Choosing the Right Wheels

The Atom Wheels Matrix was designed to help skaters better understand what wheel hardness will work for their certain size in conjunction to floor surface. In general, larger skaters should have harder wheels and smaller skaters should have softer wheels (keep in mind what surface you are skating on).

Atom Wheels Performance Matrix

Narrow VS. Wide

Atom Narrow Wheels Narrow – Narrow wheels have been around for years, mostly seen on hockey, art, rhythm or recreation skates. Just recently have the narrow wheels hit the derby world. Narrow wheels are lighter and thinner which allow the skater to move, juke, stop and sprint better. Atom Wheels, in the narrow profile, are 38mm which allows the skater to be agile, juke and stop better, but not sacrifice the roll and grip that you get from a wider wheel. Narrow wheels are not for everyone so use at your own risk!

Atom Wide Wheels Wide – Atom Wheels, in their wide form, are 44mm in width, which allows for more push and better roll. Wide wheels are great for speed and grip. The biggest difference between a wide wheel and a narrow wheel is that the wide wheel has a lip. The lip allows for extra push and control on the straightaway and out of the corner, but sacrifices a little bit of agility.

Hub Style – Atom Wheels can be found in three different hub styles:

  • Tri Spoke Core – This core is used on most cost effective wheels by Atom. These wheels are very light but not as stiff, which is why the cost is lower
  • Hollow Core (HCT) – Hollow Core wheels allow for great stiffness without all the unnecessary weight. The stiffer the wheel the more roll you will get. Atom Hollow core wheels are Glass filled technology that allows for greater stiffness and better roll.
  • Hollow Core Alloy – The HCA core is a NEW core from Atom Wheels. This core is just as stiff as a full aluminum core but reduces weight by 30%. The aluminum cap allows the wheel to be stiff while entering into a straightaway stoke or corner and the plastic on the back side allows for full rebound to get as much power as possible

  • Atom A Rating Hardness – The hardness of a wheel is rated on the “A” rating scale. The higher the number the harder the wheel, which allows for more roll and less grip. On the other hand, the lower the number the softer the wheel which will allow the skater to have more grip but less roll.

What are wheels made out of?

Atom wheels are made out of the highest quality Urethane. Urethane wheels were first introduced in the skateboard industry and later introduced into Roller Skating to replace the HARD wooden and clay wheels. This was one of the biggest breakthroughs to ever hit skating. Urethane allows the skater to go faster, grip better, and have an overall better skating experience. Unlike other wheel manufacturers, we ONLY make wheels. We are dedicated and focused on making the best wheels for all types of skating, especially roller derby! Our in depth R&D in other fields of skating gives us profound knowledge about performance urethanes. The same urethane used in derby by Atom Wheels has dominated the race industry since 1989!

Bubbles, what are they and do they effect my skating?

Atom Bubbles

During the manufacturing process, wheels are poured very slowly due to the high viscosity urethane that is used. As it cures little air bubbles are caught in the wheel. When the wheels are trimmed these bubbles show up as tiny “holes”.
These tiny “holes” will not affect the performance of the wheel and in fact, these “holes” confirm that Atom Wheels are made out of the highest quality urethane.

If you have any questions on any of the topics talked about on this page or just have something on your mind, feel free to give us a call or shoot us an email.

Luke Powell aka Shortbus
Sales Coordinator
Atom Wheels / Atom Derby
Phone: 360-456-8628 ext 19

Real. Strong. Athletic. Revolutionary.