Which Inline Skate Wheels Are Best?
When looking for the best inline skate wheels it is essential to consider your skating style and the type of environment you will be skating in. Wheels can vary in size, shape and hardness.
Different wheels are suited for different skating styles and locations, like rough asphalt. Some wheels have a specific durometer rating, are rounded or bullet shaped and offer various levels of grip.
The shape of a wheel will determine how it touches the surface while you skate and therefore impacts grip, speed and stability. Round wheels are preferred by freestyle skaters and offer stability with good control, while wide flat wheels deliver better traction and are more durable than round ones.
Wheel hardness or durometer rating is a crucial factor to consider when purchasing inline skate wheels as it defines how much shock absorption and grip it will have. Harder (higher durometer) wheels will provide more speed but are less durable than softer (lower durometer) ones.
Heavier skaters may prefer a harder wheel so they can absorb more impact and still maintain rebound while lighter skaters may want to go with a softer wheel for the same reason. In addition to the skater’s weight and skating surfaces, even temperature will affect how a wheel performs.
Flat wheel profile
When you look at your inline skate wheels straight on, the shape of the contact patch (or footprint) tells a lot about how they will perform. Wider profiles provide stability for high impact landings while narrower ones allow you to maneuver better and are faster in speed and turning.
There are several ways to determine the profile of a wheel. The easiest way is to dip a wheel in paint and roll it over a white surface. The line of paint it leaves behind will show you the flat surface of the wheel.
Larger wheels will roll longer but will also be harder to accelerate and less stable. This is why beginners start off on smaller wheels like 76mm-80mm and work their way up to professional 100mm wheels such as the Bont Red Magic wheels for inline speed skating or junior racing. However, you should never use wheels that are larger than the maximum size your frame supports.
Urban and round wheel profile
The round wheel profile is one of the most popular amongst urban and aggressive skaters because it limits the risk of wheel bite when used on flat frames. It offers good stability and rolls pretty fast – it’s also a very durable wheel.
These wheels offer a great balance of speed and control thanks to their high-rebound urethane. They are great for outdoor skating on paved surfaces and can be easily switched between different hardness if needed.
The 83A XGrip wheels are a great option for beginners because they’re softer and offer better grip, but they still roll really fast. They’re available in a wide range of diameters, making them suitable for lots of different skater levels and styles. They’re also compatible with many different hubs, giving you even more options. The durometer or hardness of a wheel determines how much grip it has and how stable it is. It is also the factor that decides whether a wheel can handle rough or smooth surfaces.
Bullet or elliptical wheel profile
The profile or footprint of the wheel is the shape of its urethane cross-section and directly affects speed, stability, turning and edging. For example, a harder wheel on a flat setup will slide and ‘bite’ less than a soft wheel.
Aggressive wheels are usually rounded with a smaller diameter and hardness (89A-100A) to help keep the center of gravity low for improved stability on ramps and tricks. The small size and profile also allow the skater to maneuver on tight spots and grind obstacles with ease.
Round-shaped wheels are the most popular choice for recreational inline skating and offer good stability, quick acceleration and slow wear. They are a good fit for those who like freeskating, urban skating, fitness, freestyle slalom and inline hockey.