The weather is finally breaking, Spring is round the corner and this all means we can finally skate outside again! Before you grab your stinky gear bag and head outdoors, let's talk indoor versus outdoor wheels.
You may have noticed a little 86A or 97A on your wheels. The hardness or softness of a wheel is measure on a durometer scale. Which goes anywhere from soft skates at 78A to very hard skates at 101A.
For outdoor wheels, you are going to want something very soft to help absorb the bumps and roughness of skating on sidewalks and streets. If you wore this soft of a wheel skating indoors you would feel like you are sticking to floor, but for outdoor, the softness of the wheel helps you roll over small rocks, gravel, dirt, and goose poop (just kidding don't roll over goose poop).
You can always use the same wheels and bearings for indoor and outdoor BUT here is why you shouldn't
- Skating outdoors on harder indoor wheels will wear those wheels down much faster. You risk ruining your expensive indoor wheel.
- Same thing applies for bearings. Skating outdoors will gunk up your bearings, which can be cleaned but that is a hassle.
- Outdoor wheels are cheap.
- Get cheap bearings to go with your cheap outdoor wheels and you won't gunk up your nice bearings. And then you won't have to switch bearings every time you switch wheels (trust me that is a real pain).
So here are some good and inexpensive outdoor wheels and bearings. If you are local also check with Holiday Roller Rink in Elkhart, IN for cheap bearings (no guarantee so call ahead and just mention you need inexpensive bearings for outdoor skating).
DOUBLE SHIELDED BEARINGS 8PK - $9 this is an 8PK so buy two packs
Of course the most cost efficient option is an outdoor pack