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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thanks to @Cale reaching out to Rivian, we now know that the bolt pattern Rivian uses is 5x5.5

 

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I’m surprised to see only 5 lugs. This is a heavy vehicle. I would have expected at least six. Even a Tacoma has six.
1000 HP F-1 only have one lug nut, and even NASCAR, notorious for leaving a nut off to save time, is switching to a single nut, more expensive though it may be because of material requirements. The weight of the vehicle (magnified appropriately from the g-force experienced during application of torque) is transferred to the wheel primarily due to the friction present between the facings of the nut and the bolt, due to the tension from the tightening of the lug nuts. Three lug nuts evenly around the circle are enough to hold two planes together, but lose just one and there's an issue, hence the rise of four nut wheels. When alloy wheels became popular there was a rise in accidents due to wheel loss, attributed eventually to the fact that stiffer alloy wheels transmitted more instantaneous force to a given lug (against the nut tension) versus more pliant cast wheels that spread load out more, and the easiest fix was to add an additional lug and nut combo to get the total to five. Like anything with a for-sale tag on it though, marketing plays a significant part and many cars have five nuts instead of four to "look" more aggressive (for those that notice such things), and it's a cheap enough difference anyway. Anything under 10,000 lb GVW is considered light-duty, and anything over five lugs is mostly marketing if the wheel and nut combo is properly engineered (and fastened!).
 

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And what is the fastening torque used in F1? I’m guessing it’s HIGH. Whether it’s marketing, or safety margin for normal consumers who may need to handle a tire change with hand tools (and no torque wrench) on the side of the road, it seems having 6 lug nut is the “standard” in midsize and half-ton trucks. I would have preferred Rivian kept with that standard. If nothing else, it opens up a larger number of aftermarket wheel options.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
And what is the fastening torque used in F1? I’m guessing it’s HIGH. Whether it’s marketing, or safety margin for normal consumers who may need to handle a tire change with hand tools (and no torque wrench) on the side of the road, it seems having 6 lug nut is the “standard” in midsize and half-ton trucks. I would have preferred Rivian kept with that standard. If nothing else, it opens up a larger number of aftermarket wheel options.
Yeah It's been standard for the F-150 and Silverado. Ram actually had a 5 bolt pattern until 2019 and they switched to a 6 bolt pattern.
 

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I could see there being some proprietary engineering behind the wheel to create a stronger interface with fewer lugs. That would not be great if it limited choice for things like mud or snow or summer wheel sets of course.
 

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Let's not reinvent the wheel here folks... 5 vs 6 lol, I'm sure they will have studs that are more then capable of retaining the wheels with all that instant torque. When Rivian starts making deliveries the aftermarket (especially wheel companies) will be all over this for those who want to change diameters, offsets, tires sizes, etc...
 

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Interested in the wheel specs when somebody can get us a picture of the BACKSIDE of any stock wheel. Looking for OFFSET and load rating in particular which are both usually in the casting of the wheel on the backside.
 

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Interested in the wheel specs when somebody can get us a picture of the BACKSIDE of any stock wheel. Looking for OFFSET and load rating in particular which are both usually in the casting of the wheel on the backside.
Welcome to the forum @BrianGoodwin! Are you looking to get different wheels for your Rivian? Or are you planning on carry heavy loads with it?
 

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Welcome to the forum @BrianGoodwin! Are you looking to get different wheels for your Rivian? Or are you planning on carry heavy loads with it?
Likely take mine with the 'free' included wheels and customize the look with wheels of my own choice. The $3500 cost for the Rivian 22inch choice would cover a lot of options. To start down that road want to know factory load rating for the 20, 21 and 22, the widths for all three, the bore, the offsets, etc. Perhaps the 22 inch is slightly wider than 20 and 21, and the 22 might also have slightly more aggressive offset. All this info typically on the back of the wheels so we just need early adopters to post some pics. This info also often in the back of the factory manual in the glove box.

My Ridgeline below, standard stock wheel was 18x8, loving it on Enkei 20x8.5 wheels that I added.

 

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Not to burst your bubble, but I would imagine that due to the curb weight and other EV factors, we are likely talking about far fewer options with the R1T. Will be interesting to see for sure.
 

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Yes, I would want to ENSURE I had the right specs and load ratings based on the OEM wheels. What I would not want to do is put a set of lightweight aftermarket wheels on a $75K EV with a motor at every wheel and a massive battery pack skateboard underneath for obvious reasons. Same goes for tires.
 

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Not to burst your bubble, but I would imagine that due to the curb weight and other EV factors, we are likely talking about far fewer options with the R1T. Will be interesting to see for sure.
You are right about one thing, choices are going to be limited, but not for reasons you suggest. The pattern here cannot reasonably be said to have been a logical choice connected with use of an EV power plant, or the weight of the vehicle. The pattern used here, 5x5.5 (also called 5x139) is actually a traditional truck setup (including Ram full size trucks through 2018). But concerns over weight and high torque would have suggested going to a more modern truck choice like 6x139 or similar (Raptor is 6x135). Pretty much anything in same weight and power range as the Rivian is now 6 to 8 lugs.

The part that is 'interesting' is that Rivian used such an old standard, considered rather out of date within the industry. Most companies that did use this standard have moved away from it. I own wheels in this old pattern today myself, but they are on my oldest truck, a V8 Dodge made year 2007. One is forced to ask why Rivian went with a relatively ancient standard? I expect the simple and obvious answer is the accurate one: they bought a factory that already had that tooling, this is the standard tooling they would have found buying a shuttered old Mitsubishi factory in Normal, IL.
 

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Yes, that is def one answer. The other answer could be related to proprietary tech with (what looks like) a seemingly traditional 5 bolt pattern, that isn't actually compatible with anything. Do we have specs on bolt sizes, thicknesses, lengths, heads, materials, anything? What about the actual wheel design potential modifications made there? The only reason I bring that up is because we just don't know yet if this is really the same old traditional 5-bolt pattern, or if it is something entirely new. If I were Rivian, I would want to launch with something new that wasn't easily replicable for 3rd parties (at least for the initial outset) at a minimum to make my trucks look distinct and to let them be individually recognizable. If someone could easily replace my wheels to change the appearance of the vehicle to make it look like something else (that Rivian could not control), would I want that as Rivian? Probably not. Maybe I am way too pessimistic, but could Rivian benefit by establishing something proprietary and making it necessary for us to purchase a second set of wheels directly through Rivian (at least to start)? I don't know the answer. All I know is that industries set and change standards all the time to manufacturer's benefits, and to get us to buy more (and potentially better) stuff. Sometimes to the point where consumers are pissed off, like when apple makes intentionally obselete charging cords or peripherals that wont work when you buy a new iPhone, but you need the new iPhone, so you buy the new crap to go with it.
 

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Yes, that is def one answer. The other answer could be related to proprietary tech with (what looks like) a seemingly traditional 5 bolt pattern, that isn't actually compatible with anything. Do we have specs on bolt sizes, thicknesses, lengths, heads, materials, anything? What about the actual wheel design potential modifications made there? The only reason I bring that up is because we just don't know yet if this is really the same old traditional 5-bolt pattern, or if it is something entirely new. If I were Rivian, I would want to launch with something new that wasn't easily replicable for 3rd parties (at least for the initial outset) at a minimum to make my trucks look distinct and to let them be individually recognizable. If someone could easily replace my wheels to change the appearance of the vehicle to make it look like something else (that Rivian could not control), would I want that as Rivian? Probably not. Maybe I am way too pessimistic, but could Rivian benefit by establishing something proprietary and making it necessary for us to purchase a second set of wheels directly through Rivian (at least to start)? I don't know the answer. All I know is that industries set and change standards all the time to manufacturer's benefits, and to get us to buy more (and potentially better) stuff. Sometimes to the point where consumers are pissed off, like when apple makes intentionally obselete charging cords or peripherals that wont work when you buy a new iPhone, but you need the new iPhone, so you buy the new crap to go with it.
You have a really fun imagination....

New and proprietary stuff would be public by now, because we would see it in the patents. Rivian has a bunch of patents, but I see nothing for revolutionizing old 5x139 bolt pattern. Rivian shows at least 2 patents for the wheels, but those I found appear to be just design patents on the look. Again, the simple and obvious and logical answer is that they are using 5x5.5 (5x139) for the simple reason that they bought an old factory that includes a ton of old tooling....including that 5x139 tooling.
 

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1000 HP F-1 only have one lug nut, and even NASCAR, notorious for leaving a nut off to save time, is switching to a single nut, more expensive though it may be because of material requirements. The weight of the vehicle (magnified appropriately from the g-force experienced during application of torque) is transferred to the wheel primarily due to the friction present between the facings of the nut and the bolt, due to the tension from the tightening of the lug nuts. Three lug nuts evenly around the circle are enough to hold two planes together, but lose just one and there's an issue, hence the rise of four nut wheels. When alloy wheels became popular there was a rise in accidents due to wheel loss, attributed eventually to the fact that stiffer alloy wheels transmitted more instantaneous force to a given lug (against the nut tension) versus more pliant cast wheels that spread load out more, and the easiest fix was to add an additional lug and nut combo to get the total to five. Like anything with a for-sale tag on it though, marketing plays a significant part and many cars have five nuts instead of four to "look" more aggressive (for those that notice such things), and it's a cheap enough difference anyway. Anything under 10,000 lb GVW is considered light-duty, and anything over five lugs is mostly marketing if the wheel and nut combo is properly engineered (and fastened!).
Center lock racing wheels are radically different and not a good analogy for the typical lug from a street wheel. Nascar's traditional steel wheel and steel lugs flying all over the place is scheduled to end with change to Next Gen car using center locks and aluminum wheels (Covid delayed from 2021 season until 2022). Part of the reason they too are going to center locks with the aluminum wheels is that their testing of the Next Gen car found traditional individual steel lug sets caused too much durability issues with the aluminum wheels they want to use on the Next Gen car, I recall it was something like 30 percent greater attrition....and that's just for races of a few hundred miles. There is just no good analogy between the racing tech and your street choices here, we can expect most owners of the Rivian are going to want the wheels to stay on more than a few hours and last longer than a few weekends.

I have been involved in racing for decades, and also long involved in wheel design and production and distribution. I am not going to say the choice of 5x139 here is inadequate, but it is a curious choice given the power of the Rivian and the weight. Nothing currently in production in this power and weight class that I can think of at this moment is using just a 5 lug setup. The suggestion that more than 5 lugs is marketing is obviously cynical, there are real differences and advantages that come to heavier vehicles with the bigger lug count.

One thing is for sure, they went with an old standard here that the rest of the industry is leaving behind at this point...my guess is that this is just a historical accident. When Rivian started this vehicle many years ago the 5x139 was still pretty much 'industry standard', and they bought an old factory that already had the tooling.

There are certainly lots of newer tricks to increasing clamping force with lower lug counts and I will be curious to get a close look at the choices that Rivian has made. This is just one example I was involved with that has become increasingly standard. Notice the red circle showing the step milled into the back of the wheel right across the lug hole. The cut actually allows for a few things. 1. Is an increase in clamping force / tension under load, 2. It provides better water run out from the Hub area, especially for those not using center caps (racing often prohibits the caps) and 3. There is a marginal weight saving.
 

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Well, my fun imagination never said anything about patents, so yours may be better than mine. If you read my first post, you will see I noted in far fewer words that one possible solution to the heavier curb weight and higher torque could be a stronger interface with fewer lugs. CENTER LOCK is a stronger interface with fewer lugs. I have no idea if Rivian could take advantage of this, and I am not a wheel nerd, but a locking interface similar to the one you posted is something that immediately came to mind, so we are actually on the same page. My point was simply that there may be ver limited aftermarket wheel choices available out of the gate... Guess we will just have to wait to see. Shouldn't be long now that they made their first deliveries.
 
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