Are you looking to change up your skateboarding experience? You may have been cruising around on a skateboard for a while and are curious about trying something new. Here’s an interesting idea: why not use longboard wheels on your skateboard? Longboard wheels are known for their larger size, offering a smoother ride and better stability. But can they be used on a regular skateboard setup? In this article, we will explore the possibilities of putting longboard wheels on a skateboard and the benefits and drawbacks of this unconventional combination. So, fasten your seatbelts (or rather tighten your trucks) as we embark on an exciting journey to see if this wheel swap is worth the hype!
Can you put longboard wheels on a skateboard?
Can you put longboard wheels on a skateboard? It’s a question that many skaters may have pondered. The answer is yes; technically, it is possible to mount longboard wheels onto a skateboard.
Wheel Size and Bite
Longboard wheels are typically larger than regular skateboard wheels. The size and shape of longboard wheels can cause “wheel bite” on a regular skateboard. Wheel bite occurs when the wheel touches the bottom of the skateboard deck during a turn, causing the board to stop abruptly and potentially throwing the rider off.
If you plan to use your skateboard’s original trucks, you must ensure they accommodate the larger wheels. Some skateboard trucks might be too narrow for longboard wheels.
Use riser pads between your trucks and the skateboard deck to counteract potential wheel bite. Riser pads increase the distance between the deck and the wheels, giving you more clearance.
Larger wheels will give you a smoother ride, especially over rough surfaces. They can also allow higher top speeds since they cover more ground per rotation. However, they might reduce the board’s agility and make tricks more challenging.
Wheel Hardness (Durometer)
Longboard wheels are often softer than skateboard wheels, which can provide a smoother ride. This can be advantageous if you’re looking to cruise or ride over rough surfaces. However, softer wheels might be less durable or slide easily if you’re doing tricks.
Bearings are typically standardized (608 sizes), so you shouldn’t have any issues with bearing compatibility between skateboard and longboard wheels.
Purpose of the Setup
Longboard wheels are a good choice if you want to create a cruiser setup on a smaller skateboard deck. Traditional skateboard wheels are more appropriate if you plan on doing technical tricks or riding at skateparks.
If you decide to swap out your skateboard wheels for longboard wheels, test the setup in a safe environment to get a feel for how it rides. Every change in equipment can alter your riding experience, so it’s essential to understand how it affects your board’s performance.
What are the Benefits of using Longboard Wheels on a skateboard?
Using longboard wheels on a skateboard can change the board’s dynamics and purpose. Here are some of the benefits of making this modification:
Longboard wheels are typically larger and softer than standard skateboard wheels. They can roll over cracks, small rocks, and rough surfaces more smoothly than smaller, harder wheels. The bigger and softer wheels can make a notable difference in ride comfort for those who want a skateboard for transportation or cruising.
Larger wheels cover more ground per rotation than smaller wheels. Consequently, a skateboard with longboard wheels can achieve higher speeds with the same amount of pushing effort. This is especially beneficial for downhill skating or those wishing to cover longer distances with fewer pushes.
Longboard wheels often have a wider contact patch (the part of the wheel that touches the ground) and are made of softer urethane. These factors contribute to better grip, which is advantageous for carving, cruising, and downhill riding.
Installing longboard wheels can transform a traditional skateboard into a versatile cruiser. This hybrid setup offers the maneuverability of a skateboard while delivering some of the cruising benefits of a longboard.
Durability on Rough Surfaces
The softer urethane typically used for longboard wheels tends to wear down slower on rough surfaces than harder skateboard wheels. Frequently riding on uneven terrain can mean a longer wheel lifespan.
The larger and softer durometer of longboard wheels can help absorb vibrations from the ground. This makes riding more comfortable, especially on uneven or rough pavements.
Adaptability to Different Terrains
Whether you’re on smooth park asphalt, rough city streets, or even mildly off-road paths, longboard wheels can easily handle various terrains, making your skateboard more adaptable.
The Challenges: Is it Always a Good Idea?
One of the most significant challenges of putting longboard wheels on a skateboard is the risk of wheel bite. This occurs when the wheels come into contact with the deck, especially during sharp turns. It can be dangerous as it may stop the board abruptly, causing the rider to fall.
Difficulty in Performing Tricks
Skateboarding with longboard wheels might make it challenging to perform tricks or stunts. The larger wheels could hinder movements like ollies and slides.
Modifications May Be Needed
Depending on the skateboard truck and deck size, riders might need riser pads to ensure the wheels don’t contact the deck. This means additional components and adjustments to the skateboard.
Step-by-Step Guide to Installing Longboard Wheels on Your Skateboard
If you’re convinced about trying out longboard wheels for your skateboard, here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Gather Your Tools: You’ll need a skate tool, skateboard bearings, and your chosen longboard wheels.
- Remove Traditional Skateboard Wheels: Remove the axle nuts from your skateboard truck using the skate tool.
- Install Longboard Bearings into the Longboard Wheels: Insert the bearings into your chosen longboard wheels.
- Mount the Longboard Wheels onto the Skateboard Truck: Slide the longboard wheels onto the axle. Consider adding riser pads if the wheels are too close to the deck.
- Secure the Wheels: Tighten the axle nuts using the skate tool, ensuring the wheels spin freely without too much wobble.
If you change your skateboard to longboard wheels, choose the right ones that suit your needs. Consider factors like wheel sizes and hardness to enhance the overall performance of your board.
Remember, when changing your wheels, you need a skate tool and follow a step-by-step guide. Take caution when removing and installing the new wheels so as not to damage any components of your skateboard.
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