In this article we will share with you how to choose the very best skateboard wheels for you and your board, how to change the wheels on your skateboard and much more. If you have a question on skateboard wheels, you will find the answer here.
What are the factors you should consider when picking out a set of skateboard wheels and which one is ultimately going to be the best choice for you?
Today we’re going to go over the options available and make sure you have all the information you need to make the perfect skateboard wheels choice. First off, I want to make it clear that the differences among skateboard wheels sold today are a lot more about personal preference than quality. Pretty much every wheel you buy today is going to be made out of the same hard plastic called polyurethane, but they’ll vary in size,
shape, and hardness.
What is the Best Size Skateboard Wheel Size?
First let’s talk about skateboard wheel size. So the size of your wheels is going to determine how well your board responds in various situations,including rolling over bumps and cracks in the concrete, making sharp turns, achievinga high top speed, and performing flip tricks.
Smaller wheels are generally preferred by street skaters since it overall makes their board a little bit lighter, which gives them the ability to manipulate it more easier & allows them to perform tricks that would otherwise not be possible with large wheels.
Small skateboard wheels are also a great choice for someone just getting into skateboarding since they have a lower top speed and they can keep you a little bit safer if you find yourself starting to roll down some of the taller hills and ramps.
Larger skateboard wheels, on the other hand, are generally preferred by transition skaters,including vert skaters, and those that use their board as a means of transportation, sincethey get stuck on things like rocks, pebbles, and cracks much less easily, and allow you to roll at a faster top speed.
As you start to increase the size of your wheels, keep in mind that you may need to invest in a set of risers to put in between your trucks and your board, right here, to increase the distance between the top of the wheel and the bottom of the board, so that you don’t get wheelbite.
Alright so, the other main factor you will need to consider is hardness. Skateboard wheel hardness is measured on a scale called ‘durometer,’ and most commonly ranges from values of 78a to 3 points over 101a, which is technically the limit for the’a’ scale for measuring hardness, and which is why wheel manufacturers like Bones have adopted the ‘b’ scale, which is essentially the same scale but with the values at 20 points below their ‘a’ scale equivalent.
Wheels at the lower end of the spectrum are a good choice for skaters who intend to use their board purely for riding and aren’t interested in doing any tricks, since softer wheels will provide you with a smoother and quieter ride. For this reason, softer wheels are found on almost all filmer boards and cruisers.
If, on the other hand, you plan on using your skateboard to perform tricks, you’ll almost certainly want to choose a wheel with a durometer of 99a or higher, since a wheel with that hardness is able to be slid along the concrete without being immediately destroyed, and will allow you to travel at a higher top speed,
Due to the decrease in rolling friction. The third and final factor you might consider
is shape. Wheel shape will almost definitely not be a limiting factor for you in your first year of skateboarding, so, while there are a lot of variations in wheel shape, as long as you get something that looks fairly standard, you should be perfectly happy with whatever you end up getting.
As you become more advanced, my advice would be to try to pick a wheel shape that the manufacturer suggests is a good choice for the style of skating that you do. Street wheels are usually thinner and more maneuverable, while transition wheels usually have a wider area touching the concrete to provide extra stability and traction at highspeeds and while cornering.
So, to summarize all of this information, I will share with you my top wheel recomendations for every type of skating and situation.
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Bones Skateboard Wheels at Amazon
“Bones makes some of the best skateboard wheels you can buy.”
Best Budget: Mini-Logo Wheels at Amazon
“By not using a pro’s name, those savings get passed to you.”
Best for Speed: Spitfire Wheels at Amazon
“Made in the USA and guaranteed against defects of any kind.”
Best Grip: Kryptonics Skateboard Wheels at Amazon
“Perfect amount of bounce, grip, and strength.”
“Super soft wheels with a hard core.”
Best Technical: Pig Skateboard Wheels at Amazon
“They have developed a massive variety of wheel styles.”
Best Oversized: Abec 11 Wheels at Amazon
“A great choice for both slalom and downhill skateboarding.”
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Bones Skateboard Wheels
Bones makes some of the best skateboard wheels you can buy. They have different formulas for street (STF), skatepark (SPF) and ditch skateboarding (DTF). All of these styles resist flatspotting (where one side of a wheel gets a flattened spot, from sliding. This ruins wheels).
Plus, if you want Bones quality AND you want to save money, Bones 100s are a great wheel (The 100 refers to the wheels toughness; it’s a good toughness for street skateboarding).
Best Budget: Mini-Logo Wheels
Minilogo is a division of the huge Powell company called Skate One. Minilogo products are regular pro grade products but without the pro-grade look and price. The concept is to make boards and wheels that are just as good as anything else that Powell offers, but by not putting a pro’s name on it and not hiring an artist to make it look cool, that saved money gets passed on to you.
Minilogo boards are generally just a solid color, and I completely understand when a skater would rather have a board that looks cooler. But for wheels, where any picture is going to be lost the moment you start skating, why not go for simple? Mini-logo wheels don’t have some of the super tech design that other wheels have, but they’re cheap!
Best for Speed: Spitfire Wheels
Spitfire skateboard wheels are extremely popular. Spitfire wheels are made in the USA and guaranteed against defects of any kind. Spitfire wheels are high quality, and we highly recommend them.
When it comes to selection, Spitfire has it. If you are looking for fast, try Spitfire’s Firelight Core wheels, with built in airflow vents. Some people think stuff like this is only a gimmick, but other swear by ’em. Want to shave off weight? Try the Ligherer wheels, with their mini-cores.
Best Grip: Kryptonics Skateboard Wheels
Kryptonics has been making skateboard wheels since 1965. Their formulas work. Kryptonics wheels are long lasting and have great grip.
Kryptonics wheels are beautiful crystal wheels that also work great on longboards, so just from a style perspective, you’ll be sold. They also ride perfectly, with the exact right amount of bounce, grip, and strength.
Kryptonics also has a line of regular skateboard wheels that match up to decks they’ve designed. Together, they look pretty sweet.
Best Variety: Ricta Skateboard Wheels
Ricta makes several different styles of skateboard wheels, and they are all good quality. The slim, light Boltz wheels are good for street skateboarding and are light and flat spot resistant. Ricta Cores, also called Ricta 78s, are super soft wheels with a hard core. They also make soft, light wheels called “Clouds” that they claim are great for filming, and crystal clear wheels as well.
Best Technical: Pig Skateboard Wheels
Pig has been a mainstay in skateboarding wheels for years, and in that time they have developed a massive variety of their wheel styles. If you are looking for a certain color or style, Pig probably has it.
Pig also makes some technical wheels, like their Aircore line. These are wheels with air pockets inside, to reduce weight. Pig also has a selection of pro team wheels.
Best Oversized: Abec 11 Wheels
Abec 11 wheels are a great choice for both slalom and downhill skateboarding. For both of these styles of skateboarding, you need larger, softer wheels. Abec 11 wheels run from the 60mm N0 SchoolZ up to massive 97mm Flywheels. The 76mm Gumballs come highly recommended.
Retro wheels also come highly recommended (Retro is an Abec 11 brand). Both of these brands are run by Chris Chaput, an IGSA World Cup champ who knows what he’s selling, and who’s dedicated to providing quality downhill and slalom skateboarding wheels!
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