skateboard-wheels-guide

How to Choose the Right Wheels For Your Style Of Riding (Detailed Guide)

freedare-skateboard

As a skateboarder who loves the freedom of riding, one of the most important things to remember is that each wheel size offers a different feel. You can make the skateboard feel and perform better, depending on which size wheels you choose to use. With this in mind, let's talk about the factors you need to consider when buying skateboard wheels. 

Choosing the right skateboard wheels

The kind of skateboard wheels you will need depends on your type of skateboarding, your skill level, and your preference. 

If you are a beginner, you will need to start with the softer and lighter-weight wheels, so you don't get tired too quickly. You should choose a more robust and durable wheel size that can withstand even the roughest terrain if you are an experienced skateboarder.

Your choice of skateboard wheels is critical because they allow you to move swiftly, determine your speed, and dictate how comfortable or rough a ride can be. 

So, if you are unsure about what size of wheel you need, go for the one that feels comfortable. If you are a beginner, you will have to experiment with different wheel sets until you find that one that feels right. This way, you will not feel any pressure on your knees or ankles when skating.

Polyurethane is the most common material used to make skateboard wheels. They are durable, long-lasting, reliable, and, most importantly, affordable. Polyurethane wheels are great for beginners because they are light and flexible. They are perfect for skateboards made of plastic, fiberglass, and wood. 

How are skateboard wheels measured?

Skateboard wheels are measured by their wheel diameter and durometer.

The diameter measures the wheel's width and will vary based on its shape. Larger wheels are advised for advanced riders since they are faster, whereas smaller wheels are recommended for beginners because they are slower.

Skateboard wheel diameters are as follows:

Table 1:Skateboard wheel diameters

Street Wheels

52mm-54mm

Great for Street Skating

Park Wheels

55mm-58mm

For bowls and ramps and transitioning

Cruiser Wheels

59mm-above

For downhill and rough terrain

 

In contrast, the durometer measures the hardness and resistance to wear and tear of a plastic. For instance, a wheel with a durometer of 99a is recommended for normal street skating (more on this below).

Remember that the harder the skate wheel is, the faster, smoother, and easier it is to slide and maneuver. They are ideal for flipping tricks and popping because they need less energy than the soft variant.

Identifying the diameter of a skateboard wheel

 

skateboard-wheel-diameter

Typically, a skateboard wheel's millimeter (mm) measurement ranges from 48mm to 70mm. If you're skating on rough terrain, larger wheels will last longer. The main drawback of bigger wheels on a bumpy route is "wheel bite," which happens when the wheels crash into your deck and could be dangerous.

If you are a trick skater, wheels with a 52 to 56-mm diameter are highly recommended. 

How do you choose the right skateboard wheel and toughness? 

Your skill level and personal preferences will determine your skateboard's wheels' proper size and hardness.

You should start with a smaller, softer wheel if you're new to skating to get acclimated to riding with a board under you before working your way up to a larger, stiffer wheel.

The benefit of starting with a softer wheel is that they are slower and easier to control, allowing you to get used to the board. You can always swap out the wheels once you have greater self-assurance. Of course, if you like to roll in the opposite direction, you can start with larger wheels.

A larger wheel is desirable when skating because your ability to manage your board and speed depends on the diameter and thickness of your wheels. During an extended skate session, it performs well on flat ground (like the street), makes quick spins, and takes off quickly.

Whatever you decide, keep comfort and safety in mind at all times. You could break a bone or twist an ankle if you select affordability above quality, performance, and lifespan, so be careful to pick a wheel that suits your demands and level of expertise.

What is the difference between A & B Durometer Rating? 

A durometer rating is a system for determining how effectively a skateboard wheel grips the ground and how much stress it can absorb when it collides with something.

Here are the various durometer and diameter categories for skateboard wheels.

Durometer 78a-87a: The softest durometer rating, perfect for skating on bumpy terrain. This is the ideal wheel for beginners and those who don't want to risk damaging their board trucks. They're ideal for ollies, flips, power slides, and other difficult maneuvers.

Durometer 90a-97a: This hardness range is ideal for mixing speed and control. Kickflips, manuals, and slide grabs are all possible with these wheels. They are slightly more durable than the previous group and have an excellent grip in most circumstances. They are ideal for intermediate skaters who want to improve their style.

Durometer 98a-99a: The hardest durometer range, ideal for riding on asphalt, concrete, and other surfaces. This range can withstand some abuse due to its robustness. This wheel is ideal for riders who intend to do tricks on their skateboard, ride down hills and stairs, or experience heavier impacts.

Durometer 100a+: These are the quickest and toughest skateboard wheels available. 100a wheels offer the least traction compared to the other categories, making them unsuitable for riding in slippery or bumpy conditions. They are ideal for professional skateboarders during contests, indoor skateparks, or high-end sidewalk surfing.

In summary, a soft skateboard wheel is comfortable, has a high degree of grip, and gives the rider a smooth ride. It is extremely slow and easily wears out from normal use. 

A hard skateboard wheel is super fast and wears slowly. On the downside, it has a poor grip, and you can feel the vibration in even the smallest of impacts. But, the negative effects are minimal because it is mostly used for competitive skating and shows.

Identifying the durometer rating on a skateboard wheel

Finding the durometer (or "Duro "for short) in a skateboard wheel is easy. It's usually marked with either an "A" or a "B."

Most skateboard wheels are rated on an "A" scale, but if you find a B-scale wheel, add 20 to that number to get the A rating. It is safe to conclude that if the Duro Rating is not indicated on the wheel, you are looking at a very hard wheel. This rating is often 92A to 101A, making it ideal for tricks on the streets, ramps, and skateparks.

Table 2: A & B Rating conversion example

A SCALE DUROMETER 92A …… 101A ……
B SCALE DUROMETER 72B …… 81B ……

 

Remember that the wheel's hardness affects how it performs on different surfaces. 92-95a (soft wheels), for example, runs nicely but slides horribly on uneven terrain. On the other hand, wheels with a hardness of 99-101a perform well on skatepark or plaza concrete.

As mentioned before, skateboard wheels are made from urethane. But, their performance varies depending on the terrain. Smooth wheels are the finest all-around performers, threaded wheels are the best for grip, and stone-ground wheels are the best for sliding.

Choosing the right wheel width

The width of a wheel is defined as the distance between its edges. It's either slim, standard, or wide.

skateboard-wheel-width

Slim wheels, which measure between 28 and 30 mm in diameter, provide superior sliding and are ideal for fast flips. On the other hand, standard-sized wheels will provide greater balance and performance (31mm to 32mm). Finally, choose wheels wider (33mm to 34mm) if you want exceptional stability, flawless jumps, and spectacular landings.

Most skaters ignore wheel width. They believe it has little effect on performance (as opposed to the diameter and durometer). Nonetheless, wheel width is important since it impacts the board's stability. Wider wheels, on average, produce a more stable ride than narrower wheels.

What is a contact patch, and how does it impact the board's performance? 

skateboard-contact-patch

After looking at the diameter and hardness (durometer) of a skateboard wheel, the contact patch is the last factor to consider in choosing the best skateboard wheel.

The contact patch is the area on the wheel's surface that makes contact with the ground. It is the most critical part of a skateboard since it controls its behavior and performance.

The larger the contact patch is, the more stable and predictable the ride, making a skateboard suitable for tricks.

There are two contact patches: the BASIC WHEEL has a contact patch of 18-20 mm, and the SLIM WHEEL has a contact patch of 15-17 mm. Aside from the technical specifications, the main difference is that a thin contact patch has little friction, making it ideal for technical skating.

The wheel's edge of a skateboard

Along with the diameter, durometer, and contact patch of a skateboard wheel, a wheel's profile significantly impacts its performance.

The wheel's edge, sometimes known as the "cut," refers to the curvature of the sidewall. There are three types of shapes: classic, conical, and radial. Whatever you choose, remember that they significantly impact weight and grip, especially if you're attempting to roll into or lock into grinds.

Classic Shape: Its rounded form allows it to slide effortlessly over curbs, cope in a skate park pool, and roll at things from an angle.

Conical shape: Its conical sidewall creates a larger contact patch for improved grip. Furthermore, the cut-off shape lightens the wheel, making it excellent for vert or tranny skating.

Radial Wheels: This wheel design is ideal for transition skating since it has a slightly broader contact patch (than the Classic) and a more noticeable rounded edge, resulting in improved slide control and reaction when locking into grinds.

Tablets and lock-ins have emerged in recent years as newer wheels. Lock-ins have an asymmetrical shape on their outer profile (like the conical wheel) but an inside profile that is sharper and sliced off, making performing tricks and other technical maneuvers easier. But, tablet wheels feature a broad contact patch due to their steeply tapered profile.

How does the wheel's core size affect performance?

A skateboard's wheel core is critical if you want to get the most out of your wheel. A wheel core can come in various shapes, sizes, and materials, which work together to improve your skating.

skateboard-wheel-core

Large Core

A large wheel core is beneficial in a variety of ways. It aids in weight distribution and allows you to roll faster and achieve higher speeds in less time (and effort). It is also resistant to core and bearing deformation, resulting in less wheel friction.

Furthermore, the resulting balanced weight distribution helps the wheel to wear out evenly and prevents it from "coning" (deforming), which reduces the skateboard's performance and makes it dangerous to use.

The ride is smooth and comfortable using a large core wheel, but when the urethane wears out, the ride becomes bumpier (as if using a 99a-101a wheel durometer), and there is more noise when landing. Also, impacts are harsher because the urethane no longer provides the cushioning effect.

A large core is ideal if you enjoy downhill riding. It allows you to maintain consistent traction while going fast and drifting gracefully through curves. Just keep an eye on it for thinning so you can enjoy the long downhill rides.

Small Core

The same wheel size but a smaller core. What's the advantage?

A smaller core wheel has more urethane to wear than a large core wheel, making it a superior alternative. But, a small core does not manage weight distribution effectively; thus, the wheels wear out unevenly (leading to coning), eventually decreasing performance.

Smaller-core wheels were popular in downhill skating several years ago, but because of their coning tendencies, they were gradually replaced by large-core wheels.

When cruising, a wheel with a smaller core is preferred since it provides more traction for making difficult maneuvers. They also perform well when turning, and the thickness of the urethane provides a superior dampening effect, allowing the rider to feel lesser impact and strain.

How to choose the right skateboard bearings

Skateboard bearings are the circular metal parts that go into skateboard wheels to connect them to the axle.  They have a standard dimension of 8mm (core), 22mm (outer diameter), and 7mm (width), so they will fit in any skateboard, no matter the size. Skateboard bearings need two on each wheel. As such, they come in packages of eight when sold. 

skateboard-bearings

ABEC RATING

ABEC is an abbreviation for the Annular Bearing Engineering Committee of the American Bearing Manufacturer Association (ABMA), and it is merely a marketing ploy to sell skateboard bearings. In short, it has nothing to do with improving a skateboard's performance.

Instead of focusing on the ABEC rating, check the main qualifications of a skateboard bearing: the brand's reputation, user reviews, features, seals and shields, races, balls, retainers, and lubrication. These considerations allow you to select the best bearing for your board.

How to pick the right wheel for your scenario

Choosing a suitable wheel can be difficult, depending on where you intend to skate. So, if you're new to skating and trying to figure out which wheel is best for you, don't panic. We've got your back.

Street and Transition Skating

street-skateboard

Skateboard wheels with durometers of 99a and higher are ideal for street and transition skating. This situation calls for wheels that can keep speed, slide easily, and react promptly. , In short, the wheel must grasp the surface to maintain traction and control.

Cruising and Filming

A softer pair of wheels is highly recommended if your skateboard's primary function is to get you from point A to point B and you have no plans to do flip tricks. Because public roads often have cracks, debris, or uneven surfaces, you need a softer wheel to handle all road imperfections.

cruiser-skateboard

This wheel is known as a cruiser or filmer wheel, and it is ideal for cruising through the city in the smoothest, quietest, and fastest way possible.

Here's a closer look at which wheel size is best for your situation:

50-53mm: This wheel size is ideal for beginners because it is slower, simpler to manage, and versatile enough for street skating, park skating, and bowls. They're small enough for tricks but big enough for cruising. These wheels, as the name implies, perfectly balance mobility and stability.

54-59mm: This is the standard wheel size, and it's ideal for both beginners and experienced skaters skating on the street pavement, parks, bows, and even vert ramps.

These wheels are stable, easy to control, and incredibly agile. But flip maneuvers with this type of wheel are challenging for some skaters because of the smaller diameter. The best use for these wheels is on level ground.

60mm+: This wheel size is great for speed and rough surfaces when skating on longboards, old-school boards, downhill, and dirt roads.

Other skateboard wheel features to consider 

Choosing the proper wheel depends on the diameter and durometer, but extra factors must be considered. These include:

  • Urethane formula
  • Color
  • Side Shape
  • Pro endorsement
  • Graphics

As mentioned, choosing the right wheel depends on personal preference, skill level, experience, and the skating you plan to do. 

Most people will opt for a long-lasting wheel, typically made of urethane, with an attractive color and a flat or rounded side shape. Most professional skaters prefer urethane wheels because they last longer than rubber wheels.

HR and SHR - what do they mean?

Looking closely at skateboard wheels, you might find an HR and SHR marking, but what do they mean?

HR: High rebound.

SHR: Super high rebound. 

A high-rebound urethane skateboard wheel is easier to control whether you're skating on the street, vert, or a vert ramp. It is also more efficient when cruising because it has fewer flat areas. Of course, the tougher the urethane, the higher the cost. After all, quality comes with a price.

Professional skateboard wheels are made of a high-quality MDI (methylene diphenyl diisocyanate) urethane. Competitive skating necessitates a firm, flexible, and durable wheel while remaining soft enough to allow the skater to slide, pivot, and go in or out of a trick without any hitches, requiring a rigid urethane formula.

Also, urethane changes color when exposed to air, sunlight, dirt, oil, or some chemicals on the ground. The white skateboard wheel will ultimately turn yellow, indicating that the urethane is deteriorating.

yellowish-skateboard-wheel

There is no need to panic because it does not affect the safety or effectiveness of a skateboard wheel. The main drawback to a yellowish skateboard wheel is that it appears dirty.

Safety is a primary concern

Any sport that includes speed on the pavement is risky by definition. Skating is no different. As a result, every skater must use caution when riding. The three most popular techniques to avoid injury while skating are as follows:

  • Wearing protective gear. 
  • Doing a comprehensive board inspection.
  • Avoiding stunts and skateboarding near traffic. 

Also, the quality of the parts in your skateboard leads to longer fun and enjoyment. For example, the skateboard deck will split if the board is not sturdy. Your wheels will play excessively if the bearings are not made of high-quality materials. If the trucks are not strong enough, they will bend or break. As you can see, each of these components is important in skateboarding. So, it's important that you choose the right one. 

Wear-a-skateboard-protective-suit

If you want to experience the fun and excitement that skateboarding brings, think about safety first.  

Caring for your skateboard wheels.

You'll be glad to know that skateboarding requires very little upkeep. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't. Aside from the crucial safety concern, a good skateboard wheel and bearing care will help you get more life out of them.

It's as simple as removing the wheel from the bearing and the truck axle, washing the wheel's surface with a rag or toothbrush to remove debris, and soaking them in warm water to remove deep-seated filth and grime. Visit this site for more extensive instructions on how to clean your skateboard wheel.

caring-skateboard-wheels

Picking a good skateboard wheel brand.

A skateboard wheel's quality can make or break your ride. The more expensive the wheels are built using premium materials such as steel, aluminum, and hard plastic, the more durable and long-lasting they will be. A decent wheel brand will boost your street confidence and should be a part of your skateboarding lifestyle.

Enter FREEDARE Skateboard wheels, accessories, and kickscooters. 

Freedare was formed in 2013 to provide high-quality, comfortable sports and leisure equipment that allows teenagers to express their free nature and spirit. The company's vision is to offer products that allow teenagers to have fun while also letting them explore their potential through sports.

The headquarters of Freedare cover fourteen hectares and include a cutting-edge intelligent storage system and first-rate German-made facilities. They also have seven supply chains, four manufacturing lines, integrated R&D, design, branding, production, logistics, and sales, as well as full-fledged collaborations with several well-known global brands.

The products of Freedare are co-engineered with French designers, focusing on quality, performance, versatility, and durability at an affordable price.

These and other factors place Freedare on par with the big boys, who consistently make high-quality items of robust and lasting materials. Their designs are basic but sophisticated, with the utmost attention to detail, allowing kids to grow into their gear while increasing its aesthetic worth.

The Freedare team is made up of passionate young people who are dedicated to providing the finest products to their customers. They constantly look for ways to improve the company's products and services.

Freedare Skateboard Wheels

Freedare wheels are available in 52 to 83mm and are designed to be strong and sturdy. Each wheel is 100% urethane, which makes it tough, lightweight, and long-lasting. They're also fully compatible with all major skateboard brands and different models of sealed bearings. Available in high-speed (53a) and standard-speed (52a) options, Freedare wheels are an excellent choice for beginners and pros alike.

So, whether you are looking for a set of cruiser wheels to roll through the neighborhood or fire wheels to turn heads on the street, you'll find the perfect wheel sizing here

Conclusion

Choosing the right skateboard wheel is vital to have the best skating experience possible. The market offers a variety of sizes, materials, colors, and other features.

Given the variety of options available, it is crucial to research before deciding; keep in mind that you want to choose a wheel that best suits your preferences and needs.

A good place to start is by reading user reviews online about the specific skateboard wheel brands. The pros and cons of the wheel can help you decide if it's the best option for you.

We hope this article has helped you make the best wheel decision. Thanks for visiting our blog, and have fun skating!

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