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Learning the difference between penny board wheel sizes can be confusing, but it is important to make sure you get ones that are right for your needs. Larger and smaller boards have different features depending on where they will most often be used- streets or parks? Smaller vs. larger skaters should look into these qualities when deciding what kind of skateboard wheels best suit their personal style too.
Penny board wheels come in a variety of sizes and hardness ranges to suit whichever riding style you prefer. They can be made from polyurethane (PU) which gives them elasticity, durability for rebound adjustments on bumpy terrain or rough roads with tight turns.
This means that the response to each impulse is greater than if the wheels were made of normal plastic. Choosing the penny board wheels with the appropriate hardness and the correct size is therefore very important, as it will affect the spin of the wheels and, consequently, your style of penny boarding.
Penny board wheels are becoming increasingly popular as the price of skateboarding continues to rise. There is a lot of misinformation out there about penny boards, so we’re here with some basic information that should clear up any confusion.
Penny Board Wheel Features
The basic characteristics of the wheels, which are usually specified on their packaging, are the following:
· Measure: The diameter of the penny board wheel in millimeters. This will help you find your perfect size for a skateboard, surfboard, or longboarding. Some also specify the tread.
· Hardness: How hard the wheel is, there are different scales.
· Shape or cut: It is the style of the wheel.
· Formula: How the wheel is made. It is usually linked to the use that is going to be given: STF (Street Tech Formula) would be suitable for the street. SPF (Skate Park Formula) would be suitable for skating at Skate Park.
· Other characteristics: Aesthetic type… For example, that the wheels are the «pro model» of a penny border, that they glow in the dark, and so on. They are cosmetic variations that have no effect on the performance of the wheels.
Measure of Wheels
As we anticipated, it is expressed in millimeters; it measures how big the wheel is in terms of its diameter:
The usual wheel size range is usually between 50mm and 60mm, although there are exceptions. You have to take into account what influences the size of the wheel. As can be seen in the previous photo, the larger the diameter, the wheel will offer higher top speed, but less acceleration. Similarly, the smaller the diameter, the lower the top speed but the higher the acceleration, the more agile the wheel is, and it is easier to push off with it.
In general, for street skating, wheels from 51mm to 53-54mm are used, while for ramps they are used from 55mm to 60mm. As with the measurements in the tables, in the end, it is something personal, there is no general rule. Although ramp skating on 50mm wheels can be a bit more uncomfortable than on 56mm wheels.
We must also take into account the height of the axles of our penny board, since the larger the wheel, the less space there will be between them and the board. If our axles are low, it is not advisable to mount too large wheels.
For large wheel sizes, it is advisable to use riser pads on the axles. The weight of the wheels is also determined by the size: the larger the size, the more weight of the wheels.
Wheel size is measured by diameter and affects top speed and acceleration speed – that is, how long it takes you to get up to speed. In general, the following rules apply:
· Wheels with large diameters provide a faster, but rougher ride.
· Small wheels provide less speed but greater maneuverability.
Large Wheel: Wheels of this type are the most used and are used by both beginners and experienced skaters. They offer the possibility of skating on ramps and in vertical parks where you need speed to get as high as possible on the ramp. This type of wheel also provides you with a more versatile ride, which makes them a very complete wheel.
Small Wheels: Wheels with these measurements are typically used for the street and for urban parks, by small skaters and on small boards. With wheels this size, speed is not as important as being close to the ground or curbs, which makes it easier to do tricks.
Type Of Penny Board Wheel Depending On Your Syle
50mm – 53mm wheels:
This wheel is best suited for street tricks. This type of wheel is smaller and can provide greater acceleration. Ideal for all kinds of maneuvers. If we want to do tricks on the street, these measures are the most used.
53mm – 56mm Wheels:
This type of wheel is the most versatile; it provides us with greater stability when driving at high speeds. You can use them for the street and even for the skate park.
55mm – 58mm Wheels:
Wheels of this diameter are more used in skate parks, to make the most of the ramps.
58mm – 60mm Wheels:
This type of wheel is focused on the street, with hardness’s of 80A, it is usually used for cruisers.
Penny Board Wheel Hardness
We consider that together with the measure, it is a crucial characteristic. What must be clear is that the hardness influences the grip: the harder the wheels, the less grip they offer, and therefore it is easier to skid with them. The softer the wheels, the more grip they offer, making it more costly to skid.
Hardness is something to consider in relation to the surface you intend to skate since not all of them offer the same grip. Cement, for example, offers much more grip than wood. Therefore, if you are looking for grip and you are going to skate wood, rather medium-soft wheels are convenient for you, while if you are going to skate cement you can pull with hard ones.
There are different measurement scales, although the most common is the “A” scale. There is hardness’s from 78A to 104A, in ascending order of hardness. For street skating, harder wheels are usually used than for ramping. On the street, the usual thing is to skate hardness’s from 101 to 104, while for ramps hardness’s not higher than 99 are usually used. Again, it all depends on tastes and styles there is no rule.
In addition, the softer a wheel is, the more difficult it will be for it to bind with Chinese and stones, since being soft, it is easier for it to absorb the object, rolling over it. This also has to do with measurement. For example, if you are going to use your penny board as a ride on rough or uneven surfaces, you may be better off with large, soft wheels, say 60mm and 78A. If your skate is for engraving it can be a good option too.
Wheel Shape or Cut
The shape or cut of the best penny board wheels would be what is known as “finer spinning” in the sense that, if you are a beginner, you should not overwhelm yourself with it and choose wheels in a normal and common way. This aspect usually influences how technical your skate will be, as well as some “aids” when grinding. Wheel width, also related to measurement, would fall into this category. Narrower wheels offer less stability and grip, but they are lighter and more manageable, something beneficial for the street skate, and the more technical, the more beneficial it is.
The other big category is the cut of the wheel. The “flatter” wheels on the sides such as the sidecut or the lock-ins are designed to offer greater ease when grinding bars and curbs. Being flat, it is more difficult for the wheels to slip off the grind.
An example would be the sidecut shape, marketed by almost all wheel brands.
Tip: A penny board with white wheels will go longer before they need to be replaced.
“The colored wheels on penny boards contain a dye that wears off faster than PU plastic. White wheels, on the other hand, do not contain dye and instead have higher levels of pure PU, which makes them more durable.”
With so much size, hardness, shape, formula, choosing skate wheels has become a challenge, especially for beginners. We must distinguish between size and hardness range. Penny board wheels are made of polyurethane, a special plastic that has a certain degree of cushioning and resistance to abrasion. Choosing a penny board wheel will depend on the type of skate you do: street tricks, ramps in a skate park, moving down the street.
- What size wheels fit on a penny board?
The range of sizes of penny board wheels is wide – we came across wheels from 48 mm to 75 mm (there are probably more radical options, but we have not met them). The diameter of the wheel is inversely proportional to the class of the coating. That is, the worse the coverage (eg paving stones, old cracked asphalt, etc.), the larger the diameter is needed. But don’t overdo it. It should be remembered that for stunts, wheels of a smaller diameter are needed (they provide better handling), and large wheels (56mm and more) are wheels for cruisers and longboards, the main purpose of which is good flotation and solid roll.
Read more: Penny Board vs Cruiser
Small wheels guarantee fast acceleration, but as a result, fast deceleration. Bigger wheels are more difficult to accelerate, but they keep the speed much longer.
2. What hardness are penny board wheels?
Simply put, when the choice of wheel stiffness arises, it all comes down to a simple rule: you need hard wheels for stunts and soft wheels for a comfortable ride. All stunt penny board wheels are made of polyurethane. In the stiffness, classification of polyurethane for skate wheels, the indexes A and B are used.
The stiffness scale A ends with a value of 100. That is, theoretically, wheels with an index of 100A are the hardest. However, this is not the case! This is where the B hardness scale comes into play. It is also limited to a maximum value of 100, but the trick is that its value is 20 points lower than the A scale. Thus, the 100A wheels are identical in hardness to 80B wheels.
What is the B scale for? In order to mark the wheels harder than 100A. In fact, indexes like 101A, 102A, etc. are not entirely correct. It would be more correct to use 81B, 82B, etc. However, some manufacturers still “jump” the scale.
· For a smooth ride, you’ll need soft wheels from 78A (the softest we’ve encountered) to around 85A. Stiffer options are more likely to cause discomfort on bumps.
· Medium wheels up to 98A are an option for stunt penny boards, but they are still soft enough to block slides.
· The wheels are 99A, 100A, and stiffer (i.e. all variations with the B index) – super-hard wheels for maximum penny boarding with the most hellish slides.
3. How long do the wheels of a penny board last?
It will depend on the use you give it and the pirouettes you do on it. Normally a good board does not reach 6 months with frequent and aggressive use. For non-professionals, the boards can even last for years, renewing the wheels every 2–3 months.
4. Which penny board wheels are best for the street?
50-53mm: Wheels with these measurements are typically used for the street and for urban parks, by small skaters and on small boards. With wheels this size, speed is not as important as being close to the ground or curbs, which makes it easier to do tricks.