We all love to cruise a skateboard, be it around town, campus, or riding long distances to who knows where. I bought a couple of the best skateboard wheels for cruising and tested them myself. Some are great for longer distances and others allow you to basic tricks.
Most cruiser wheels are suitable for regular skateboard setups, depending on the wheel diameter, the height of your trucks and the softness of your bushings. You might need to add riser pads and pick different hardware but I got you covered.
I personally test all the gear I recommend I wouldn’t recommend stuff I don’t like. I do need to mention that this post has affiliate links that could earn me a small commission. I pay for my own stuff and would like to keep it that way. So let’s take a look at some great skateboard wheels for cruising.
Fatty Hawgs 63mm – 78A
I’m starting at with the cruiser wheels I personally like best considering the price and performance. Fatty Hawgs are great cruiser wheels, I swapped these wheels from my Landyachtz Dinghy and they feel buttery smooth. You can ride these for a long time without too much effort and you don’t have to push hard to maintain speed.
They can handle cracks and other small objects like they aren’t there, and give a calming sensation as you push on. A patch of grass or gravel isn’t an issue as long as you maintain your balance.
The large contact patch (50mm) provides a very stable ride and I love the sound these wheels make. They don’t provide as much grip when riding the streets after a rainy day, but it’s better to avoid riding when it’s still a bit wet anyway.
Hopping curbs is surprisingly easy, I expected them to bounce more but they hold up well. Popping ollies do make them feel a bit unstable because of their bouncy nature.
If you’re looking for stable cruiser wheels at a decent price, teh Fatty Hawgs are a great choice. You can pick from a wide range of colors but I would avoid the white ones. They won’t look as nice after a session. Check them out on Amazon.
- Diameter: 63mm
- Contact Patch: 50mm
- Durometer: 78a
Make sure to add riser pads and compatible hardware. I’ve added a table at the end of this post which explains the size of riser pads and the proper hardware. Would suck to get new wheels only to find out that you need new bolts.
Ricta Clouds – Cruising and/or Tricks
Like most wheels, Ricta Clouds come in different sizes and hardness. These wheels will do fine for someone who wants to ride comfortably and still do technical tricks but they don’t excel at any.
I personally ride the 56mm/92A wheels to do a bit of both but I don’t think these are great for long-distance cruising. They do provide a smooth ride and you can pull off some kickflips, board slides, and ollies but you still have to push regularly.
Go for at least 56mm/92A if you want to ride comfortably and do tricks. Go for 58MM+ and 86A (and below) for a better cruising experience. Ricta’s at 60mm, 78A durometer and a contact patch of 32mm should provide a smooth ride. Still, if you only want to cruise go with Fatty Hawgs, Orangatangs or OJ Juice.
I noticed these turn yellow pretty quickly which has to do with the urethane formula used and exposure to UV light. Compared to dedicated street wheels they feel a bit bouncy when doing ollies and flips, but at 92A they should perform better. Figure out what you want from your wheels before you decide to buy.
The print color varies but they fade away quickly. Don’t forget to add risers if you want to get the 60mm version to add risers. 1/8″ or 1/4″ riser should be enough, make sure the hardware is compatible. Check Amazon for prices.
Note: Doing tricks on softer wheels is more difficult compared to harder wheels. Softer wheels make your board bounce and landing will squash the wheels which can lead to wheel bite.
- Diameter: 52 to 60mm
- Contact Patch: 19.4mm to 32mm
- Durometer: 78A to 92A
OJ Super Juice 78A
Buttery soft, silent and even doing a couple of tricks? It seems too good to be true but OJ delivers. Not everyone can pull this off, it requires you to be an experienced rider. Sure, hopping a few curbs shouldn’t be an issue but I would leave the gnarly stuff to the pros.
OJ makes solid wheels and their cruiser wheels come in various sizes. The smaller 55mm wheels allow for some cruising and tricks and the larger ones are great for longer distances. I don’t recommend doing ledge tricks as chunks might break off, this goes for about every soft cruiser wheel but I thought it would be worth to mention.
If you decide to go for the smaller ones remember that they will wear out quickly. In the end 60mm wheels will become 55mm if you ride them long enough.
If you’re on a budget these are probably the best choice. You get quality wheels for a solid price, if you go for the 60mm, add risers (1/8″ – 1/4″). These wheels are very sticky, small rocks, cracks, and gravel will bother you no more. Check prices on Amazon.
- Diameter: 55 to 6omm
- Contact Patch: 35.75 to 37mm
- Durometer: 77A to 86A.
Orangatang – Fat Free 65mm 77A
The biggest wheels I’ve listed here, but still suitable to attach to your trucks without worrying about wheel bite (as long as you add risers). These are also the most expensive wheels, but you get what you pay for. These wheels feel super soft and love the bright color.
Orangatang wheels are great for cruising and provide a very smooth ride, perhaps the most silent wheels but I didn’t bother to record the sound. You hardly notice any cracks or rocks, and you don’t have to push like a madman to maintain momentum. Probably the best cruiser wheels you can get, and despite their softness, these wheels are very durable.
I suggest you go with the 77A/80A wheels for the ultimate cruising experience. If the Orangatangs are just above your budget, the Fatty Hawgs are a solid option. 65mm wheels require riser pads (1/4″ – 1/4″). Check for current prices on Amazon.
- Diameter: 65mm
- Contact Patch: 37mm
- Durometer: 77A to 86A.
What to Look for When Buying Cruiser Wheels
Ask yourself what you want to do. Do you just want to cruise without much effort, or do you also want to be able to do a couple of tricks? If you want to cruise and hope a few curbs, all of the wheels I mentioned will do fine. If you want to get more technical, smaller wheels like the Ricta Clouds are the better option.
There’s more to it, make sure to add riser pads or shock pads when appropriate and check if your bolts still fit. The softness of your bushings and your weight also shouldn’t be ignored.
In order to prevent wheel bite make sure there’s enough clearance between the wheels and the deck of your skateboard. Above 58mm you should add riser pads depending on how soft your bushings are and how tight you like your trucks.
Another factor is the hardness of your bushings and your weight. Softer bushings are more turny but provide less stability. In general, you should go with bushings that can handle your weight but it’s also a matter of personal preference.
Riser pads provide extra clearance, go for 1/4″ at 60mm wheels and 1/2 above 60mm. This is just a general guideline, not every setup is the same so check what works for you or keep reading.
Riser Pads And Hardware
If you decide to get 58mm wheels or above you really need to add riser pads or 1/8″ shock pads. Commonly, skateboard decks consist of 7 ply’s but there are a few exceptions that may require you to get different bolts. Consult the table below to see if your current hardware is compatible with the risers you have in mind.
At 58mm a set of shock pads will do but anything above needs some more clearance. You don’t want bolts to stick out too much and too short means you can’t attach your trucks to your board.
|Hardware Length (7-Ply Decks)||1 1/8″||1 1/4″ – 1 1/2″||1 1/2″ – 2″|
|Hardware Length (8/9-Ply Decks)||1 1/4″ – 1 1/2″||1 1/2 “- 2”||2 “- 2 1/2”|
One of the most important features to look at is the size of the contact patch. This is the flat parts on a wheel that comes into contact with the surface when you ride your board. A larger contact patch provides more stability and soaks up the hard and uneven surface, given the wheels are soft.
The size of the contact patch varies for every type of wheel. Some brands offer bigger contact patches but it also depends on the shape and wheel size. I wouldn’t worry about this too much as I’ve selected a couple of wheels that have a large enough contact patch for cruising, with the exception of the Ricta Cloud wheels.
The most important factor is picking the right hardness (and size). Soft wheels can handle rough surfaces way better than hard wheels. Anything between 78A and 92A will do. 78A wheels provide the smoothest ride but are less suitable for tricks. Softer wheels are very bouncy which makes your board bounce back up when you land a trick.
Not everybody has access to smooth roads so 92A is a good choice when you want to cruise and do tricks. You can pull off some technical stuff and still have a relatively comfy ride. They won’t excel at any though so keep that in mind… If you don’t know what the durometer scale is I suggest to read my skateboard wheels buyers guide.
Size matters. Larger wheels allow for extended momentum but accelerate a bit slower. Smaller wheels accelerate much faster but you need to push more often to maintain speed.
A decent cruiser wheel size should be between 58 and 65mm, smaller wheels will require you to push more often. Anything larger means you have to attach bigger riser pads to prevent wheel bite. Larger wheels are also wider which makes them stick out, not a big issue as long as there is enough clearance.
You won’t get far without quality bearings. You don’t have to spend a huge amount on bearings unless you like downhill. Most skaters get away with standard Bones Reds, and with proper maintenance, they’ll last for years. Abec rating isn’t important by the way, ABEC 3 is fine. Don’t go for cheap unbranded bearings!
Do You Need New Trucks?
You probably don’t have to buy new trucks unless you slap some monster wheels on them. One thing to keep in mind is how tight you ride your trucks. Loose trucks and wheels over 59mm can cause wheel bite. The way to counteract this is by adding some riser pads.
Look at the setup in the image above. The top setup has 63mm wheels attached to the trucks and 1/2″ risers in the back. You can clearly see the difference in clearance when you look at the front and back truck. In this case, it’s a good idea to attach riser pads as the front wheels are a bit too close to the deck.
The bottom setup consists of 56mm Ricta Cloud wheels. No need for riser pads in this case. I like these Ricta’s but I probably should have picked bigger and softer wheels to provide a better cruising experience. These are 92A and are ideal for cruising and tricks.
If you have extremely low trucks, you might need riser pads if you’re new cruise wheels are 58mm+. I can’t look at your setup so you need to figure this out yourself. Cruise and carve a little and check if your deck doesn’t block your wheels. Riser pads are cheap anyway.
I only listed wheels that I personally tested but there are many other wheels that are perfect for cruising. As long as you get wheels between 58mm and 60mm between 78A and 86A you should be fine. Quality matters, not all wheels are equal and the urethane formula makes a huge difference in durability. Go with reputable brands and check forums to find out which wheels are right for you.
So why no videos? It’s on my agenda but there’s so much stuff to write that I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. I will eventually, once this blog has about 250 posts. For further research, I recommend Muirskate. These guys know everything about cruisers and have awesome customer service.