So, you’re looking for the best cruising wheels. It can get confusing out there when you’re trying to find skateboard parts, or even whole skateboards, geared toward a specific purpose or style of skating.
With so many products vying for your attention, and your hard-earned cash, your best options can often get lost in the noise.
That’s where we come in. We’ve looked at the online market for cruise-friendly skateboard wheels and have chosen our favorite five, listing them below.
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You’ll see that they have their pros and cons listed, for those who want to get product information at a glance, and we’ve also included a buyers’ guide where you can learn what makes certain wheels better for cruising.
We hope that by taking the time to read it, your next purchases, whether it’s now or in the future, can be informed ones.
That way you can find the best products out there yourself and come one step closer to finding that perfect glide.
Need to get your board built soon? If you need your board’s wheels sooner rather than later, you can find our favorite wheels right here.
We chose the Powell Peralta Rat Bones Re-Issue Skateboard Wheels since they’re larger diameter but mid-width wheels that have a durometer that supports both cruising and some trick performances. See how below:
The cruising performance of these wheels are great thanks to their larger 60mm diameter. As for the durometer, they’re rated at 85a, quiet but rigid enough to withstand all kinds of terrain.
The width of the wheels is 44mm, about the mid-sized where wheel width is concerned, but their contact surface ensures a smooth and stable ride.
These make the wheels very versatile, able to cruise and perform tricks since their specs are at the intersection of the effective diameter and durometer for those uses.
Best Skateboard Wheels for Cruising – Comparison Table
The first set of wheels on this list are ones from Powell Peralta, a homegrown American skateboard company whose products you’ve probably seen when searching for the other parts of your skateboard.
These wheels in particular are their Rat Bones Re-Issue Skateboard Wheels, which come in at 60mm in diameter, 44mm wide, and rated at an 85a for hardness.
At an 85a durometer, these wheels are as hard as they can possibly be without becoming too noisy like a 90a wheel would.
Instead these wheels exist at the perfect place where they’re soft, so they’re quiet and smooth, but they’re also hard enough to tackle different concrete or tarmac textures, allowing you to cruise around a wider variety of urban terrain.
As for the diameter, 60mm is the larger end of the wheel scale, great for longboards or, you guessed it, cruising boards.
Larger wheels are great for speed maintenance but, for cruising, they’re less likely to catch on cracks and other surface obstructions that could interrupt your skating.
The 44mm width allows these wheels to have more grip with the surface you’re boarding on, since there’s more wheel contact surface there to meet the road.
Overall, these wheels are versatile since they’re large and hard enough to cruise whilst being small and soft enough to still be able to perform tricks, which can’t always be said for other cruising wheels out there.
Larger 60mm diameters are great for a smoother ride.
85a durometer is ideal for quiet but capable performance.
Wider 44mm wheel increases the contact surface of the wheel with the floor.
The second wheels we have are the Ricta Clouds 78a Skateboard Wheels, a set of wheels that are great for beginners since they provide maximum grip on the boarding surface.
This means that they’re especially great for those of you who anticipate a cruising experience that may require sharper turns and other forms of agile cruising.
The core of these wheels is a solid 78d, with the outside urethane surface being 78A. This allows these wheels to be softer on performance but, if they should take a knock or face the impact pressures of certain falling tricks, that solid core will make a difference in how the wheels, and so your whole board, reacts.
Just slightly larger than our number one wheels, they’re 61mm so that they’re very smooth and bowl over unfriendly terrain quite easily.
They’re also surprisingly lightweight for being larger skateboard wheels. On their surface is a shiny skin that adds to the gripping capabilities that these wheels have, enabling maximum grip when engaging in sharp turns.
As well as coming in a variety of durometer ratings, the Ricta Clouds series also comes in a wide variety of colors that make these perfect for board construction, since you can pick and choose the best color for the board you have planned.
Solid 78d core combined with a 78a urethane surface for strength and smoothness.
61mm in diameter, larger for better all-terrain performance.
Feature a shiny, gripping coating on the wheel surface.
You have an option of a few colors.
Softer wheels wear faster than harder durometer ones.
The third set of wheels we have on this list are the large and brightly colored Orangatang in Heat 75mm Cruising Wheels. Since they’re coming in at 75mm in, these are massive wheels more suitable for a longboard than a skateboard.
The way around this, of course, is the use of risers to avoid having your wheels catch on your skateboard deck, allowing you to enjoy these massive wheels.
You should consider these since their size will easily tackle most obstructions that could otherwise stop your cruising dead in its tracks.
These wheels benefit from Orangatang’s own urethane formula that provides for speed and smoothness in equal measure, as well as some gripping with some leeway for you to execute buttery-smooth slides.
The unique urethane formula used in these big wheels add a lot to their performance where other wheels of this size would suffer from stiffer third-party material.
With these material options also comes the choices of color, which dictate durometer choice, from 77a, to 80a, 83a, and 86a. See the product page for more details.
For wheels this large, their grip game is still pretty strong thanks to the sharp, squared wheel lips and rippled inner walls maintaining speed whilst returning progressive energy, allowing for sharper turns without these wheels doubling over on themselves.
These features are only bolstered by an encapsulated core that all of these features are built around, keeping them all in line and adding a durable core to these wheels so that they have some resistance and bounce when hitting the tarmac.
A large 75mm in diameter makes cruise obstructions a non-issue.
Original Orangatang urethane formula is smooth, fast, and great to slide.
Square wheel lips and rippled inner walls ensure maximum grip.
Encapsulated core reinforces the wheels’ entire structure.
Will likely require risers to make use with a skateboard deck.
At our number four spot is another in Ricta’s Clouds series, their 86a Skateboard Wheels are designed to be able to roll on both rough and smooth surfaces.
This means they not only provide a smooth riding experience across most environments, but they also leave you with the option of using them on less forgiving terrain should you decide to take these off the beaten track.
Straddling what many consider to be the size category difference for medium and large skateboard wheels, these 55mm diameter wheels are great for those who want good street skating performance matched with a higher surface area than you’d get with regular medium wheels.
With this higher surface area comes stability, making speed easier to control, perfect for cruising at a certain pace that you set.
We’d say these are great if you’ve read the number two spot above and decided that 78a wheels will be too soft for the cruising that you have planned.
Since these are harder, perhaps these will be more suitable for the harsher cruises and other skating routes you tend to move along, being excellent hybrid wheels.
The wheels are also made in line with modern shaping techniques that make them as slim and lightweight as possible, which makes them great for achieving that cloud-like glide that this series of wheels are named for.
Since they’re from the same series as the 78a wheels at number two, they have the same shiny, grippy coating on their surface that helps during harsher turns too.
These wheels run slightly larger than some other wheels out there, so you may want to be careful when choosing them.
Like you would with larger shoes that you’re wary of, err on the side of getting a smaller size if you expect they’ll be too large for your board.
Smaller 55mm diameter wheels are generally better for street skating.
86a durometer surface designed for both rough and smoother surfaces.
Modern shaping makes these lightweight, great for an airy glide.
Have a shiny coating that helps with surface grip.
Wider than traditional wheels, so may want to buy smaller than you expect.
Harder wheels make tricks like reverts harder to perform.
Best Skateboard Wheels for Cruising – Buyers Guide
What makes the best board cruising wheels?
This buyers’ guide breaks down the properties of skateboard wheels into three main categories, though we expect this buyers’ guide can also be handy for longboarding, too.
Those categories are the wheel diameter and width, wheel durometer, and wheel surface, all of which have a surprising amount of variability that can determine the cruising performances your skateboard is capable of.
Wheel Diameter and Width
Wheel diameter, measured in millimeters, often range from 50mm to 75mm, and dictate their general size. This size affects how tight you’re able to turn and will slow your ride.
This means you have more control over your board with smaller wheels, which is best for street skating, or any other forms of skating where you anticipate having to avoid obstacles and other people.
Beginners will want larger wheels instead, and larger wheels are the favorite of commuting boards, which aren’t a far cry from cruising boards in terms of how you’ll be using them. Increased diameter wheels build up speed faster but offset this by being stable by virtue of their added width.
Larger wheels also have better chances of rolling right over the micro-obstructions like pebbles and other debris on the ground that could interrupt a cruise.
Wheel width, where most wheels are concerned, are correlative with the contact patch they offer, and that’s where wheel width becomes important.
Wider wheels have larger contact patches usually, and this means that more of the wheel makes contact with the sidewalk, which is great for stability. It also distributes weight across a larger area, helping for a balanced glide when riding.
The shape of this contact patch is also important, since rounded-edged wheels touch the sidewalk less, with square wheels doing the opposite.
This naturally means rounded-edged wheels are best for speed whereas square is best for stability.
The hardness, or softness, of wheels is measured as the durometer. These will be expressed in numbers accompanied by a letter, usually A since most board manufacturers operate off of the durometer A rating.
This goes to about 100, sometimes 101 depending on the brand, with softer wheels being from 78a to 87a, then 88a to 95a for tougher wheels, with the highest being 96a to 101a. The average for normal skating wheels is about 99a.
You’ll notice that most of our wheels above don’t come near 99a, and this is because softer wheels are often preferable for cruising since they’re better for slower, grippy rides that can better roll over pebbles and other things your board will cross over when cruising through the streets.
Some brands will also have dual-durometer wheels, such as the ones at number three. This is when the wheels include cores that are usually harder, though sometimes they’re also flexy for better bounce.
Either way, there’s slight variations between the core and the polyurethane surface of these types of wheels, and as long as the durometers fall within the recommended range then you should be golden.
You may have noticed that the durometer of our above list varies widely, and this is because it largely depends on the type of cruise, you’re after and the type of board you’re building.
That said, any beginners will benefit from staying under the 96a range, and we’d personally recommend wheels in the 80s range.
Wheel surface covers a variety of features that can come built into the very surface of your chosen wheels, assuming you’ve chosen quality ones that have them.
The lip shape of your wheel is one such feature, and actively has an affect on the contact patch mentioned above in the diameter and width section.
Between rounded lips and sharp, square lips, you’ll want to go for the square ones if cruising, or even the more adventurous carving, is what you’re after.
The rigid edges offer more grip, too, increasing cruise stability.
As for the surface proper, the two main properties you’ll find are either slight grooves or ridges on the wheels, or a shiny coating. They both serve the same function, to improve grip, and so the traction, that these wheels offer your board.
The grooves are obviously a more physical way of doing this, whereas the shiny coating is a chemical alternative.
This traction increases stability, which in turn increases your board control, and has the knock-on effect of improving your smoother skating experiences as a whole, something the cruisers out there should really notice.