New Skater Wheel Info - Roller Derby Wheel Guide

New Skater Wheel Info - Roller Derby Wheel Guide

Posted by Lesley Bad Girlfriend Hoochie McDonald on 15th Aug 2017

Today we are only going to talk about 3 things regarding your wheels to keep this blog as short as possible but give you much needed info.

  • 1.Durometer
  • 2.Diameter
  • 3.Width

Durometer (hardness)

Understanding what you are buying is so important and more so when you are on a budget.

Talk to your league and ASK what wheels you need for the surfaces they use so you do not end up with wheels that are going to hinder your play rather than help you.

Durometer is the hardness of the wheel. A low number means the wheels are soft and will be sticky and give you grip on slippery surfaces. 78A is typically an outdoor wheel with 80A, 84A, 86A and 88A being your low durometer, soft, sticky wheels.

If the floor you play on is slippery you need something in the above bracket.

If the floor is sticky and you use the above wheels your game and practice will be affected because your movements will be slowed down. Sticky wheels and sticky floors do not go together. Get at harder wheel, meaning get a higher durometer wheel, 91A, 93A, 95A, 97A. Some skaters are now even using wheels as high as 99A and 101A.

As a new skater, you will have a ton of questions and this is just one you need answered. Ask! How many practice places will be you be skating in and what wheels are recommended for the floor.

Pusher Wheels : When performing a crossover you “push” with both feet. It is important for skaters wanting speed to perform crossovers in the corners for added speed rather than glide lazily through the turn. Pusher wheels are softer wheel on side of skate that faces the track.

Speed Wheels : This wheel is harder than the pusher wheel. It gives the release needed when breaking.

Purchasing wheels in 4 packs allows you to carry 4 of each durometer to carry on road trips rather than 8 of each durometer. Eg 86 pusher wheel and 88 as speed wheel or 91 as pusher wheel and 93 as speed wheel. These are just two combos!

Diameter (size) the other number on a wheel

This is the height of your wheel. Taller wheels, 62mm, are faster because they take you there faster than a 59mm. Are you going to notice this? Maybe not but if you are a skater struggling to make your laps for skater requirements because you are down one lap or half a lap maybe this is something for you to look at. You are putting all that effort on a 59 mm to get around the track in 5 min and just not getting it when a 62mm could be the answer taking you there faster.

We will use 178 ft (54254 mm) as an estimate of the length of one lap. Do the math. A 62mm wheel will roll 875 and a 59 mm will roll 919 revolutions. That’s 44 revolutions difference. 44 times 25 equals 1100 revolutions, 48 times 27 equals 1188 revolutions. We could sit here all day and crunch numbers but really does that not look like one lap and a bit?

Then there is acceleration! Effort is put into our stride and it will require more effort in performing more strides in in 59mm wheel than a 62mm wheel. Long distance skaters prefer taller wheels because they do not have to exert as much effort. As far as stability the closer you are to the ground the more stability you will have. Therefore a 59 mm wheel is more stable than a 62 mm wheel because you are closer to the ground by 3 mm. If you are super tall then this may make a difference but to a shorter skaters like me at 5.5” I can’t honestly say in 10 years I have never noticed a difference.

I think the key here is if you are struggling to get your laps try the 62mm. The next thing to keep in mind is if you are going to build your wheel base remember to keep them same height if you are mix and matching (using a 84 on inside of skate and a 86 on outside of skate). Obviously, wheels need to be same height on your skates.

Width (profile)

The surface area that contacts the floor affects the speed and grip of the wheel. This contact area does not include any lips or bevels at the edge of the wheel.

Skaters over 200 lbs as well as new skaters may feel more stable on a wider (44 mm) wheel but the downside is wide wheels may also make you less agile and clumsy.

38 mm is the most popular wheel width for roller derby providing balance and stability needed for all levels of skaters.

To some it all up you need to get the right hardness, right height and width. All trail and error finding a wheel that works for you may not be the wheel that works for another skater.

Look for our next blog explaining difference in hubs and tread

Bad Girlfriend Skates is thrilled with our newest stock additions that are going to fuel your Roller Derby Soul-  Radar Halo wheel 84A, 99A and 101A - Size: 38mm wide x 59mm tall

This was a wheel that took over 2 years to develop to give skaters the edging skaters have been looking for without sacrificing grip.

Riedell Halo 84A Wheel

Halo 84A

Size: 38mm wide x 59mm tall

This new Halo wheel is the remedy for slippery surfaces. At 84A, it offers tons of grip, while the oversized edges of the Halo Hub still provide excellent roll. Skaters experience a crisp feel and plenty of speed. Skaters needing more grip will no longer have to sacrifice speed and edgework.

Riedell Halo 99A Wheel

Halo 99A

Size: 38mm wide x 59mm tall

If you are a Roller Derby skater playing on very grippy surfaces face the challenges you face involve not being able to stop properly which means your game and play suffers. The new Halo 99A and Halo 101A is going to solves these issues providing excellent stopping and edging characteristics on those coated or extra grippy surfaces.

Riedell Halo 101A Wheel

Halo 101A

Size: 38mm wide x 59mm tall

Available now at Bad Girlfriend Skates $59.00 Canadian per 4 pack of wheels

There really is a Halo for every indoor surface on Earth.