Best Skateboard Wheels for Cruising

Cruising through town or campus on your board is a great way to get around. Nothing beat the feel of a good, smooth ride and it sure does get you where you need to be pretty quick. 

To get the most out of your board and ride, you need wheels that are going to give you great stability and traction whilst aborbing the shock generated by uneven surfaces. 

We’ve put together a list of the best wheels for cruising to take the hassle out of kitting out your board, so you can get going as quickly as possible.

Best Skateboard Wheels for Cruising

OUR TOP PICK

Santa Cruz Slime Balls Swirly Black Blue Swirl Wheels 78A 65mm

These are some sick looking wheels and their performance is excellent too! Available in 60mm or 65mm and four different retro style designs, these wheels will definitely turn heads as you cruise. 

The wheels have a slimmed down profile to reflect the retro look they are going for but still have a decent contact patch of about 26mm. This means you will get a really decent amount of traction without the bulk and weight of some other wheels. 

Falling at 78A on the durometer scale, you should get a nice smooth ride even over cracked or bumpy roads. There does seem to be some confusion with the listing as they are listed as 97A but the wheels themselves say 78A. Users have confirmed that they are 78A durometer so we think the listing is a typo error. 

Santa Cruz have been making skateboards and accessories for nearly 40 years and have an excellent reputation for their decks and wheels. 

Pros

  • Soft for a smooth ride. 
  • Slim, retro profile and color scheme. 
  • Good size contact patch. 
  • Trusted, well established brand behind them.

Cons

  • Some confusing about the durometer in the listing. 
  • Only two sizes available. 

EDITORS CHOICE

Orangatang Fat Free 65 mm 83a Freeride Longboard Skateboard Wheels (Purple, Set of 4)

Orangatang are one of the most loved names when it comes to longboards and cruisers. The quality of their product is phenomenal. These wheels are no exception. If you’ve got the cash to splash out on them that is! 

This 65mm 83A wheels will set you back $65 dollars but they are worth every penny. The fat free range is quick, light and agile. You’ll get execellent speed with these wheels and a ride so smooth you won’t even know you’ve ridden over a rock or pothole. 

The contact patch on these wheels are stone-ground, so they give you amazing grip and traction on the slipperiest of surfaces. The width of the contact patch is 37mm which means that you have a wide, well balanced, grippy surface to work with. 

As well as providing a smooth ride, these wheels will provide a near silent ride too. Users compare it to riding on marshmallows! These really are a splurge worthy purchase. 

Pros

  • Provide an unparalleled smooth ride. 
  • Light weight to allow you to do some tricks.
  • Speedy. 
  • Stone-ground contact patch give lots of traction. 
  • Great color and design. 
  • Well liked, established brand.

Cons

  • Pricey. 
  • Some find them too soft but this is personal preference.

BEST VALUE

Fireball Tinder 60mm 81a Durometer Skateboard & Longboard Wheels x 4 (Red)

Made in California, these wheels are on fire! You will experience smooth cruising, predictable slides for free riding. At 60mm and 81A these offer some killer speed without sacrificing stability. 

The rounded lips on these wheels mean they break in gradually but evenly. They have a wide, Slideprepped contact patch which is similar to the Orangatang stone-ground wheels. Essentially the contact patch is roughed up to give it better traction so you can ride them right out of the box. 

Bumps, rocks and other debris will not bother you with these wheels on your board. Being an 81A they are fairly soft but this only enhances their performance. They absorb impacts smoothly to the point where you won’t really notice what you’re riding over. 

Pros

  • Soft and supple for a smooth ride.
  • Slideprepped contact patch for traction. 
  • Rounded lips for even wear. 
  • Centreset core provides stability and balance throughout the life of the wheels. 

Cons

  • Only one option for durometer.

RUNNER UP

FREEDARE Skateboard Wheels 60mm 83a with Bearings and Spacers Cruiser Wheels (Black,Pack of 4)

These are the most affordable set of wheels in our selection. Coming in at only $27.99 they are a great option if you are on a budget or if you want to try cruising without breaking the bank. 

You don’t sacrifice quality for cost with these wheels. They are highly rated by their users who find the ride to be smooth over pavement and uneven surfaces. Many suggest these wheels for begginers and we agree! They are right in the middle in terms od size, durometer and contact patch which make them sturdy and balanced enough for new riders. 

At 83A durometer, these wheels are soft enough to cover bumps and cracks without affecting your ride but hard enough to get you to cruising speed without too much trouble. 

These wheels come with bearings and spacers pre-installed which makes them a bargain if you are looking to replace your bearings at the same time. The bearings are nothing special so you may want to stick with your current setup or favorite. 

Pros

  • Unbeatable price. 
  • Bearings and spacers included.
  • Mid range durometer gives a smooth ride and good speed. 
  • Four choices of color or you can have four wheels in different color. 
  • Made from a durable high-quality material.

Cons

  • Supplied bearings are not the best. 
  • Square profile may cause wheel bite without raisers. 

RUNNER UP

Sunset Skateboard Co. 59mm 78a LED Light-Up Cruiser Wheels (4-Pack) with ABEC-7 Carbon Steel Bearings for Glow-in-The-Dark, All Ages & Skill Levels Skating Fun with No Batteries Required (Merica2)

These are a cool offering from Sunset Skateboard Co. who style themselves as the ‘original LED skateboard wheel’ company. They have a variety of wheels for different styles and types of skateboarding. 

Their cruiser wheels are 59mm in diameter and 78A in durometer. This puts them on the smaller and softer side and as a result not quite as fast as other wheels on the list. They give a smooth ride, though heavier riders might find them a little bit too soft for them.

The LED lights use kinetic energy for power so as you skate they light up. This is a neat feature and will definitely make your board stand out. It will also help drivers spot you if you are riding at night.

There does seem to be a bit of an issue with the generator slipping out of place and not lighting the wheels if the wheels are a bit loose on your truck so you may have to compensate by tightening them more than usual. 

Pros

  • LED lights are original.
  • Comes with preinstalled bearings. 
  • Smaller diameter so no need for risers. 
  • Soft wheels for a smoother ride.

Cons

  • Could be considered a little gimmicky. 
  • Generator requires the wheels to be very tight to the truck.
  • Some users report the lights have stopped working after a few rides.

Best Skateboard Wheels for Cruising Buying Guide 

To give you the smoothest ride possible through your search for new wheels, we’ve put together a buyer’s guide to explain some of the things you should consider and what to avoid when buying new wheels for cruising. 

Size

Size really matters when buying skateboard wheels. There are all the mechanical worries about whether or not you will have enough clearance on a set of wheels and whether they will fit your truck set up. But, most importantly, you need to consider what sort of ride you want. 

Larger wheels are over 60mm in diameter and will give you a faster ride and take less effort to get you where you are going. They also offer more balance as they are wider. 

Smaller wheels of between 50mm and 53mm require you to push more frequently and give you a slower ride. But because they are closer to the ground they are easier to control which is why they are ideal for anyone looking to do tricks and more technical skateboarding. 

Then there are wheels that fall in the middle. Wheels between 53mm and 59mm are your average Joe wheels. They are great for beginners and street skating as they offer a bit of a compromise. 

For cruising, you want wheels that are on the larger side but not huge. You’re looking for wheels of about 58mm to 65mm in diameter. Wheels of this size will give you enough speed to get where you are going, without having to push too frequently.  They will also offer better stability for travelling over less than smooth surfaces. 

Contact Patch

The contact patch of a wheel, is how much of the wheel is in contact with the ground at any one time. This is really important for cruising because wider contact patches provide much better stability and take the impact of uneven surfaces more easily than thinner contact patches. 

The thing with cruising is that you’re travelling to different places on roads and pavements that haven’t got your needs in mind. You need to get wheels that can take the stress without affecting your ride too much. Bowl skaters and vert skaters can get away with smaller contact patches because the bowls and ramps are smooth and even. 

The shape of the wheel will effect the contact patch. Rounder wheels have a smaller contact patch because they curve away from the ground. Square wheels provide a bigger surface and thus more traction. 

Which one you go for will depend on your style and preference. Some hate the look of squared wheels while others like the sharper edges. 

In terms of how they will affect your ride, the rounded wheels will give you less resistance when you push so they accelerate faster and have less traction. The squared edge, on the other hand, bites into the pavement and provides more grip and control. The downside is you need more momentum to get them going fast.

Durometer

The hardness of wheels iis measured using the durometer scale. Most wheels will be on the A scale which runs from one to one hundred. The higher the number the harder the wheel. Simple enough. 

Softer wheels offer a smoother ride because they absorb the shock of uneven ground like cracks or holes in the pavement. This means that you have a much smoother cruise. Smoother wheels provide quite a bit of bounce back when doing tricks so if you are looking to do a few technical tricks on your cruising board you might want to go for slightly harder wheels. 

Hard wheels will go much faster but they offer much less grip than soft wheels. Hard wheels are perfect for down hill skating but less so for more uneven urban surfaces because they don’t absorb impact. 

For cruising, anything between 78A and 92A should do you fine. If you are using your board only for cruising and transport we would recommend aiming for wheels closer to 78A than 92A. You’ll find the ride smoother and more manageable. 

Clearance

Because cruising wheels tend to be on the larger size, you may need to check the clearance between the wheel and your deck. If you have wheels over 60mm in diameter you will probably need to add a riser pad to your truck to make sure there is sufficient space between wheel and deck. 

You’ll probably need a ¼ inch or ½ inch riser pad for each truck depending on how loose you like your truck and how wide your deck is. 

Without risers, you might find that the deck catches the wheel during bends and turns. This is called wheel bit and not only does it  damages both deck and wheel but it is also likely to send you flying off your board. 

Trucks and Deck

The deck of your skateboard is the long wooden bit you stand on while the trucks are the metal hardware underneath that house the barings, bushings and wheels. 

There isn’t really a standard size for decks and trucks but their size will affect your wheel purchase. If you have a wider deck and there fore, wider trucks you are going to need larger wheels to match. Sticking small wheels on a larger board will throw you off balance while large wheels on smaller boards will end up getting caught by the deck. 

How tight you like your trucks is also something to consider. If you like looser trucks for a surfy kind of feel, your deck is more likely to catch your wheels because it has more manuvaring space. If this is the case you are going to want to add risers to your trucks to keep the clearance space. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you ollie with cruising wheels?

Technically you can but you will find it far more difficult than with other wheels. The thing with cruising wheels and boards in general is that they are designed for speed and stability.  The wheels are generally larger making them heavier and the boards are often heavier too. This can make it much harder to lift and kick your board. 

Cruiser wheels are also on the softer side which makes them more grippy and bouncy, two things you don’t really want when trying to ollie or perform other tricks. The added traction will hinder your manurvarabiliy while the bounce back can really throw off your landings. 

What brand does the best wheels? 

There isn’t a definitive answer for this. Skaters all have their own preference when it comes to wheels. Some swear by Bones Wheels, other prefer Hawgs. 

Each company will have their own casting formula and process which can affect the way a wheel rides and wears out. Ultimately, it really depends on your style and preference. 

When you buy wheels from a well known brand, you have the authority of more users to back up your purchase. Buying unbranded or lesser known brands can be a bit of a risk but it might pay off for you. 

You will likey end up trying a few different brands and types of wheels before finding something that really clicks for you so sometimes taking a gamble on an unknown company can lead to a perfect match. 

How do I replace my skateboard wheels?

It is a fairly simple process that should only take you a few minutes. The key is remembering which order to place all the different parts in. 

The first step is to place your board on its side and remove the axel nut that is holding the current wheel on. You can use a skateboard tool or a wrench to do this. 

Once the nut is off you should be able to take the washer off. This is a thin circle of metal that sits between the wheel an the nut. Put both the nut and the washer aside for the moment. 

You can now remove the wheel by just lifting it off the truck. There will be a washer left on the truck. You can leave it there if its in good condition or you can replace it if needs be. 

You will notice that the bearings are still inside the wheel. To remove them you just need something to pry them out like a screwdriver. You can use the truck itself by positioning the wheel at an angle but you may snap your truck if the bearings are jammed. 

When you get one bearing out, you should see the bearing spacer fall out after it. This is a piece that fits between the bearings to stop them falling out of place. 

Once you’ve removed the bearings, you need to fit them into your new wheel. Place your wheel on a flat surface and push the bearing into the space in the wheel. It should snap into place and be flush with the inside edge of the wheel. 

Filp the wheel over and place the bearing spacer in before pushing the last bearing into the opening. 

You can now put the wheel back on the truck followed by the top washer and then finally the nut. Using your multi tool or wrench, tighten the nut so it holds everything in place. Tightening it too much will stop the wheel from spinning freely. 

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