Buying Guide for Inline Hockey Wheels
By Steve Kopitz
Buying inline hockey wheels online is easy when you have the proper knowledge to know what you’re looking for. Inlineskates.com offers a wide selection of inline hockey wheels, and we also offer a wide selection of resources to ensure you can learn which size and style will work best for you. The most important things to keep in mind when shopping for a new set of inline hockey wheels are the wheel size on your current skates, and where you’ll be skating. We’ll go over in this guide how to choose the correct inline hockey wheels.
Choosing the size of an inline hockey wheel is fairly easy, you’ll want the same size you had before. Inline hockey skates have specially designed frames which work best when the proper sized wheel is used. You can typically find the “recommended wheel size” on the frame of the skates. For example, on a skate with a hi-lo setup, where the back wheels are larger than the front wheels, the recommended wheel size may read 80-80-76-76. This means you will want the two rear wheels to be 80mm, and the front wheels to be 76mm. Most modern inline hockey skates will offer a wheel setup offering all the same sized wheels. For example, many adult inline hockey skates will be either all 76mm wheels or 80mm wheels. This means to replace all the wheels you will purchase 8 wheels of the same size.
When shopping for new inline hockey wheels you will notice they have two different recommended uses. These uses are indoor or outdoor roller hockey, and the wheels found in each category will be best suited for that type of hockey. Much of the recommended use will be based on the wheel’s hardness, or durometer, which we will cover in the next section. Just be sure to choose a specific wheel based on the type of hockey you will be playing, and if you are playing both indoor and outdoor it is recommended to purchase two sets as there is no real one wheel that will work for both.
Durometer is the rating given to an inline wheel to signify the wheel’s hardness. A higher rated durometer will mean a harder wheel, and a lower number will mean a softer wheel. Inline hockey wheels typically range from a 72 durometer all the way up to 84. Durometer rating will typically be found printed on the outer of the wheel and will read as a number followed by an A. For example, a wheel with a durometer of 80 will have a reading of 80A on the outer of the wheel.
It is imperative to purchase an inline hockey wheel of the proper durometer for the skating you will be doing. A lower durometer wheel will offer a softer compound giving the wheels a grippier feel which makes them great for indoor hockey mostly played on sport court material. Please view the below chart to decipher popular wheel durometers and what they are best used for.
|Wheel Hardness (Durometer)||Best Use|
|72A - XX-Soft||
Very soft, only for lightweight indoor hockey players
|74A - X-Soft||
Soft wheels best for indoor sport court surface
Soft wheel popular among slightly heavier indoor hockey players
|78A Multi Surface||
Can handle both indoor and outdoor skating yet will not excel at either. Works well on wood surface
|80A Multi Surface||
Not good for sport court, works well for outdoor skating and for wood surfaces
Outdoor wheels for unsealed cement, and asphalt
Hardest wheels on the market. Great for cement and asphalt, and for heavier skaters
This is a fairly easy one to understand, wheels are sold in various quantities. The most common quantities for inline hockey wheels to be sold in are going to be either 4 or 8. Pay close attention to this as you order your new wheels so you don’t end up with not enough wheels, or too many although this is less of an issue.
Bearing Included or Not
Some inline hockey wheels will come with bearings but most are going to be sold as just wheels. Combination sets of wheels and bearings are great for replacing the whole wheel setup but do take note that you may need to use your existing wheels spacers. The spacer is the bit that holds the axle through the skate’s wheel.