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Skateboard Wheels between 49mm and 60mm for Street, Park and Vert at Blue Tomato

Skateboard Wheels: The Right Contact to the Road

The wheels of your skateboard are responsible for traction between you and the road. They are also with bearings, responsible for the speed of your board. 
  1. Choosing the Right Wheels
  2. The Diameter of the Skateboard Wheels
  3. The Hardness of the Wheels
  4. Contact Patch: the Surface Area of the Wheels
  5. Special Materials
  6. Installation of Wheels

Choosing the Right Wheels

The wheels determine how quickly you skate. They are mostly made from polyurethane and are available in different;

  • Sizes
  • Harnesses
If you are putting together your own set-up, you can choose the wheels which are perfectly matched to the way you skate. 

Skateboard Wheels from Pig Wheels, Bones Wheels and Spitfire

The Diametre of the Skateboard Wheels

The size- or the diameter – given by the producers of wheels such as Jart and Ricta in millimetres. There are wheels in sizes between 48mm to 75mm diametre.

The size of the Skateboard Wheel The Properties of the Skateboard Wheel
48 to 53 Millimetres Slower wheels for more stability when landing and rapid acceleration. Particularly well suited for street skating
54 to 59 Millimetres The all-rounder wheel for beginners and good riders who like to skate street, bowl and mini ramp.
From 60 Millimeter The biggest wheels are suitable only for Old School decks and longboards. They can go faster, on rougher surfaces. However, they do speed up more slowly than smaller wheels. 

Longboard Wheels from 48mm to 60mm for Stability or Speed

The Hardness of the Wheels

The hardness- Durometer- is indicated by the A scale which goes from 1A for soft to 100A for very hard. Some manufacturers use the B scale as well, this is considerably harder. 80B is equivalent to 100A.

The Hardnest of Skateboard Wheels The Property of the Wheels
73a to 87aGreat soft wheels for bumps in the road. Perfect for cruisers and boards which require a great deal of grip.
88a to 95a Faster and less grip than 78a wheels. You will often find these on longboards and decks for the skate park.
96a to 99a The all-rounder for street and park skaters. Good grip and a good speed
101aFor experienced riders who like to grind and slide a lot. Reduced grip but very fast. 
83b to 84bFor professionals with no limits. These wheels run extremely fast but have almost no grip.

Hard Skateboard Wheels for Street and soft Skate Rollen for Halfpipe

Contact Patch: the Surface Area of the Wheels

Another important feature of the wheels is the contact surface which greatly affects the way that you skate. A larger contact patch will distribute your body weight over a larger area. This causes your wheels to slow down, so manufacturers have rounded the edges of skate wheels. This means that wheels are lighter and rotate more easily. Longboard Wheelsspin easily despite their larger contact surface because they have a larger diameter. This also means that the wheels will slow down making curves because the outside wheels have to go further than the inside.

Contact Patch Skateboard Wheels for Street, Park und Miniramp Skateboarding

Special Materials

Not all manufacturers make their wheels exclusively from polyurethane. Spitfirehas developed a special formula – F1 Streetburners and F1 Parkburners- that offer you maximum performance in the park and in the street. Bones Wheelshave also created special formulas called:

  • STF – Street Tech Formula and
  • SPF – Street park Formular
If you dig a little deeper and chose F1, STF or SPF wheels. These skate wheels will last an eternity.

The Mounting of Wheels

Once you’ve decided on wheels, all you need to do is stick your bearings(they are the same for Skateboardsand Longboards), in the wheels. The bearing will attach on to the trucks, then come the wheels, then another bearing. A bearing tool can help you with this work. Spacers, metal rings between the bearings, protects against lateral forces which the wheels exerts, and will increase the lifespan of the wheel. Not just with your home built skateboard but also with Complete Skateboards, you should make sure that before your first skate that the screws are not too tight.

Tip: Mounting your Wheels

“if you cannot simply turn the wheels with your hand, they are too tight, you should loosen the nut on the truck.”
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