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The wheels are the part part of your roller skates that gets the most wear og therefor needs replacement first. This guide can help you choosing the wheels that fit your needs best.
Different kind of wheels are available with different characteristics and qualities. If you want a more detailed description of the characteristics, please see the: Wheel technic guide. We recommend that you always replace all your wheels, because the skating ability is poor if you try to skate with different diameter wheels (If only some of your wheels needs replacement, then make sure that you rotate the wheels at regulary basis, so the wear evenly divided between the wheels).
Remember that you get what you pay for. Wheels with larger diameter costs more.
But even more important, price and quality goes together. The duration of a cheap wheel of poor quality is only a quarter compared to the duration of a good quality wheel costing twice the price of the cheap wheel. If you buy the cheap wheels, you even have to rotate your wheels more often, and they wear out faster, so they become smaller and soon you will be skating remarkable slower.
Use the prices in the table as a guide for how much you need to pay for new wheels.
0 - 2.5 Euro
2.5 - 4 Euro
4 - 5.5 Euro
5.5 - 7 Euro
7 - 8 Euro
8 Euro and up
Poor wheels with rubber that wears out fast
Wheels for fitness and beginners with acceptable skating abilities and short duration
Good allround wheels usable for fitness and hockey (not for demanding skaters). Cheap aggressive wheels
Quality wheels for fitness, hockey, aggressive and speed with longer duration, better grid and rebound.
High quality special wheels. Hockey and speed wheels with good grip, rebound and long duration
Special wheels, like hockey wheels with aluminium core or extra big speed wheels
Remember that the price level is for the normal price of wheels. You can sometimes be lucky to find cheaper wheels. But be aware, that many cheap sales can be blem wheels with defects or wheels with very poor rubber quality. But if the wheels are on sale because of wrong print on wheels or something like that, you might be able to make a good buy.
Beside the fit of the boots, the quality of the wheels is the most important factor how well your roller skates runs.
- A poor quality is usually to hard and uncomfortable to roll with. Some wheel manufacturer compensate for this by making softer wheels (lower durometer) so they feels more comfortable. The result is that these wheels makes you stick with the road surface, slows your speed and wears out to way to fast. (This can be seen with many of the wheels that is originally used on cheaper roller skates).
- The wheel should wear out evenly. Lighty weared wheels of poor quality will split or the rubber will go apart in big pieces.
- Also check for air bubles in the rubber. It should be avoided, though a few small air bubles in the rubber does not matter.
It must be so small that the bearings just fit tightly. If the bearings fit loosly, so they fall out if you tip the wheel, it is a sign of poor quality.
Loose bearings makes the wheel get a wrong position, so it touches the frame when you skate. The result of this is that the wheel rubber becomes very hot, and because of the heat, the rubber loosen from the hub.
The width of all inline wheels is the same, but the diameter varies a lot (Read more about the diameter of the wheel), and it is important that the size of the new wheels can fit your skates. The diameter of wheels that fits sometimes can be seen in the instruction manuals, some times it is printed on the frame. Also you might be able to see the diameter printed on the old wheels (if the print is not weared away). If you cannot see what size wheels that fit your skates, please contact SkatePro. Tell us the brand, model, year and size of your rollerskates and we can usually find the diameter of wheels that fit your skates.
Fitness skates usually needs 8 whel, the wheels typically have a diameter of 76mm (smaller rollerskates with 72mm). Better fitness skates comes with 78mm or 80mm wheels or even with 10 wheels (semi-speed roller skates).
Often you can benefit (higher speed) from upgrading your 76mm wheels to 78mm or 80mm wheels, because many fitness skates allow larger wheels, than originally equiped with. Wheels with durometer around 81A have a good hardness recommended for most beginners and fitness skaters. See fitness wheels.
Hockey skates always have 8 wheels. The diameter of the wheels is 76mm and the wheels have a round profile and durometer round 84A (Except for indoor hockey wheels, where durometer is around 80A). The core must be strong and compact, enabling to handle high loads.
Some hockey skates have a Hi-Lo system, where the 2 front wheels on each skate are 72mm and the 2 rear wheels are 80mm.
Saving money: If you have Hi-Lo setup, and your old 80mm wheels are worn down to around 72mm, then buy only 4 pcs 80mm wheels and use the old 80mm wheels as new front wheels (can give a little less performance, compared to buy a complete set of wheels, but you save some money). See hockey wheels.
Aggresive skates always have 8 wheels. The wheels are quite small (45-65mm depending on if they are suited for grinding, vert or street skating). The durometer of the wheels is ver high (88A-100A) and the wheels have a small massive core. On many aggressive skates you ride with rockering, or anti-rockering, then you might need 2 wheels of each size (2 center wheels are different sized than front and rear wheel on each skate). See aggressive wheels.
Skates for speed usually have 10 wheels (or 8 larger wheels). Speed wheels today have a diameter of 80mm and up. The durometer is around 82A for outdoor use (85-88a for track and indoor use). The hub has a light construction and the profile of the wheel is narrow to keep weight down and minimize road contact for higher speed. Serious speed skaters have started riding with hi-lo (84 and 80mm) or 84mm wheels, enabling higher speed, but also requires stronger skaters. The newest thing is 100mm wheels, which probably is becoming very populary among elite speed skaters in 2004. See speed-wheels.
For side-by-side skates the wheels are different from inline wheels. The width is 30-40mm and the diameter is 62mm and up. The durometer is typically 78A for side-by-side wheels, but if you need to use the wheels for hockey, we recommend that you use harder (82A) wheels that wear out slower. For aggressive skating the wheels need to be very hard (95A and up). See side-by-side wheels.
Also see Guide changing wheels and Guide on wheel technics