The quality of your street skateboarding doesn’t only depend on your skills.
You may feel like a newbie on totally unsuitable wheels even after years of practice.
But you also can feel like a pro with a little practice and wheels that are perfect for street skating.
Not too hard, with the right shape and lip profile, and from a high-quality urethane. Sounds good, right?
We’ve picked 5 options for you to consider when completing your street setup. All of them will provide significant features along with smooth skating through the city streets.
If you’re looking for more knowledge that will help you make the right choice, there’s a buyer’s guide after the TOP list of the best skateboard wheels for street.
- Beginner-Friendly Model
- 56mm Diameter
- 99a Durometer
- 100% USA-Made
Skateboard Wheels for Street Comparison Chart
|Spitfire Wheels 2001000156 Classic||Diameter: 56mm|
Features: Hand Poured & Shaped
|Bones WSCPRRD5980R4 Rough Riders||Diameter: 56mm|
Features: All-Terrain Formula
|Shark Wheel California Roll||Diameter: 60mm|
Features: More Grip & Slide Control
|Ricta 22221939 Clouds||Diameter: 54mm|
Features: NRG Hi-Energy Urethane Formula
|FREEDARE Skateboard Wheels||Diameter: 58mm|
Features: ABEC-7 High Steel Bearings & Spacers
5 Best Skateboard Wheels for Street (as of May, 2021):
1. Spitfire Wheels 2001000156 Classic Skateboard Wheels for Street Review
They are also long-lasting due to a unique manufacturing manner.
The wheels are hand-poured and shaped, so there’s little chance of defect missed by the manufacturer.
Quite a lot for a reasonably-priced set, that’s why this option is number 1 on the list!
Some points to give you a taste of these wheels:
- 99a durometer – hard enough for active skateboarding where not too much grip is needed;
- Different color options corresponding to different diameter (red – 51mm, green – 52 mm, yellow – 53 mm, blue – 56mm, purple – 58mm, etc.);
- A beginner-friendly model that combines price, convenience, and quality;
- 100% USA-made for those who appreciate a domestic product;
- Warranty for all defects and most kinds of damage.
There are people riding these wheels from the 90s, which means the model is consistent in its quality. Due to its durometer, the Classic Series set is great for smooth city roads and parks.
But if you’re living somewhere with rougher terrain, consider opting for a softer set – these aren’t exactly the best wheels for cruising.
Yet, a lot of experienced street skaters stick to these, choosing different diameters depending on their purpose (more speed, more acceleration, etc.). We recommend these wheels as a universal option.
- For Smooth City Roads & Parks
- Beginner-Friendly Model
- 99a Durometer
- 56mm Diameter
- Sustainable Quality
- Hand Poured & Shaped
- Guaranteed Against All Defects
- Smooth ride on flat surfaces
- Hand-poured and shaped
- Sustainable quality
- 100% USA-made
- Manufacturer warranty
- Unified spinning pattern
- Not for bumpy roads
2. Bones WSCPRRD5980R4 Rough Riders Skateboard Wheels for Street Review
Bones WSCPRRD5980R4 Rough Riders is another leading set for street skating.
These differ from the previous model since they can be used on rougher surfaces, thus becoming a great choice for cruising and urban commute.
The manufacturer features its All-Terrain Formula to provide qualities making your ride more grippy and smoother on screwed up pavements.
Unfortunately, not all cities have perfectly flat streets, so if bumps are your concern, this might be the solution!
Some features that might affect your choice:
- The wheels are suitable for cruisers and even small longboards (longer deck, different from a skateboard);
- All-Terrain Formula featured, allowing you to master all kinds of surfaces;
- A softer 80a durometer that contributes to the grip capabilities of the wheels, improving their cruising features;
- 40mm width with sufficient contact patch to handle a challenging terrain;
- US-made product;
- Warranty against defects.
A lot of skaters choose these wheels due to their durometer. While for tricks and competition practice you may need to choose harder wheels, if you’re looking for something to cruise on, diving through the streets, pick the softer side.
However, Rough Riders set is resistant to flat spots forming, which will add to the overall durability.
We recommend this set for any deck shape, just make sure you have risers in case you need them to adjust the setup.
- Designed By Professional Skaters
- For Cruisers & Small Longboards
- All-Terrain Formula
- 56mm Diameter & 40mm Width
- 80a Durometer
- Sufficient Contact Patch
- Warranty Against Defects
- Softer durometer
- All-Terrain Formula
- Sufficient contact patch
- Great for cruising
- Not as durable as the harder wheels
3. Shark Wheel California Roll Skateboard Wheels for Street Review
Number 3 on the list and number 1 design-wise, the Shark Wheel California Roll will provide that futuristic vibe to your setup, as well as improved speed qualities.
The hybrid design doesn’t only provide the looks – it was engineered for superior performance of any skateboard.
The wheels are quite soft, providing enough grip to conquer uneven surfaces, great slide control due to the construction, as well as a larger diameter for faster speed.
Some features to pay attention to when considering this option:
- The curvy design helps maintain the contact patch suitable for cruising and sliding, improving speed and aerodynamics;
- 78a durometer providing superior traction with a great slide control;
- 7 color options to suit your style;
- Nice performance in rainy weather, again, due to the design that dissipates water well;
- Less friction, which means better durability, although soft wheels are usually not that long-lasting.
The wheels are versatile in use, but their durometer suggests cruising and urban commute. On the streets, you need traction, but not too much so that it doesn’t slow you down.
This model was featured on Shark Tank and Discovery Channel, which adds kudos to the marketing team and implies the wheels are worth your attention.
We recommend this set for cruising skateboards, penny boards, and even small longboards, especially if going over obstacles is your priority.
- Amazing Design
- 60mm Diameter
- 78a Durometer
- 7 Color Options
- More Grip & Slide Control
- Less Friction More Speed
- Superior All-Terrain Performance
- More Traction Over Various Terrains
- Great For Cruising & For Smaller Or Mini-Longboards
- Amazing design
- Convenient ride on uneven surfaces
- Enough grip for wet weather
- Improved speed
- Less friction
- Many color options
- Not the best choice if you’re going to practice tricks a lot
4. Ricta 22221939 Clouds Review
When aiming for the premium part of the skateboard wheels market, don’t go past the Ricta Clouds line.
The Ricta 22221939 Clouds model we present here is on the harder side for those who aren’t looking for a soft cruising wheelset but more of a universal one for street skating.
The most prominent feature of this model is the NRG Hi-Energy urethane formula that provides longevity and smooth-riding qualities, thus the higher price.
Some other things to pay attention to:
- Combination of cruising and performance capabilities;
- 92a durometer that provides the best of two worlds: sufficient traction of a soft wheel and longevity for trick practice without feeling stapled to the ground which is usually a hard wheel quality;
- Bearings are included in the package;
- Classic wheel shape both for beginners who can’t decide what extra qualities they need and for professionals who appreciate an old-school high quality.
Consider this set if the material of the wheel is your priority. This model wasn’t constructed to excel in any particular riding style, so you get adequate performance street skating requires.
These will get you over surfaces with mild damages as well as smooth asphalt. You can conquer metal ramps on these wheels until you get sufficient control over the board and become knowledgeable enough to go for a harder set.
We recommend this set for adult beginners’ skateboards. If looking for something for the first child board, it’s better to wait on these. Some stick to this model and use it for decades (not the same set, of course) since it’s very versatile and open for experiments.
As a downside, riding friction can be better. If you’re living in windy, harsh conditions, you’ll need to push a lot when commuting around town.
- Perfect for Beginner
- 54mm Durometer
- 92a Durometer
- NRG Hi-Energy Urethane Formula
- Classic Wheel Shape
- Smooth Riding Surface
- Bearings Included
- Universal model
- Premium-quality material
- Classic wheel-shape
- Medium 92a durometer
- Lots of spinning friction
- Not the best for bad roads
5. FREEDARE Skateboard Wheels Review
This FREEDARE Skateboard Wheels is another set of universal wheels, a bit smoother and more cruiser-like than the previous option.
They come in combination with spacers and bearings already installed, which is good news for beginners.
The packaging is beautiful and will be a great choice for a gift if you have someone who’s in need of great skateboard wheels for the street.
Some qualities of this set to pay attention to:
- High-quality polyurethane shaped in a well-balanced wheel with sufficient size for fast speeds and width for more grip;
- 82a durometer which provides enough traction without sacrificing longevity too much;
- ABEC-7 steel bearings and spacers already installed;
- Smooth urban riding and extra smooth on a skate park terrain.
It’s really cool that the wheels come with spacers and bearings. The latter are pre-lubricated, meaning the set can be used right out of the box until the next maintenance is needed. Pre-lubed bearings are always a better, more durable choice.
Trick-wise, such wheels won’t be the best pick for those who want to master tricks, but if you’re looking for a good set for urban commute and smooth cruising, consider this tall, soft set.
- For Beginner & Pro
- 58mm Diameter & 45mm Width
- 82a Durometer
- Polyurethane Wheels
- ABEC-7 High Steel Bearings & Spacers
- For Smooth Concrete Or Asphalt
- Very Durable & Extremely Smooth
- Delicate Packaging For Gift
- Set with pre-installed spacers and bearings
- ABEC-7 pre-lubed bearings
- Great for cruising and commute
- Relatively soft
- Tall wheels
- Not that suitable for trick mastering
Skateboard Wheels for Street Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Set Depending on Your Goals
Here we’ll see how to choose a great set of wheels for your skateboard. You can use these guidelines when considering a set for your cruising or downhill longboar as well, just use proper sizes for longer decks.
In case you don’t have enough time to learn about skateboard wheels at the moment, here’s a small cheat sheet on what set you need as a beginner:
- Medium size (52-54mm);
- Medium durometer (90a-99a);
- Classic shape.
Later on, you’ll get a personal preference wheel-wise, but at first, it’s better to get a classic set with everything “medium.”
Skateboard Wheel Type
3 main types can be distinguished:
- Park/street wheels.
These are usually 50-60mm in diameter and have a 95a-101a durometer. Large and hard, these are lightweight and fast, suitable for smooth surfaces and clean streets where you don’t need too much grip. You can practice tricks with these since they are easier to break in a slide.
- Cruiser/street wheels.
These fall in the range of 54-60mm with 78a-90a durometer. They are larger and softer, suitable for most decks, rolling fast, managing any surface. Such wheels will provide stability, traction, and confidence when urban commuting.
- Longboard wheels.
While we don’t talk about such wheels in this TOP-5, just to mention, longboard wheels are usually 60-75mm, 75a-85a. There are larger wheels up to 85mm for extra-large decks. Use them with longboard trucks and bearings for the best rides. Consider getting special shoes as well.
Streets aren’t always flat and smooth, so choosing somewhere between the first and the second categories will create the best balance, especially if you’re a newcomer.
A bit more on the wheel size:
- 50-53mm wheels are relatively slow and suitable for children, young, short, light riders. Choose them if your primary concern is trick-mastering;
- 54-59mm wheels are the medium you should go for if you need regular wheels for streets and/or if you’re a beginner;
- 60mm+ wheels are suitable for longboards, downhill and dirt skateboards, and old-school models. They offer great speed and rough-terrain resistance.
Wheel Contact Patch
A wheel’s contact patch is the part that is actually in contact with the ground. It doesn’t have to match the width of a wheel since there are a lot of profiles.
Lip profile is also responsible for grip and responsiveness of your board:
- A sharp lip gives more traction and is more suitable for street skating;
- A beveled lip provides sufficient traction with great, predictable sliding capabilities;
- A round lip is all about slides and tricks.
Polyurethane’s hardness is measured in durometer, and usually, it’s a number with an “a” after it. Some manufacturers (like Bones Wheels), though, use a “b” measure, which removes 20 points from the regular “a” number. So an 82b wheel is actually 102a.
There are durometers from 75a to 104a, from the softest to the hardest:
- 78a to 90a is considered a soft/medium soft wheel;
- 90a to 98a is the middle range;
- 99a+ wheels are considered hard ones.
When riding in skate parts and gaps, rails, ledges, it’s better to choose the harder wheels. You don’t need a lot of traction there, but a highly responsive wheel is the thing.
Such wheels are also much more long-lasting since there’s not a lot of wear to them due to the hardness of the material and an easy-to-handle, smooth surface.
When urban commuting and cruising, it’s better to choose softer wheels since they will keep you stable and make a bumpy road feel like a skate park.
The downside – relatively fast wear due to the softness of the material and the abuse your wheels endure while riding on bumpy, uneven roads.
When looking for something to ride on the streets, choose something in-between. Such a wheel will provide sufficient grip, yet you’ll get a lot of response and will be able to make your ride a bit more fun than plain cruising.
Some manufacturers aim to improve their wheels by creating dual-durometer models. Such wheels have one durometer on the outside part and another on the inside.
This provides more speed and durability to skateboard wheels because you get the best of both worlds without having to sacrifice neither grip, not responsiveness.
There aren’t a lot of such models available at the moment since the technique is still experimental.
FAQ on Improving Your Skateboarding Performance (Wheels, Trucks, Bearings)
Here are some interesting questions about the wheels and the parts that help them roll and attach them to the board. The whole construction can make even your first ride a delight.
So, large or small wheels for a beginner?
If you’re planning on cruising most of the time, opt for the larger ones. If you’re more into movie-like tricks, go for smaller ones. But be sure to keep your first set of wheels somewhere in the middle, don’t go too far either side.
Risers or no risers?
It depends on the wheels and the deck you have. If opting for larger wheels, consider buying a set of risers as well just in case. Sometimes wheelbite comes in later, and you have to be ready to make the base taller to accommodate them.
If you have smaller wheels, consider small riders or none at all.
How wide do I have to install my trucks?
If your wheels are at the same or slightly smaller width as the deck, then you’ve installed the trucks correctly.
Are bearings that important?
Well, if you’re expecting your wheels to roll, then yes, bearings are quite. They are what makes the wheels roll well, helping you achieve your skating goals. You can choose steel or ceramic ones, they are both great, yet the metal will make the wheels a bit heavier.
As to the ABEC rating, usually, higher means more tolerance and overall smoother ride, but there’s no extreme need to get ABEC-9 or 11 for a street ride. ABEC-7 and even 5 will work just fine.
As to the maintenance, the most important things are cleaning and lubricating your bearings regularly. Usually, when the season changes, you want to check on them.
Use a thicker grease if you’re after maximum durability. It will slow you down a little bit, but your bearings will be like new after years of use.
If durability isn’t your first concern and you need to have maximum speed from your wheels, use lighter lubrication. It won’t provide as much protection but will get you that speedy ride.
Tips on Choosing and Using Your Wheels
Here are some tips on choosing, using, and maintaining your wheels to make the riding experience better:
- Smaller wheels are more lightweight, therefore faster and more responsive. This is what you should go for when looking for a technical set;
- Larger wheels roll faster since they can do fewer rolls and achieve the same speed. They keep the speed better, even if you’re riding on an uneven road;
- Consider getting risers if buying wheels with 56mm+ diameter;
- Remember to maintain your wheels and wax your trucks to avoid unnecessary noises;
- When choosing your first wheels, trucks, or the full skateboard, consider the price. Don’t but something too expensive. It’s your first board; it has to be standard and show you the standard, adequate qualities;
- Maintain wheels every season, interchange them if possible so that they cone symmetrically;
- Check on the bottom of your board when you see even a slight change in its performance. See if the trucks are tight/loose enough, if the wheels need a change and if the bearings need some extra maintenance.
Proper Wheels Will Enhance Your Skills
As you can see, choosing proper wheels for your skateboard might take some time. A proper combination of diameter, durometer, lip profile, material, and other qualities can create a wheel perfect for street skating or make your experience a disaster.
If you’re a beginner, we recommend buying universal wheels that will handle most terrains and riding styles. Later on, when you get a feeling of what you need in a wheel, you can always buy another set and experiment with them.