Theoretical Truck / Wheel Combo Question
  • Say you have two decks that are exactly the same ( dimensions, concave, wheelbase, bearings, risers etc ). Say one deck has a set of Indy 169mm trucks with PP Skull and Sword 58mm diameter / 37mm width / 90a hardness wheels. Say the other has a set of Indy 159mm trucks with PP Ratbones 60mm diamerter / 44mm width / 90a hardness wheels. The difference in overall size of the wheel / truck combo is 2mm in height and 4 mm in width. Should both boards, if we assume the bushings are all the same and tightened the same, have about the same performance and / or feel when riding the board?. This is just one of those, " I have always wondered questions " that I was hoping someone might be able to answer.


  • id technically say yes but some ppl get pretty anal even if their board is just a cm short in width
  • As far as the height of the wheels are concerned, the difference in height of the board to the ground would only be 1mm. I agree with Bill about some people being fairly anal with their setups but if you claim to be able to feel the difference of 1mm in height I would say it was all mental. The width might make more of a difference I would think.
  • The 90a on the rat bones feels a lot harder than the 90a on the skull and sword wheels. Anyone else notice this?
  • I have been thinking about getting some of the skull and sword 90a or dragon 90a wheels but havent been sure how they would feel speed wise. I think the 54mm 97a Rippers look good I just wish they were a little bigger.
  • I have skated both the sword 90a and dragon 90a at cement parks/bowls and they are slow.  I mostly skate bowls and it was a lot of work.  The rat bones 90a feel harder and are definitely faster.  I recently put a set of the Bombers 60mm PF on my Chinese Dragon and it still gives it that old school look, the wheels are 40mm wide with a huge contact area, but it blast through the bowls since they are PF.  It's so easy to hit the coping.
  • SK8ER, you are talking about the original version the 60mm RAT BONES yes? The big wide ones from the early 80's?
    And not the 60mm Rat Bones II's? Those are 97a or 84b/aka SPF's.

  • Rat Bones I - image
    or...
    Rat Bones II - 
    97a - image
    & 84b/PF aka SPF's - image
  • Disappointing they discontinued the Rat Bones II reissues, they were a nice size wheel at 97a, not east to find. Would the wider bomber wheels have better grip than the thinner spf wheels do you think? I have wondered if wheels that are the same formula have differing grip based on width.
  • I am talking about the OG Rat Bones. The Rat Bones 2 are said to be 97a, but they feel slower than the OG 90a. I think a wider riding surface allows for more grip and speed. The 60mm Bombers PF are fast and grip, but also slide into a 50-50.
  • I agree about the rat bones 2's feeling slow. I bought a set after riding spf's for awhile and they were not what I remember 97's feeling like at all. Initially I thought maybe I had just become adjusted to the SPF formula.. But obviously others think the durometer is off on em too.
  • Rat Bones 1of course!
  • Paul - the Mini Logo A Cut 58mm 97a wheels are the same formula urethane as the Powell 60mm Rat Bones II's in the 97a, just 2mm smaller. (That 97a formula feels more like an old formula 95a). Completely different type of compound than the SPF/PF type urethane composite compound. We're talkin technical recipes here, TDI vs MDI type urethanes.
    The 97a Powell Peralta and Mini Logo wheels are an MDI formula urethane, the STF, SPF, and DTF wheels are TDI formula urethane. The DTF's are a 95a type formula, but feel softer, more like a 92 or 93ish.

    As for width, kinda sorta yeah a wider wheel will give more grip, but it's really the contact patch that gives the grip and not the width of the wheel. The width just ends up holding up the bendability of the wheel, but usually have a wider contact patch from the start. I like it when STF wheels have burned off a mm or so and the contact patch has widened. It becomes more square, but overall a wider contact patch makes for less slip on dusty tranny surfaces. Wheel treads suck on smooth surfaces too, as they attract dirt and grim and then you are just skating on a cruddy buildup and no urethane is in contact with the ramp or bowl anyways. That's why I try and skate treaded wheels a few days on street before I take them to the park where it's all slippery masonite, to burn those blasted treads off.
    A thinner wheel will be faster. Less resistance of the contact to the ground. But you also lose grip too. 
    Think about the OG T-Bones wheels...they were tall but thin, and were made so Tony could go higher on ramps.
    In the end though nothing beats young knees and legs for the speed factor. haha : )
  • JOHNOPHEAN, you crack me up. You sound like me trying to explain the differences in performance of polyester / modified polyester / acrylic resins to my customers when an engineer decides to get involved with a spec on a project.I am not an engineer, I just play one at my factory. ;)  I tell them that everything made of plastics involves trade - offs. Make something very hard and it is more difficult to scratch, but is also brittle and apt to crack. Make something very soft and it is flexible and hard to crack, but scratches and wears easier. I then finish up by telling them that there is no " perfect product " for everyone, just the best product for your particular application. I do enjoy the tech info you provide. There is at least one of us out here on the forum that appreciates it.

    Question: What wheel / riser combo would you suggest for a concrete skatepark, old guy skating a larger deck ( 9"+ width ), 159 or 169mm trucks ( depends on width of the wheel you suggest ) and wanting speed to start working on lip tricks and getting up and over the coping for other tricks like airs and inverts? My only caveat is I would like to be able to roll over a concrete expansion joint in the park without having to worry about locking up my wheels and slamming. I am very interested in your suggestion. Please be as specific as possible on the hardness, width and diameter if you could.
  • Stage 11 Indy 159's are the best. They turn great, throw on some medium bones bushing and perfection. I think 56mm SPF's are the easiest for hitting the coping. You won't need any risers with 56mm wheels. If you want to maintain your speed more easily I recommend the Cab 60mm PF wheels with 1/4 risers. These wheels are fast, but with a bigger wheel hitting the coping is not as easy as with the 56mm. I must have Indy 159's and 60mm SPF/PF wheels or it just doesn't feel right. I use to ride nothing but 149's with 56mm wheels, but as I got closer to 40 and past 40, I like the stability of the 159's and the effortless speed of the 60mm.

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