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The choice of wheels varies a lot and depends on many factors. Top skaters change their
wheels from race to race to get the best combination of wheel type, sizes and hardness for
maximum roll, grip and overall performance.
The wheel size of speed skates varies between 80mm and 110mm (accepted by the rulebook
of the FIRS).
Bigger wheels are slower in the acceleration, but faster in the top speed. Smaller wheels react
vice versa. There are no facts yet regarding the trade off for acceleration of 84mm vs. the roll
The hardness of wheels is measured in durometer “A”. Fitness and speed wheels are offered
in a middle range hardness of 82-83A and higher range hardness of 85-86A. The hardness of a
wheel has a lot of influence on the rolling performance.
Soft wheels absorb impacts better but do not roll as fast. Harder wheels are faster but do not
absorb impacts as good as the softer ones.
The profile of the wheel is flat-to-pointed related to the use of the skates. Speed skating
wheels are pointed.
The more pointed the wheel, the less the rolling resistance (= higher speed), but smaller the
The smoother the surface -> the harder the wheel
The harder the wheel -> the more durable the wheel (wear off)
The softer the wheel -> the better the shock absorption and grip
Extreme rough surface -> 78A – 80 A (fitness)
Normal surface -> 80A – 83A (fitness / speed)
Smooth surface -> 83A – 90A and harder (fitness / speed)