The Best Cruiser Wheels (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
Glide with style and grace with one of these top-of-the-line cruiser wheels.
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.
BY Noelle Talmon / LAST UPDATED ON January 27, 2021
While it would be nice to slap any type of wheels on your skateboard or longboard, it's not a good idea. Wheels come in a variety of sizes and have certain characteristics that make them better for certain types of skating. If you simply want to cruise around your neighborhood or town, you need wheels that are up to the task, and some are better than others.
Different wheels provide different riding experiences, and the wrong ones may be too heavy, feel a little sluggish, and can be tough to push. Not sure which ones are best for your cruiser? We've put together this buying guide of the best cruiser wheels, so you can feel confident the next time you want to ride down the street, cruise along in the city, or travel short distances on level terrain.
These wheels have a 60mm diameter, a 40mm width, a 35mm contact patch, and an 81a durometer. They're available in red, blue, or white.
- Made in California
- Sturdy and durable
- Provides a smooth ride
- Good grip-to-slip ratio
- No bearings are included, and they can be a hassle to put in
These 53mm wheels come in green, purple, and red and have a durometer of 83a. They have a hard plastic core and high rebound.
- Fast and quiet
- Great for beginners
- Smooth rolling performance
- Good quality
- Can only be used for basic tricks
- Plastic cores may crack prematurely
These 55mm wheels are available in black, orange, and white and have a durometer of 78a. They're made of buttery-soft urethane.
- Excellent for gliding around town
- Grippy, smooth, and fast
- Can accommodate tricks
- Wrong color wheel may be shipped
- Smaller than some other cruiser wheels
Why Trust Us
Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Cruiser Wheels
- They're good for beginners. If you're new to skating but eventually want to learn tricks or skate ramps, a cruiser with cruiser wheels is a good starting point. You can learn the feel of skating before advancing to a double-kick or freestyle board.
- You want to ride from point A to point B. Cruiser wheels can be used on longboards or cruiser skateboards, and they're great if you feel like skating in your town on relatively flat surfaces and want an alternative to a bicycle.
- They provide a smooth ride. Cruiser wheels are designed to provide a comfortable ride as they tend to be softer than other types of skateboard wheels. They roll smoothly and tolerate rough pavement better than other types of wheels.
Types of Cruiser Wheels
George Powell and Stacy Peralta founded this iconic company in 1978 in California. It makes decks, wheels, accessories, and anything you could ever want related to skateboarding. We recommend the Powell Peralta Bombers.
Based in Santa Cruz, Calif., OJ Wheels makes a variety of team-tested hard and soft wheels for riding a bowl or cruising down the street. We recommend the OJ Mini Super Juice Cruiser Wheels.
Based in San Francisco, Calif., Spitfire makes a large variety of wheels in colorful designs. The company also stands behind its products 100 percent should you experience any problems not related to normal wear and tear. Check out the Spitfire Formula Four Classic Skateboard Wheels.
Orangatang Wheels got its start in Southern California in 2008. The company is known for making products that the employees want to use, so it puts a lot of thought into their design. Check out the Orangatang Fat Free 65 mm Freeride Longboard Skateboard Wheels.
Cruiser Wheel Pricing
- Under $20: You can buy a basic, plain Jane set of cruiser wheels for an affordable price. They will get the job done, but they may not be as durable as more well-known brands or feature cool designs.
- $30 and up: Higher-quality wheels will cost a little more money, but they're also usually longer lasting. Some more expensive wheels include the bearings.
The general rule is that the longer the deck, the bigger the wheels should be. You can use smaller wheels with a longer deck; however, larger wheels simply provide better performance. You shouldn't use larger wheels on smaller decks because they have a tendency to rub, which is known as wheel-bite. This can cause the board to stop suddenly. So, for example, if you have a 40-inch or longer deck, look for wheels that are 70-75mm.
Cruiser wheels are typically softer and more comfortable to ride compared to harder wheels. They roll smoothly over the pavement and sidewalks. However, if you are on the heavier side, you will need wheels that are a little harder. That's because softer wheels will slow you down. On the flip side, if you're lightweight, you may not provide enough pressure for the wheels to grip the road. For example, if you weigh between 135 and 175 pounds, look for wheels with a durometer of 80a-83a.
There are only two wheel shapes: sharp-lip shaped wheels and round-lip shaped wheels. In general, either type is fine for cruising. However, one that has a squarer edge will help you maintain better traction. Sharp-lip-shaped wheels provide more grip, particularly during hard turns. However, those with round lips are great for surf-like slides and carving as well as those who want to powerslide.
- Contact Patch. The contact patch on a wheel is the area that makes contact with the pavement. Longboard wheels, for example, tend to be larger and have larger contact patches. That means body weight will be distributed over a larger area compared to smaller wheels with a smaller contact patch. A wheel's shape also influences the size of the contact patch. Rounder wheels provide less contact, while square wheels provide more, and this can affect performance.