How Long Do Roller Skate Wheels Last? 2021 Guide

how long do roller skate wheels last
Photo by Susan Weber on Unsplash

A lot of people ask how long do roller skate wheels last? That’s a good question indeed. On average, roller skate wheels last from 12 to 18 months. Now, that might not be the case every time; there are other factors that come into play, when checking out the lifespan of wheels.

In this article, we’ll discuss everything about the durability of different types of wheels, what makes your wheels wear out and how to make them last longer.

Wheels are the foundation of your skates. Choosing the right type of wheels and taking care of your wheels is always a good idea. Knowing the lifespan of your wheels and making the effort to prolong it, will save you loads of money. Last time I checked, a set of good wheels were really expensive.

So without further ado, let’s get started.

How Long Do Roller Skate Wheels Last on Average?

Well, that can’t be said for every kind of wheel. On average, they last for 12 to 18 months. But, there are different kinds of wheels. The quality, the brand, the material may vary. Also, indoor wheels are different from outdoor wheels. So to answer this question, we have to look into every kind of wheel separately.

What are Indoor Wheels?

Indoors have a flat surface. So the wheels are not required to grip the floor. That’s why indoor wheels are hard and have less cushion. It rolls on the surface rather than gripping the surface.

  • Indoor wheels are hard with a durometer measurement of 90 A or more.
  • Indoor wheels don’t grip the surface.
  • They are made of polyurethane which is a hard and durable material.

Indoor wheels are mostly used for roller derby, jam skating, or artistic roller skating. All these activities are done on the smoothest floors possible. And these skating styles are more about technique and trick rather than balance.

Average Lifespan of Indoor Wheels

Indoor wheels last longer than outdoor wheels.

  • Indoor surface is flat and not jagged.
  • There’s no wear and tear going on.
  • Indoor wheels which are made of polyurethane are harder and more durabile.

So, I would say that indoor wheels can last anywhere between 1 year to 4 years, depending on the quality of the wheels, your skating style, and how often you skate on them.

What are Outdoor Wheels?

As the name suggests, outdoor wheels are used outside. Outside surfaces like gravel, roads, footpaths and cracks are really rough and jagged. A little rock can trip you over. Balance and wheel grip is the key when it comes to outdoor skating. So outdoor wheels are soft so that they can have the necessary grip to keep you rolling on the ground.

  • Outdoor wheels are under 90 A. Most common outdoor wheels are 78A.
  • Outdoor wheels are soft and have more cushion so they grip the surface well.
  • Outdoor wheels are made of nylon.

Outdoor wheels are mostly used for street skating and vert skating in skateparks. Balance and stability  is the key in these styles of skating. So softer wheels are the jam here.

Average Lifespan of Outdoor Wheels

The lifespan of outdoor wheels is short as compared to indoor ones. The reasons are obvious.

  • Outdoor surfaces are really pointy and rough.
  • Outdoor surfaces wear out the wheels more quickly.
  • Outdoor wheels are soft and are not as durable as indoor wheels.

So on average, outdoor wheels can last for a maximum of 1 to 1.5 years depending on the use. They might not even last for a minimum of six months if you’re too rough on them. The lifespan of outdoor wheels is really uncertain due to the different outdoor surfaces, different wheel quality and different situations.

However, you can make your outdoor wheels last longer by choosing bike trails and smooth roads to skate. You could also opt for a smoother skate park as opposed to hitting the streets. Make sure to clean and lubricate your wheels regularly.

How Long Do Bearings Last?

The lifespan of your wheel bearings is also as important as the wheels. If you’re asking how long do bearings last? Then the answer is, that it depends. Are you cleaning and lubricating your bearings properly every 1 to 3 months? Are you getting water in your bearings? All these factors can affect the lifespan of your bearings.

However, a set of good quality bearings should stay faithful for at least 12 months without rusting or making those horrible creaking sounds. Who knows, maybe if you take care of them properly, they can last for several years.

How Often Do I Have to Get My Wheels Changed?

It depends. When it feels like your wheels have worn out a lot, and it’s becoming difficult to roller skate smoothly, then it’s time to change your wheels. How long roller skate wheels last also depends on the use, the brand or quality of wheels, and also the type of wheels. Of course, if your wheels are plastic, they don’t have much life left anyways.

Ideally, you should replace  your wheels once every year or every 2 years or so.

What Factors Affect the Lifespan of Roller Skate Wheels?

As I’ve said before, how long roller skate wheels, depends on many factors. The quality, the brand, the material, the skating style, and how hard you are on your wheels. Let’s discuss all of these factors here.

1. The Quality And Brand

The quality and brand of your roller skate wheels is directly related to their lifespan. The quality directly involves durability. Good quality wheels are always durable. Similarly, a reputable brand sells durable wheels.

Here are some of the best indoor wheels for roller skating.

Others are:

  • BONT FX1 Roller Skate Wheels
  • ATOM Lowboy Wheels
  • Backspin Eclipse Wheels
  • Backspin Deluxe Wheels
  • Sure-Grip Zoom Indoor Wheels
  • Sure-Grip Velvet Indoor  Wheels

Of course, some of these brands are expensive while others are more reasonably priced. Some of these are simple indoor wheels, while others are quite fancy. Anyways, here are some good outdoor wheels.

Others are:

  • BONG BPM Outdoor Roller Skate Wheels
  • Sure-Grip Outdoor Aerobic Wheels
  • Sure-Grip Stardust Glitter Wheels
  • Moxi Classic Outdoor Roller Skate Wheels

2. The Material

Well, that one’s obvious. Good material makes your roller skate wheels last longer. Usually, reputable brands use a good material for wheels. However, there are a lot of wheels out there that aren’t made that much of a good material. Most roller skate wheels are made of polyurethane. Also, plastic wheels are going to wear out on your first day skating. So don’t buy them.

Try to invest in some good quality wheels. It will make your skating smoother and fun and also save you loads of money in the long run. Investing in better quality is always better than buying cheap and regretting it later.

Now, I’m not asking you to buy some fancy 100 dollar wheels. But you should at least invest in some 30 to 50 dollar wheels.

3. Indoor vs. Outdoor Wheels

As I’ve said before, indoor wheels last way longer than outdoor wheels. Indoor wheels are harder, and more durable, while outdoor wheels softer. Similarly, indoors are smooth and flat, while outdoor surfaces take a lot from your wheels.

A lot of people have just one set of wheels and use them to skate both indoors and outdoors. If you’ve got hybrid wheels, then it’s a different story. However, don’t use indoor wheels outdoors or vice versa. This will wear out your wheels more than ever. Keep a set of both indoor and outdoor wheels at home and switch whenever you need to.

4. Skating Surface

Skating surface plays the biggest role in shortening the lifespan of your roller skate wheels. Smooth surfaces really are a heaven for your wheels. That is the main reason why indoor wheels last longer than outdoor wheels.

However, you can’t stay shut in forever. You need to go out and have some fresh cold air brushing through your body. You have to skate outdoors with your friends and have some fun from time to time, right? But it will wear out your wheels. It doesn’t matter much, because things are meant to be broken.

If you make sure your wheels stay out of rough roads, they can last long. If you’re skating on a footpath, your roller skate wheels are bound to get scraped by the uncountable vibrations and jagged ends of the tiles. Cracks on the roads also cut your wheels like knives. Nothing wears out your roller skate wheels more than a jagged road in your neighbourhood.

So make sure to stay away from such surfaces as much as you can. Footpaths and pointy gravel surfaces are not much fun to skate on anyway. A smooth road is much more fun.

How to Make Your Roller Skate Wheels Last Longer?

Here are some tips to increase the lifespan of your roller skate wheels.

  1. Avoid Rough Surfaces
  2. Choose The Right Wheels
  3. Clean Your Wheels
  4. Lubricate Your Wheels

Now we’ve written a whole article on how to make your roller skate wheels last longer so make sure to check that out.

That article explains everything. It explains what tools and items you need to disassemble and reassemble your wheels, and how to clean and lubricate wheels. It also explains how often you should clean your wheels and the complete procedure for wheel maintenance.

How To Choose The Right Wheels?

Here’s a complete buying guide for your roller skate wheels. Wheels can make or break your skating experience. Here’s what to keep in mind when buying your roller skate wheels.

1. Which Skating Discipline?

You have to decide which skating discipline you’re into. Here are the indoor skating disciplines.

  • Jam skating
  • Roller Derby
  • Artistic Figure Skating

Here are the outdoor skating disciplines.

  • Skatepark Aggressive Skating
  • Street Skating
  • Fitness Skating

Once you’ve chosen a discipline, see if you’re going to skate indoors or outdoors. Then choose your wheels accordingly.

2. What’s Your Budget?

Okay, I know you want your roller skate wheels to last longer, but you can’t spend your entire fortune on just wheels, right?

Wheel prices range from $30 to $200 or even more. I would recommend at least saving 40$ for your wheels. $40 can get you a good set of wheels that are simple, and roll nicely. However if you can afford $150 fancy wheels, go for it. Nothing’s stopping you.

You don’t only have to buy wheels, there’s the skates, the plates, and everything. So if you can’t afford wheels, there’s always this option of second hand goods. A lot of them turn out to be good.

Also buying full ready-made roller skates may be cheaper than buying each part separately.

3. What Speed, Stability and Grip?

Here’s the third parameter to getting your dream wheels.

  • If you want more speed, buy larger wheels.
  • If you want more stability, buy wider wheels.
  • If you want more maneuverability, buy narrower wheels.
  • If you want more grip, buy softer wheels.

Simple, right? You just have to go with whatever’s best for you. Ask yourself what makes your roller skating comfortable? Is it your speed or your maneuverability? After you get a rough idea of what you want, then get your wheels.

Conclusion

I hope this article answers all your questions regarding the durability of your roller skate wheels. You should also consider making the effort to take care of your wheels and maintain them properly. Believe me, that effort won’t go to waste and increase the lifespan of your wheels by many folds. It will also save you a lot of money. Buying one set of long lasting wheels that last for two years, is cheaper than buying many sets of cheap wheels.

May your wheels live a long life.

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Good luck and have fun skating!

Last update on 2021-09-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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