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Wheel terms explained

Wheel terms explained
30/03/2023
  1. Durometer: The durometer is a measure of the hardness of the wheel, usually expressed in numbers followed by the letter "A" (e.g., 80A). The higher the number, the harder the wheel. Harder wheels are more durable and provide a smoother ride on smoother surfaces. Softer wheels, on the other hand, offer more grip and are better suited for rougher surfaces.
  2. Diameter: The diameter of the wheel is the distance across it, measured in millimeters. The wheel diameter affects the speed and maneuverability of the skates. Generally, larger wheels offer more speed and a smoother ride on longer distances. Smaller wheels, on the other hand, provide more control and maneuverability, making them ideal for tricks and freestyle skating.
  3. Width: The width of the wheel is the distance from one edge to the other. Wider wheels offer more stability, making them ideal for beginners or skaters who prefer a more stable ride. Narrower wheels offer more agility and maneuverability, which can be ideal for advanced skaters who need to make quick turns or navigate tight spaces.
  4. Profile: The profile of the wheel refers to its shape. Common wheel profiles include round, flat, and bullet-shaped. Round wheels offer a more stable ride and are ideal for outdoor skating. Flat wheels are flatter on the bottom, which provides more grip and control, making them better suited for indoor and artistic skating. Bullet-shaped wheels have a wider contact patch, providing more grip and stability.
  5. Core: The core is the center part of the wheel that houses the bearings. Solid cores offer more stability and control, making them ideal for beginners or skaters who prefer a more stable ride. Hollow cores are lighter, which improves speed and acceleration, making them ideal for more advanced skaters.
  6. Bearing seat: The bearing seat is the part of the wheel that holds the bearings. The bearing seat affects the performance of the wheel by influencing how the bearing spins and how fast it can go. A well-designed bearing seat can help reduce friction and improve overall speed.
  7. Hub: The hub is the outer part of the wheel that connects to the bearing. Hubs can be solid or spoked, and can affect the weight and stability of the wheel. Solid hubs offer more stability, making them ideal for beginners or skaters who prefer a more stable ride. Spoked hubs are lighter and provide more speed, making them ideal for more advanced skaters.

Wheel diameter

Wheel diameter is a crucial factor in selecting inline skate wheels. Wheel sizes range from 68mm to 125mm, but common sizes are between 72mm and 84mm. The wheel size affects speed and maneuverability, with larger wheels being better suited for outdoor and distance skating due to their higher top speed and smoother ride, while smaller wheels offer more control for tricks and freestyle skating. Wheel diameter selection depends on skating type, personal preference, and skill level.

Durometer wheels

Rollerblade wheel hardness rating is measured with a tool called a durometer. Durometer is a measurement of the hardness of a wheel's material, which can affect its performance in various skating conditions. Durometer is typically measured on a scale from 0 to 100 and is indicated by a number followed by the letter "A". For inline skate wheels, the most common durometers range from 72A to 90A, with 78A and 82A being the most popular.

Softer wheels, with a lower durometer rating (such as 72A or 76A), are more shock absorbent and provide a smoother ride on rough surfaces. They are ideal for outdoor skating, particularly on asphalt or other uneven surfaces, as they offer better grip and control. However, they wear out more quickly than harder wheels and may not provide as much speed.

Harder wheels, with a higher durometer rating (such as 84A or 90A), are more durable and provide better speed on smooth surfaces. They are better suited for indoor skating, particularly on wood or concrete floors, as they offer less grip and more slide. However, they can be more uncomfortable on rough surfaces and may not provide as much shock absorption.

It's important to choose the right durometer rating for your skating needs and the surfaces you'll be skating on. If you're unsure, consider trying out a few different durometer ratings to find the best fit for your style and preferences.


Wheel rebound

Wheel rebound is a term used to describe the ability of a wheel to absorb impact and quickly spring back into shape. It's an important characteristic to consider when selecting wheels for skating because it can affect a number of factors, including speed, control, and overall comfort while skating.

When a wheel hits an obstacle or rough patch of pavement, it compresses slightly due to the force of impact. If the wheel has good rebound, it will quickly return to its original shape and continue rolling smoothly, without losing much momentum or speed. This is beneficial for skaters who want to maintain a consistent pace and reduce the amount of energy they need to expend while skating.

On the other hand, if a wheel has poor rebound, it may stay compressed or take longer to return to its original shape, which can cause the skater to lose speed, balance, and control. In some cases, a wheel with poor rebound may also cause more vibrations and discomfort while skating, making it harder to maintain a smooth and enjoyable ride.

The amount of rebound a wheel has can be influenced by a number of factors, including the wheel's material, shape, and size. For example, a softer wheel may provide more rebound than a harder wheel, as it can absorb more impact and deform more easily. Additionally, a wider wheel may provide more rebound than a narrower wheel, as it has a larger surface area to absorb impact.

Overall, the level of rebound a skater desires can depend on their personal preference, skating style, and the type of surface they are skating on. Some skaters may prefer a wheel with more rebound for a smoother ride, while others may prefer a wheel with less rebound for greater control and responsiveness.

Wheel grip

Wheel grip refers to the ability of a skate wheel to maintain contact with the skating surface, providing stability and control for the skater. In other words, it's the ability of a wheel to grip the surface it's rolling on and prevent the skater from slipping or losing balance.

The level of grip a wheel provides can be influenced by a number of factors, including the wheel's hardness, size, shape, and surface texture. A harder wheel, for example, may provide less grip than a softer wheel, as it has less give and may slide more easily on smooth surfaces. Conversely, a softer wheel may provide more grip but may also wear down more quickly over time.

Wheel size and shape can also affect grip, with larger and wider wheels generally providing more stability and control. Additionally, some wheel shapes, such as square or flat profiles, may provide more surface area and therefore more grip than rounded or tapered shapes.

Surface texture can also play a role in wheel grip. For example, a smooth indoor skating rink may require wheels with less grip, as they can roll more smoothly and quickly. In contrast, outdoor skating surfaces with rough or uneven terrain may require wheels with more grip to maintain control and prevent slipping.

Overall, finding the right level of grip for your skating needs is important for achieving a comfortable and safe skating experience. Skaters should consider their personal preferences, skating style, and the type of surface they will be skating on when selecting wheels with the appropriate grip.

Wheel profile

Wheel profile in skating refers to the shape of the wheel, including its width and the curvature of its edges. Wheel profile can impact a number of skating characteristics, including speed, stability, and maneuverability.

In general, there are two main types of wheel profiles: rounded and flat. Rounded wheels have a curved shape, with a wider section in the center and narrower edges. This type of profile is generally preferred for outdoor skating and cruising, as it provides a smooth ride and can roll over obstacles more easily. However, rounded wheels may have less stability and control than flat wheels, particularly at high speeds or during sharp turns.

Flat wheels, on the other hand, have a more squared-off shape with straighter edges. This type of profile is generally preferred for indoor skating and aggressive skating, as it provides more stability and control during complex maneuvers and at higher speeds. Flat wheels may also provide better grip and responsiveness than rounded wheels, particularly on smooth surfaces.

Wheel profile can also impact the size of the wheel's contact patch, or the area of the wheel that makes contact with the skating surface. A wider contact patch can provide more grip and stability, while a narrower contact patch can provide more speed and maneuverability. Some wheel profiles are designed to maximize contact patch for greater grip and stability, while others are designed to minimize contact patch for greater speed and agility.

Overall, choosing the right wheel profile for your skating needs depends on your skating style, the type of skating you'll be doing, and your personal preferences for speed, stability, and maneuverability.


Wheel wear

Wheel wear is a natural process that occurs over time as inline skate wheels are used and come into contact with various surfaces. As the wheels wear down, they become smaller in diameter and may develop flat spots, which can impact skating performance.


One of the main factors that can contribute to wheel wear is the hardness of the wheel. Harder wheels generally last longer but may wear down more slowly and develop flat spots over time. Softer wheels, on the other hand, may wear down more quickly but may also provide better shock absorption and grip.

Another factor that can impact wheel wear is the type of surface that the wheels are used on. Rough or uneven surfaces, such as asphalt or concrete, can cause more wear and tear on wheels than smoother surfaces, such as indoor skating rinks. Skating on wet surfaces or through debris, such as dirt or gravel, can also accelerate wheel wear.

To prolong the life of inline skate wheels and minimize wear, it's important to properly maintain and care for them. This includes regularly cleaning the wheels, inspecting them for signs of wear, and rotating them to ensure even wear. It's also important to select wheels that are appropriate for the type of skating you'll be doing and the surfaces you'll be skating on.

To conclude, wheel wear is a normal part of using inline skates and can impact skating performance over time. By properly maintaining and caring for your wheels, you can help minimize wear and extend their lifespan for a more enjoyable skating experience.


Wheel hub

The wheel hub in inline skating refers to the center part of the wheel that connects the wheel to the axle of the skate frame. The hub can impact a number of skating characteristics, including speed, stability, and shock absorption.

The hub of an inline skate wheel can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. A large hub, for example, can provide greater stability and control, particularly at high speeds. However, a large hub may also make the wheel heavier and less responsive.

A smaller hub, on the other hand, can make the wheel lighter and more responsive, but may also provide less stability and shock absorption. Some hubs are also designed with cutouts or other features that help to reduce weight while maintaining strength and durability.

In addition to their impact on skating performance, wheel hubs can also affect the compatibility of wheels with different skate frames. Different skate frames may have different axle sizes or hub spacing, which can impact the types of wheels that can be used with them.

Choosing the right wheel hub for your inline skates depends on your personal preferences, skating style, and the type of skating you'll be doing. Skaters should consider the size, shape, and design of the hub, as well as the compatibility with their skate frames, when selecting wheels with the appropriate hub for their needs.

Wheel weight

Wheel weight in inline skating refers to the amount of weight each wheel adds to the skate. Wheel weight can have a significant impact on skating performance, including speed, acceleration, maneuverability, and overall agility.

Lighter wheels tend to provide better acceleration and maneuverability, making them preferred for activities such as freestyle and slalom skating. However, lighter wheels may also provide less stability at high speeds and may not absorb as much shock as heavier wheels, making them less suitable for activities such as downhill skating or aggressive skating.

Heavier wheels, on the other hand, can provide greater stability and shock absorption, making them preferred for activities such as speed skating and long-distance skating. However, heavier wheels may also be less maneuverable and may require more effort to accelerate, making them less suitable for activities that require quick turns or complex maneuvers.

In addition to their impact on skating performance, wheel weight can also affect the overall weight of the skate, which can impact skater comfort and endurance. Skates with heavier wheels may feel more cumbersome and tiring over long periods of use, while skates with lighter wheels may feel more comfortable and less tiring.

Selecting the right wheel weight for your inline skates depends on your personal preferences, skating style, and the type of skating you'll be doing. Skaters should consider the weight of the wheels in relation to their other equipment and their own physical capabilities, as well as the demands of their chosen skating activities, when selecting wheels with the appropriate weight for their needs.

Once you choose wheels it's best time to learn about roller skate maintenance.

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