Need for Speed? A Comprehensive Guide to Skateboard Wheels
Skateboarding has evolved over the years, and so have the choices available to riders. While Evolve Skateboards is renowned for its All-Terrain options featuring rubber pneumatic tires, there's a whole new world waiting for riders who make the switch to urethane wheels. In this article, we delve into the world of street wheels, exploring why every skateboard enthusiast should give them a try.
"Street wheels on an electric skateboard feels like a normal skateboard, I just feel really in tune with the road. I feel low, you can slide and have more fun with it. If you like to figure out things and like to play with a risk factor then street wheels really well ticks the box for that kind of mentality, a thrill seeker" - Andrew McGuiness, rider
How to Choose the Right Skateboard Wheel?
Selecting the right street wheel involves considering several factors:
Larger wheels are ideal for cruising, offering speed and a smoother ride over obstacles. Smaller wheels are preferred for sliding due to their reduced contact area and lighter weight.
The size of the contact patch affects grip, wear, and the likelihood of flat spots. Larger contact patches provide more grip but may be less suitable for long slides.
Wheel edges or lip profiles impact how the board feels to ride. Square-edged wheels offer more grip, while rounded or bevelled edges enhance carving and sliding capabilities.
The hardness of the urethane, measured in durometres, affects grip, durability, and sliding characteristics. Softer wheels are suitable for rough surfaces, while harder wheels excel on smooth concrete.
Each urethane formula has a different rebound, influencing speed and grip. Experimenting with various formulas helps riders discover their preferences.
The wheel core determines compatibility with different gear setups. ABEC and Orangatang designs are two common cores in eSkate.
New wheels require a break-in period. Riders should check for even wear after the first half-hour of riding and rotate the wheels if necessary.
The essence of street wheels lies in the ride experience, especially on smooth surfaces. Unlike their All-Terrain counterparts, street wheels offer a ride that closely resembles traditional longboarding. The lower height from the ground makes street wheels highly responsive and precise for carving. While they may have less grip, this characteristic opens the door to a new dimension of riding, introducing the art of sliding. However, mastering the balance between a deep carve and the point of traction loss requires time and practice for newcomers to street wheels.
Urethane wheels bring a significant advantage in terms of range, extending it by approximately 40%. Whether you're commuting or exploring over the weekend, the last thing you want is to worry about battery life. Street wheels also offer the convenience of kick pushing, akin to a regular longboard, making them a practical choice even if your battery runs out.
Reduced rolling resistance with street wheels allows for higher gearing setups, offering a boost in both acceleration and top-end speed. For instance, a board equipped with Abec 107mm wheels and a 32T gear can achieve speeds up to 10kph or 6mph faster than an All-Terrain setup. This increased speed capability provides riders with more options for their riding preferences.
One of the standout features of street wheels is their versatility. Unlike the limited options in size and tread patterns for All-Terrain wheels, street wheels come in a plethora of choices. Having multiple wheel options allows riders to customize their experience, achieving different speeds and ride feelings for various terrains and styles of skating.
Street wheels offer a unique and thrilling experience for skateboard enthusiasts. With benefits like a traditional longboard feel, extended range, increased speed, and unparalleled versatility, these wheels open up new possibilities for riders. Choosing the right wheel involves considering various factors, and riders are encouraged to explore different options to find their perfect match. So, if you haven't tried street wheels yet, it's time to consider making the switch and elevating your skateboarding experience to new heights.