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In inline skating, the wheel is the component that transmits the energy to the road. An inline skate is made up of various components, but the wheels of an inline skate have the greatest influence on the riding characteristics of a skate.
Therefore, it is often worthwhile to equip old skates with new wheels, find out everything about wheels for inline skates.

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The size of inline skate wheels

Inline skate wheels are standardised and always have the same width of 24mm, only the wheel diameters are different. The choice of the right wheel diameter depends on the frame of the inline skate, because the wheels must of course fit into the frame without dragging. Not every inline skate frame can also accommodate every wheel size. In most cases, the maximum wheel size is printed on the side of the inline skate frame. In case of doubt, it always helps to measure ;)

Basically, the larger the wheel, the higher the final speed that can be achieved, which is then also easier to maintain. In addition, larger wheels are better able to handel poor and uneven surfaces. However, larger wheels require more energy to accelerate. Smaller wheels can be accelerated more quickly. This can be compared to the gears on a bicycle. In a smaller gear, the bicycle can be accelerated well, but the speed is more difficult to maintain.

The wheel hardness & a-scale

In addition to the diameter, the hardness of the wheels is another decisive factor for the riding characteristics of an inline skate. The hardness of the wheels is generally indicated with the help of the a-scale. The higher the number before the "a", the harder the wheel. A wheel with a 86a is harder than a wheel with 80a hardness.

Basically, it can be said that soft wheels have better grip. They also absorb vibrations better, making skating more comfortable. However, softer inline skate wheels also have a higher rolling resistance, which means they are not as fast as harder wheels. Due to the lower hardness, the wheels also have a higher wear value and are therefore worn out more quickly. This is particularly noticeable on very rough surfaces and at high temperatures.

Harder wheels have a longer durability and tend to be faster. But with harder wheels compromises have to be made in terms of grip and comfort. Besides the diameter and hardness, the quality of the material also plays an important role.

The wheel manufacturers Matter known for their Matter G13 wheels and MPC (MPC Storm Turbo Rainwheels) use their own hardness specifications. Below you will find the specifications of both manufacturers with the conversion to the a-scale:

F0 88a
F1 86a
F2 84a
f3 82a

XX-Firm 88a
X-Firm 86a
Firm 84a

The wheel material - polyurethane

Inline skate wheels are made of polyurethane (PU), a plastic that is often found in our everyday lives. Shoe soles, hoses, seals and even condoms are also made of polyurethane. The special properties of polyurethane have ensured that inline skate wheels have been made of polyurethane for decades.

The quality of the polyurethane compound is decisive for the running properties. However, the quality of the compound cannot be recognised purely visually. Often, it is only in practice that the quality of the compound really becomes apparent.

Especially in the fitness and racing sector of skating, wheels are found that consist of two different layers of PU. These wheels have a softer PU core and harder surrounding PU, which forms the contact surface with the road. The softer core results in a larger contact surface during the push, so more energy can be transferred to the road. In addition, the rebound properties are improved, which additionally supports the rebound movement while skating. At Matter Wheels, the technology is called TR3 System, at MPC Wheels, MTech.

The wheel core/rim

The core of the wheel, the rims, also have an effect on the characteristics and performance of the wheel. Especially with larger wheels from 90mm upwards, the different core constructions are noticeable. In addition, the bearing seat of the core determines which bearings fit into the wheel. For inline skate wheels, 99% of the bearings used are from the standard 608.

Cores/rims are usually made of polyurethane, just like the wheel surface, but the rims are often reinforced by adding glass fibre. Cores made of aluminium are a speciality in the inline skating sector. These are particularly torsion-resistant and bring a lot of energy to the road, but unfortunately the rims are also noticeably heavier, which makes wheels with aluminium rims more suitable for short distances and sprints.

The rims also have a special influence on the rebound of the wheels. A wheel with a lot of rebound bounces off the ground like a bouncy ball. A high rebound of the wheel also supports the rebound movement while skating, which is especially noticeable on longer distances.

In terms of mass distribution, it should be noted that wheels, which have rims with their main mass close to their centre of rotation (at the axle) accelerate faster. Wheels with "closed" rims are therefore better suited for hockey and stunt skating. Wheels with rims whose centre of mass is further away from the axle take longer to turn and are therefore primarily used for fitness and speed skating.

The wheel profile, the shape of the wheel

Inline skate wheels are available in different profiles. Depending on the type of skate, either more pointed or flatter profiles are used. The different profiles offer different running characteristics both when skating straight and when cornering.

Inline skate wheels are divided into three different shapes.


+ Very high stability when skating straight ahead and landing jumps
+ Alot of PU on the wheel, very long durability

- Less grip in curves
- Slower, high rolling resistance due to large contact area

Type of skating: Aggressive skating

+ Good stability when running straight and landing jumps
+ Lots of PU on the wheel, long durability
+ Vibrations are well absorbed

- Medium grip while curving
- Higher rolling resistance

Type of skating: Freeride, Urban, Slalom, Hockey & Aggressive Skating


+ Very dynamic and agile
+ Fast, low rolling resistance
+ Plenty of grip even in sharp turns

- Less stability during landings from jumps
- Shorter durability due to less PU

Type of skating: Fitness, Freeride, Slalom & Speed Skating

Vereinfacht gesagt:
Ein runderes Rollenprofil, sorgt für mehr Stabilität, aber hohen Rollwiderstand. Ein spitzeres Rollenprofil, sorgt für einen geringeren Rollwiderstand, aber weniger die Stabilität.

Mounting of inline skate wheels

Your wheels are worn on one side, show heavy signs of use or could simply nedd an upgrade? Your bearings making a lot of noise, turning only reluctantly and skating isn't much fun any more? Then it's probably time for new wheels and bearings.

With our instructions for replacing inline skate wheels, the installation of new wheels and ball bearings is guaranteed to succeed.


To prevent damage to the skate, wheels or bearings, we recommend using a high-quality tool. Depending on the manufacturer and model, you will need a tool for Torx or hexagon socket screws to loosen the axles.

1. Loosen the axles/screws and pull them out

Caution: Careless work can quickly lead to defects in the screws and threads. The axle may have thread adhesive, so you will have to use a little more force to loosen the axles. Make sure that the tool sits cleanly and straight in the screw head!

2. Remove the wheel from the frame

3. Mounting the new wheels incl. ball bearings


If your "old" bearings are still good and you only want to fit new wheels, the old bearings must now be removed from the worn wheels. 8mm axles: Use the mandrel of the tool to lever the bearings out of the wheels.


6mm axles: Push the ball bearing and spacer out of the wheels. Work carefully and cautiously so you do not damage anything.

3.1 If you want to mount a completely new set of wheels and bearings, the bearings are now placed in the new wheels. Press one ball bearing into the bearing, turn the wheel over, insert the spacer (6mm or 8mm according to your skates/frame) and press the second bearing into the wheel. In order to ensure smooth running, the bearings must be seated very precisely in the wheel.

4. Mounting the new wheels

To do this, insert the wheel including the ball bearings and spacers into the frame and tighten it with the axle/screw. Again, work carefully and cautiously so you don't damage to the thread and axle head. You can now replace and/or exchange all other wheels and ball bearings.

Reinsert the wheel into the frame.
Screw the axle tight, DONE!

Tip: If the wheels do not turn perfectly, this can have various reasons. On the one hand, the new ball bearing usually needs to be run in a little, especially with pre lubricated bearings. On the other hand, it may be that the ball bearings are not evenly seated in the wheel. If this is the case, press the installed wheel a little sideways against the frame. Often you will hear a slight clicking-sound when the bearings pull themselves into the bearing seat. Repeat this with a quarter turn each time - from both sides of the wheels.

In some cases, the spacers can be a little too short. This would result in the overall width of the wheel being too narrow and it being jammed/blocked in the frame, when axels are tightend. You can find all information about spacers here: FAQ Spacers

Vereinfacht gesagt:
Ein runderes Rollenprofil, sorgt für mehr Stabilität, aber hohen Rollwiderstand. Ein spitzeres Rollenprofil, sorgt für einen geringeren Rollwiderstand, aber weniger die Stabilität.

Wheel wear and wheel rotation

Inline skate wheels wear on one side due to the skating movement. Due to the push-off movement, the abrasion on the inside is higher than on the outside. Therefore, the wheels should be turned or replaced from time to time in order to achieve an even wear, which leads to longer and saver use of the wheels. Simply turning over the wheels is usually not enough, as different forces occur at the different positions in the frame. The wheels at the front two positions are subjected to higher forces, as this is where most of the force is transmitted during pushing.

The best way to do this is to move the wheels to a different position using the so-called cross-rotation.
The cross-rotation follows the principle: From front to back and from left to right:

- the first wheels of the left skate is exchanged with the third wheel of the right skate
- the second wheel correspondingly with the fourth of the other side

For skates with 4 wheels

For skates with 3 wheels



With the large number of skate products, questions may occur. Of course, we are also happy to help you by e-mail or telephone.

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