Electric Skateboard Wheel Sizes: A Comparison Chart

By Matt Powell •  Updated: 02/29/24 •  7 min read

Electric skateboards are transforming the way we glide through our neighborhoods, offering a blend of excitement and convenience at our feet. The choice of wheel size, a seemingly minor detail, significantly influences this evolving mode of transit. From small wheels that promise agility to large ones that ensure smooth rides, this article examines how varying wheel sizes sculpt distinct riding experiences. Each size tier holds its own set of benefits, appealing to different rider preferences and needs.

Small Wheels (70-76 mm)

Electric skateboards have zoomed into the spotlight, bringing thrilling adventures to sidewalks and pavements. Among the myriad of features determining your ride’s feel, wheel size pops up as a game changer. Small wheels, often overlooked, pack a punch in transforming the electric skateboard experience. Here’s how:

Firstly, small wheels mean acceleration takes the front seat. With less weight to move, your skateboard jumps to life with a nudge of the throttle, zipping through streets with the zest of a sprinter. The nimbleness allows riders to feel the rush of speed more intensely, making every ride an adrenaline-pumping journey.

Handling and maneuverability take a leap with smaller wheels. Navigating tight corners and weaving through obstacles becomes second nature, thanks to the increased responsiveness. You’re not just riding; you’re carving paths with precision, steering your electric skateboard as if it’s an extension of your body.

Then there’s the aspect of portability. Electric skateboards are prized for their convenience, and small wheels shave off precious weight and bulk. Carrying your board under your arm or stashing it away becomes easier, making it the perfect companion for commuters or those always on the move.

But it’s not all smooth sailing. Smaller wheels might bring you closer to the ground, offering a stable ride, yet they invite a trade-off with comfort. Rough terrains feel rougher as these wheels are less forgiving on bumps and cracks. Every jolt and jitter travels up, challenging riders to master control and balance.

Efficiency rounds off the list of distinctions. Small wheels require less energy to maintain speed, potentially extending your electric skateboard’s battery life. This means longer rides and fewer stops to recharge, ensuring your adventures continue uninterrupted.

In essence, small wheels on electric skateboards open up a new dimension of riding. They emphasize speed, agility, and efficiency, although at the expense of comfort on less-than-ideal surfaces. For the urban explorer, thrill-seeker, or daily commuter, small wheels might just be the tweak your electric skateboard experience needs to turn ordinary into extraordinary.

Electric skateboard with small wheels shown on a city street, illustrating the article content.

Medium Wheels (77-90 mm)

When we pivot to medium wheels, we’re entering a zone that many consider the sweet spot between the agility of small wheels and the stability offered by larger counterparts. This balance is not just happenstance; it’s the result of careful design and engineering to meet diverse needs. Medium wheels, generally found in many standard vehicles and electric skateboards, bring a level of versatility that’s hard to beat. Here’s how they manage to strike a perfect balance between performance and comfort.

Rolling resistance is a term tossed around a lot when discussing wheel size. With medium wheels, you get a goldilocks level of resistance — not too much, not too little. This balance means you’re not sacrificing speed for comfort or vice versa. You’ll find that these wheels can maintain a commendable pace, crucial for timely commutes, without jarring you every time you hit a minor bump in the road.

Next, let’s talk about shock absorption. Roads are far from being smooth, uniform tracks. Potholes, cracks, and different textures can make for a bumpy ride. Medium wheels, with their slightly larger surface area in contact with the ground compared to small wheels, are better at soaking up these irregularities. This improved shock absorption means a smoother ride, reducing the fatigue you’d feel on longer trips.

Durability is another perk of opting for medium-sized wheels. They’re typically built to withstand more varied terrains without wearing down as quickly as smaller wheels might. This makes them a solid choice for anyone looking for a blend of urban exploration and the occasional off-the-beaten-path adventure.

Lastly, let’s not overlook the aesthetic and practical aspects. Medium wheels offer a sleek, balanced look to most vehicles and boards, contributing to a design that’s not only functional but also visually appealing. Their size also means that replacements and upgrades are readily available, making maintenance less of a headache.

In essence, medium wheels encapsulate the principle of moderation. They temper the extremes, providing a ride that’s even-keeled and reliable without veering too far into specialized territory. Whether you’re weaving through city streets or cruising on a scenic route, they ensure that your journey is as comfortable as it is thrilling.

Image of medium-sized wheels to match the text

Photo by gearfilms on Unsplash

Large Wheels (90 mm and above)

Embracing the Highs: The Upscale Shift to Large Wheel Sizes on Electric Skateboards

Stepping into the realm of electric skateboards, the choice of wheel size isn’t just a matter of style—it’s a blueprint for the ride experience. While the virtues of small and medium wheels receive their fair share of the spotlight, there’s a compelling case to be made for going big. Yes, large wheels have their own fanfare, and for reasons that might just tip the scales for riders straddling the fence. Let’s glide through the why’s behind riders’ tilt towards larger wheels.

First up, it’s the “smooth sailing” effect. Large wheels are akin to the all-terrain vehicles of the skateboard world. They take the bumps, the cracks, and the occasional pebble in stride. Where smaller wheels might stutter, larger ones roll on, offering a ride that’s noticeably smoother and more forgiving. It’s this ability to absorb the shock of uneven paths that makes them an ally for those seeking comfort on their commutes or joyrides.

Next in line is the distance they can cover. Larger wheels mean fewer rotations to go the same distance compared to their smaller counterparts. This translates into a more efficient journey, where every push or electric nudge propels you further. For long-distance riders or those looking to minimize their effort over extensive stretches, larger wheels stand out as the go-to choice.

Speed enthusiasts, take note. While acceleration might feel brisker on smaller wheels, large wheels hold their own in the marathon, not the sprint. They achieve higher top speeds thanks to their larger circumference, making them a favorite for riders aiming to breeze through their routes. Plus, the stability they provide at higher speeds is unmatched, offering a sense of security as the world blurs by.

Now, let’s talk about the lifespan. The robust nature of large wheels makes them enduring companions. Their ability to glide over obstacles not only spares the rider from jolts but also reduces the wear and tear on the wheels themselves. This durability means fewer replacements and a longer ride life, which is music to the ears of any investment-conscious skateboarder.

Finally, there’s an undeniable cool factor with large wheels. They evoke a sense of adventure, of not being confined to the smooth, predictable paths but being ready for whatever comes. Their bold look matches their bold performance, making them a statement piece for the electric skateboard aficionado.

In the panorama of electric skateboarding, wheel size morphs the experience. While smaller wheels have their nimbleness and medium wheels their balance, large wheels carve a distinctive path. They promise smoother rides, extended range, thrilling speeds, steadfast durability, and an aesthetic that speaks to the bold. It’s these attributes that beckon riders towards the larger end of the spectrum, where every turn is an adventure waiting to unfold.

Image of large wheels on an electric skateboard, showcasing their durability, speed, and cool factor for riders

In the landscape of electric skateboarding, the size of the wheels is more than just a technical specification—it’s a personal touchstone that defines the character of each ride. Whether seeking the adrenaline rush of swift accelerations with small wheels, the balanced harmony of medium wheels, or the comfort and endurance offered by large wheels, there’s a dimension of skating for everyone. This exploration into the impact of wheel size underscores the breadth of possibilities available, ensuring that the electric skateboard remains not just a mode of transport, but a gateway to adventures tailored to the desires of every rider.

Matt Powell