How to select the right scooter wheel for you.
The purpose of this guide is to explain what you should consider before selecting your next scooter wheel.
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1. Technical information
Most scooter wheels are made mainly of polyurethane. Some scooter wheels are designed for more durability
and use a mix of different durometers (hardness) (like the Yak wheels). All YAK Wheels are classified on
diameter, hardness, rebound, profile and core. However, most often you will see only the diameter and
hardness printed on the wheels (e.g. 100mm 78A or 100mm 85A, etc.).
The profile and core you can tell by visual inspection.
2. Wheel diameter
The diameter of the wheel means simply how tall the wheel is. The usual diameters range from 90mm to 125mm. Most common
sizes you'll come across for recreational scooters are 100 and 110mm. Riders wanting speed tend to use 100mm wheels, although
110mm's are used too, depending on the scooter, the terrain and distance you intend to travel.
Generally, most scooters will fit up to 100mm wheels, high-end scooters up to 110mm. In general, taller wheels will let you
cruise faster but take longer to spin up. Taller wheels also tend to be less manoeuvrable than shorter wheels. Since many
of the small wheels are used for stunts, they all tend to be sold in higher durometers anyway (they slide better), so they
won't wear out that quickly.
0mm 100mm 110mm 125mm
Average speed______________________Fast Quick Turn_______________________Slower Turns
3. Wheel Hardness(durometer)
Durometer is a relative hardness measure frequently used for rubber and plastic products. There are several scales,
with the "A" scale(hence the 78A, etc.) used for wheels. The number is the rating from0-100, with 0 being no resistance
and 100 being very hard plastic.
For outdoors, the softer the wheel, the better the shock absorption. The trade-off is that softer wheels wear out faster.
Harder wheels, since they have less drag, are preferred on indoor surfaces that are usually very smooth.
Some riders vary their wheel durometer depending on the temperature outside. Cold weather will mean the ground
is harder so soft wheels are more suitable. In really warm weather the road might start literally melting, in which
case a high durometer setup would be more preferable.
74A 78A 85A 88A
Average Wear_________________________________Longest Wear
High Grip____________________________________Average Grip
High Rebound______________________________Average Rebound
Low Body Weight__________________________High Body Weight
Smooth Ride_____________________________________Hard Ride
4. Wheel Rebound
A higher rebound will provide more response on each stroke. Rebound is referred to as low, medium or high.
The rebound labelling seems to have been phased out as not many people seem to compare wheels based on this feature.
5. Wheel Profile
The profile of a wheel is defined by the cross-section of the wheel where it meets the ground. All wheels are 24mm thick
as an industry standard, but the variation in a wheel's "footprint" is what provides different functionality. The larger the
footprint, the greater the traction and stability. Many of the Yak wheels tend to be more tapered near the edges to
allow for sharp turning.
Wide/fat Normal profile Narrow (race)
Best Cornering__________________________Less Stable
6. Wheel Hubs/cores
The hubs or cores (either term is okay) are very important to the overall performance of the wheel. The core is
everything other than the wheel material. The core holds the bearings and connects to the wheel material. Some
wheels are open core (spokes showing), closed core (solid aluminium). If the bearing core is slightly too large
(as it often is for shoddy wheels), it will not hold the bearings tightly enough. This may allow the wheel to become
"cocked" so that it rubs against the frame.
Misalignment is a serious problem, not only because it causes drag, but also because it heats up the wheel. This
will soon cause it to separate from the hub and expand, and eventually destroy the wheel.
The first sign is that the wheels creak as you switch your weight on the scooter. If you remove the wheel from the
frame, you can see an arc clear of dirt and dust where the wheel was rubbing. If you notice this, put your hands on
your wheels after a long fast ride and see if one of them is much warmer than the others. If so, it is probably rubbing.
Closed Core Yak USA Core Yak Scat Metal core Racing
High Wheel Weight_______________________________Low Wheel Weight
Longest Wear______________________________________Normal Wear
7. Axle kits
Another important aspect of your wheels is the axle. There are several axle replacement/upgrade kits
(such as the Yak Bearing Kit) with axles that have been designed to let your wheels roll much faster than your
stock axles will allow. These kits are made of steel. What they consist of is two axle bolts per wheel, each
screwing into the threaded spacer in the wheel (the part that is sand winched between the bearings).
This prevents over tightening, which is common with regular axle systems, and will allow your
wheels/bearings to spin freely.
When putting your wheels back, make sure the wheels are just snug enough so they don't move around.
Anything more just increases the friction on your bearings.
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