My skate universe began with derby in 2008, so Rollerbones was a new brand for me when I stumbled upon them during a late-night internet browse. I’ve tried enough wheels that I don’t really expect to be wowed anymore, but I was interested enough to try these out. First of all, I used to love slim wheels, but the shit-show busted sport court that I skate on requires a bit more surface area to keep me stable. Having transferred from a league with a very grippy skate court, I have spent the past year struggling to find a wheel combo that will keep me on my feet without making me feel like I’m skating through mud. I usually ride a pusher set of Atom Stingers (88As) and Trackers (91As). The Rollerbones wheels were listed as “slightly slim”, so I was curious as to if the “slightly” would give me a bit more agility without compromising my stability. Also, these were slightly less than the Atom wheels, so I was hoping to save a little cash. Lastly, they were white (like my skates) and had pretty pictures on the hubs. I’m not above lusting after a pretty wheel. The next wheel I’m trying is on the list because it’s a pretty shade of teal. Huh. That even rhymed.
Anyway. I got 4 of the Zebra (86A) and 4 of the Koi (92A). My skate shop only sells these in 8 packs, so I had to find a willing friend to split the packs with. I was a little suspicious at first because these wheels have no smell at all. How good can the urethane be if it doesn’t stink, right? But I was assured this company has been around for a while and knew what it was doing, so I strapped them on. And wow.
My experience with grippy wheels is usually that you sacrifice your snow plows for the ability to cross over on a slippery corner. Not so with these wheels. I was able to comfortably tear around the slippery, cracked, and bumpy track with minimal sliding but was also able to snow plow more easily than in my comparably grippy Atom wheels. Three of my team mates also acquired these wheels, and so far all of us have been very impressed with the performance. I plan on trying the aluminum hubbed Turbo version next, and will probably get a few more durometers for other skating surfaces. This is by far my new go-to wheel. I only wish they’d find some way of keeping white wheels from turning yellow, but sadly, these will end up looking like your old Grods after a few months. Also, the pretty pictures on the sides wear off quickly, so you may want to mark your pushers if you change your wheels frequently and can’t tell them apart by touch.
I will update this post after a few months to reflect the durability.