Rim is an old-fashioned term that was used when referring to wagon wheel - thus the term "wheel rim." It means the outer-most edge of the wagon wheel where there was a steel band the surrounded the wooden spokes. The dictionary defines a rim as:
1. The usually curved or circular border or edge of an object.
2. The circular outer part of a wheel, furthest from the axle.
3. A circular metal structure around which a wheel tire is fitted.
Rim, n. [As. rima, reoma, edge; cf. W. rhim, rhimp, a rim, edge, boundary, termination, Armor, rim. Cf. Rind.] 1. The border, edge, or margin of a thing, usually of something circular or curving; as, the rim of a kettle or basin. . . the outer part of a wheel to which the tire is attached.
The correct term these days for identifying the metal structure that the tire goes on is wheel or wheel rim.
Aluminum rims and alloy wheels also mean the same thing. Alloy is a shortened version of aluminum alloy and, when referring to either an alloy wheel or an aluminum rim, both terms mean the same thing.
Most modern tire and wheel shops use these terms:
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