Last Updated on April 8, 2021 by Robert Bell
Do you know how to measure skateboard wheels? If no then you have come to the right place. In this article, I will tell you how to measure skateboard wheels correctly. Apart from that, I will also tell you some other important things that will help you pick your style’s right wheels.
Some beginners might think, why should I measure skateboard wheels at all. Let me tell you that wheels on a skateboard are available in different sizes and hardness levels. The difference in their size and durometer rating each wheel is different and comes with unique features.
I will explain both wheel size and wheel softness in detail in this article to help you learn how to measure skateboard wheels. So without any further ado, let’s not waste any more time and jump straight to my in-depth wheels measurement guide.
How Do You Measure Skateboard Wheels?
When it comes to measuring skateboard wheels, there are two main things you need to keep in mind. The first thing you need to look for is the wheels’ actual size, measured in millimeters. Skateboarding wheels range from as smaller as 50 mm to up to 60 mm.
Wheels above 60 mm aren’t suitable for regular skateboards because of their larger size. They are usually preferred for longboards and electric skateboards. In addition to the size of skateboard wheels, there is one more thing you need to keep in mind.
You need to measure the softness or hardness of the wheels too. You can know the hardness or softness from its durometer rating. It is a scale that starts from 78A to 84B, with 78A being the softest on the scale and 84B being the most rigid wheels.
Each of these has its own set of pros and cons, which I will explain in detail in a moment—the wheels’ size and softness depending upon the rider’s style and comfort level.
Do Wheels Matter on A Skateboard?
Skateboard wheels matter a lot. Therefore, you need to be very careful while choosing them for your setup. To pick the right wheels for your style, you need to understand the wheel size philosophy and its softness.
If you choose to ride smaller wheels, chances are they will be good for street skating but may not be suitable for rough surfaces. Most skateboarders love riding smaller wheels on skateboard parks because they are ideal for tricks.
In addition to this, smaller wheels are slower, which makes them unsuitable for cruising and commuting. If you want to ride faster wheels, you will need to get something more significant, like 60 mm.
The same is the case of the softness of the wheels. If you are looking for a faster skateboard, make sure it is equipped with harder wheels. Otherwise, softer wheels will absorb the impact and will reduce the speed.
Simultaneously, softer wheels are an excellent choice for rough surfaces due to their lower rebound. They can absorb impacts and let you glide through the streets no matter what kind of terrain you are riding on.
Skateboards Wheel Size Guide
Are 54mm Wheels Good For Street Skating?
54 mm wheels are quite excellent for street skating. They are small and, therefore, prevent wheel bite issues. However, their smaller size restricts their speed, due to which most people don’t like them.
Having that said, if you are fond of faster riding, then these might not be the right choice for your needs. You will need to go for something bigger under such conditions as the 60 mm. However, for 60mm wheels, you will need the right set up because of the bigger size of the wheels; you may face some other issues as well.
What Size Wheels Do I Need For An 8.0 Deck?
According to my research, the 8.0-inch decks are incredible, with wheels ranging from 50 to 54 mm. But again, it depends upon your needs and requirements. If you are looking for a decent skateboard that you want to ride on all kinds of terrain, I would suggest going for the 54mm wheels.
Apart from that, for street situations, the 52mm wheels also work best provided that you have chosen the softness carefully. It will help the rider do all kinds of stunts and tricks and ride the board as they want it.
What Size Wheels Do You Need For An 8.25 Deck?
Although the 8.25 inches deck isn’t that significantly more prominent, it is still slightly larger than the standard 8-inch deck. Therefore, wheels ranging from 54mm to 60mm are perfect for such size decks.
However, as I mentioned earlier, one should carefully choose the trucks, bearings, and bushings while selecting larger wheels.
Are 52mm Wheels Good?
52 mm wheels are quite incredible because of their lower radius; they provide a controllable speed. Due to their controllable speed, you can do a lot of decent stunts with such wheels.
In addition to this, I highly recommend kids and beginners to ride the 52 mm wheels due to their limited speed.
Apart from that, I’ve noticed that 52 mm wheels work surprisingly well on streets and parks. Therefore, it makes them an excellent choice for all kinds of skaters.
Are 56mm Wheels Too Big?
The 56mm wheels may be slightly larger than the 54mm. However, it is still a decent size for skateboarding. Due to their bigger size, they do well against pebbles on the street. At the same time, they provide the right balance of speed and performance.
However, not everyone may feel comfortable while riding the 56mm wheels; therefore, you need to spend some time figuring them out.
Do All Bearings Fit All Wheels?
Another common misconception that puts most beginners into thinking is the bearing size. Some people are worried about their bearings and the wheel size, and therefore, they hesitate to try different bearings on their wheels.
Let me clarify this issue once and forever. Skateboard bearings are almost the same size, which makes them able to fit on all wheel sizes. The only scale used to measure skateboard bearings is the ABEC scale.
The ABEC scale features ABEC 1, ABEC 2, ABEC 3, ABEC 4, ABEC 5, and ABEC 9. These values tell us how smooth the bearings are, and based on this information, you can complete your skateboard for different applications. For example, someone who wants to make a skateboard for commuting will have ABEC 5 to ABEC 9 bearings.
Do I Need Risers For 56mm Wheels?
Risers help prevent wheel bite issues due to the larger wheel size. However, you don’t need to install risers on a skateboard equipped with 56mm wheels.
Having that said, you need to know that sometimes wheel bite issues occur due to the sensitivity of the skateboard trucks.
If your skateboard has loose trucks, you will be more likely to face wheel bites and such issues. You might want to either tighten the trucks a bit or install risers on your skateboard in such cases.
Can You Put 60mm Wheels on A Skateboard?
60-millimeter wheels are significantly larger and shouldn’t be used on regular boards. Typically, skateboarders ride 5 to 7 inches trucks, and under such conditions, the wheels will always hit the deck.
This will cause wheel bite and will result in a reduction of speed and sometimes causing accidents. However, if you still wish to ride, then you will need to have higher trucks and risers installed if you need to.
I usually recommend riding 60mm wheels on longboards and electric skateboards.
Skateboard Wheels Durometer Scale
After discussing the size of the skateboard wheels in detail, you may be able to know how to measure skateboard wheels now. However, there is still one more thing to learn: the softness or hardness of the wheels.
The major scale used for determining the softness or hardness of the skateboard wheels is called the durometer scale. It helps us by telling how much the wheels are softer or harder depending upon their composition.
Values on the durometer scale range from 75a to 100a. However, there are some other values, but we will not discuss them here for the sake of simplicity. The following chart will help you understand the relationship between skateboard wheels’ softness and speed.
In addition to this, I just want to mention one more thing you need to have in your mind. The softer the wheels get, the better the grip they will have. Simultaneously, softer wheels will kill momentum, which may result in poor performance for situations that require speed, such as downhill skateboarding and commuting.
Are 99a Wheels Soft?
99a wheels are close to 100a, and according to our chart, they aren’t softer at all. However, they are still relatively grippy, which helps them to provide the right balance of speed and grip at the same time.
If you are looking for the best skateboard for street skating, then these are the wheels that you need to ride. However, if you are riding a commuting skateboard, these wheels might be right for you, but they may not be the fastest ones.
You need to ride harder wheels that have a higher rebound, which results in higher speed.
Last Minute Thoughts
Knowing how to measure skateboard wheels is a crucial part that almost every skateboarder should know. However, if you are a beginner, you might get confused quickly between the size and the wheels’ softness.
To prevent you from falling into such a type of situation, I wrote a detailed article. I hope after reading my article, you will be able to know how to measure skateboard wheels correctly. You will also be able to select them according to your needs and desires.
If you have enjoyed reading this article, please share it on different social platforms to reach my words thousands of newbies. It will not cost you a dime but will surely make someone and mine day.
Thanks For Reading!