What to Look in Electric Skateboard Wheels and Have a Smooth Skating Day?
Electric skateboard wheels do nothing but roll silently.
In reality, they are critical to keeping you safe while skating on an e-board.
From different sizes to various treads and materials, there are many things to weigh in if you want to replace your wheelset.
I was confused when trying to figure out what type of wheels I should get when feeling like rolling along the way or just doing tricks.
After doing some research, I found out that their shape and composition impact the rolling performance and ability to do tricks.
Let’s have a look at the most important factors in this guide.
Table of Contents
Our Electric Skateboard Wheel Picks
As you will see further below, there are three (3) wheel categories to consider. For now, we will show you only two (2) categories.
If you want to find electric hub motor wheels, we recommend reading our: Electric Skateboard Motor Buying Guide.
These products are recommended based on the number of good reviews. It doesn’t mean that you could not potentially receive a defective item.
Standard wheels (for belt-driven motors)
VANPRO | D: 90mm – W: 52mm – 78A
|✅: The wheels are pulley ready and come with ABEC7 bearings.
X: It is only suitable for belt motor configuration.
MEEPO | D: 100mm – W: 60mm – 78A
|✅: Backup by a renowned electric skateboard brand.
X: They will mainly fit longboard decks and are specific for belt motors.
IWONDER | D: 83mm – W: 52 mm – 85A
|✅: It is a good fit for most electric skateboards, depending on the truck’s ground clearance.
X: It looks like the bearings included are not good quality.
Off-road skateboard wheels
MBS | D: 100mm – W: 65 mm – 78A
|✅: The tread seems to be good enough for increased traction.
X: It would be most suitable only for e-longboards.
IWONDER | D: 105 to 120 mm – W: 64 mm – 78A
|✅: These Cloudwheels can go from 105 to 120 mm in diameter, which is fantastic for increasing the deck’s ground clearance.
✅: Also, these wheels have been designed to fit the most well-known brands, such as Backfire and Evolve.
X: Only bearings included.
SHARK | D: 60 to 95 mm – W: 76 mm – 78A
|✅: They have an incredible grip due to their carving design.
X: The additional items you buy to fit these wheels will not be transferable to other wheels configuration.
We suggest checking your deck’s dimensions and truck characteristics from all the options above to avoid disappointment.
Electric Skateboard Wheel Types
Essentially, the electric skateboard industry has three (3) wheel types: standard, all-terrain, off-road, and hub wheels.
Hub motor (rear) e-board wheels
As their name implies, these are wheels designed explicitly for hub motors.
They are usually used for entry-level e-boards, but we have seen that most sophisticated models are not going in favor of hub-motorized wheels.
One of their greatest strengths is a low weight, a feature that translates into higher energy efficiency.
On the downside, these wheels are typically thin urethane or plastic, providing little to no shock absorption. As a result, you won’t experience the smoothest ride.
Standard e-board wheels – front
Under this term, we usually find regular wheels with no integrated motor. They can vary from 70 to 100mm in diameter.
Due to their size and higher-quality materials, these wheels provide smoother rides and perform well on most types of roads.
Unlike hub motor wheels made from plastic, regular e-longboard wheels are usually made from polyurethane (PU). This dense rubber-like material reduces maintenance and prolongs the lifespan of the bearings.
While they don’t have the best grip, they are your best bet for day-to-day riding across the city.
All-terrain skateboard wheels
Equipping all-terrain electric skateboards, these wheels are usually big – typically with a diameter between 70 and 170 mm.
Off-road skateboard wheels (PU)
PU-made off-road wheels for skateboards usually have a diameter between 70 and 120 mm.
Although you can use them on paved ground, you will experience a lot of resistance due to the contact path treads.
Even you will feel a bit of vibration while skating.
Another point is the added weight due to their size, so don’t get annoyed.
Pneumatic, electric skateboard wheels
A variation on the PU wheels type is the pneumatic ones.
Usually, they are mounted on a metallic (or sometimes plastic) core and are always used with belt motors.
You will find 150mm and 170mm in terms of diameter.
Their downside is that they are subject to punctures and typically need more maintenance than their urethane counterparts.
Needless to say, these wheels can tackle most road and off-road situations.
You can use them to safely roll on gravel, grass, dirt tracks, and other substrates where plastic or polyurethane would underperform.
Electric Skateboard Wheel Dimensions
The diameter and width of the wheels are the two (2) most important features to consider after choosing the most appropriate type.
Typically, wheel sizes start at 54mm in diameter and go up (120 mm).
The size will determine the terrain you can ride on and how easily your e-board motor can accelerate.
Wheels with a diameter between 54 and 59mm are perfect for beginners, as they allow you to roll easily as you’re learning and also let you feel the behavior of the e-board.
As you can imagine, the smaller the diameter of the wheel, the faster it will accelerate. However, you’ll feel that the top speed is hardly reached.
This is also directly related to the motor you are using.
On the contrary, the bigger the diameter of the wheel, the slower you’ll accelerate.
But at the same time, bigger wheels will require less torque to reach the top speed with no issues.
The wheel width is something few skateboarders pay attention to; however, it is something that can make a big difference when riding, specifically on an e-longboard.
For instance, imagine you are riding an e-skateboard, and the wheels you are using are very thin (around 30 mm).
When the time comes to take a corner at a certain speed, do you think the board will be stable or tend to lose grip (drift)?
The more width of the wheel, the more grip you will get since there is more surface contact between the wheel patch and the ground surface.
You can expect a width range between 30 mm and 70 mm.
For e-skateboards, it is good enough to have from 30 mm to 54 mm; for e-longboards, you can get from 54 mm to the maximum.
The stability of your e-board not only depends on the wheel width but is also related to the length of the truck.
Wheel Hardness (Durometer)
The softness or hardness of a wheel is indicated through a Durometer scale.
Most manufacturers use the A scale when quantifying the wheel’s hardness, which is a 100-point scale.
Besides determining smoothness and grip, the hardness can also determine whether a wheel is more suitable for skateboards or longboards.
These are the typical ranges for wheel hardness:
They are usually considered soft wheels ideal for electric longboards (more outstanding grip).
They’re made for smooth rides on various terrains and roll easily over cracks and pebbles.
Considered medium-soft, which is suitable for roads in decent conditions.
Great for drifting and tricks (if you are into it) but not commonly seen in electric skateboards.
Ideal for beginners, pools, ramps, skate parks, and other smooth surfaces. They are usually considered all-around wheels.
All in all, it is hard to say which hardness you should go for, but our advice is to test the ones your new e-board uses, and from there, you can decide on changing them, depending on your skating style.
Wheel Contact Patch and Edges
The contact patch refers to the area of the wheel that makes contact with the road.
This feature is vital because the larger the contact patch, the larger the area over which your weight will be distributed.
Wheels with large contact patches – usually electric longboard wheels – distribute your weight over a larger area, reducing the compression of the urethane and slowing you down.
The edge is significant, too, as it affects the size of the contact patch and the drifting feature of the board.
Make more contact with the pavement, therefore, increasing the contact patch.
These are great for downhill because you will get the maximum speed and stability.
They have a 45-degree characteristic. Provide less contact with the pavement but still enhance speed.
These are in between the round and square ones. If you are more likely to do drifting, then this is your ideal shape.
Wheel Cores and Bearings
The cores and bearings can also make or break the deal. Cores can be made of either plastic or metal.
The latter is more expensive but usually more resistant.
The internal cores
The location of the core is also an important matter:
A centered core will provide even wear of the wheel since the system weight (you plus the board’s weight) will be evenly distributed throughout the contact patch.
An offset core (toward the inner side of the wheel) will increase the wear of the inner end of the contact patch (it can also be known as negative camber).
This placement is ideal when drifting since the whole surface of the contact patch will touch the road giving you more control and stability.
In an electric skateboard, the negative camber is minimal to see but rest assured it is there to help you when drifting.
As for the bearings, you can choose from steel and ceramic.
Steel is the most resistant to breakage, but the ones with ceramic balls require less maintenance, are lighter, and roll smoother than steel.
Another important factor regarding the bearing’s material is the absorption of impacts and heat reduction while skating.
Heat is more likely to increase with steel bearings, so this material is not ideal for an electric longboard.
Front Vs. Rear Electric Skateboard Wheels
While there isn’t much difference between an electric skateboard’s front and rear wheels, you can choose between front and rear drive.
It mostly comes down to preference. However, the front-drive may feel weirder than the rear-drive due to the frontal distribution of weight.
A noticeable difference, and obvious, is the thickness (in some cases) of the wheels where the motor is placed.
As you can imagine, the wheels with the motor will wear out faster than the standard wheels, so you will need to replace them sooner.
That is why hub motors are a preference for a lot of e-skaters. Cheaper to replace the wheels sleeve.
In saying this, you can either replace the whole set of wheels or only the cover.
Top Electric Skateboard Wheel Brands
When it comes to choosing a set of wheels, you can’t go wrong with any of these brands:
A brand known for its smooth wheels designed for speed and grip. They are ideal for street riding and are preferred by commuters.
If you’re after a good set of off-road skateboard wheels, then MBS could be your best brand.
Most wheels have about 100mm diameter and, despite compromising on speed, they glide effortlessly over most obstacles.
Similar to the MBS, they deliver all-terrain versatility. These wheels are usually compatible with both skateboards and longboards.
Cal 7 is another brand to consider if you’re looking for smooth, road electric skateboard wheels.
These wheels are typically made for steady, shock-absorbing rides.
e-Skateboard Wheels Guide Wrap Up
Now that you have learned more about wheels for e-boards, it should be easy to decide which model and configuration are best for your needs.
Remember to think about the final purpose of using the e-board; is it for commuting and sorting out rough road surfaces or to have fun while speeding and possibly taking some sharp corners?
Don’t leave all the work to the wheels.
Other electric skateboard components play an essential role, so you enjoy a safe and smooth ride.
What the best electric skateboard wheels are down to you. Consider your riding style, type of board, and skateboarding experience. No matter your choice, we hope this guide can help you make an informed decision.