Longboards are becoming more and more popular among skaters due to their ability to provide faster and more exciting skating experience. This is large because of the bigger wheels that are equipped on longboards. This sparks the question of whether you can mount longboard wheels on your skateboard.
The answer is, shortly, yes. But I’m sure there are still many things that you want to ask regarding this matter. Hence, our articles will provide all the essential information that you’ll need.
Longboard wheels vs skateboard wheels
Most skateboard wheels are made of urethane, and so does longboard wheels and skateboard wheels. So there aren’t any significant differences in term of features.
The big differences lie in the dimension and the textures of the wheels. While skateboard wheels usually come with a standard diameter varied between 49 to 54mm, the diameter on longboard wheels can be between 60 to 90mm, which are quite larger.
With these wheels, your board can have better speed as well as board control compared to when using the standard skateboard wheels. Their larger lip profile also makes longboard wheels more stable than skateboard wheels.
However, since they come in larger sizes, longboard wheels are also relatively heavier compared to skateboard wheels. As a result, it’ll take a long time to adjust to the new weights, and you might need to retrain your old technique, just to get used to the new weight.
Despite that, longboard wheels are still highly recommended due to their softer nature. This allows for better shock absorption to ensure smooth and relaxing rides.
As a result, many skaters who prefer cruising over doing tricks are starting to install longboard wheels on their skateboard.
Things you should know
To help you understand more about all of these wheel business, the articles below will cover all the essential information about wheel constructions and functions.
This simply measures the distance from the center of the wheel to its rear. If your wheels have a longer diameter, it means that they’ll travel a longer distance after each rotation. As a result, larger wheels will deliver faster speed for your skateboard.
However, be mindful that, a larger diameter will result in slower speed acceleration. The reason being that you’ll have to waste more energy in increasing the rotating speed.
But once you’ve achieved the right speed, larger wheels will take longer to slow down.
The hardness measurement of skateboard wheels is translated into durometer. The fact that polyurethane (or urethane), the material that we use to make skateboard wheels, can come with various hardness level, means that manufacturers are fully capable of adjusting their wheels’ durometer.
Most skateboard and longboard wheels feature 75a-100a hardness with longboard wheels are the softer ones. This allows for better shock absorption as well as grip power. On the other hand, skateboard wheels usually come with a harder durometer, this provides more responsiveness when doing tricks on the board.
If you prefer the hardness of a skateboard wheel but still want to experience a longboard wheel’s stability, there are also hard longboards wheels to try on.
We use this term to measure the thickness of a skateboard wheel. Most longboard wheels come with a square profile, while for skateboard wheels, it is usually the round lip profile. With a larger profile, longboard wheels have more ground contact, thus giving them better grips.
And from experiences, if you often travel at a high speed, then wheels with a good grip are undoubtedly more efficient.
What are the downsides?
There are reasons why people don’t put all longboard wheels on their skateboard, despite all those advantages that you’ve been told about. And here are the reasons:
Wheel bites – This is the number one reason why you don’t put longboard wheels on your skateboard. Due to the exceptionally larger sizes, longboard wheels tend to get stuck on your skateboard when skating. Especially when making turns, in which the rears of the deck might come in contact with wheels and affect their rotation.
Don’t work on rocky and terrains – due to their soft nature (except hard longboard wheels), your wheels don’t push or kick the rocks out of their way. Instead, they kind of grip some of those rocks, making them unstable and even dangerous to ride on.
How to put longboard wheels on a regular skateboard?
Now you’ve known all about longboard wheels and why many people prefer putting them on their skateboard. Let’s find out how do you install them.
Firstly, you should decide what features of longboard wheels that you would want to have on your skateboard, then purchase the suitable wheels. Also, ensure that the wheels are fitted on your skateboard truck.
To install the wheel, you should prepare a skate tool for easy removing of the wheel. If you don’t have one, a plier could also be useful. Use it to disassemble the protective nut at the rear of your old wheels. Then use your hand to pull the wheel while using the axles as the leverage to push the wheel out.
Use a clean rag to wipe away the excess greases on the axles and spray on it some new lubing oils. Slide the bearings on the axis and place your wheel on it. Start pulling the wheel by applying a certain amount of force on it to push the bearing on it.
Take the wheel out and slide in the other bearing, do the same thing to push it onto your wheel. Use the skate tool to put the nut back in. Do this on the three other wheels as well.
Once you’ve done it, it’s time to take your skateboard outside for test ride. Make sure you pay attention to the common problems like wheel bites and likewise. If you’re having wheel bites on your new wheels, we recommend you dismount the wheels since it would be quite dangerous to ride on them. Still, if you want to keep the wheels, it would be a good idea to replace your old trucks with taller ones. They would likely to work on your longboard wheels, but will require some times to get used to.
Thanks for reading and we’ll see you in our future posts.