What Skateboard Wheel Should I Choose?
Searching for some new skateboard wheels and not sure what you need? Check out this quick guide so you can make the right choice.
Start with the size.
If you are skating street and looking for a lightweight, responsive wheel, stay in the 49mm-53mm size range. If you are looking for something a little larger that will offer more support and stability, while still being responsive, we recommend the 53mm-56mm size range. For vert, ditch or street downhill, find a bigger, hard wheel in the 54mm-60mm range.
What is the second set of numbers on the wheel?
The second set of numbers (ex. 53mm 101a) is the durometer (or hardness) rating. Urethane is rated on a scale to determine how hard the material is. Most skate wheels are in the 90-101a range, which is very hard. Some softer skate wheels like filmer or cruiser wheels will be in the 78-86a range. Softer wheels are more forgiving and are great for commuting but not ideal for technical street skating.
What does wheel texture do?
Wheels are all made out of the same material (urethane) but can vary in texture. Sticky or gummy feeling wheels offer better grip and stability but are not great for responsiveness. Treaded wheels are good for undesirable street conditions (rocks, pebbles) since they add extra grip. Smooth wheels will offer a fast glide and is the most common texture for skate wheels.
What is wheel bite?
The dreaded term "wheel bite" happens when your wheels don't have enough clearance. While you are turning, if the wheels hit your skateboard it's like slamming on the breaks. If you are using a larger wheel (54mm and up) you may want to consider a small riser (1/4"+). Risers add a little extra height to the board so you can avoid wheel bite altogether.
Continue exploring more about the tech behind skateboard wheels with the resources below.