Everything about wheels
This page has all the information you could possibly want about inline skate wheels.
What are the most important wheel qualities?
The short answer is: The most important factors of a wheel are the diameter and the brand. UC/Matter/Gawds/Dead/Rollerblade Hydrogen are known as the top brands coming from the best factory. Usually good wheels cost about 10-15 euro a wheel.
If you want to have more information about the topics below, then check out out the rest of this page.
- 3 vs 4 wheels
- 90 vs 80mm wheels
- Wheel hardness
- Wheel maintenance
- Wheel profile
- Core material
- Wheel diameters
- Wheel compound
3 or 4 wheels
What is better?
The short answer: If you are unsure about this, take 4 wheels.
Since about 2015 the market has been flooded with fancy 3 wheeled skates that look really fast, but do not be fooled by marketing. We like skaters to be as comfortable and secure one can be on their skates. The 3 wheeled skates usually stand a lot taller and thus make every technique (like braking techniques) a lot harder. You might win some small amount of speed with 3 big wheels, but the lack of confidence you will have on them will ironically maybe even make you go slower in the end because you will be more risk averse.
4 wheels will give you better feeling with the road. The more points of contact with the ground you have, the better the ride is when the road is kind of bumpy.
80mm or 90mm wheels
What is better?
The short answer: big feet take 90mm, small feet take 80mm.
You want your wheel base (the length of your frame) to be in proportion to your foot. If you have a relative short wheel base, then you are more manoeuvrable, you accelerate faster and will prefer intermediate speeds.
If you have relative a long wheel base, then you are more stable and les manoeuvrable. you will accelerate slower but once you get high speeds it will be easier to maintain them.
What is the best wheel hardness?
The short answer: Do not pay attention to the wheel hardness metrics too much.
Wheel hardness is measured in the Shore scale, and it is usually somewhere between 85A and 92A on a scale from 1 (very soft) to 100 (hard).
While the Shore hardness is a true thing, it is not the only thing and should not be taken into account when getting wheels because it is by far the least important factor.
Imagine a cyclist caring more about the hardness scale of his rubber tire, then about the air tire pressure or how well his spokes are tightened. That would be weird, right? You never hear cyclist talk about the hardness of the rubber tire. So neither should we.
In general if you buy a 200-250 euros range skate, then the wheels and bearings are always very good, so do not worry about it.
Do my wheels need maintenance?
The short answer: no.
We advice people to change their bearings when they are worn down. More information about this can be found in the everything about bearings section. The wheels themselves wear down and need to be replaced when they get to be very small or when they get flat spots and cracks.
The wear down of the wheels is not equally divided between all 8 wheels.
There are 2 ways for wheels to wear down.
1. When the outer wheels wear down
The first and the last wheel in your skate will wear down quicker then the middle wheels due to the way of a skate move. This will create a natural rocker.
A skate with a natural rocker is more maneuverable and less fast then a skate with a flat rocker. A flat rocker is when 4 wheels touch the ground like normal.
You can play with this effect of maneuverability vs speed by changing the position of your worn down wheels. If the inside wheels are put on the outside and the outside wheels are on the inside, then the effect is reversed.
The downside of changing the wheel position is that you will need to get used to the feeling of your skate all over again.
2. when the inside of wheels wear down
When you do regular skating and in particular with some of the breaking techniques, wheels will wear down on their inside allot faster than on their outside.
This can be balanced out by flipping the wheels on their spot, or maybe even better, putting the wheel on the other foot.
The downside of changing the wheels like this, is that you will need to get used to your the way you skate all over again. It will feel really weird for the first few kilometers.
If the weardown of the wheels is not too big, then our advice is to just keep the wheels like they are.
What is the best wheel profile:
the short answer: It does not matter that much
Wheels can have different shapes and these shapes can affect how a wheel handles the ground. The shapes are:
- Pointy (speed profile)
Flat wheels are more stable and also have les trouble with riding over cracks in the ground. Pointy wheels are faster.
Pointy profile wheels
back in the early 80's and 90's when inline skating was brand new, all wheels were pointy.
- Faster, that is why they are also called speed profile wheels.
- Less stable.
- Offer less material to wear down and need faster replacement.
- Less stable to ride on.
- Easier to get stuck on cracks with.
Round profile wheels
- Not as fast.
- Easier to ride over cracks with.
- More stable.
- Lasts you longer because there is more material.
Flat profile wheels
Because all wheels were once pointy, the was a counter reaction to that in the 90's within aggressive inline skating to push for the smallest and most flat wheels possible. They thought flat was the future. Right now we can say however that flat wheels are:
- Out of fashion
- Not nice to steer with
- Very stable in landings
- Easier to ride over cracks with.
For aggressive skating it turns out that round profile wheels are the perfect middle ground. It can even be said that wheel bite can be prevented by having a pointy profile wheel
If you put a round profile in the 2nd and 3rd wheel, and put a pointy profile in the 1st en 4th wheel. then this is called a magic rocker.
Ricardo lino invented it and it enables you to be more maneuverable in the corners. When the skate is in an angle, only the side of the middle wheels will touch the ground creating a rocker effect.
>Saw through an old wheel to show how a core looks like.
>Find an old broken wheel and rub down the compound to show the core
—History of the inline skate core,
> All cores were plastic from the first modern skates in the 80s,
> But before that actually wood AND also steel was already.
> First famous wheel with metal core 6 years ago.
It was not well know, and only used by some vert skaters.
—Diameter of the core vs thickness compound
>the bigger the core the faster the wheel
>bigger compound lasts longer
—Advantage of the T shape, or tooth in the core,
> it just helps to keep the material on the core. No other differences
> the harder the better, so steel is not an option, and diamond is also not. it needs to be light, so aluminium is the best
—Spokes or closed.
>The closed ones are heavier.
— The wearing down of the famus
> Vince says you should be fine for all use, unless if you go and do slides
> the metal cores are 7mm difference. A normal wheel is 53 gram. A famous wheel is 72 gram. This does not add up. Lets measure it.
Wheel size script
In short, if you don’t know what to take, go for a 80 or 90mm wheel for freestyle
For aggressive it is 60mm
What is wheel diameter, how do we measure it.
The frame determines the wheel size
Explain skate frames
How to know the wheel size for your frame:
Check the frame. -> or check our website if it is not listed on the frame
Measure the length between two axles. Subtract 1mm
Exception, some old school skates and aggressive skates and tri skates
Does it make sense to go smaller.
Only half, you are lower to the ground, yes, but in an ugly way.
Yes, for a rocker.
small wheels are slower, big wheels faster.
3vs 4 wheels argument
Explain 100x4 with rocker.
Show shitty compound that is crumbled
>Early 70s urethane wheels came out on rollerskates
Modern plastics were also designed in the early seventies,
After these 2 important invenations, a company like rollerblade finally had the technological grounds to build the first succesfull inline skate.
>before that wheels actually were made from Metal, Klay, or even Ivory.
—Manufacturing / moulds
—There is an urban myth floating around, that Cosmo wheels are THE BEST and I heard multiple people say that this is because they uses an open mould, instead of a closed mould.
> Vince says that all wheel use the same type of moulds. For one production set, about 100-150 moulds are used in a series, so these are very expensive to make. Here is a cool video of the process from Eulogy wheels
> you can see why wheels always have the line over the center, and why there are these cut off lines on one side, and not the others
> sometimes you can see 1, or 2 bubbles in a while, Don’t be afraid when you see this, it doesn’t matter that much. According to Vince.
—Amount of materials
> the more materials, the more expensive it is.
> what materials these are, are ultra secret, if anybody knows, or can find a source, PLEASE drop it in the comments.
There amount of materials vary from 2, up to 7 materials.
> clear is the base color, the paint doesn’t doe anything with the compound.
> why don’t manufacturers make clear wheels? And why do all clear wheels that I ever tested (mainly old wheels) are all shitty.
> The higher the wheel bounces off the ground. The better.
> this is the most important thing
> you can check the core to have an hint.
> these are all the same
-what makes them good or bad.
Wat is eengrindwheel en waar dient het voor.
- wiel bite op curb
- versterking van het frame > show flexy frame
- creates a groove.
- rec skates
- my first aggressive skate setup.
grindwheel or anti rocker wheels
plastic / urethane
met of zonder bearings
rattling with the spacers
bigger wheel the more effect
juice blocks, 50/50 & create originals
inside the wheels are this metal mechanical part called a bearing and they enable the wheel to roll. if you want to learn more about bearings, then check out this article:
> Everything about Bearings