Radar Tuners – The wheel included in one of the more popular skate packages, the Riedell Wicked, and immortalized in the movie Whip It are the subject of this review. I spent the first six months of my derby career on lite blue and black Tuners. I pulled out an old set to shake the cobwebs off of my memory.
The wheel itself is a poly-bd urethane tire wrapped around a 9 spoke nylon hub. My used wheel weighs in at 3.8 oz and has a width of almost 44 mm including the large lip. The lip is around 3 mm so you get 41 mm of surface on the floor – excluding the mysterious “speed groove” cut down the middle of the wheel. I’ve heard that the Speed Groove is supposed to offer more flex in the wheel providing more grip so a skater can use a higher durometer wheel and still hold corners. I have not experienced this personally.
The lite blue wheels are described as “tite” (Radar is perhaps suspicious of the letter G?) which translates to 93 on the durometer. I found these to have adequate grip on a notoriously slick cement track. I was able to grip in the corners and the roll was fine. I wanted something less grippy on Masonite which is to be expected. The response was OK. If you’re looking for responsive within the Radar family I suggest a Zodiac. At 4 ounces it’s tough to beat the weight and the response. Back to the wheel at hand, the Tuner is a fair all around wheel. My only complaint about the Tuner is that it seemed to lose grip quicker than other wheels – even other Radar wheels. I went through three sets of Tuners, two lite blue and one black, in six months. Washing them did increase longevity, but they still burned out too quickly for my taste, and I eventually abandoned them.