What Types Of Wheels Are To Be Considered While Buying A Longboard?
Long boards are associated with the wheels on which they roll on when you ride. Obviously, wheels are there for good reason and they must be soft to roll faster while riding the board.
Also, the riding experience must be smooth and seamless offering better grip on the board and this is all because of good quality wheels. Soft wheels give more control over the board and in this guide; you will get to know the types of wheels that are to be considered.
The shape, size, urethane properties, durometer and the core placement plays a major role to find the best type of long board wheels. Let’s start with study these factors in detail:
The very first thing that comes in mind while choosing longboard wheels is the size that you want. Almost all the wheels are around 64-80mm in diameter where 70mm is common. The basic thing behind the larger wheels is that they accelerate slower as compared to smaller ones.
But they have higher top speeds with easy roll over on cracks and garbage etc. On the other hand, smaller wheels do fit on more long boards but they have slower top speed.
You have to check whether the wheels cause wheelbite and they fit perfectly. Reverse kingpin trucks offer more wheel clearance so go for these. Having cut outs on the board is good as any wheel size fits on such boards. And if there are no cut outs, you have to add a ¼ inch riser pad so that the wheels can accommodate wheels larger than 70mm.
It is the outer part of the wheel that means the edges of the contact patch. Shape of the lips tells you much more about the way a board rides. The wheels offer more grip if the lips are thick or sharp whereas if the lips are rounded, they break down easily offering smoother transitions from grip to slip.
For free riding, rounded lips are fine and for downhill riding, sharper wheels are preferred.
But if your purpose is to use your board for transport purpose, then lip style is not that important. In fact, if you are not going to slide the wheels, lipped wheels are perfect especially when you have to carve deeper. Also, lipped wheels don’t make you lose traction at all.
Durometer rating is associated with the hardness of the wheels. Having a durometer of 75-88aa means that the long boards are very soft as compared to those wheels that have a rating of 90-101a. Basically, lower durometer wheels are grippier and also roll slower whereas higher durometer wheels offer lesser grip and also roll faster.
Hard wheels slide faster than typical wheels and also have a tendency to slow you down less thus making you glide across the road surface easily. Soft wheels slide slow and also slow down faster and these wheels are often referred to as buttery wheels that are quite easy to control.
For all types of long boarding, 78a and 80a are the most common types of durometers. It is because they have a nice blend of perfect grip, slide ability and rolling speed.
No doubt, durometer makes it very easy for you to narrow down your choice regarding wheels, but let me tell you that not all 78a wheels perform equal. Urethane formula of the wheels explains the performance of the wheels on which the longboard rides.
Grip, slide ability and durability are all different in every urethane formula and it is you who have to decide which one to pick. The perfect way to know about urethane formula is by trying various formulas to know the preferences. Get a feel by trying various urethane formulas.
Many companies have mentioned different formulas for freeride and downhill. Basically, it is seen that freeride formulas are much easier to slide and faster too. Also, they offer less grip and durability as compared to downhill formula.
Shape, size and composition etc. are all the factors that decide the performance of the long board wheels. If you add large diameter to the wheel, it will roll faster and it is a major benefit for downhill, transportation and freeride. It is because wider composition of the core supports the urethane that further makes the wheels more durable.
Also, it supports even wear out of the wheels. If the core is made of hard material then it will enhance the rolling speed of the longboard wheel thus making it slide faster. For downhill racing, easy and quick slow down is quite easy and this is the reason why the companies pay special attention to manufacturing the wheels with perfect size and core.
If you ask me, I would like to tell you that RAD wheels are greatly designed keeping all the factors in mind. Such wheels have durable grip, faster rolling speed, slow and even wear out. So make sure to focus on the core size and shape.
Core placement of the wheels are divided into three categories and I would be explaining the main category i.e. centerset. Other two categories are: offset and sideset. Each category has its own performance and sliding attributes.
Centerset category is that in which the core is placed directly in the wheel’s center. This style has the most perfect grip than other two. Grip is perfect because a large inner lip is created while riding and also the wheels offer longer life as they can be flipped inside out.
These wheels have even wear out and this is the major reason why freeriders prefer centerset placement of the wheels. Also, the centerset core performs great when paired with round lips and small contact patches.
I hope you guys understand well that which factors are important to look in the long board wheels while buying one. So whenever you plan to buy a longboard, consider these factors to make a smart purchase.