What You Need to Know about Pro Scooter Wheels
There’s a reason why The Vault Pro Scooters carries such a big selection of pro scooter wheels: not all wheels for pro scooters are made the same. Besides the obvious differences (number of spokes, type of core, size, color) there are quality differences as well. Here’s what you need to know:
- Pro scooter wheels come in two sizes. The smaller wheels are 100 mm in diameter. They’re called 100s. The bigger wheels are 110 mm in diameter. As you probably guessed, they’re called 110s.
The 100s are better for speed (riders who live on or near hills tend to especially like the feel of them) and for shorter riders. However, they wear out a lot more quickly than the bigger wheels do. The 110s are generally best for riders who are around 5’3” or taller, and for riding distances.
- Plastic core wheels are inferior. While these can be fine for very young beginners, the plastic core wheels wear out very quickly. What happens is that once the rider starts doing tricks the plastic gets rounded out or “ovalized.” An ovalized wheel rattles, makes a lot of noise, and just doesn’t work well.
Quality pro scooter wheels all have metal (aluminum) cores – and this is the only type we carry. Metal cores don’t get ovalized and won’t break as easily.
- “PU numbers” refer to the hardness of the polyurethane. The outer part of pro scooter wheels is polyurethane (“PU”). The polyurethane is referred to by something called a “PU number.” The higher the PU number, the harder the polyurethane. Some companies are known for making harder wheels, and some are known for making softer wheels.
For example, PROTO makes some wheels for pro scooters that they call “slider wheels,” and others that they call “gripper wheels.” The slider wheels are made with a softer PU, and are made for skate parks. The gripper wheels use a much harder and stronger PU, and are meant for street use.
- Made in USA is different than Made in China. Pro scooter wheels are made by creating the metal core and then attaching the polyurethane coating to the core. There are many different ways that the core can be made and the polyurethane can be attached.
In the US, the core of the scooter wheel is usually made by taking a block of aluminum and milling it down to its final shape. This results in an extremely strong core. In China the manufacturers usually either pour molten aluminum into dies or use an extruder to extrude the aluminum into the proper shape.
Not sure what to choose?
If all of this information is making your head spin, give us a call. All of our staff members are experienced riders or pros, and they’d be happy to walk you through it all to figure out what’s best for you.