Buying Guide for Inline Roller Wheels

Knowing which type of wheel you need is important because it may be the difference between a smooth, comfortable skating experience and a disastrous one. In order to determine the type of wheel you need, you must account for each of the following items:

  • Durometer (Hardness of the wheel)
  • Type of Skating
  • Size (Diameter in mm)
  • Shape

Durometer – Hardness of Wheel

The Durometer is used as a measure of hardness in rubbers. The larger the number, the harder the wheel.
Most recreational  skate wheels range from 78 to 82A durometer.
Harder durometers are used more for aggressive skating and go up into the 90s.  Also, the harder the wheel, the longer it lasts, but also the rougher the ride and less surface grip..
The weight of the skater is also important when determining the type of durometer. If you are a heavy player using a really soft wheel it is possible that you will wear the wheels out really fast.

Here is a breakdown of the different wheel durometers:

72A (XX-Soft): This is an unconventional and soft durometer. Wheels with this type of durometer should only be used indoor on a sport court surface and the skater should weight no more than 150 lbs.

74A (X-Soft):  This durometer is typically used by skaters under 190 lbs on the indoor sport court surface. If you are a skater under 130 lbs you should be able to use these wheels on a smooth, wood surface and won’t wear out too quickly.

76A (Soft): This is one of the most popular wheel durometers used. Skaters that weigh 210 lbs or less will be able to use these wheels on an indoor sport court surface without getting a “flat tire” effect. If you are 140 lbs or less you can safely use these wheels on a wood surface.

78A (Multi-surface): Wheels with this durometer are labeled as multi surface because they are hard enough to handle cement and wood surfaces while still giving you enough grip to use on an indoor/outdoor sport court surface with good results. Skaters that weigh between 190-250 lbs can use these wheels on an indoor  court. Skaters weighing between 150-220 lbs can use these wheels on a wood surface.

80A (Multi-surface): Wheels with this durometer are still considered multi surface, but will give you less grip to the surface than a 78A wheel. This type of wheel is not recommended for use on a sport court. They work best on wood surfaces no matter how much you weigh. On a cement surface they will hold up pretty well but may be too hard to grip the surface.

82A (Outdoor): These wheels are hard enough to be used on unsealed sidewalk cement and will also work on asphalt for skaters under 180 lbs. You can use these wheels on a sealed cement surface but is not recommended due to the lack of grip you will get.

84A (Outdoor/Asphalt): These are the hardest wheels out there. These wheels should only be used outdoors and can be used by skaters of all weight ranges. This wheel is not recommended for smooth, sealed surfaces. They are best for street hockey on asphalt and concrete.

 

Type of Skating

To determine what kind of wheels you need, you must first determine what type of skating you will be using your skates for. Softer wheels are used on smooth surfaces such as indoor hockey rinks or skating rinks. A softer wheel has a better grip than harder wheels, and also faster acceleration.

– If you are planning to skate outdoors, but desire a wheel that will absorb shock, you can use a soft wheel, around 78A. But keep in mind that if a softer wheel is used too often on a rough surface, it will wear down very quickly and in some cases chunk apart.

– If you are planning on doing some recreational or fitness skating, the lowest durometer you will want to use is a 78A. This rating will provide you with an excellent combination of grip and speed. Additionally, this Durometer rating will provide you the flexibility to take your skating indoors, without worrying about slipping and sliding on the floor.

– If your plan is to skate exclusively outdoors, you’re probably best to get a wheel with a Durometer rating that is slightly higher, perhaps 82A or 84A. This will offer increased speeds, and it will not wear down as quickly on the rough terrain.

– Aggressive skaters will want to harder wheels, usually no less than 88A. This is because of the terrain it will be used on, the abuse it will take, and the speeds that aggressive skaters require.

 

Size – Diameter in mm

The diameter is the height of the skate wheel, measured in millimeters (mm). Wheel sizes range in variety from 47mm to 100mm.
Most wheels are 70mm, 72mm, 76mm, or 80mm, except for aggressive skating wheels, which are in the low 60s and mid 50smm and speed wheels that are 100mm.
In general and given the same conditions, the taller the wheel, the faster you can skate.
Depending on what type of chassis you have on your skate you may need anywhere from 1 to 3 different sized wheels.

  • Aggressive Skates: They require high rates of acceleration to perform tricks and jumps. The typical wheel size for this skates is 56mm, and rarely larger than 59mm.
  • Recreational/Fitness Skates: Depending on the level skater the skate is made for, skate wheel diameters can range from 76mm up to 90mm.  Remember, the wider the wheel, the faster the ride. 90mm wheels are rather large; therefore they should be used by skaters who are comfortable at higher speeds.
  • Roller Hockey Skates: Many roller hockey skates will utilize what is known as a Hi-Lo chassis. This type of skate frame is unique in its set up because it uses two different size wheels; larger wheels in the back and smaller wheels in the front.This will require the purchase of 4 smaller wheels, and 4 larger wheels. Typical Hi-Lo frames accommodate wheels up to 80mm in the back and 72mm in the front. This set up is different for junior Hi-Lo frames, and depends on the size of the skate.
  • Speed Skates: Wheels for these skates are larger than you will find on any other skate type. Commonly, the wheel diameter is larger than 90mm. And also they can use 5 wheels instead of the typical 4 wheels.

Important: When shopping for wheels, keep in mind that skate frames have a size capacity. This means that they may allow for a slightly larger wheel than what comes stocked at time of purchase, but not much larger. If you purchase a wheel that is too large, it will either not fit on the chassis, or the wheels will rub together. So be sure you do not purchase a wheel that is too large.
Also, if you want to purchase smaller wheels than what was stock on your skates, keep in mind that a smaller wheel may require spacers to account for additional room between the frame and the wheel. Commonly it is recommended that you replace your wheels with the same size they were manufactured with.

 

Wheel Shape or Profile

Wheel shape may not seem like an important element of your wheel selection, but this is far from the truth. The profile determines how much of the wheel makes contact with the ground while skating.

Let’s have a look:

Wheel Shapes

 

– Aggressive skate wheels have a flat profile, looking very much like a rounded rectangle. The purpose is to provide with a larger landing surface when performing jumps and tricks.

Recreational wheels resemble a standard elliptical profile, with a narrow center and graduated edges. They offer skaters with a stable foundation to skate on, while simultaneously allowing easier turning and acceleration.

– Hockey wheels have profile shape that is rounded more than a recreational skate. This rounded shape offers maximum contact for the skater regardless of the angle they have their skates. Hockey skaters perform many sharp. The round wheels make it much easier to accomplish those turns, as well as accelerate and decelerate easily.

Speed wheels have a pointed appearance. This is to create the least amount of rolling resistance possible, but they have less grip too.

 

Now that you know the differences and what you have to look for in wheels, check out our wheels catalogue and pick the right wheels for you.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Why do the hyper hyoctane wheels come in packs of 8? If I want 84MM by 82A or 84A is it okay to go with these for my inline skates. I want them for outdoor use only. I weigh 125 pounds.

    Thanks

    Lori

  2. Why do the hyper hyoctane wheels come in packs of 10? If I want 84MM by 82A or 84A is it okay to go with these for my inline skates that have 8 wheels. I want them for outdoor use only. I weigh 125 pounds.

    Thanks

    Lori

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