Best Wheels for Cruising Skateboard: Your Ultimate Guide to Smooth Rides

Explore the best wheels for cruising on your skateboard. Find top brands, ideal sizes, hardness tips, and more for the smoothest ride.

Cruisin’ down the street on your beloved skateboard, have you ever wondered which wheels are best for cruising skateboards? Don’t sweat it; I’ve got your answer. The crown goes to options that deliver optimum grip, stability, and durability for those long, exhilarating rides. You’re probably just as curious as I am about the details, so let’s dive deep into the wonderful world of skateboard wheels.

What should you look for in skateboard cruiser wheels?

So, let’s dig into what you need to be eyeballing when looking for the best skateboard wheels for cruising. The key questions on your mind should include what you want to do with your skateboard and the specifics you should pay attention to in a wheel.

Image of a longboard with classic cruiser wheels. Source: pixabay
Image of a longboard with classic cruiser wheels. Source: pixabay

Do you simply want to glide through the streets effortlessly, or are you hoping to pop off a few keen tricks as well? If it’s just cruising and hopping a couple of curbs, then all the wheels mentioned here are a solid choice. But if you’re aspiring for a bit of technicality, smaller wheels, like the Ricta Clouds, are likely your piece of cake.

Of course, there’s more to this captivating story about skateboard cruising wheels. Factors like adding the correct riser pads or shock pads, verifying your bolts fit properly, and the softness of your bushings relative to your body weight are all significant details that deserve your attention.

Which skateboard cruiser wheel brands are reliable?

As for the brands to consider, there are heaps of awesome skateboard cruiser wheel brands out there. Companies like Venom, 88wheels, Santa Cruz, and 3DM all offer quality products that are well worth your memory space. Choice from reputable brands often gives you an edge in superior wheel performance and urethane formula quality.

Having ridden a myriad of wheels, from top-notch brands to not-so-great ones, I can confess that cheap wheels often don’t deliver the durability and reliability you’d want on a cruising adventure. For instance, the so-called 78A cheap cruiser wheels from Magneto that I once tried out felt more like a wobbly 86A.

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My favorite wheels (at the moment):

Spitfire Classic Skateboard Wheels

Best wheels for cruising skateboard: your ultimate guide to smooth rides | 61cahmq78ml. Ac sl1050 | skateboard salad
My favorite wheels (at the moment):

Spitfire Classic Skateboard Wheels

These are the quintessential street skateboarding wheels. These wheels are very hard and therefore are not great on bumpy roads, but for street skating tricks, they are awesome and really, really smooth.

How much clearance do I need to prevent wheelbite?

Preventing wheelbite is definitely an issue that strikes a chord with every skateboarder. Figuring out the exact distance between the wheels and deck that will ward off wheel bite is kind of like solving a skateboarding Rubik’s cube.

Here’s one insider tip I’ve learned: wheels around 60mm usually require risers. However, it’s not all about the wheel size. Factors such as truck tightness, bushing hardness, and weight also alter the equation. Loose trucks, along with softer bushings, may make your ride more carve-friendly but increase the risk of wheel bite.

I’ve found riser pads to be our best mates in granting that extra clearance we crave. For 60mm wheels, you’d be well off with 1/8″ or 1/4″ pads, and for anything over 60mm, opt for 1/2. But hey, every skateboard setup has its own personality, so you don’t want to skimp on exploring what works best for you.

To get a taste of this balancing act between trucks, wheels, and riser pads, check out image setup one above. You’ll see that it features 63mm Hawgs attached to the trucks, complete with a 1/2″ riser pad setup.

Are riser pads and hardware essential?

If you’re opting for wheels 58mm or larger, it’s something like a street law of skateboarding to consider adding riser pads or 1/8″ shock pads. While the general skateboard decks consist of 7 ply’s, a handful of exceptions may advocate for different bolts.

Make sure you check my comprehensive hardware size guide, as it can be a lifesaver in these situations. You definitely don’t want your hardware sticking out and ruining your date with ledges or, even worse, having hardware too short that fails to attach your trucks to the board.

How do I know the right hardness for my cruiser wheels?

Possibly one of the most crucial factors to consider is selecting the right hardness (or durometer). Soft wheels are the name of the game for a smooth and comfy cruising journey, allowing you to glide over rough surfaces like a charm.

Image of skateboard wheels stacked in front of a skateboard. Source: pixabay
Image of skateboard wheels stacked in front of a skateboard. Source: pixabay

However, if you’re eyeing to master some tricks during your cruise, you should solidly stick to wheels falling between 86A and 92A. Although softer wheels do provide a silky ride, they tend to bounce all over the place when you’re working on tricks, which could, unfortunately, result in landing primo.

For dealing with rough surfaces while still enjoying some sweet tricks, 92A is a pretty solid choice. However, it should be said that frequenting a skate park might strain your pushing muscles a bit more.

What is the perfect size for cruiser wheels?

Size is undoubtedly crucial in your quest for the best wheels for cruising skateboards. A size spectrum of anywhere between 60mm and 65mm is recommended for a great cruising experience. Smaller wheels may make you feel like a hamster on a wheel since you’ll need to push more often, and they don’t sail smoothly for long-distance commuting. On the flip side, larger wheels require an additional investment in riser pads for that much-needed clearance.

Larger wheels may cause you to push less frequently, but they’ve got a slow-motion syndrome during acceleration. Smaller wheels, although needing more action to push, are speed demons in acceleration.

Do you need special bearings?

A splendid cruising saga is incomplete without quality bearings, and boy, do I have a killer recommendation for you. Zealous bearings are like the backstage rockstars of cruising. Yes, they might require a bit of ‘break’ time and tend to accelerate at a relaxed pace, but once they get rolling, they keep the momentum for a good long while.

It’s also not something of a big deal to use standard bearings from Bones or Bronson. Just beware of the ABEC rating mambo jumbo, and avoid getting pulled in by attractive but cheap, unbranded knock-offs.

Do you need new trucks?

And as for the question of trucks, well, you most probably won’t need to swap your trucks unless you’re planning to mount some Godzilla-sized wheels on them. Just keep in mind how tight you ride your trucks and the hardness of your bushings.

Loose trucks are quite prone to causing wheel bite for bigger wheels over 59mm/60mm. So adding risers when needed can go a long way toward guaranteeing an swesome rid. Ensuring your trucks and skateboard setup is a fit that works is crucial for a safe and adventurous cruise skating journey that keeps you coming back for more.

Dos and don’ts of choosing cruiser skateboard wheels

Choosing skateboard cruiser wheels isn’t just about picking the first set you see online or at your local skate shop. There’s an art and science to picking the right ones that suit your needs and riding style. Let’s go through some “dos” and “don’ts” to keep in mind when on this mission.

Do’sDon’ts
Consider your intended useDon’t overlook sizing, hardness, and clearance
Stick to reputable brandsDon’t skimp on quality for cheap knock-offs
Keep weight and bushing in mindDon’t ignore the role of bearings and hardware in performance
Invest in riser pads as neededDon’t underestimate the potential for wheel bite
Think about your ride preferencesDon’t ignore the potential benefits of having specific cruiser wheels
Choosing the right cruiser wheels for your skateboard involves making thoughtful decisions at each step.

Comparison of skateboard cruiser wheels

Let’s take a peek at some insightful comparison of common wheel choices in the skateboarding community.

Wheel TypeIdeal UseDurometerSizeWheel ClearanceBrands
60mmCruising78A60mmMediumVenom
Ricta CloudsTricks & Cruise86A-92A54-60mmLowRicta
65mmCruising long distanceAbove 80A65mmHigh3dm
StandardTricksAbove 100A52-55mmLowBones, Bronson
This table provides a snapshot of the variety of cruiser wheels available and their features.

My take on the best wheels for cruising skateboards

From my own skateboarding journey, I’ve learned that the best wheels for cruising skateboards aren’t always the ones that come with the biggest brand names or the heftiest price tags. Instead, the real deal lies in finding the wheels that dial into your unique skateboarding style, your cruising desires, and the little tech quirks that make your ride a dream come true. It’s an intriguing balance of size, durometer, and specific skateboard anatomy that creates the perfect cruising experience. And let’s not forget the immense value of proper skateboard maintenance, which can seriously extend the life of your cruiser wheels!

“In the intricate dance that is skateboarding, your wheels aren’t simply wheels – they’re your trusty partners, spinning a rhythm to your every move and adding the perfect stride to your cruising tale.”

If you are a visual learner, check out the video below from YouTube.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Choosing the right cruiser skateboard wheels is both an art and a science, and it’s perfectly normal to run into a few queries along the way. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions that might help you piece together your perfect ride puzzle!

Can I use cruiser wheels for other skateboarding styles?

Yes, cruiser wheels can offer a fun twist when used for other skateboarding styles. However, remember they are made for cruising, and their larger size and softer duro could pose a challenge in technical tricks or flips. That said, their smooth roll and solid grip could add an interesting dynamic when you’re experimenting with different styles on your Penny Board.

How often should I replace my cruiser wheels?

The lifespan of your cruiser wheels largely depends on how often and aggressively you ride, as well as the quality of the wheels. With proper skateboard maintenance, good-quality wheels can last several months to a year.

Are cruiser wheels suitable for beginners?

Absolutely! Cruiser wheels’ soft duro and larger size offer a smooth, stable ride, making them an excellent choice for beginners looking to learn skateboarding or improve their riding skills. A stable ride can boost confidence, making the learning process smoother.

Can you use cruiser skateboard wheels with any kind of truck?

While cruiser wheels can fit on any standard skateboard truck, remember larger wheels might require extra riser pads to prevent wheel bite. Also, the ride of loose trucks can be affected with larger wheels. It’s important to ensure your entire skateboard setup is harmonious for the best skate experience.

Final thoughts

In the intricate ballet of skateboard cruising, every component, from your trucks to bushings and especially your wheels, plays a pivotal role. Choosing the best wheels for cruising on your skateboard isn’t just about the most popular brands or the largest sizes. The real magic happens when every piece of the puzzle comes together in perfect harmony with your skateboarding style and ambitions. Turning your ride into that dreamy cruising experience needs insight, patience, and of course, the fiery love for skateboarding!

Are you a fan of mixed rides, or do larger wheel sizes meet your cruising cravings? And did I cover everything you wanted to know? Let me know in the comments section below. I read and reply to every comment. If this guide to the best wheels for cruising on your skateboard was helpful, share the stoke with a friend! Remember to check out my guide on the best skateboard for 7-year-olds for insights on kiddie cruising. Keep shredding the streets, and remember, the wheels keep us rolling!

Key takeaways

This article mapped out the journey to find the best wheels for cruising on your skateboard. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Cruiser skateboard wheels are more about the balance of size, durometer, and structure than just brand reputation.
  • Brands like Venom, 3DM, and even Ricta Clouds bring to the table a variety of cruiser wheel options.
  • Preventing wheel bite is a careful equation of truck tightness, bushing hardness, body weight, and riser pads.
  • The ideal hardness (durometer) for cruiser wheels lies within 78A for smooth cruising and up to 92A for a mix of cruising and tricks.
  • The right bearings are critical for a smooth ride, and the Zealous bearings are a pretty solid choice.
  • The need for new trucks depends largely on the size of your wheels and how tight you ride your trucks.

Helpful resources

Steven Portrate
Written by Steven Sadder, Staff Writer

Hey! I'm Steven, a lifelong skater, and proud New Yorker. I’ve been skating since I was a teenager. I may be a bit older now, but I'm not slowing down. Follow me for skating tips and latest gear reviews.

Nick eggert.
Edited by Nick Eggert, Staff Editor

Nick is our staff editor and co-founder. He has a passion for writing, editing, and website development. His expertise lies in shaping content with precision and managing digital spaces with a keen eye for detail.

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