Forgeline Wheels, Fuel Curve

Forgeline Wheels – Two Decades of Track Tested Technology

Forgeline Wheels is the original American made one-off racing wheel manufacturer. With over twenty years of applied experience supporting enthusiasts and factory race teams from the drag strip to road racing, their technology has trickled down to the world’s most incredible street cars. Forgeline wheels regularly appear on America’s most heralded street machines and AutoCross cars and it’s no wonder. They’re strong, stylish and built to perform.

Forgeline Wheels, Fuel Curve

Forgeline Wheels, Fuel Curve

Their wheels are used on the unreal Glickenhaus SCG 003 endurance race machine and the Forgeline GS1R is the factory-homologated race wheel for the GT4 class Chevy Camaro and Ford Mustang. Forgeline is the only US-made wheel company in the GTS field and yet anyone can custom-order a set for their own car.

Forgeline Wheels, Fuel Curve

Forgeline Wheels, Fuel Curve

All of their forged wheels are manufactured under one roof right here in Dayton, Ohio using all-American engineering, hardware, and craftsmen. Don’t expect to find any shop or store to have Forgeline wheels in stock, because every set is custom ordered and built to spec.

Forgeline Wheels, Fuel Curve

So what is it that makes Forgeline deserving of your hard-earned cash when choosing wheels for your racecar or next-level street build? To really get an understanding of what separates Forgeline from the rest we stopped by their manufacturing facility in Dayton to take a closer look at every step of the process and dive into the Forgeline history books.

Forgeline Wheels, Fuel Curve

Before heading onto the factory floor we took a walk around the office to learn how Forgeline got its start back in 1994. In reality, Dave and Steve Schardt, the twins behind Forgeline, got their start with wheels years before the 1990s came around. Their father purchased then-failing Dayton Wire Wheel company and turned it into the successful and well-respected manufacturer it is today.

Forgeline Wheels, Fuel Curve

Working summers and nights in the wheel factory from a young age, the Schardt brothers had wheels in their blood growing up. Dave started a wheel distribution company which he eventually abandoned ship for in favor of Steve’s custom racing wheels workshop.

Forgeline Wheels, Fuel Curve

Of course, that workshop was Forgeline and the Schardt’s are exactly the type of people you’d trust to make a product they truly stand behind. In Dave’s office you’ll find prototype wheels, awards and plaques dedicated to racing successes, and scale models of racing legends over the years.

Forgeline Wheels, Fuel Curve


Moving on to Todd Larue’s engineering office we took a look at how every individual wheel actually gets its start. From rough sketches to perfect 3D models, the wheels are then tested through a variety of finite element analysis (FEA) simulations which show how the wheel stands up to a variety of external forces and torque loads.

Forgeline Wheels, Fuel Curve

Once the designs and drawings are perfected the machining profile is determined for each wheel face, barrel, lip, and edge. It’s a tremendous amount of work from start to finish and every last detail needs to be 100% correct.

Forgeline Wheels, Fuel Curve

Before these designs come into play on the manufacturing side of things, each wheel starts as a forging from Forgeline’s partners in California – Aluminum Precision Press. While they don’t look like much at this point, these high-strength parts are the base of everything Forgeline does. More recently in addition to their aluminum barrels, Forgeline has added a carbon fiber option to their lineup.

Forgeline Wheels, Fuel Curve

Forgeline Wheels, Fuel Curve

Three-piece, carbon barrel, or one-piece forged wheels alike, everything goes through multiple, complex machining stages in CNC mills and lathes in a humidity and temperature-controlled work station. After loads of engineering trickery, the semi-automated portion of the process is complete. Lets just say this is a factory that makes lots and lots of recyclable chips and shavings.

Forgeline Wheels, Fuel Curve

Forgeline Wheels, Fuel Curve

After the wheel centers are out of the CNC machines they’re fitted with Heli-Coils (so that the wheels can be reliably re-assembled or serviced later on) and they’re ready for the next step. Anyone with machining experience knows that no matter how precise your process you’ll end up with small burrs and imperfections that wouldn’t be acceptable in a finished product.

Forgeline Wheels, Fuel Curve

This is where manpower comes in with wheels stocked up for highly skilled craftsmen to put their magic touch on the machined parts. With Forgeline’s exceedingly high standards and each wheel requiring a specific finish, the guys in this room are an essential part of the equation.

Forgeline Wheels, Fuel Curve

It takes time and expertise to finish these wheels by hand the way Forgeline requires. It’s an absolute art and a big part of why Forgeline’s products are second to none.

Forgeline Wheels, Fuel Curve

From here the wheels are ready for Forgeline’s in-house powder coating process. Again, skilled American hands are used to clean, prep, spray and bake the wheels. There’s a specific, delicate and engineer-approved recipe Forgeline uses to ensure that the forged wheels aren’t annealed (softened) in the process.

Forgeline Wheels, Fuel Curve

Next, the wheels are finally ready for assembly using ARP hardware. Each of the forty fasteners on three-piece and carbon fiber-barreled wheels are hand-torqued to spec and seams are sealed on the inside of the wheel. After this, the wheel is finally finished.

Forgeline Wheels, Fuel Curve

Well, not quite. Forgeline checks the balance of each wheel to ensure perfect roundness before mounting tires or packaging the final product for shipment. If you order these wheels, you know you can rely on them when race day comes around.

Forgeline Wheels, Fuel Curve

Behind the top-of-the-line Hunter Road Force balancer we spotted a couple of Forgeline’s track toys. While Dave dabbled in racing for years as a professional driver, he obviously chose the wheel business as his long-term career choice. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t still enjoy a good bit of track time and we took a peek at their NASA ST4-built E36 as well as their C5 Corvette before heading out.

Forgeline Wheels, Fuel Curve

While we knew that Forgeline Wheels has been bringing top-quality wheels to market for over two decades, we’d never been able to take a close look at how exactly they do this. It’s certainly the farthest thing from a wheel factory that stamps out the same thing over and over in different offsets, that’s for sure. Each wheel is custom and has its own journey to completion.

Forgeline Wheels, Fuel CurveForgeline Wheels, Fuel Curve

Thanks again to John Comeskey for showing us around the Forgeline Wheels factory during production, and the entire team for continuing to build wheels without compromise. We’ll see you on the track!

Senior Editor, Digital Media

With three decades of automotive journalism under his belt, John Drummond serves as Senior Editor – Digital Media for Fuel Curve and Goodguys Rod & Custom Association where he has worked since 1990. Drummond got his start in motorsports reporting by making a fake press pass to gain starting line access. The ruse worked and he began covering auto races as far back as 1986 in Northern California, eventually getting his stories published worldwide. He has owned and driven everything from a 1957 Plymouth Belvedere to a ridiculously modded Subaru WRX as well as a string of Mercedes AMG’s, most of which had the warranties voided the day after leaving the dealership.

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