Which Roller Skate Wheels Should I Buy?

Roller Skate Wheels how do I know what is right for me, what will work? Skaters repeatedly asking “What’s the difference?” Below is a guide to technical features and benefits of the different types of wheels manufactured for Roller Skating whether you are skating indoor, outdoors, ramp skating or Jam Skating. Knowing the type of surface you are roller skating on is just as important as understanding the technical features of a wheel. Below is a guide to help understand the features and benefits of different types of wheels. Roller skate wheels are made up of a urethane “tire” attached to a rigid “hub”, and the composition of both play a part in how the wheel will roll. As a wheel is rolling, only a small part of the wheel is in contact with the floor at any given moment. The size of this contact patch determines how much friction is created between the wheel and the floor.Just so you know friction can be both good and bad when roller skating – friction will slow down the speed while you’re rolling, but it keeps your wheels stuck to the floor while skating through the corners. This trade-off between “grip” and “roll” is the fundamental characteristic that is affected by a wheel’s hardness, otherwise known as durometer. Hardness for roller skate wheels varies from about 80a to 101a on the durometer scale, with most skaters on most surfaces requiring something from 78-101a range. Harder wheels have a smaller contact patch and less friction, while softer wheels will deform more and provide more friction. The ideal wheels will have hardness matched to the skating surface to strike a balance between grip and roll – not so hard that you lose grip in the corner, not so soft that you can’t bring your feet around for a snowplow or hockey stop. Which durometer is right for you will depend on the surface you skate on (stickier surfaces require harder wheels, smoother or dirty surfaces require softer wheels outdoor surfaces require a softer wheel for a more comfortable roll). A person should take into account their own size (larger skaters will need harder wheels than smaller skaters). Various guides exist matching surface type and hardness to a durometer rating, but with different finishes, polishes, and cleaning schedules your best bet if you’re skating on a new surface is to seek advice from someone about your same size who has skated on that surface before. The piece in the center of a skate wheel that gives it structure is called the hub. Derby wheels have a hub made of either nylon or aluminum, which also affects how the wheel performs. Nylon hubs are lighter, making it easier for you to step and jump and they are also less expensive. Aluminum hubs are more rigid, meaning that you conserve more energy from each push into the floor. I recommend trying wheels made of both types of hubs, but if you’re choosing your first set of wheels consider going for a nylon hub as it usually is less expensive. Roller skate wheels are roughly cylindrical, so the two dimensions that affect the way a wheel performs is known as "pitch" is the width of the wheel across the contact surface and the height (diameter) of the wheel across the hub.Roller Skate wheels come in varying widths between 31 and 44 millimeters. wider wheels offer more lateral stability and push-off surface. Narrower wheels are more maneuverable at the cost of a less stable platform and speed. If you’re new to roller skating, whether you are doing roller derby or recreational skating, starting on a wider wheel means there is more surface contact offering more stability to the roller skater, as a beginner it can be very reassuring having the wider wheels. The traditional height for roller skate wheels is 62mm, most roller skate manufacturer offer a 59mm wheel as well. The smaller wheel will be lighter and more maneuverable, but do not go as fast as bigger wheels can. For the novice roller skater using a 62mm wheel to develop skills then when comfortable try using a 59mm wheel so that an informed decision is made when selecting new wheels. Have a look through our selection of indoor wheels to see the difference in size and hubs on offer from the different manufacturers. Outdoor rollerskating is so much fun, the freedom and wind are very intoxicating, and using a softer outdoor wheel will only make the experience more pleasurable because it is a softer ride and less bumpy going over all the twigs etc. Again if you love the idea of going super fast then consider a wider bigger wheel my favourite is the Atom Road Hogs. We offer a wide selection of outdoor wheels for you to choose from. If ramp skating is something that you are keen to do, using a harder wheel is necessary so that you get enough speed to get you up the ramp. We recommend using park wheels