What Are Skateboard Wheels Made Of – Detailed information
What are skateboard wheels made of? If you are still looking for the answer, this article is what you need. We will discuss the material of the wheels and some further information about it.
Wheels are one of the important factors determining your skateboarding experience. That’s why we are here to help you understand them more clearly.
What Are Skateboard Wheels Made Of?
Polyurethane is the one-of-a-kind material that allows a skateboarder to weave through a street. Its invention makes a huge breakthrough and accounts for almost all skateboard wheels available on the market in this day and age.
Its elastic nature allows for a quicker tuning and faster ride without worrying that the wheels will ‘slide-out’. It has ultimate wear with enhanced grip for a smoother ride, making a complete rebirth to this sport.
To make the optimum material for a better wheel, people mix two different polyurethane forms termed diisocyanates and polyols. In that way, your skateboard wheels will provide magnificent abrasion resistance and impressively long service time.
Before switching to polyurethane, the manufacturer also used steel and clay as the main materials for their wheels.
Steel was the first material for making a skateboard wheel, which was inspired by a roller skate. Nonetheless, due to their lack of attraction, they provided a rough, bumpy ride and were difficult to control.
That is why the manufacturers later replaced them with clay wheels with the hope to improve all their downsides. Yet, the clay wheels also could not handle any better when they wore out too easily and quickly.
Another thing contributing to a skateboard wheel is its size or diameter. We usually use millimeter (mm) to measure it. On the market, the common range you can find is from 50 to 75mm.
As the size can affect your riding speed, you should choose carefully when buying them. Wheels with smaller sizes will make you go more slowly, whereas larger ones will go faster. Furthermore, they can also influence your skateboarding progress and the way your board can turn.
There are three groups of wheels that can impact your boarding performance:
50-53mm: This is the smallest wheel group. We recommend these wheels for novices as they are stable for trick riding.
54-59mm: These are medium ones. If you have got used to skateboarding already, they are perfect for you.
60mm+: This type is designed for professional riders. They are capable of rolling smoothly and steadily on any surface.
From our comparison, choose the appropriate size for your skill level!
When it comes to the wheel shape, there are two types: a sharp lip and a round one. Of course, each of them has its own benefit:
If you are fond of carving and cruising, a sharp lip shape is a perfect choice for you. It provides more traction, particularly when you make sharp turns.
A round lip shape is the most suitable for slide surfing and carving as it will give you the best finish. If you are learning to do some powerslides, then this type is ideal for you.
When measuring the hardness, we use the durometer scale with 100 points. The wheel becomes harder as the point rises.
Both harder and softer ones have their own strong points. It depends much on your purpose to make your final decision.
Harder wheels offer faster speed, while softer ones provide more traction. The harder creates lots of vibration, whereas the softer makes almost no sound.
So, if you are into street skating, you’d better choose the softer models. In contrast, when you ride on a surface full of obstacles, go for the harder ones.
Here is a brief comparison of durometer measures to help you understand more clearly:
78a-87a: This soft type is ideal for rough terrains such as skate parks or sidewalks. Without any noise or vibration, they would give you a soundless ride.
88a-95a: This medium-hard makes you ride faster but harder. Thus, they are suitable for hill skating and rough surfaces.
96a-99a: Because this type is quite long-lasting, it is fabulous for doing powerslide and most appropriate for skateparks and pools.
100a+: This is the fastest and hardest gear you can get. It’s not suitable for beginners as they are quite difficult to control. This type is made for professionals with more seniority.
Two different sources of cores provide various riding experiences. Larger cores help ride faster and are easier for you to control. Still, smaller ones make your ride smoother due to their greater traction.
You might assume that the color of a skateboard wheel makes no difference to your sliding experiences. However, the truth is quite the opposite due to the amount of polyurethane.
The more polyurethane adds to make the wheels, the more traction they can provide. More pigments mean less polyurethane. So, colored ones can make your ride bumpier.
Why Should You Choose Polyurethane Wheels?
Polyurethane is ideal for the wheel since the reaction of various polyols and polyisocyanates can manage their mechanical, thermal, and chemical properties. So manufacturers can manipulate their durometer by changing the chemical component foundation.
Additionally, a urethane wheel can last for a very long time due to its abrasion resistance. It also provides excellent grip so that you can control the skateboard easily.
Last but not least, modern polyurethanes are extremely resilient, which means even without a pneumatic tube, they can still be quick.
The process of producing polyurethane is exceedingly toxic to the environment. It requires lots of energy, both chemical, thermal, and emits significant greenhouse gas.
Furthermore, the procedure to recycle them will not be environmentally friendly either. It also consumes a great deal of energy and releases tons of emissions.
In short, polluting the environment is the greatest drawback of the life cycle of a urethane wheel.
The Bottom Line
So, what are skateboard wheels made of? The question is pretty patent, right? It is polyurethane, the most popular and extraordinary material that is widely used to make a skateboard wheel. They last for a long time, provide excellent grip, and are extremely rebounding.
Hopefully, you make the most of our article and make it to enjoy this exciting sport.