Spun vs Cast Aluminum Wheels for LO206 Rain Wheelset

I need to pick up my first set of rain wheels for upcoming club races. I run a 2019 Kosmic Kart in LO206. When researching aluminum wheels, I found the popular DWT spun aluminum wheels. They are fairly inexpensive at $37 /wheel. However, I was told by a much more experienced karter that I really want to get cast aluminum wheels instead of the less expensive spun aluminum. He said that they retain heat better and will be an advantage over spun wheels in the cold rains we get in the PNW.

Looking around, I can find DWT Litecast wheels for ~$50 /wheel and AMV Aluminum Tigers at ~$70 /wheel.

Do you think that cast aluminum wheels are worth the additional cost over spun considering my kart chassis and class? Personally, I am leaning towards “probably not”. I figure that the first few rain races are going to be a huge learning curve and cast vs spun wheels are likely not where I am going to be finding time. However, I could also see the advantage of having wheels that build and maintain heat better in the low hp class I run. I was even thinking about just getting cast front wheels and spun rear wheels figuring in the rain, the more front end I can get the better.

I’d appreciate some advice from the KartPulse brain trust! Thanks!

Edit: Also, for the spun DWT wheels, is 6.5" close enough to 180mm in the rear? The next option looks like 7.75 (196mm) which seems too big.

I’ve never had issues with spun aluminum in the rain.

I would caution against going for cast front spun rear, if they really do make a difference in heat retention. In the rain, rear sliding is about the worse handling situation you can have. If you can’t get the power down because you lack rear temp, you’ll be blown past on corner exit.

So if mixing them, it makes more sense to put the cast aluminum on the rears then. Good to know. I just figured understeering would be the main problem with driving in the rain.

Would 6.5" width in the rear be okay you think?

For what you’re trying to do, spun is fine. Once you get a few thousand laps rain racing, you’ll be ready to test cast and see for yourself. I cannot feel a difference personally.

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Rain racing is down to setup to a point, but it’s really up to the driver to develop a feel for the conditions and grip available and to have the cajones to send it and get a little sketchy. The method of construction of your aluminum wheels is not a make-or-break aspect of rain driving.


I agree with TJ. Someone told me the secret to fast in the rain is tell yourself you enjoy racing in rain. I think also fast hands and reading changing conditions is a big deal. Hitting your marks lap after lap are less important

180 MM is 7.08661 inches. So I would look for some 7" wide wheels for the rear. 130 MM is 5.11811 inches . I would look for some 5 inch wheels for the front.

My mind immediately goes to exactly how much heat is a wheel actually going to hold when it’s being flushed with water the entire race :man_shrugging:

During intermediate or damp conditions that’s a little different of course…

Summary: Get the DWT spun wheels and send it down the road.


Done! Thanks for the advice everyone!

Just a small update. I got the spun Douglas wheels and LeCont SV1 rain tires which is what my track uses. I went with 5x5.125 for the fronts and 5x6.5 for the rears for the 4.2" and 6.0" tires respectively. I decided that I was going to mount them up myself and wow…I’d be okay never doing that again!

First issue was that the tires were so soft that pushing the back side of the wheel in first was a chore and a half. I had previously flipped and remounted my set of slick LeCont Reds without any issue so I was not expecting this to be the hard part of mounting the rains. The tire would just crumple down in half when pushing the wheel down into the first side of the tire no matter how much lube I put on everything. Eventually I figured out that I could basically flip the whole thing over (front of wheel down to the ground, tire on top) and cram the crumpled up tire onto the wheel. I then had to spend another hour+ unfolding each tire while on the wheels which was just great fun lol…

Finally managed to get all four tires onto their wheels and ready to set the beads. I thought I was free and clear of frustration! I was not. I have a pretty decent air compressor (Rolair) and the rear tire beads popped on without too much fanfare. It took around 50-60 psi to pop them on. Then came the fronts. Good lord what a gigantic pain.

I could easily get the back side bead to pop on but for the life of me, I could not get the front side bead to follow suit on either wheel. I went up to 90 psi once and again, nothing. Everything was lubed up, it wasnt cold, I read and re-read various threads and watched every youtube video I could to figure it out. The front side bead would look to seat about 80% of the way. But, there would be this small section opposite to the valve which refused to budge the final distance. I threw a ratchet strap around them - nothing. I put two ratchet straps around them - nothing. I did everything I tried previously while also dumping soap and soapy water onto everything - nothing.

What finally did it was putting the two ratchet straps around the tire but biased to the side of the back bead that was seating so that they restricted the tire on that side up to the centerline of the tread. They had to be extremely tight before inflation too. After doing that, both beads finally popped! All told, it probably took me 3 hours of wrestling the tires to get them mounted. I’ve since come to understand that DWT spun aluminum wheels are some of the hardest wheels to mount as well as rain tires generally being a pain ass is. Honestly, in the future, I’m just going to pay the shop ~$20 or whatever the fee is to have them mount them. A tire band sounds like something that could make it easier but I don’t understand why they are $100+.

Rain is in the forecast this weekend! I hope it does not rain, but also, I am kind of excited to try it out for the first time. :slight_smile: Just wanted to give an update for anyone new who comes across this thread.

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Glad you got it done. It definitely wont rain now!

Always mount rains tire onto wheel and not the other way around (pushing wheel into tire). I have never had a problem with the beads on rains, though. In fact, sometimes they are so soft I accidentally push them onto the bead when I am mounting them.

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That is how it goes doesnt it?!

I have had the same difficult experience with mounting and unmounting slicks on DWT spun wheels. Got so frustrated that I will probably never use the wheels again.

You wouldn’t do that if you’ve seen one snap and shoot across the garage while beading a tire. Buy the tire band.

Technically they were NRS cam straps which have a minimum breaking strength of 1,500lbs. But I hear your point!

I’ll definitely put it on the list to pick up this winter!

I’ve run into the dreaded rain tires on DWT spun wheels previously. Even my local shop/team couldn’t get them seated. The issue I found was that the bead wouldn’t sit evenly on the wheel causing one side to have too far to stretch in order to seat.

My solution, YMMV: have a tire band on the tire (no ratchet straps you need more coverage area holding the tire), and inflate to near the max pressure (50psi). Then you need to CAREFULLY use a bead breaker to push down on the bead portion that is already seated so that it evens out both sides. Takes a couple tries to get used to it and may have to rotate and push down a couple places, but once the bead is even it’ll slide into place. Watch your fingers!

We had the same issue with DWT spun aluminum wheels when the kids raced quarter midgets. There are no bead locks on the wheels so there are retaining ridges on the wheel in the bead area that make it difficult to get the tire to seat properly when mounting and even worse to get off when changing tires…