A Detailed Analysis of My Favorite Competition Wheels by Roller Bones
I personally own and have used over a dozen different roller skate wheels to date. And so far, the RollerBones Elite roller skate wheels are still the best indoor roller skate wheels I have tried to date.
When I’m skating, I like to have a lot of slide and give in my wheels. And these Bones wheels have a lot of give in them making sliding extra easy. As a past artistic roller skater many moons ago, I still have pretty good control over my wheels – even if it has been almost 30 years since I last competed.
I can still do crossovers, skate backwards, do backwards crossovers and do two footed turns in succession. But, these wheels are not about many of those basic roller skating techniques. What they are really made for, and what I really love about these competition wheels, are how much easier they make one footed turns, two footed spinning and one footed spinning.
These more “advanced” moves (at least for me at this age) are important for me to still be able to do. Personally, I like being able to balance, maneuver and show off a little for my daughters and others at my rink.
I find that little bit of showing off (without overdoing it) helps to open conversations with strangers I don’t know. After they drop me a small compliment about my skating, it allows me to encourage them that they can also do some of these more advanced moves on their skates, too, with enough practice (and the right equipment, of course).
RollerBones Elite – My Best Indoor Skate Wheels – Details at a Glance
Before we get into all of the nitty, gritty details, let me first give you a high-level summary of these Bones wheels and how they stack up. After your read the summary, check out the further details below on each of the important sections.
- Durometer / Hardness: Comes in 103A and 101A durometers – My 103A, 3-year old Roller Bones wheels measure in at 102A after several measurements.
- Colors: Black, White and Clear (slight yellow tint – especially after 3 years of use).
- Diameter (Height): Comes in 57mm and 62mm
- Full Width: 29mm
- Surface Patch (part of the wheel that touches the ground): 27mm
- Lips: 1mm on each side
- Weight: 2.3oz for 1 wheel. 9.2oz for 4 wheels.
- Weight with Bones Super Reds Bearings: 3.1oz for 1 wheel. 12.4oz for 4 wheels.
- Hub Type: Hollow
- Best Types of Skating: Artistic roller skating, shuffle skating, slide skating
- Best Types of Surfaces: Hardwood floors, sport court, hard/smooth concrete (tennis court)
- Price: Check here on Amazon – Please note: I am an Amazon affiliate and I do make a small commission from them if you purchase this product. There is no additional cost to you from using my link. I appreciate you following my link to purchase if you find my review helpful. Additional links below are also Amazon affiliate links. These small commissions help me to run this website and continue doing hands-on product reviews.
RollerBones Elite: My Overall Review
- My Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
- My Review Summary: Best overall wheel I have used to date for artistic, slide and shuffle skating. This wheel has a lot of give and makes one-footed turns, two-footed spins and one-footed spins easier to do. I have had these wheels for over 3 years and they are my go-to wheel for all of my session skating.
- The best artistic / slippery wheels that I have used to date.
- Great for more easily doing one footed turns with all 4 wheels on the ground (not lifting up your heel or your toes when turning).
- Best wheel I have used so far that allows you to do several revolutions on 2 feet with all 8 wheels on the ground on a hardwood, plastic coated floor.
- I can usually also get 2-3 revolutions on 1 foot spins down, but that’s just because I need more practice. 🙂
- Not really a con about this wheel, but just harder wheels in general. These wheels are super loud. If you skate indoors on a hardwood floor with no music, you will hear these wheels. I have worn these wheels to speed skate practice several times and I have had other skaters comment on how loud my wheels are. It’s just because they are super hard, so they make a lot of noise. Not a big deal if you are skating sessions, though, as there is always music going on.
Breaking Down My Favorite Bones Wheels
So, after testing out a number of different wheels, I still pick these bones wheels as the best roller skate wheels for indoor use. At least for what I like to use them for, which is shuffle skating, spinning and doing 1 and 2-foot turns.
Next, let’s breakdown these bones artistic roller skate wheels into more detail. We’ll look at the durometer (or hardness) of the wheel, followed by the colors, diameters (or height of the wheel), the width, weight and hub type.
Hard Skate Wheels: Measuring the RollerBones Elite Durometer / Hardness
If you have listened to my podcast, The Roller Skate Dad Podcast, or read some of my other articles about picking out roller skate wheels, you will remember that one of the major tips to picking out the right wheels is understanding the surface that you are skating on.
The rink that I skate at consistently, Playland Skate Center in Austin, TX, has a beautiful, hardwood floor. This floor often has a coating of plastic over the top of it as the rink is home to a speed skating team that practices there 5x / week.
The team coats the floor with this plastic substance to give the floor more stick – something that is crucially important for speed skaters who are trying to maintain their stability while pushing themselves to their top speed.
This plastic causes more grip on your wheels, and because of that, it can make it harder to perform some of these moves – one footed turns and spins – without lifting up your heel or toe when performing them.
I love the RollerBones Elite wheel, because to date, they are the best hard roller skate wheels that I have been able to find. A harder wheel is more slippery and has less grip, regardless of the surface. This wheel registers in at 103A durometer (102A on the tests of my 3 year old wheel), which makes these hard skate wheels some of the firmest made of urethane. There are a few hard clay wheels out there and I’ve even found wheels made out of wood, stone and fiberglass. All of which I have on order and will have reviews for you here on the blog soon. So stay tuned.
The Best Hard Skate Wheels Made From Urethane
To date, the RollerBones Elite is the hardest, least grippy wheel I have found and tried. These wheels come in 2 different durometers, the aforementioned 103A and a softer 101A. Many artistic skaters need to balance the ease of spinning on a surface with control over their skates when digging into or coming out of a jump. So, for artistic skating, you don’t always want the hardest wheel.
I measure these indoor skate wheels with my own durometer that I bought off Amazon. It’s a Shore A-type durometer. And, it’s nothing fancy. However, as you can see from the photo, my 3 year old Roller Bones wheels measured in at a 102A. I like to do my own tests to see just how close the manufacturers durometer reading is to mine.
If you are looking for a good set of artistic roller skate wheels or slippery wheels to shuffle skate on to use indoors, then I think this is your wheel. If you are a looking for artistic competition wheels, then I think these are also a good choice. However, if you are looking to be a speed skater or if you do most of your skating outdoors, then I’d look for a different wheel. There are many other good choices in that area that I cover elsewhere on the blog.
RollerBones Elite Color and Diameter Choices
These Bones wheels also comes in 2 diameters: 57mm and 62mm. I personally have the 62mm wheel. The less diameter on a wheel, the slower it’s going to go but the more stability you will have on it. I like the bigger wheel because stability is not an issue for me with my experience level. Plus, I often race in these wheels or speed skate during session in them. It’s fun to slide everywhere on the floor and it’s a challenge to try to go as fast as I can without losing my feet from under me.
These indoor roller skate wheels come in 4 different colors: red, white, black and colorless/clear. The red are a little harder to find. White and black are usually pretty easy to get. Sometimes the clear can sell out quickly as they are a little more popular.
I personally like the colorless / yellowish clear ones myself. There are not too many clear wheels on the market today that don’t have some major color in them (pink, blue, red). The only other wheel I have found that is similar in color is the Sure-Grip Royal skate wheels. All 3 of the above colors come in the 101A and 103A durometer hardness rating.
RollerBones Elite Durability
The durability on these artistic roller skate wheels are pretty good. I have used them 1-2x week mostly indoors for the past 3 years and they are still going strong. I don’t have toe stops in my skates – I use toe plugs instead as it helps with spinning and other moves. Because of this fact, I do a lot of t-stops, plow stops and spin stops.
I’ve abused these wheels skating on asphalt sometimes with them. Remember, these are indoor roller skate wheels, so don’t wear them outdoors. They just don’t do well on surfaces like asphalt. If you skate on a smooth surface outdoors (concrete tennis court), then you can get by. Even with all of my wear-and-tear, they are still going strong. The wheels still roll evenly even with all of my abuse.
RollerBones Elite Width, Surface Patch and Lips
The width of this wheel is perfect for an artistic / shuffle / slide wheel at 29mm. The smaller wheel width puts less surface area on the ground giving you more movement and slide. If you are looking for a wheel that has control, then go for a softer, wider wheel.
However, if you want a lot of slide and have good control of your wheels, then a narrow, hard wheel is what you want. And the RollerBones Elite is a great wheel for those purposes checking the boxes on most of those specifics.
There are small round lips on these wheels but they are super small at only 1mm per side. This makes the total contact patch for the wheel at 27mm. The contact patch is the part of the wheel that actually touches the ground. So, with only 27mm touching the ground, it’s easy to understand why this wheel is so slippery and easy to move.
RollerBones Weight and Hub Type
One wheel also weighs in at 2.3oz by itself without any bearings in it. I have 2 Bones Super Reds bearings in each wheel and it came to a total of 3.1oz for a wheel. Four wheels together equals 9.2oz in total without bearings and 12.4oz per skate for all four wheels with bearings in them. So, you’re not adding a whole lot to the weight of your skate. They are not the lightest wheels I have ever used, but they certainly are pretty light.
Finally, the hub type on these wheels is hollow, which again is common for artistic roller skate wheels. A hollow core make the wheel more lite. It doesn’t have as much material, so I’m sure that makes sense to you. A metal core in an art wheel wouldn’t make sense. You are trying to jump, spin and slide, you don’t want extra weight hold you back. You often find metal cores in quad wheels for roller derby and some speed skating wheels.
RollerBones Elite: The Best Roller Skate Wheels for Indoor
After having these wheels for over 3 years and using them almost every time I skate at my rink, I’d have to say that these are the best indoor roller skate wheels I have in my skate bag right now. They are my favorite wheels for doing skate moves like one-footed turns, two footed spins and one-footed spins. If you are a competitive artistic skater looking for a good set of competition wheels, then I don’t think you can go wrong with these artistic roller skate wheels.
These Bones Wheels are Best for Art, Jam & Shuffle Skaters – Not Speed Skaters or Beginners
As I’ve stated previously, these wheels are very slippery so they are not for beginners. You need to have good control over your skates before you venture onto these wheels. I think these are good wheels for you to have after you are no longer a beginner at roller skating and have moved on to trying to adopt a roller skating specialty in art or shuffle skating.
Get the basics of roller skating down like roller skating forwards without falling down, crossovers, backwards skating and backwards crossovers before you venture for a set of hard skate wheels like the RollerBones Elite. They are fun, but they would be super frustrating and even dangerous for a beginner.
Also, if you like to race during sessions or speed skate, you need to get used to running in your skates in these wheels. You are going to get very little to zero push from these Bones wheels. I have raced in them a lot (just because I’m too lazy to switch to my speed wheels) and I have had my push foot come out from under me at the starting line many times.
The best technique to race in these wheels is to run (duck walk) at the start. Then, realize you are going to have a more difficult time trying to reach your top speed and maintain your edge around the corners. They are just too slippery to go that fast. With that said, I have gotten used to them over the years and find it fun to push myself to hold the edge and maintain my balance. It’s kind of a fun, sick, kind-of-twisted-in-a-nerd-sort-of-way game that I play with myself.
Overall, if you are into shuffle skating or artistic skating (or just doing fun sliding things on your skates), then I think these are the best urethane and hard skate wheels that are on the market today. I highly recommend you give the RollerBones Elite a try. You won’t be disappointed.