Wheel Size and Your Electric Skateboard: What You Need to Know

By Matt Powell •  Updated: 02/14/24 •  12 min read

For the uninitiated, the wheel size of an electric skateboard may seem like a minor detail. However, for the avid hobbyist or professional rider, it’s a crucial factor that significantly influences the riding experience. Varying wheel sizes hold the power to alter key characteristics in an electric skateboard’s performance which include speed, acceleration, stability, comfort and even battery efficiency. This essay takes a fascinating deep dive into the world of electric skateboard wheel sizes, their impacts, and guides in envisioning what riding experiences different wheel sizes culminate.

Understanding Wheel Sizes

On most mornings, the sound of chirping birds is also accompanied by a hum that’s distinctive and adrenaline-pumping. That hum is none other than the signature sound of electric skateboards cruising the neighborhood. Electric skateboards, with their sleek body, customizability, and revolutionary technology, have emerged as more than a hobby; they are a lifestyle. In the grand scheme of things, the size of the wheels on electric skateboards might seem negligible. But, if you delve deeper into the world of e-skateboarding, you’ll discover that the wheel size is a significant factor that directly impacts the performance, speed, and overall ride quality of the electric skateboard.

Let’s break it down: wheel sizes on electric skateboards are diverse. It depends on the kind of journey you’re planning to embark upon and the terrain you want to conquer.

Smaller wheels, ranging from 70 to 75 millimeters in diameter, are relatively nimble and lightweight. These wheels are perfect for commuting in flat, paved areas. The significant advantage is the quick acceleration you get from them, making it easier to maneuver through city streets and crowded spaces. However, they might not offer a smooth and comfortable ride on terrains that are rough and uneven.

Next in line are medium wheels, typically available in the range of 80 to 90 millimeters. This wheel size balances both speed and acceleration fairly well. These wheels are highly versatile. With these, your electric skateboard can handle smooth and slightly textured grounds efficiently, a robust option for those seeking a wheel size strong enough for the slightly rougher Terrain.

And then we have the big guns- the large wheels! These range from 97 to over 120 millimeters in diameter and are designed to glide over rough terrains effortlessly. They’re known for providing increased speed at the cost of slightly slower acceleration. They’re great for long rides on trails or rough roads.

Remember, smaller wheels are more receptive to sharp turns and agile movements but may induce more vibration and bumpier rides on rough surfaces. In contrast, bigger wheels focus more on stability and gliding over obstacles, albeit with a slightly slower start.

Electric skateboard wheel sizes offer different specialties. Therefore, your choice largely depends on your riding preference, expected terrain, and whether you prioritize speed, acceleration, maneuverability, or a bit of everything.

So, the next time you look at your faithful electric skateboard, remember the significance of those wheels. They’re not just about spinning; they’re about giving you the perfect ride. Now, go and choose the one that meets your needs, fuels your passion and fits into your electric skateboarding lifestyle. Make your choice count! Dive headfirst into the thrilling world of electric skateboarding, and let the wheels guide your adventure.

Image of electric skateboard wheels showing different sizes and designs.

Impact on Speed and Acceleration

Let’s now delve deeper into how the wheel size of your electric skateboard shapes its speed and acceleration.

To put it simply, the size of the skateboard wheels directly influences the top speed and acceleration of the board. The physics behind it isn’t too complicated – bigger wheels cover more ground in one complete turn, but they also require more energy or torque to start spinning. On the other hand, smaller wheels cover less ground but can spin faster with less energy.

Consider the analogy of a hamster on a wheel. A hamster can run at its fastest on a smaller wheel, which translates to rapid acceleration. If the hamster tries to run as quickly on a larger wheel, it would struggle since it needs more energy to get the wheel spinning at the same speed as the smaller one.

Now, let’s apply this to electric skateboards. A board with smaller wheels will excel in acceleration and quick maneuverings because it requires less energy to set the wheels in motion – perfect for avoiding obstacles or taking sharp turns.

But when it comes to maintaining high speeds, larger wheels steal the spotlight. Although they demand more energy to accelerate, once in motion, they employ their larger circumference to cover more ground, thereby giving you a greater top speed.

When you journey over uneven terrains, the larger wheels can also prove to be more reliable. Not only are they spectacular at gliding over rough grounds, but they also retain their high speed better than smaller wheels.

However, do remember that power for acceleration and maintaining speed comes from the motor. A more powerful motor can better drive larger wheels, but it also means a hungrier power consumption.

Lastly, when it comes to wheel durometer or hardness, harder wheels (with a higher durometer) are typically faster while softer wheels offer more grip and a smoother ride.

Selecting the wheel size for your electric skateboard comes down to your preference and the type of terrain you frequent. Smaller wheels give you rapid acceleration and maneuverability at lower speeds, whereas larger wheels allow you to reach and maintain high speeds, especially over rough surfaces.

Your choice will ultimately reshape the way you ride, accentuating the thrill of this hobby. So, power up and enjoy the ride – because there is truly nothing quite like the exhilarating sport of electric skateboarding!

Image of different electric skateboard wheels with varying sizes

Photo by chernus_tr on Unsplash

Impact on Riding Stability and Comfort

From the agility of a quick sidewalk dodge to the exhilarating feeling of zipping downhill, wheel sizes distinctly shape your electric skateboard experience.

Just as shopping for a car involves more than selecting the color, optimizing your ride involves considering things like motor power compatibility and wheel durometer.

The choices you make can have substantial effects on your speed, acceleration, and maneuverability.

The physics behind the impact of wheel size on speed and acceleration is quite fascinating.

In general, smaller wheels tend to have quicker acceleration compared to larger ones.

They are easier to start spinning because of their lower mass, making them ideal for short commutes, zigzagging paths, or areas filled with potential obstacles.

On the other hand, larger wheels are notorious for their high top-speed capability.

It’s a trade-off though, as their increased mass typically requires more motor power to accelerate.

But once you have them rolling, their rotational momentum keeps them going faster for longer.

For these reasons, they are the popular choice among riders who are likely to encounter uneven terrains or seek a stable, high-speed cruise.

These differences are critical when matching wheel size to motor power.

Simply put, a powerful motor paired with small wheels might lead to excessive wheel spin, reducing your acceleration.

Conversely, large wheels with a less powerful motor may find it harder to kick-start the wheel rotation, leading to slower acceleration.

Meanwhile, wheel durometer, or hardness, plays a pivotal role in defining speed and grip.

Softer wheels provide more grip and are great for rougher terrains, while harder wheels slide easier and are generally faster, ideal for smooth surfaces.

Wheel size should be chosen according to personal preference and terrain type.

Do you value maneuverability and quick acceleration? Smaller wheels could be your best bet.

Or, do you prefer stability and high-speed cruising over rough terrain? You might want to opt for larger wheels.

In essence, the size of your wheels can significantly affect your electric skateboarding experience, from your ability to cruise smoothly over rough road surfaces to avoiding obstacles at high speed.

Ensuring the wheels match your style and riding conditions can make the difference between an average ride and an extraordinary one.

Here’s to the perfect skateboarding adventure!

Image depicting an electric skateboard in motion on a city street

Wheel Size and Battery Efficiency

Continuing our thrilling exploration of electric skateboarding, today we’re diving into the enigmatic relationship between wheel size and the battery life of your electric skateboard. Since the longevity of your electric ride majorly depends on its power source, understanding this relationship helps in making an informed decision for the right wheel size.

Electric skateboard wheels may seem to be just a part of the gear system but make no mistake, these little powerhouses play a vital role. Keep in mind that the speed of an electric skateboard is directly proportional to the size of the wheel. When it comes to energy utilization, the larger the wheel, the more energy it demands to keep rolling. Each rotation of a larger wheel covers a greater distance than a smaller one. This means that larger wheels use more of the battery’s saved energy per revolution, resulting in reduced battery life.

On the other hand, smaller wheels require lesser energy to complete a rotation, hence conserving the stored battery power. Thus, if you prefer lengthier riding sessions, selecting an electric skateboard with smaller wheels could lengthen your battery life. However, the trade-off could be speed as smaller wheels typically cover less ground per revolution.

There’s also the factor of resistance that affects your battery life. Larger wheels generally have a wider contact patch with the ground, increasing the friction and resistance, leading to greater energy exertion by the board’s motor and consequently depleting your battery faster.

Another point of contemplation is the terrain you prefer to ride. Coupled with the wheel size, the surface has a direct impact on battery life too. Smooth surfaces are less demanding on battery power. However, rough terrain, whether off-road or cobbled city streets, may necessitate larger wheels for better ride comfort and stability. Consequently, this drains the battery faster due to increased friction on uneven pathways.

Don’t forget the weight factor. Larger wheels add to the overall weight of the skateboard, making the motor work harder and leading to quick battery drainage.

To wrap it up, the key takeaway is that the electric skateboard’s battery life will largely depend on the wheel size you opt for. Smaller wheels tend to conserve battery power, while larger wheels drain more energy for that added speed and comfort. So, the next time you gear up for a ride, remember, the power in your electric skateboard’s roll lies in the size of its wheels. Now, go ahead and choose with wisdom!

An image showing the different sizes of electric skateboard wheels to explain the impact on battery life for visually impaired individuals.

Photo by igorpeftiev on Unsplash

Choosing the Right Wheel Size

In the realm of electric skateboarding, great importance is devoted to wheel size, as it can affect aspects such as speed, acceleration, and maneuverability. However, one fundamental factor that wheel size impacts that’s often overlooked is the battery life. So, let’s delve deeper into this topic to understand the complex relationship between your electric skateboard’s wheel size and battery life.

Wheel size and battery life are connected through one fundamental factor: energy usage. More prominent wheels are often speedier because they cover more ground per rotation, but this comes at a slight cost: energy consumption. Bigger wheels utilize more battery power with each revolution. Simply put, the additional power necessary to propel the larger surface area and mass of the wheels depletes the battery life at a more accelerated pace than their smaller counterparts.

Conversely, smaller wheels tend to be more energy-efficient. They require less energy to rotate, translating into lower battery use and, consequently, elongating the battery life of your electric skateboard. It’s the classic narrative of the tortoise and the hare; while the smaller wheels may not reach the blistering speeds of their larger counterparts, they endure over the longer distances thanks to their energy efficiency.

Another factor often overlooked is the role of resistance or friction. Larger wheels create more contact with the ground, resulting in more friction, and therefore more energy is needed to overcome this resistance. This increased resistance inevitably drains the battery faster than smaller wheels, which offer less ground contact and, correspondingly, less resistance.

However, terrain considerably influences this analysis. While smaller wheels offer longest battery life and higher energy efficiency, their performance can be hampered by rough surfaces. Larger wheels are designed to handle all types of terrain with less vibration and maintain stability, however, they drain the battery faster. Therefore, when considering wheel size, consider your typical riding conditions.

Lasty, it’s essential to mention the overall weight of the skateboard as it’s another consideration affecting battery life. Larger wheels can add to the board’s total weight, requiring the motor to work harder and deplete the battery faster.

Optimizing wheel choice for battery life is about juggling these factors: speed, resistance, terrain, and weight. Every electric skateboarder is encouraged to evaluate their needs and preferences carefully. The goal is to decide on the optimal wheel size, offering an unparalleled electric skateboarding experience while best harnessing the life of your battery. In the realm of electric skateboarding, there’s a wheel to accommodate every desire and journey. Happy riding!

Illustration of an electric skateboard wheel and battery to represent the relationship between wheel size and battery life.

Photo by mike_meyers on Unsplash

Understanding how wheel size impacts an electric skateboard can enhance your overall awareness and make your ride more tailored to your preferences. By evaluating factors such as acceleration, speed, comfort, stability and battery life, you will be well-equipped to choose the right wheel size for your specific needs. Whether seeking a faster ride, better battery life, increased comfort or improved stability, you now possess the knowledge needed to make an informed choice that perfects your ride. The captivating world of electric skateboards is one where wheel sizes hold immense importance and direct influence on user experience, and this deeper understanding aids in appreciating the nuances that go into creating an exhilarating ride.

Matt Powell