3dm/Turner Avilas, 75mm
These became my main choice of LDP wheel back
in 2003, especially the softer duros as I've found them to be
extremely versatile, evening out all the rocky, uneven long bike
trails and giving the feet a much needed reprieve.
I experimented for years with Abec11 wheels afterward,
and rolled back to the 81a Avilas for all-around LDP riding when
the new urethane came out.
Seismic Speed Vents - 77mm
Currently, these or the Blast Waves are about
as big as I'd go for LDP boards. You're going to need a couple
angled wedge risers on the front plus another 1/4" or so
of flat riser.
Fast and light, with an energy returning core.
A little harsher ride if the roads are rough, which is why most
of the time I roll back to the softer Avilas, even though they're
technically not as fast a wheel.
3dm / Seismic HOT SPOTS - 69mm
These were the wheel to get in 2005, and take
top podium spots in slalom -- even moreso since Gesmer updated
the urethane to the "Black Ops" formula.
Just slightly larger than the uber-popular Avalons,
and essentially answering the most common Avalon post-market modification,
the trimming down of the outer lip to make the wheels' contact
patch slightly narrower and ultimately grippier.
3dm/Turner Avalons, 69mm
I ran these on many of my slalom setups, usually
86a in front and 82a in back. Hardly anyone I know actually uses
them "untrimmed" - an easy to do after market modification
that shaves the outer lip off each wheel, adding more traction.
The Seismic Hot Spots were essentially an answer to that issue,
coming off the shelf with a narrower contact patch and at 69mm
Still waiting to try the SuperGators!
Love the green Bennett Thane in 71mm. These wheels
are unsung and underpopularized, taking a back seat in the shadows
of the advertising blast of Loaded and Abec11. The fact is the
green thane rides a lot like the Abec11 Flashback, a nice controlled
slide and not too fast a hook-up. But you won't hear too much
about them on the forums. A great solid wheel, and the tiny ones
(62mm) are super stylin' for a mini cruiser setup.
DE THANE! DE THANE!
Chaput's new Retro urethane has landed! It is
bouncy and springy like a super ball, which makes them feel like
they'll roll forever.
Running 66mm on my Cyber/Tight deck and 70mm
on my Hybrid/GS slalom deck. They come in vibrant tropical colors
and look good enough to eat. In fact if you were drunk, you could
probably eat one and not know it until the morning after.
The first sets I got were in the shape of Gumballs,
just in the new urethane, at 76mm. Nowadays they're 75mm and better
known as "Big Zigs."
Normally, 'rebound' and 'snap' are terms I would
use only for describing the liveliness of a composite deck. But
this urethane has some serious bounce all its own. For a long
time I ran 83a front and 80a rear on a couple LDP setups. Later
I moved to just running the lime 80a's all around.
Abec-11 Grippins, 70mm
I like the center-set design, as you could easily
rotate and flip these wheels for even wear. They were grippier
than the Flashbacks, but still had a controlled slide, which the
3dm and newer Abec11 urethane does not. These were on my Lib that
was stolen. Waaaah!!!
Abec-11 Flashbacks, 70mm
The classic, all-around longboard wheel in the
75-78 duros. At the same time, some of the fastest world's cyber
records were set on the 88-92 durometer combos. Also a great sliding
Abec-11 Gumballs, 76mm
Big and Juicy. A little too fast for Giant Slalom
at least for my taste. Perfectly sticky and responsive on a big
Abec-11 Flywheel 101mm
They don't make 'em anymore. I was lucky enough
to grab a set off eBay in 2001 when I first set up my distance
Subsonic drop deck. The hubs are larger with much less urethane
than the 97mm's which is now the biggest you can go in the abec11
selection. Apparently a popular choice amongst the streetlugers
in the late 90's.
Abec-11 Flywheel 97mm
Once up to speed, the 97mm's have a momentum
and life all their own. No surprise they get "bad press"
on some skateboarding forums, mainly because most people can't
or don't want to afford them to experiment.
$100+ for a set of wheels is a commitment, but
I got mine back when Subsonic (a.k.a. "Curve") was building
his first distance cruisers, and they've totally been worth it.
I started out on the 101's (above) that have a larger hub, and
later got the 75a 97mm's, which are much stickier and shock-absorbing.
A lot of impressions people have of the 97's
are indirect, and often negative -- really just parroting off
the few people who've actually skated them. But in my experience
these monsters have their place when it comes to distance skating.
The cons: Slidey at higher speed (25mph+)
harder to stick turns. A little slower to start off the line,
but I find that so-called "con" pretty trivial, especially
on longer treks where you're really not starting and stopping
all that frequently.
The pros: Great top end speed, and hold
their momentum really well. Best wheel by far for taking out vibrations
from nasty chipsealed asphalt and plain crappy conditions, like
gravel, small rocks, expansion joints, roadkill, etc...
97's on my extra dropped Gbomb (front board)
Abec11 Electric Flywheels - 107mm MONSTERS!
Review by Greg "Stocago" Feiss
First the bad. They are very heavy. There are
clearance issues. I couldn't run a bennett 6.0 because of baseplate
bite! They work nicely on a 6.25 fyre truck. For a cast truck,
the randal 150 works okay. At times, they felt very sketchy, especially
when I had them set up with a virage ldp rear truck w/spacers.
I got thrown off a couple of times. For wide wheels, even with
a dead rear truck, I lost traction regularly. I know they have
round lips, but durians grip better. Since they are 40% taller
than regular wheels, I found that I was straining my squatting
leg when I had to push repeatedly.
Now the good. They are fast. They carry momentum
very well. This somehow negates the fact that they are heavy.
I did a time trial over the full marathon distance with these
and it's still my personal best for that course. This blew me
away when it happened because of all the preconceptions I had
about big wheels. I expected to be 5 to 10 minutes slower over
the distance. It's an out & back course and the conditions
were normal. I hadn't even put much time on the setup to really
get in sync with it.
I used the eflys on a 42" foam core deck,
to help lighten the total weight of the setup and also because
this deck has very generous wheel wells and kept the total riser
height reasonable. Ideally, these big wheels would be more at
home on a bigger deck. I briefly rode Ian's flexdex fat daddy
with these wheels and it was pretty sweet.
Powell Pool Bombers, 65mm
For starting out in the
pools and parks with a grippy, responsive wheel I'm sold. At some
point I'll probably move to the harder "pool" formula
in the blue color.