How to choose the best longboard wheels for yourself?
Let us start with the basic definition of a longboard. So what precisely a longboard is? According to many leading websites on the web, where you can easily find the definitions, A longboard is a sports equipment which is a longer version of a skateboard. It is different from a regular skateboard and used in various sports like downhill racing, Sliding, etc.
It is faster than skateboard because of the wheels used in it, also known as longboard wheels.
Why are longboard wheels different from regular skateboard wheels?
The reason is quite simple. Longboard wheels are made for bigger skateboards, and this is the reason that they have different characteristics.
Let us know various things about a longboard wheel
If you have a longboard which you got, your mind must be excited about taking a cruise for a ride. Undoubtedly it is fun, and now that you have a longboard, you must handle it properly. You will need to change the Longboard wheels regularly, so here are the basics about these wheels.
The Size Of The Best Longboard Wheels
Longboard wheels are designed for recreational activities like cruising and transportation purposes. They vary in size but are in a range of 60 to 107 millimeters. As they are bigger in size, they provide greater stability than standard skateboards. You must choose the wheel size keeping all the aspects in your mind. If you prefer a smaller wheel, then your acceleration would be high, but the rolling speed will be less, and the case is just opposite if you choose a taller wheel, i.e. slower acceleration and higher rolling speed.
Material Used in Manufacturing The Best Longboard Wheels
99.99 percentages of longboard wheels are manufactured from urethane, which is a polymer. This makes the longboard wheel hard. Although they come in different degree of hardness. The hardness is measured using a durometer scale.
Performance And Characteristics Of The Best Longboard Wheels.
The performance of the best longboard wheel depends on five key features: Size, Lip shape, durometer, hub setting and contact patch. These aspects have a different impact on the performance of the longboard.
Lip Shape of The Best Longboard Wheels
The lip of a wheel is the peripheral edges of its contact patch. It determines the way a longboard will ride. For example, square or sharp lip tightens the grip of the wheel while in contrast rounded lip make things loose and it also allows the wheel to break its traction very easily. Rounded lip also provides smoother conversion from grip to slip. These are the main reason behind choosing longboard wheels according to the lip shape. Wheels which are round lipped are preferred for a free ride. On the other hand, wheels with a square and sharply shaped lip are used for downhill cruising.
Keep in mind that lip size only matters hen you are cruising as it becomes less necessary for transportation. Go for lipped wheels, because you can do your works, without worrying about losing the traction.
Durometer of The Best Longboard Wheels
The durometer of a wheel describes its hardness. That is longboard wheels are made up of urethane; then durometer tells us that how hard the urethane is. When it comes to the performance, durometer is the aspect behind how the wheel holds on to the surface, on which you are riding. Although it is hardness measurement, it also affects the slide characteristics of a longboard. Longboard wheels have a durometer of 74-89a. This makes them very soft when compared to the wheels of the skateboards. But the plus point of a longboard wheel is that it is soft and softer wheels’ have more grip, and you can ride them easily on any surface. If you want to slide faster, then use longboard wheels with the durometer of 83-89a. The most used durometers for a longboard wheel are 79a and 80a.
This is also known as the position of the core of the wheel. The most basic fact is that the hub setting effects the traction of the wheel because the force you apply against the wheel to make t turn, it is absorbed by the wheel’s core. Wheels with their core in middle, it will have an equal amount of urethane from left to right. The most common position of hub setting are
This is the most common hub setting. The hub is placed between the center and the inside edge of the wheel. This type of hub setting is more suited for square lipped wheels. This setting has lesser grip. Mainly designed for downhill racing, but can be used for other activities too.
In this type of setting, the hub is placed on equal distance from each side. Due to large inner lip which they possess, they have the most grip among all three hub settings. As the hub is set in the center, it can be flipped over time, without any problem. If one side of the wheel wears down, you can swap it easily in Centerset setting. Although speed is less while sliding, this hub configuration provides excellent control while initiating a slide.
This hub setting is set to the inner part of the wheel. The transition from grip to slide happens like a butter flow. They can have the fastest wear the weight of the rider is directly on it. Ideal for freeriding.
The contact patch is the rounded surface of the wheel that has the touch with the ground. Typical contact pieces of the longboard have 29-70mm size. The average being between 39-55mm. This is the range where most of the wheels fall. The wider the contact patch, the greater the grip and is ideal for downhill riding. For the free ride, a narrow contact patch is more favorable. Also, If the wheel has wider contact patch then while sliding your speed will be reduced but you will have more control, and it will be harder for a smooth transition from grip to slip.
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