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Inline Skate Wheel Profiles

How Wheel Profiles Affect Skating Performance


Discover the impact of various wheel sizes and profiles on your skating performance.
Inline Skate Wheel Profiles

Inline wheel profiles

Image © 2009 Carlesa Williams, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Your inline skate wheel profile is determined by the shape of a wheel from a head on viewpoint. The profile establishes how much of your wheel touches the ground when you skate. There can be a big difference in the profile views of wheels and each profile has a purpose.

Wheel sizes are different depending on the skating discipline. Inline hockey wheels, recreational wheels and figure or dance wheels can work across these same disciplines, but you should be aware that you will not have all of the wheel properties needed for the activity. Recreational wheels are usually multi-purpose, but again, you will not have any sport-specific wheel benefits. The profile (shape) is also important; a wider flatter wheel has more traction and grip, but also more rolling resistance and won’t glide as well. Aggressive skaters prefer smaller flatter wheels for their grip and control, while speed skaters prefer taller narrower wheels because they offer less rolling resistance more responsiveness.
  • 42-72mm for aggressive skating. Aggressive wheels are short, wide, with a rounded profile and have a solid core. The very small wheels are used for anti-rocker.

  • 72-80mm for slalom skating. Slalom wheels are average height and rounded for maneuverability. They are very similar to figure and hockey inline wheels that also need to combine maneuverabiity and grip.

  • 64-80mm for roller hockey skating. Hockey wheels are wider and rounded for traction and grip.

  • 68-76mm for artistic or figure inline skating. Artistic or figure skating wheels have average height, with a slightly rounded profile for maneuverability and grip.

  • 70-78mm for general recreational skating. Recreational wheels have average height, average profile for all-purpose uses.

  • 76-90mm for serious fitness skating. Fitness wheels have a taller height and slightly thinner profile for distance travel.

  • 90-110mm for speed and marathon skating. Speed wheels are taller, thinner, more tapered for speed on controlled surfaces.

Wheel profile and size will be more important to serious or competitive skaters in any inline skating discipline.
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