The Best Longboard Wheels (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
Experience the ultimate ride when you get set up with these top-rated longboard wheels
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BY Corrina Murdoch / LAST UPDATED ON February 19, 2021
When you’re looking for a set of wheels to get your longboard rolling smoothly, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. Ultimately, there aren’t too many differences between a longboard and a skateboard outside of size and shape. What’s surprising is that these small changes alter the type of wheel you need to get the most out of the system. With longboards, you want wheels that are softer and designed to absorb shock better.
Riding on a longboard is popular since the board itself is so responsive. The wheels contribute to this by limiting the amount of vibration you need to take on while you’re cruising down the road. Ideally, you want wheels that match your style (both in terms of appearance and riding approach). To help you track down the best longboard wheels on the market, we’ve curated a list of the top selections. Check out this breakdown, along with some tips on making the right pick.
Featuring a sleek design and absorbent structure, these wheels buffer you against bumps in the road. Built to last, these are really effective wheels.
- Made of highly durable material
- Easy to install on your longboard
- Compatible with most riding setups
- Lips of wheels can get damaged after ongoing use
- Attachment points may come loose over time
Giving you the chance to ride comfortably, these polymer wheels come in a set of four so you can completely equip the board.
- Long-lasting design that’s resistant to damage from friction
- Comes with bearings and spacers
- Available at a good price
- Comes in a monochromatic color scheme
- Doesn’t stand out aesthetically
Available in multiple colors, these uniquely textured wheels give you excellent grip when riding. You can use them on any surface and they will stabilize your ride.
- Textured to enhance your grip
- Comes as a complete set
- Compatible with most longboards on the market
- Works on all different terrains
- A higher price point relative to the market standard
- Texture will wear down more quickly than standard wheels
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Benefits of Longboard Wheels
- Improves speed on challenging terrain. Longboard wheels enable you to move more quickly on difficult surfaces like packed dirt and short grass. Proper wheels also make transitioning between surfaces easier.
- Give you better balance while you ride. A good set of longboard wheels will be large enough to keep you balanced during your trek. The wheels should spread the force of your weight evenly across the board.
- Wider design improves stability. Wheels that are sized properly will help beginners learn to longboard. They eliminate most vibrations and let you move smoothly while you ride. It helps younger riders learn to ride before hitting faster speeds.
- Offer versatility of performance. You can use longboard wheels for all sorts of purposes. These range from long-distance treks to races to performing tricks. Identifying the proper set of wheels is essential to getting the versatility you seek.
- Absorb bumps and vibrations on the road. The size of longboard wheels means that they are really effective at buffering against ambient vibrations. Instead of feeling every pebble or crack in the road, the longboard wheels spread out this force so you feel next to no disturbance.
Types of Longboard Wheels
One of the less prevalent types of longboard wheels, those with a small structure tend to be less than six-and-a-half centimeters across. These wheels are suited for those focused exclusively on performing tricks. The size makes them nimble, though less suited to handling rougher terrain. When used exclusively for dancing and tricks on the pavement, these can be very effective wheels.
Perhaps the most common type of longboard wheels, medium-sized options offer a balance between speed and dexterity. This type of wheel will usually measure between six-and-a-half and seven centimeters. The wheels come in a range of hardnesses and feature different lips. If you plan to ride on multiple surfaces and want to balance speed with nimbleness, this type is a good way to go.
Suited to those focused on speed and balance, large wheels are there to optimize balance and minimize vibrations. While they work for tricks and dancing, the true value of these wheels lies in their ability to stabilize you while you ride. The sheer width (from 7-8 centimeters, and sometimes more) means that the wheels are good at tackling rougher terrain.
Opening its doors fairly recently, this Chinese business is dedicated to crafting precision products for outdoor activities — especially for longboards, roller skates, and skateboards. A popular offering from this brand is the Freedare 70 millimeter Longboard Wheels.
With roots in Seattle, this brand focuses on crafting gear for both skateboards and longboards. Growing its selection since commencing operations in 2012, this brand has become an industry leader in boards and wheels alike. One of its top offerings is the Cloud Ride Cruiser Wheels Set.
Longboard Wheel Pricing
- Under $30: Many longboard wheels fall within this price range. Usually, they come in a set of four and include installation parts. Often, the outside of the wheels is smooth.
- $30 and up: In this range, you will find wheels of all sizes and hardness levels. The sets almost always come with bearings and spacers. Generally, more stylish options fall in this range.
Hardness and Material
The type of polymer from which the wheels are constructed differs in density and hardness. While pretty much every wheel on the market is made of some type of polyurethane, the density will differ. Measured by a durometer metric, lower counts grip better while higher values tend to ride more smoothly. The range for hardness is between 75a and 100a, where the letter notation indicates the relative bounciness of the plastic.
Speaking to how well the wheel is able to grip the ground beneath the board, the shape and structure of the lip will alter your riding experience. The feature ranges from square to round lips. Within these categories, there are varying levels of lip prominence. Generally speaking, the square structure improves traction while the round design lets you ride more smoothly.
Also called the hub placement, this feature refers to the location of the core within the wheel. This part impacts your level of traction as well as the lasting ability of the wheels themselves. It can be precisely centered or slightly offset. Wheels with a more distinct offset tend to be better for speed since they focus less on traction. Conversely, cores that are centered grip better and are more suited to tricks.
- Durability: Consider how frequently you use your longboard and how long you tend to ride for. If you use it every day, chances are you will need a harder plastic that won’t wear down prematurely. While the size of the wheels doesn’t necessarily indicate lasting ability, larger sizes tend to absorb stress better and thus last longer.
- Purpose: Think about how you plan to use the longboard. Are you going to be dancing or using it to learn new tricks? Perhaps you want to use the board to get from point A to point B. You will get better results when you choose a type of board and corresponding wheels that most suit your needs. Determine whether speed or dexterity is your priority before making your pick.
- Maintenance: Everything needs some level of upkeep and wheels are no exception. Consider how high maintenance the wheels are going to be. Are there any exposed metal components? These can rust and must be kept dry. The plastic needs to be wiped down to prevent damage from debris. It helps to know that wheels with a textured base tend to require more upkeep than smoother counterparts.
- Installation: Take note of the specific requirements for installation. Does the set include the bearings and spacers you will need to set the wheels up on your board? While the parts are small, a set of wheels that includes them will make a huge difference in terms of saving time and stress.
- Style: Finally, think about the aesthetic features of the set of wheels. Are you trying for something more subtle that will integrate with your board? You may want wheels that are brighter in color and stand out against the longboard itself. Though it isn’t a functional concern, appearance is a major factor in figuring out what kind of wheels will work best for you.
Best Longboard Wheels Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Be sure that the wheels are compatible with your longboard and riding style so you can more easily perform tricks or ride on smooth pavement.
- The larger the wheel, the smoother the ride, and the more resistance you have to vibration.
- Take your time when placing the wheels to prevent issues related to misalignment.
- Check that the wheelset comes with the spacers and bearings you need for installation.
- Be certain that the bearings are lubricated. If they aren’t, add lubrication to optimize performance.
- Store the wheels indoors to prevent the risk of rust and corrosion, unlike other outdoor gear that you can keep on a roof rack, the wheels can get damaged by moisture
- If you notice uneven wear on the wheels, consider rotating them much like you would rotate your car tires.
- Wheels with tread tend to wear down more quickly than their flat counterparts.
- To limit the wear and tear on your longboard wheels, use them on appropriate surfaces.
- Keep the wheels clean to enable them to perform as well as possible.
Q. How do you know what size longboard wheels to get?
The majority of longboard wheels are sized anywhere from 6.4 centimeters to 8 centimeters across. 7-centimeter wheels are some of the most common. Some longboard riders prefer smaller wheels for easy turning. However, larger wheels provide a smoother ride overall.
Q. How do you slow down on a longboard?
A proven way to slow the pace of your longboard is to engage the classic foot brake. This means using your balancing foot to make contact with the ground. If you need a quicker stop, try turning slightly to add to the deceleration.
Q. What wheels are best for dancing and tricks?
The best wheels for tricks are compatible with your board and riding style. Opt for a medium-sized wheel to balance stability with dexterity. A good way to go is the Cloud Ride Longboard Wheel Set.
Now that you know the ins and outs of longboard wheels, you can pick the perfect set. It could be the Cloud Ride Longboard Wheel Set or the value of the Freedare Longboard Wheels. There are wheels for every riding style.