ASRA - Australian Skateboard Racing Association

Skateboarders may think these are the two main factors in deciding what type of wheel to purchase for their board. It may seem that appearance has little to do with performance and durability, but the color of a polyurethane wheel actually does affect its performance and durability. Skateboard wheels are made of a type of hard, durable plastic known as polyurethane. It has been determined that adding color to the polyurethane wheels tends to cause faster degradation. As pigment or dye is added to the polyurethane, it sort of invades the structure of the wheel, taking up space that would normally be held by urethane molecules. As urethane has the desired properties of resilience and durability, the less urethane in the wheel, the less resilient and durable it is. Colored wheels are actually more prone to flat spots. The most high-performing wheels are clear to translucent white in color, because the chemical structure of the urethane has not been altered by a dye.
If skateboarders put some thought and planning into what types of wheels are best suited to outfit their boards based upon the related science as well as their own particular needs, they can have a high-performing, well-designed custom board that suits them individually. Considering the size of the wheel for speed and maneuverability, the hardness of the wheel for increased speed and traction and the color of the wheel for durability and resilient qualities may seem like a daunting task. But with a little thought and planning, these things can make all the difference between a skater owning a good board and a great board.

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sadly children love colors, too young for chemicals

Colors are a good thing , coloured wheels full of chemicals make a nice slide.

kids want pretty wheels, brands want to look different from each other and people want to be able to tell what Duro they are riding from a mile away

So which colours are best then??? Which dye has what characteristics. I know this won't make a difference to my skating cause I'm not that good but it's an interesting concept???
It does give me a headache just thinking about it though.

Kanufi. Yes you are quite right from a certain point of view.

However, there is a very good reason that all the worlds top wheel chemists and manufacturers make wheels with coloured dye in them. Helping to assist slide charactersitics is just one of them. 

the science of skateboarding requires coloured pigments. skateboarders put more thought. effort, examination, testing, analysis and art, than your little post gives them credit for.

Ask this question, why are Otangs orange? why are abec11s green? why does Cult use flat colour on some wheels, and dayglo on others? why are bones wheels white?

Our existence on this planet is partly due to light from the sun. light which can see as colour. Colour is an essential part of our world.

it is generally agreed by all skaters that have shredded enough wheels, that clear or translucent wheels are not as good as wheels with solid colour pigment added.

Lab science is perhaps not the only way to approach making skateboard products. After all, skateboarding defies  several scientific laws...

the first longboard I ever rode (about '92) had black wheels. It was Great to slide! it would slide early, but be tractable in the slide, not gripping until really late then sliding really fast like some (clear) wheels I've played with.

I've found that black dyes tend to make for icy wheels. I suspect that (particularly with cheaper wheels) they would use some graphite as colourant, which would explain the total lack of friction. From my days in the lab, most black plastics seemed to have graphite as filler so I assume it's the same for wheels.


And, coincidentally, just pointed out exactly the same thing here: 

RIP Bret "One T"

To Clarify:

I was talking abour gravity wheels back in 92 when I had never seen a longboard in Aus or a randall style truck. We never tried to go above sprinting speed (except when you could see your runout), never wore gloves (didn't know what they were). Sliding (stand-up) was the only way to maintain that relatively sloooow speed, so if the shit really did hit the fan we could bail and not lose (too much) skin. You could probably say they (the wheels) got icy (above about 30-40 km/h). But cruising was 'the shit' so we did 'it'!

We'd go out on the weekends, skate 15k's to the pub, ride home. never bombing (much).

I made boards from short boards, and mounted the indy typetrucks on the kicks (with cutouts) this lowered the CG, and increased the steering angle of these trucks which weren't all that good for the 'cruising/ flatlanding/ pumping we were doing.

It was about cruising with mates, not who can roll the fastest.:-)

The sport has gone so far in so many directions I reckon you need a setup (wheels, to tie this note back to the subject) designed for the style you're into. Go see Kanufi at some skateshop at St Leonards, he'll sort you out. I sound like I'm advertising...nooooo! He's just a Mate who knows lots about skating.:-) Keep rolling, Dex

due thanks so much i needed this for an assignment

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