When purchasing some new wheels there are a few things to consider. The three main things are diameter, hardness and shape. When it comes to size and shape the critical things are diameter, width and the riding surface (contact patch).

With the diameter, a general rule of using a bigger wheel for rougher surfaces where you want to maintain speed and a smaller wheel on smoother surfaces where you need to accelerate quickly from pushing. This rule is pretty loose and you’ll find technical street skaters that prefer larger diameter wheels and transition riders that like smaller wheels out there. It really does come down to what you like and works best for you.

Wheel Size – Diameter

Most regular harder wheels in the 97A – 104A durometer range are available between 50 & 60mm. 52 – 54mm are the most popular size and are a good all round choice. This range will cover what you need for most street and park terrain.

Wheel Shape – Profile

With the corner shape or ‘profile’ of the wheel, there are three common shapes.

  • radial (radius shaped round corner)
  • conical (a flat angled corner)
  • flat sides (a sharp 90º corner)

All wheels will use one or a combination of these corner shapes. Wheel designers will use these shapes to give a wheel advantages for different terrain. A more radius shaped profile tends to slip on, off and over coping, rail and grind edges easier. Flatter and conical profiles tend to ‘lock in’ easier due the the flat surface on the sides of the wheel. Once again, this is all personal preference. It’s something you can choose to help skate better on your preferred terrain.

Riding Surface – Contact patch

The diameter, width and corner profile can be designed to give a different riding surface we call the contact patch. This is literally where the rubber hits the road (well, it’s actually urethane). A wider contact patch with more material will give you more grip and slide control. A narrow contact patch has less friction on the riding surface and will be faster. Narrower wheels are more susceptible to flat spotting though. Narrow wheels are nice to ride on smoother surfaces and wider wheels tend to shine where the ground is rougher.

The Seven Spitfire Wheel Shapes

The seven current Spitfire Wheel Shapes are OG Classic, Radial, Radial Slim, Conical Narrow, Conical Full, Lock In’s and the latest Tablets.







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