By Steve Kopitz
We here at inlineskates.com are committed to providing you with all the resources needed to ensure you select the proper skate, wheels, and bearings that are right for you, including sizing. With that said we have decided to put together an informative buying guide to help you determine what size roller hockey wheels that you need and will work the best for the particular type of hockey you are playing and on what surface.
First off let’s start with wheel durometer as it is very important you get a wheel with the correct durometer for the type of surface you are skating on. The lower the durometer the softer the wheel with more grip to the surface. A higher durometer rating will give you more durability to last longer but you will get less surface grip. The weight of a player is also important in determining what type of durometer to go with. If you are a heavy player using a really soft wheel it is possible you will wear the wheels out really fast and thus be back to purchase more. Here is a breakdown of the different wheel durometers:
72A (XX-Soft) – This is an unconventional and soft durometer. Wheels with this type of durometer should only be used indoor on a sport court surface and the skater should weight no more than 150 lbs.
74A (X-Soft) – This durometer is typically used by skaters under 190 lbs on the indoor sport court surface. If you are a skater under 130 lbs you should be able to use these wheels on a smooth, wood surface and won’t wear out too quickly.
76A (Soft) – This seems to be the most popular wheel durometer that is used today. Skaters that weigh 210 lbs or less will be able to use these wheels on an indoor sport court surface without getting a “flat tire” effect. If you are 140 lbs or less you can safely use these wheels on a wood surface.
78A (Multi-surface) – Wheels with this durometer are labeled as multi surface because they are hard enough to handle cement and wood surfaces while still giving you enough grip to use on an indoor/outdoor sport court surface with good results. Skaters that weigh between 190-250 lbs can use these wheels on an indoor sport court. Skaters weighing between 150-220 lbs can use these wheels on a wood surface.
80A (Multi-surface) – A wheel at this rating still gets considered a multi surface wheel but will give you less grip to the surface than a 78A wheel. This type of wheel is not recommended for use on a sport court. These wheels work best on wood surfaces no matter how much you weigh. On a cement surface this wheel will hold up pretty well but may be too hard to grip the surface.
82A (Outdoor) – These wheels are hard enough to be used on unsealed sidewalk cement and will also work on asphalt for skaters under 180 lbs. You could use these wheels on a sealed cement surface but is not recommended due to the lack of grip you will get.
84A (Outdoor/Asphalt) – These are the hardest wheels out there. These wheels should only be used outdoors and can be used by skaters of all weight ranges. This wheel is not recommended for smooth, sealed surfaces. They are best for street hockey on asphalt and concrete.
Wheel sizes range in variety from 47mm to 100mm. Depending on what type of chassis you have on your skate you may need anywhere from 1 to 3 different sized wheels. The following brands of skates only require one size wheel, and they are Tour and Code skates. The CCM Vector is different in that they need 3 different sizes as they come with wheels of 80-76—76-72 with the largest wheel in the back and the smallest wheel in front. Mission and Bauer Senior skates have the Hi-Lo Vanguard setup which has wheels in sizes 80-80-76-76mm with the two 80mm in back and the two 76mm in front. All manufacturers in junior and youth skates have smaller wheels, with size 11 or smaller using only 3 wheels on the chassis.
For inline goalie skates the wheels come in smaller sizes and the most common are 47mm and 59mm. They are smaller as goalies need to push off the inside of the wheels and thus don’t need as much surface area.
We here at inlineskates.com hope you found this buying guide to be highly informative and thus making your roller hockey wheel purchase as painless and easy as possible.