Skip to main content
000798 000801 000804 000807 000810 000813 000816 000819 000822 000825 000828 000831 000834 000837 000840 000843 000846 000849 000852 000855 000858 000861 000864 000867 000870 000873 000876 000879 000882 000883
English French German Italian Spanish

Alloy wheels v Stainless Steel wheels



Im switching from a 19" rear wheel to an 18" and considering the pros & cons of alloy v stainless. Will also be changing the front at the same time (19").

I must admit, I do like the look of  valanced Borannis & Akronts (Excel).

Any advice gratefully received.

Thanks in anticipation


Apart from the aesthetic point, which I agree upon, all minimizing of unsprung weight is beneficial for handling. Back then it was a common mod. Did it on my 99. Took some time to learn how to spoke a wheel. For ordinary road and track rides I don't know of any cons. Except that they are harder to clean.


A lot of the alloy rims around labelled Borannis are made in China and finished off with hole drilling in Turin, they are a lottery as to roundness and issues at the weld. Proper Excel are the best. I use Stainless and not had a issue yet. Which you use depends on if you will notice the difference in unsprung weight.


I also prefer alloy.  No rust ,light weight.  Not a fan of the big flanged type  that  gather water and dirt. Stainless can be brittle . 


I have recently upgraded the wheels on my two Nortons. One with flangeless Alloy rims and the other with polished Stainless. A bonus of the Alloy was being able to do away with the old security bolt. This has saved a lot of weight and made balancing the wheel easier. I have also banished this device from my Stainless rim bike as there is no chance of it ever doing 0 to 60 in less than a minute and the brakes are just one level up from rubbish.

Both of my Nortons are 'all-weather' bikes and keeping the rims shiny following wet runs is a bit of a challenge.



I have flanged alloy rims fitted (Akront) and the only negative about them is the cleaning and the fact the they fill with water between the flanges when it's raining.  Apart from that, they are very strong, light and look beautiful.


I had the pleasure of using Calmac ferries riding a Boranni alloy wheeled A10. The deck crew hose down the car deck and vehicle wheels with sea water. Within a day, the beautifully polished alloy wheels were quite noticeably discoloured and took a lot of work to clean. 

I'm a fan of stainless rims, particularly if you ride in winter salt (aargh!).   


Norton Owners Club Website by White-Hot Design

Privacy Policy