Difference Between Wheel and Rim

The terms wheel and rim are often heard together. The wheel and rim are both play essential roles when it comes to a tire and is beneficial for the overall movement of any type of vehicle.

These help to provide movement when combined together. It is important to know that both these play different roles to provide support to a tire or any other object.

Wheel vs Rim

The main difference between a wheel and a rim is that a wheel is a circled object helping to shift things and well-living beings from one location to another, whereas a rim becomes an exterior part of a round object. This object is particularly circular in shape or has a curvy shape to it. Taking reference to a tire, the wheel is in charge of keeping the rubber tube in the shape which eventually forms the tire. Whereas the rim is an exterior section of the wheel that keeps the rubber-like tube joined to the metal wheel.

Wheel and Rim

The wheel makes our life on the ground very convenient. Transportation on land has been only possible due to the wheel invention.

Further, the invention of the wheel helped people to think of the tire. These tires are used in vehicles making travel and carrying goods very easier.

Rim refers to the exterior edge of anything circle. It is mostly used in reference to circular objects or spherical surfaces.

A rim hence forms a part of the wheel as well; it helps to join the wheel to the non-shaped tire. A rim in an outer bulged out area one can easily observe when seen carefully on a tire.

Comparison Table Between Wheel and Rim

Parameters of ComparisonWheel Rim
DefinitionIt is an object.It forms part of an object.
UseIt helps to move objects around.It keeps the wheel and the rubber tube of the tire intact.
Area OccupiedIt occupies a greater area than that of a rim.It occupies a small area of the abject as it is present on its outer side.
Part of It is a necessary and important part of bicycles, motorbikes, and cars in general.Almost every circular or curvy object has a rim present to it.
Responsibility It gives the tire tube the shape it needs.It keeps the tire tube and the wheel intact to each other.

What is Wheel?

A wheel is a circle structured body made up of metal or any other material that aids in the movement of another. Anything that is shaped circular and helps in movement can be referred to as a wheel.

It is considered to be a very thoughtful invention as transportation of people or objects would not be possible without wheels.

A wheel has an axel which helps it in the movement. We commonly see wheels in bicycles, motorbikes. Transporting of objects has reduced human efforts to a large extent, and this has been possible due to the invention of the wheel.

The history of the invention of the wheel began at the time when early people joined axel in solid wood rolls in order to make their transportation effortless.

Further, the wheels were carved into lighter forms which led to the invention of wheels that we use now.

In earlier times, wheels were used in carts, chariots so as to transfer things from one place to another. The phase of industrialization changed these wooden wheels to solid metal ones.

A wheel being part of a tire is a necessity when it comes to the strength of the tire. A tire has a non-sturdy rubber tube that gains its shape from the help of a wheel.

A wheel is the one that makes the tire able to balance a large body and support its weight. Overall a wheel is an essential system and part of a tire.

What is Rim?

A rim is an exterior part of any kind of circular object. It is not an entire object in itself but just forms a part of other round bodies.

In a tire, the rim is responsible for keeping the wheel, and the rubber tube is joined to one another.

It also helps the tire not lose its shape when force is applied to it. This stops the tire from inflating and pushing down. Rim is hence a small part of the tire, but it plays a great role.

A rim is usually hard metal as it has to play an important role in keeping the parts of a tire intact. The term rim can also be used in reference to other objects such as a cup, a bottle, a hat, a ring, a bowl.

We often hear people referring to the color of the rim or the quality of the rim. The rim of a cup is where we touch our lips in order to drink.

Basically, a rim is the part of any spherical object that we see at the very first when seen from a top angle.

Main Differences Between Wheel and Rim

  1. A Wheel is an object in itself, whereas a rim is part of any spherical or circular-shaped object.
  2. A wheel helps in moving objects from one place to another, whereas a rim keeps two objects intact to one another.
  3. A rim occupies a smaller area in general than compared to the entire wheel.
  4. A wheel is a part of bicycles, motorbikes, and cars, whereas every circular object, in general, has a rim.
  5. A wheel gives the tire a shape, whereas the rim keeps the wheel and rubber tube intact.
Difference Between Wheel and Rim


In conclusion, one can say that wheel and rim play necessary roles of their own. A wheel is usually a part of the tire, whereas a rim is an exterior part of any circular abject available in general.

There can be a rim of a cup, watch, hat, etc. All these kinds of circular objects have a rim in general.

Whereas a wheel is a part of the vehicle that moves on land, even the airplane tire needs a strong wheel in its tire to land the plane without any risk involved.

On the other side, a rim is the part of any spherical object that we see at the very first when seen from a top angle.


  1. https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/abs/10.1289/ehp.00108937
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