner has increased the horsepower and performance of their car or who has had a past history of breaking spokes or having had rusty spokes and nipples.

The advantages of our Premium Stainless Steel wheels are:

1)  Stainless steel will never rust.

2)  Stainless steel components are estimated at being twice as strong as chrome plated steel spokes and nipples.

The disadvantages of our Premium Stainless Steel wheels are:

A)  They are more expensive.

B)  The spokes and nipples are not as shiny as chrome plated components.

C)  Some owners fall into a false sense of security, knowing that they have spokes and nipples that will never rust and ignore the portions of the wheel that are chrome plated steel that will rust. Both types of wheels require about the same level of maintenance.

Please feel free to call us at 760-731-8303 to discuss the materials we use in our wheels or to place your order. Thank you.

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