Are you a new longboarder who is looking for advice on which wheels you can get for the best price? Or perhaps you are a more experienced longboard rider, but just want to get the best bang for your buck, whilst still ensuring the wheels you purchase are going to be of high quality.
I was in this position too. I wanted to buy a new set of wheels for my board but did not want to fork out a ton of money at the time. I struggled quite a bit to find the information I needed online. I wanted to know which wheels I could purchase that could offer me both quality and affordability.
Well luckily for you, I have done all the hard work, and now you can read all about my findings here. So check out my article on the best cheap longboard wheels below!
What to look for in cheaper longboard wheels:
The durometer of a longboard’s wheels refers to the hardness or softness it has. In general, the majority of longboard wheels will vary in durometer from around 75-88A. But what does that mean?
Well, a lower durometer means that the wheels should have a high amount of grip, but are slower to rotate. Whilst higher durometer wheels have less grip, but will be able to perform at a much quicker rate, allowing you to ride faster.
As well as the speed and grip of the wheels, durometer also impacts the ability to slide. Wheels with a lower durometer (softer wheels) are super simple to maintain control of but tend to stick a little to the road’s surface.
Whereas wheels with a higher durometer (harder wheels) will help you to slide faster and also allow you to smoothly ride across rougher ground.
Most riders of longboards will tend to own wheels that are 78a or 80a in durometer. This is because they are the most average sizes and they both have a great combination of speed, grip and sliding capability.
When it comes to the longboard wheels, most wheels suitable for longboards range from 64-80mm. But how do you know which size will be best for you?
In the most basic of terms, bigger wheels tend to accelerate at a slower rate, but have a higher ‘top speed’, so they go faster once they get going. This means that larger wheels tend to allow for a smooth and silkier ride across uneven surfaces.
On the other hand, wheels with a smaller size will accelerate at a much faster rate but will have a slower ‘top speed’ once you get going.
So first thing’s first, you need to decide on what type of riding you want to use your longboard and its wheels for. The second aspect you need to consider is: will the wheels fit onto your longboard without any wheelbite occuring? You can always purchase riser pads if this is the case.
When it comes to longboard wheels, the lips of those wheels are really important.
The lips, which are the very outer edges, come in varying shapes and designs. The most common lips will be thick and square, or rounded.
Rounded wheels are great because they easily break up unnecessary friction, which makes for a super smooth and carefree ride, even from grip to slide. These will be best used for freeriding.
Sharper or thicker square lips will ensure that the wheels have a lot of grip. They will be best used for downhill riding.
In between round and sharp lips you will find bevelled edge wheels. This is where the wheel sits at a very different angle, compared to the other parts of the wheel. The characteristics of bevelled edge wheels are that it has more grip than a rounded edge lip, but less than a square/sharp lip.
If your longboarding style is more for commuting, transportation, casual riding or carving, then it won’t be such a big deal to look so deep into the wheel’s lips.
Last but not least, of course you have to consider the price of the longboard compared to your budget. When it comes to longboard wheels, they can vary in price and can even go up end up costing you hundreds of dollars. Not ideal if you’re on a budget, or if you are beginner wanting to practice without breaking the bank.
Also, not all cheaper wheels are bad. In fact, the wheels we have reviewed below are pretty awesome!
Most Durable Wheels
1.Sector 9 Slide Butterballs Wheels
What I like about the Sector 9 Slide Butterballs Wheels is that the components make the wheels super durable. The wheels have a 75a and 80a durometer, which makes it really easy and smooth across bumpy or rough ground. Even when riding across rough surfaces, the wheels stay intact and strong.
These Sector 9 wheels come with a Cosmic Centerset Core, which gives them fantastic grip to ensure the rider remains sturdy no matter what. The core also helps the wheels to wear evenly, so you are never left feeling wonky.
What’s more, is that the rounded edges of the wheels can help the rider to shift from grip to slide. And the butterballs make sliding super straightforward.
These wheels will be best for riders with a little more experience, due to the fact that they are pretty high spec.
There are just a few things to watch out for when it comes to the Sector 9 Slide Butterball wheels. One of which is the price.
Now of course this a review for the best cheap longboard wheels, and whilst these are still on the cheaper end of the spectrum, they are certainly more than others we have reviewed below.
Best Wheels for Rough Surfaces
2. RaceBon 70mm Longboard Wheels
The RaceBon 70mm longboard wheels are best for riders who like to perform freestyle tricks, as well as free-riding or dancing. They have a durometer of 78A, which means they are soft but still have a good amount grip, which is why they are ideal for this type of riding.
What I like best about these wheels is that they are excellent when riding over bumpy street surfaces or uneven ground. They roll and rotate really smoothly, which gives the rider a sleek riding experience. I also like that they are durable and long-lasting when on this type of surface.
The fact that these wheels are really easy to install is another great feature. They do also come with free steel ABEC-9 bearings and spacers!
The only thing I would say to watch out for is that the bright paint, which is said to chip fairly easily depending on your skating style.
Best Wheel Design
3.Bigfoot Longboard Wheels
What I like best about the Bigfoot longboard wheels is that they are very unique and eye-catching. They are available in a variety of colors which gives you as a rider a choice to pick their favorite design.
These wheels will be best for those of you who want to go FAST. They are 76mm in size, which makes them perfect for riders who want to pick up speed, such as those keen on downhill riding. The durometer comes in at 80a which helps give them good grip on any surface, as well as increased stability.
There are a couple of things to be aware of though. The first is, that the wheels come with bearings that can be tricky to install correctly. But the upside is that once they’re in, you don’t have to do it again! And the second wary factor is: if you want to use the wheels to slide, they do take a while to break in.
Highest Quality Wheels
4. KSS Stone Ground Longboard Wheels
The KSS Stone Ground wheels are perfect for riders who want to skate long distances, as well on rough surfaces. This is because they are good at absorbing shock and vibrations, and this means that the ride can be smooth and steady, even for long rides.
What I do like about these wheels is that they are super high quality wheels, especially for their price. They are made from premium super high rebound urethane, which allows a smooth ride as well as excellent durability and reliability. It means that you are getting the best quality for a fantastic and affordable price.
I also like that they have a soft durometer of 82A, which as discussed helps for long distance, but also is great for cruising and commuting.
Similar to the Bigfoot longboard wheels reviewed above, these KSS Stone Ground wheels have bearings that are difficult to install.
Bang for your Buck
5.FREEDARE 70mm Longboard Wheels
These FREEDARE 70mm longboard wheels are best for casual skating including cruising and commuting, as well as performing tricks and riding in skate park terrain.
This is because they are 70mm in diameter and 51mm in width, with a durometer of 51mm. The spec just mentioned makes the wheels really smooth and durable on street surfaces.
What I really like about the FREEDARE wheels, is that they come with high quality ABEC-7 bearings, which are already attached. This saves you plenty of time as you won’t have to worry about installing the bearings yourself.
One thing to consider before purchasing the set of wheels, is that they do have a recessed design. This means that they may not extend out of your board, depending on the type of board you own.
And the winner is…the Sector 9 Slide Butterballs wheels. The reason I have chosen this set of wheels specifically as the winner, is for several reasons. These include, the quality, durability and the brand itself.
These Sector 9 wheels are fantastic quality for the price point in which they come in at. They come with a Cosmic Core which helps the wheels to wear evenly, keeping you stable and steady during riding.
The wheels also have a 38mm contact patch, but this means you get great grip but can still perform slides, if that is your preference.
The design of the Sector 9 Butterballs wheels is great, as it makes them super durable and very reliable. The round lip they have helps to break down frustrating traction, so that you as the rider can ride smoothly across uneven surfaces.
- Will cheaper wheels be worth it?
If you take the advice and recommendations that we have suggested above, then yes, cheaper wheels are worth it. The wheels that we have reviewed are all great options at affordable prices.
- Do cheaper wheels ride smoothly?
This really depends on the wheels you choose to buy. The ones that we have reviewed do all ride smoothly over uneven or rough surfaces. However, we cannot speak for cheap wheels that we have not reviewed.
- Can cheaper wheels still be high quality?
Of course they can! All five of the reviewed wheels have great design, good materials and high quality spec. You don’t have to spend upwards of $70 to get wheels that will perform just as you wish them to.
- Are cheaper wheels safe?
Of the wheels that we have mentioned, then yes they all are safe to use. They are designed well and use materials that are reliable, strong and sturdy.
If you are concerned about the safety of wheels that you are looking at, make sure you read about the descriptions, components, and materials carefully, as well as other customer reviews.