Can You Put Cruiser Wheels on a Regular Skateboard?

Yes, you can put cruiser wheels on a normal skateboard. Cruiser wheels are larger, softer, and designed for a smoother ride over rough surfaces, making them suitable for commuting and cruising. By swapping out your standard skateboard wheels with cruiser wheels, you’ll experience enhanced stability and comfort.

Keep in mind that while cruiser wheels excel at providing a smooth ride, they might not be as suitable for technical tricks and maneuvers typically performed with standard skateboard wheels. The choice depends on your preferred style of skateboarding.

What Are Cruiser Wheels?

Cruiser wheels are a specialized type of skateboard wheels characterized by their larger size, softer composition, and wider shape. Ranging from around 54mm to 60mm or more in diameter, and typically possessing a durometer of 78A to 85A, these wheels are tailored to provide a more comfortable and smooth ride on a variety of surfaces.

Their increased diameter aids in overcoming cracks and obstacles with ease, while the softer material enhances shock absorption, reducing the impact of rough terrain. Cruiser wheels are designed to offer stability and a relaxed feel, making them ideal for cruising, commuting, and carving, as they glide effortlessly over uneven pavements and provide a more enjoyable ride over longer distances.

Skateboard Wheels vs. Cruiser Wheels

Skateboard wheels and cruiser wheels differ significantly in design and purpose. Skateboard wheels are typically smaller, ranging from 50mm to 54mm in diameter, and have a higher durometer (usually 99A or higher). They are built to withstand the demands of technical tricks, flips, and maneuvers performed in skateparks and street settings, offering a balance between durability and performance for these specialized activities.

What is the difference between a skateboard and a longboard?

In contrast, cruiser wheels are larger, ranging from around 54mm to 60mm or more, and have a softer durometer (between 78A and 85A). These wheels prioritize comfort and a smooth ride, excelling at absorbing shocks and vibrations from rough surfaces. The wider shape of cruiser wheels contributes to stability, making them perfect for relaxed cruising, commuting, and carving.

While skateboard wheels are optimized for tricks, cruiser wheels are tailored for a more leisurely and comfortable skating experience on various terrains.

Benefits of Cruiser Wheels on a Skateboard

Here are some of the highlighted benefits of putting cruiser wheels on skateboard:

  • Smooth Ride: Cruiser wheels’ larger size and softer material provide a significantly smoother and more comfortable ride, absorbing shocks and vibrations from uneven pavement and rough terrain.

  • Enhanced Stability: The wider shape of cruiser wheels contributes to improved stability, making them an excellent choice for beginners or those seeking a steadier ride.

  • Versatility: By installing cruiser wheels on a regular skateboard, you transform it into a versatile transportation tool that’s well-suited for both cruising and basic tricks.

  • Comfort: Cruiser wheels’ ability to glide effortlessly over imperfections in the pavement reduces fatigue and discomfort during longer rides, allowing you to enjoy your journey more.

  • Better Handling: The increased grip and traction of cruiser wheels make it easier to navigate turns and curves, enhancing your overall control and confidence while riding.

  • Adaptability to Various Surfaces: Cruiser wheels excel on a variety of surfaces, from sidewalks to streets, making them suitable for urban commuting, cruising along the beach, or exploring your neighborhood.

  • Less Pushing Effort: The larger size of cruiser wheels translates to covering more ground with each push, reducing the effort required to maintain momentum and allowing you to travel longer distances with ease.

Limitations of Putting Cruiser Wheels on Regular Skateboard

While putting cruiser wheels on a regular skateboard can provide various benefits, it’s important to be aware of the limitations as well. Cruiser wheels, with their larger size and softer composition, are optimized for comfort and smooth rides on uneven surfaces. However, these characteristics may not be suitable for all skateboarding styles.

  • Limited Trick Performance: Cruiser wheels’ larger size and softer material can hinder the responsiveness needed for intricate tricks and technical maneuvers. If you’re primarily focused on performing tricks in skateparks or street settings, standard skateboard wheels with a higher durometer might be more suitable.

  • Reduced Speed and Momentum: The softer composition of cruiser wheels might result in slightly slower speeds and reduced momentum compared to harder wheels. This could affect your ability to achieve high speeds or maintain velocity during certain skateboarding activities.

  • Less Precision in Turns: While cruiser wheels excel in stability, they might lack the precision and sharp turns that smaller and harder wheels provide. This could impact your control during aggressive carving or tight turns.

  • Compatibility with Terrain: Cruiser wheels are optimized for cruising on various terrains, but they might not perform as well on smooth surfaces like skateparks where harder wheels provide better grip and responsiveness. Do check our blog Different Skateboard Wheels for Street Skating.

  • Weight Consideration: The larger size and additional weight of cruiser wheels might slightly alter the overall feel and maneuverability of your skateboard, which could take some getting used to.

In essence, while cruiser wheels can enhance your skateboarding experience in specific scenarios, they might not be the best choice if you’re seeking to perform technical tricks, maintain top speeds, or execute precise maneuvers. The choice between cruiser wheels and standard wheels ultimately depends on your skating style and preferences.

Why Do Different Wheel Types Matter?

The choice of skateboard wheels significantly impacts your overall skating experience due to the diverse terrains, styles, and preferences within the sport. Different wheel types matter for several reasons:

  • Terrain Adaptability: Different wheels are optimized for various surfaces. Harder wheels are ideal for smooth surfaces like skateparks, while softer wheels excel on rough pavements, providing better shock absorption and a smoother ride.

  • Riding Style: If you prefer technical tricks and park skating, harder and smaller wheels offer better control and responsiveness. On the other hand, if you enjoy cruising, commuting, or carving, softer and larger cruiser wheels enhance stability and comfort.

  • Speed and Friction: Softer wheels grip surfaces better, allowing for smoother acceleration and deceleration, whereas harder wheels minimize friction, enabling higher speeds.

  • Shock Absorption and Maneuverability: Softer wheels absorb shocks from cracks, pebbles, and uneven surfaces, reducing the impact on your body and skateboard components. Smaller wheels offer quicker turns and tighter maneuverability, crucial for street skating and intricate tricks.

  • Personal Preference: Skaters have unique preferences. Some might prefer a smooth cruise, while others thrive on technical tricks. Different wheels cater to these individual tastes.

By understanding how different wheel types cater to specific aspects of skateboarding, you can tailor your setup to match your style and the terrain you frequent, optimizing your skating experience and allowing you to push your limits in your chosen discipline.

How to Put Cruiser Wheels on a Skateboard?

Transitioning from standard skateboard wheels to cruiser wheels is relatively straightforward:

  1. Tools Needed: You’ll require a skate tool or wrench, which you likely already have if you’re an avid skater.

  2. Removing the Old Wheels: Use your skate tool to unscrew the nuts and remove the old wheels. Keep the nuts and any washers in a safe place.

  3. Attaching Cruiser Wheels: Place the cruiser wheels onto the axles. If the cruiser wheels come with built-in bearings, you can skip the next step.

  4. Installing Bearings: If your cruiser wheels don’t have bearings installed, you’ll need to place them onto the axles before attaching the wheels. Bearings ensure the wheels spin smoothly.

  5. Securing the Wheels: Place the washers back onto the axles, followed by the nuts. Tighten them evenly with your skate tool until the wheels are secure.

  6. Testing: Give your skateboard a gentle push to ensure the wheels spin freely without any wobbling.

For a detailed guide visit our blog on How to Assemble a Skateboard

Closing Thoughts

In conclusion, installing cruiser wheels on a regular skateboard can offer a whole new dimension to your skating experience. The larger size, softer material, and enhanced stability make cruising more enjoyable, especially for those who prefer a laid-back ride.

However, keep in mind that cruiser wheels are designed for cruising, so if you’re planning to focus primarily on tricks and technical skating, it might be best to stick with standard skateboard wheels.

Ultimately, the choice between cruiser wheels and standard wheels depends on your skating style and preferences.

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