How much are longboard wheels usually priced?
One of our readers just asked us the first question we’ve ever received: how much do longboard wheels cost on average? So, Roy, thank you for your inquiry. And it’s a good one: knowing how much longboard wheels cost, and more importantly, why they cost so much, is crucial.
I’m sorry to disappoint you, but there is no simple answer to this topic : longboard wheels can cost anything from $10 and $100. That is due to the large number of different types of wheels available. Wheels for sliding, freeride, cruising, dancing, commuting, downhill, and other activities, for example. And they’re all distinct in terms of technological specifications, brand names, and price points. But let’s try to deconstruct it a little.
There are two key factors that influence the price of the wheel:
Materials used to construct the wheel
The wheel: two main parts
Before we go into the materials that longboarding wheels are composed of and their properties, let’s have a look at the two primary components of the wheels:
The Pour, also known as urethane or the wheel itself, is a type of urethane.
Please have a look at the picture of one of my wheels that I took (the wheel is a little dusty because I am now trying these out on one of my longboards) before I go into further depth about each part:
The green section of the wheel in the middle is known as ‘The Core,’ while the blue part, or the wheel itself, is known as ‘The Pour,’ or simply Urethane (referring to the material of which it is made of). I’ve also included a photo of my wheel from the back/inner side so you can see the two sections better.
So let’s get down to business with the descriptions of both portions. The blue huge blue portion of the wheel that we really sit on and slide down is known as ‘The Pour.’ This is the section of our longboard that determines how hard or soft we can ride. The Pour gets its name from the manner it’s formed: it’s made by pouring urethane (the wheel’s material) into a wheel-shaped form and turning it into a wheel.
The core, which is positioned in the middle of the wheel to provide a safe and stable position for the bearings before being mounted on the longboard trucks, is the second part. The core distributes the heat of the revolving bearing uniformly throughout the wheel (Pour/Urethane) as you ride your board and the bearings spin together with the wheel at high speeds. This keeps the wheel from melting and losing its shape, which could result in a crash.
Pricing of the wheel parts
Now that we know what the wheel is constructed of, let’s return to the wheel’s pricing. When it comes to the cost of materials, there is a general rule that the better the material, the greater the cost of the wheel. The wheel/Pour is mainly made of urethane nowadays, however there are still some wheels made of plastic or rubber. You should avoid these at all costs — they may be quite inexpensive, but you should not risk purchasing and then riding them. Polyurethane is the substance to search for (or urethane). Also, not all polyurethane is created equal — there are some very inexpensive Chinese polyurethane wheels that I would recommend avoiding as well, just because the quality of the wheel has a huge impact on your riding experience. It’s always ideal to get wheels from a respected manufacturer, but that doesn’t mean they have to be prohibitively expensive.
If you’re in a skateshop and aren’t sure which wheel to get, there’s an easy test you can do to evaluate the wheel called the’rebound test.’ Rebound is one of the most important characteristics of polyurethane. It can be defined as a material’s ability to bounce back to its original state after being squeezed. Essentially, it means that riding on wheels constructed of higher-quality polyurethane will result in a smoother and faster ride. The reason for this is that when you ride over obstacles, your wheels compress around them and push against them, assisting the wheels in moving forward. Lower-quality polyurethane wheels, on the other hand, will ‘hit’ or hop on little things rather than compress and go over them. The wheel will spin slower as a result of this. Returning to the Rebound test, it’s a simple one: take two different wheels of your choice, bring them to shoulder height, and then drop them to the ground. And see how high they bounce back — the wheel that bounces back the highest has the best rebound quality, so that’s the one you want.
Let’s speak about The Core’s properties and how they effect pricing. When it comes to cores, it’s a little easier because there’s not a lot of choice and all of the options are acceptable. As a result, the majority of the time, the wheel’s core is built of: Plastic.
The most frequent type of core is plastic. They’re a lot more comfortable to ride, and the wheel wears out more evenly. These are also the cheapest of the three cores.
Because of the urethane qualities – it is more dampening than plastic – urethane cores allow you to ride your board a little smoother than a plastic core.
Aluminum cores are the most expensive of the three, but they are also the stiffest. While your ride may not be as comfortable as one with a urethane core, the speed of an aluminum core is a distinct benefit.
I indicated at the beginning of this piece that the brand is the second criterion for determining the price, regardless of the material. There are a number of well-known wheel brands on the market right now, and their products are more expensive than those of lesser-known brands. And there’s generally a good reason for it: these companies make high-quality wheels.
There are many different wheels to pick from, and Cult Wheels has earned a lot of praise from the longboarding community for the high quality of its products. They’re also fairly priced, with a set of four LandYachtz Hawgs starting at $30. http://landyachtz.com/wheels – another site appreciated by longboarders for the high quality of its wheels. One of their models can be seen in the photo at the top of the post; these are Mini Monsters, which are one of my favorite wheels due to their speed and smooth ride.
There are a number of additional high-quality wheel brands available, including Blood Orange, Bones, and Orangatang.
I hope you now have a better understanding of what causes the wheel’s price to rise. Also, how to spot high-quality wheels. There is so much more to say about wheels and how to choose them depending on your personal style that we will be publishing additional articles on the subject shortly, so stay tuned!
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Have fun on the ride!