Scooters are increasingly popular among individuals of all ages since they are cool and effective modes of transportation. If you are looking for such a device for daily use in order to get to work and around the city, then our article featuring the top-rated models available on the market might be helpful so you can check it out here.
It’s important to note that scooters can fall into two main categories, namely those made for the younger audience, that can be used around parks for tricks, and those that adults use for their everyday commute. No matter which category you are interested in, the wheels are a major component that can significantly affect the quality of your ride.
That’s why, no matter if you are an experienced rider or you are still rather new to what this type of transportation entails, you should get to know some of the main particularities of wheels in order to choose the alternative that suits your needs.
When it comes to pro scooters used for tricks, some people think that these devices are not that complex and that further details are not necessary. However, this is not true, since professional riders need to be able to perform complex stunts, and this means the wheels have to withstand shocks, but also ensure a smooth ride.
Most of the entry-level wheels in this category have either metal or plastic cores with urethane treads. However, high-end models almost always come equipped with wheels that feature metal cores, since these are stronger than plastic ones and, of course, more durable. These attributes make them a suitable choice for advanced riders.
The size of the wheels is another important part, and as you go through the information provided by the manufacturer, you should know that this indicator refers to the diameter. Most of these wheels have diameters of either 100mm or 110mm, and the larger the wheel, the longer it needs to make a complete rotation, which translates into a softer and faster ride.
This is good to know if you enjoy cruising more than doing tricks. However, smaller wheels are usually easier to maneuver. In terms of whether you actually need metal cores or not, you need to be aware that these usually hold up a lot better than plastic ones.
Freestyle scootering is a demanding and pretty rough type of activity, which means that any equipment involved needs to be able to face it. In case you are planning to jump and whip the scooter around the skate park, then you certainly want to have wheels that stick, roll, and are easy to handle.
What about the bearings?
Bearings are useful elements inserted inside the wheel’s core and they look like a metal housing that gets pressed over a layer of ball bearings. As the wheel is rolling, these elements roll as well against the surface, allowing the entire wheel to spin without resistance, thus ensuring a smooth ride.
Pro scooters feature bearings that come with what is known as an ABEC rating. This categorization indicates precision and the higher the rating is, the more precise the wheel, which also means that it can handle a higher RPM.
With all of this in mind, if you see a model that features metal-core 87A PU wheels with a 110mm diameter and ABEC-5 bearings, you will know exactly what it can do and whether it’s right for your needs or not.
There’s another aspect that you should consider when you want to determine how a certain set of wheels is made, namely hardness. This is measured using a durometer rating, and average scooter wheels are usually ranked around 82A. The scale itself goes from 0 to 100 to indicate hardness, with the lower rankings being softer and providing more grip.
Of course, the higher ranking ones are harder, faster, but also have more slip. These can wear out quicker, but they are the right choice for park riding and ramps. The softer wheels are better suited for general street riding.
Electric scooter tires
As we’ve mentioned, scooters can fall into different categories, so for those of you interested in knowing how wheels are made for electric scooters, the next lines will help you figure this out. There are two main varieties in this category, namely airless and pneumatic wheels. The latter are also known as air-filled ones.
Pneumatic tires are better at absorbing shocks and provide enhanced traction, especially during those times when you have bad weather to deal with as well. On the other hand, they require more maintenance in the long run compared to their airless counterparts. Pneumatic tires are exposed to punctures and they need to be filled with extra air from time to time.
Other than needing extra maintenance, there is nothing that makes pneumatic tires inferior to airless ones. In fact, the latter are known for offering poorer performance, but they require virtually no maintenance. With this being said, let’s go into further detail on these two types of wheels.
As we’ve already mentioned, these tires use air pressure in order to maintain the right structure and balance. A valve stem protrudes on either the side or the center of the wheel, and it can be used to empty or fill the tire with air or check its pressure. Most of the tires you see on other types of vehicles, such as motorcycles, cars, or bicycles, are pneumatic ones.
Furthermore, they fall into two subcategories, namely tubeless tires and inner tube ones. Tubeless tires are commonly used for cars, and they consist of only one layer of tire that creates an airtight seal around the rim. These ones are suitable for heavy-duty use, as they are puncture-resistant and offer superior performance.
On the other hand, if you do get a flat tire, changing it can be a real pain since in some cases you might even have to go to a local tire shop to get this done.
Inner tube tires are usually found on electric scooters and bicycles. They feature an outer tire called a “shell” that includes treads and the contact surface, while inside they have a completely separate tube that actually holds the air.
The valve is connected to this inner layer in order to fill it with air. In case the tire gets punctured, the inner tube is the only one that needs to be replaced.
This type of tires uses either a rubber or a solid polyurethane foam filling material which works to ensure the wheel’s structural integrity. What makes them a good choice, especially for beginners, is that they cannot be punctured, so they cannot go flat. However, in terms of performance, this is pretty much the only benefit they bring.
In every other aspect, the pneumatic tires are superior, so if you are a more experienced rider and you want to be comfortable in your daily commute, then the first alternative is the right one. In terms of construction, solid tires can be either honeycomb or filled.
The former means that an internal rubber honeycomb structure is designed, while filled ones include foam, rubber, or other polymer filling.