Plates, Wheels & Bearings – What we LOVE & recommend

April 30, 2018

When it comes to skate hardware like plates, wheels and bearings, our years of experience with roller skating means we have had time to get to know a lot about the different options available. You might have heard us get a little excited about it all in a RollerFit class, your inbox, DMs or on the podcast RollerCast by RollerFit.

While you might not know your 45-degree plates from your 10-degree plates; your 100d wheels from your 60a wheels; or your Abec-5 bearings from your Abec-11 bearings; we are here to help you out! Regardless of your skill level or skating style, it is important to do your research when it comes to your skate setup so that you can get the most out of every minute on your skates. It is very common for those who don’t know much about skates to select the wrong setup for their needs, which leads to frustration at not progressing as quickly as desired, and sometimes even quitting skating altogether! We want to make sure you stay on skates as long as possible, and love every minute of your roll.

To help you do your research, we have put together our recommendations of the roller skate plates, roller skate wheels and roller skate bearings that we think stand out in the market.

PLATES

The most critical part of your skate setup is your plate. Your body speaks to your plate to create movement, so choosing the right plate is going to make a big difference in how you skate. Choosing your brand and model is not the only thing to consider though; you can also adjust your cushions and pivot cups to change the way your skates feel. Softer cushions allow for more movement, while hard cushions allow for more stability. Pivot cups and cushions should be changed from time to time when they are worn to reduce the risk of damaging your plate hardware. Once you have your plates have fun experimenting a little bit with your setup to find the perfect feel for you.

Roll-Line
Roll-Line offers premium roller skating plates made in Italy, with high quality craftsmanship and materials. All Roll-Line plates are highly responsive and have traditionally been used by Dance, Artistic and Jam skaters for their advanced manoeuvrability but have recently grown in popularity with roller derby, street and speed skaters due to their ability to enhance every type of performance. We love and skate on Roll-Line plates and can happily recommend them. One thing to remember is that Roll-Line plates require a 7mm bearing (rather than the standard 8mm bearings), so when configuring your new setup you will need to upgrade your bearings if you are currently using 8mm. In the Roll-Line range we recommend:

Variant M

Perfect for beginner competitive skaters, with highly articulated performance, made from lightweight but heavy duty Aircraft Aluminium Alloy. The Variant M has sensitive control, provides optimal stability and fast response times.

Mariner Variant C

Great mid-level plate providing great performance and lightweight structure, with a solid bar Avional Aluminium Alloy construction, making it one of the strongest and lightest aluminium plates on the market.

Mistral

The Mistral is the cream of the crop of the Roll-Line range for its affordable price, perfect for advanced skaters, or those wanting one of the best that a plate can offer under $600. As well as the lightweight construction and durability of the Marina Cup it has a coiled spring response system for enhanced performance.

Powerdyne 

Reactor Pro Plate

The Reactor Pro Plate is an extremely popular choice amongst roller derby and recreational skaters due to its ability to offer maximum stability without compromising too heavily on agility. It is a completely different feel to the Roll-Line options so it might be a good idea to try a few things before committing to a plate to see what you prefer.

Powerdyne Neo Reactor Plate
The Neo Reactor is the latest addition to the Powerdyne range and offers a lighter weight and more durable alternative to the standard Reactor plate.

Powerdyne Arius Platinum

The Arius is a premium roller skating plate for all types of skating that offers lightweight, heavy duty construction and adjustable kingpins and butterfly cushions, allowing for a completely customisable and responsive setup.

Suregrip 

Suregrip Avanti Magnesium Complete Plate

The Avanti Magnesium Plate comes in both an alloy and aluminium version. The alloy version is about 50% lighter than the aluminium version, but both offer an adjustable pivot truck for a customisable ride.

WHEELS

The amount of wheels on the market can be extremely overwhelming: there are so many hardnesses, thicknesses and material types to choose from. The hardness of roller skating wheels is most often measured by their Shore “A” or Shore “D” hardness number. Harder wheels have a higher Shore “A” or “D” number allowing for more slide and agility, while softer wheels with a lower Shore “A” or “D” number allow for more stability and control.You don’t really need to know the ins and outs of what the different durometer ratings are but if you are interested, you can read more about it here.As a simple guide, you can covert between a Shore “A” hardness and a Shore “D” hardness using this chart.

When it comes to the profile of the wheel, a slim wheel is good for agility as the edges are more apparent, and are often used for the dance and artistic disciplines, while a wider wheel is good for stability and is often used for roller derby.

Outdoor skating such as street skating will often use a soft wheel to absorb the bumps of footpaths and roads, while a harder wheel is good for skate parks.

Indoor

Roll-line

Roll-Line have a great variety of indoor wheels available. Some of our favourites include; the Fox, which is 57mm 92a durometer wheel providing a low profile, and medium grip for a good balance between stability and agility. The Giotto Free Skate that comes in a 57mm and a variety of hardnesses perfect for RollerFit, dance and artistic skating we usually recommend the blue ones 47D aka 95A for our wooden floors.

Bones

The Logo wheels come in a variety of hardnesses, sizes and colours and are a great entry level price point without sacrificing on performance, and are perfect for indoor recreational skating. Similarly the Elite wheels come in a variety of hardnesses, sizes and colours but are made from a more heavy duty and durable compound and are more suitable to dance and artistic.

Moxi 

We love everything that Moxi does, and their wheels are no exception. Made by skaters, for skaters, the Moxi Trick or Fundae wheels are a great all round option for when you want to roll from the rink to the ramp, to your next RollerFit class without changing your setup. The Trick wheels are for those who enjoy a bit more slip and agility while the Fundae will suit someone who doesn’t mind a bit more grip and stability.

If you want something a little bit wider for more stability, you might like to consider the Radar range, or the Bones Turbo.

Outdoor

Outdoor wheels are a softer compound and don’t vary as much in their uses and styles as indoor wheels, unless you are looking at ramp skating wheels. For rolling on the path or the road, we recommend a large, soft, wheel, especially if you are starting out, as this will allow for a smoother more enjoyable ride.

Radar Energy

The Energy wheels come in three sizes: 65mm x 35mm, 62mm x 32mm and 57mm x 31mm. They are a 78a hardness, one of the lighter outdoor wheels on the market and come in a great range of neon & pastel colours, perfect for rolling down the local boardwalk.

Bones

Miami and Venice – The Bones Miami and Venice wheels were inspired by the beachside skaters of Miami and California, and capture the fun, vibrant essence of these two locations. The dual concave shape enhances grip for a safer, smoother ride.

Moxi Gummy

The Moxi Gummy wheels are a super soft wheel that come in a variety of mix and matchable pastel colours to go perfectly with your Moxi boots.

Skate Park

Chicks in Bowls x Reckless

The CIB x Reckless wheels were designed specifically for roller skating, and are the in skate parks, on ramps, and tackling street obstacles. Extremely durable to resist flat spots, and formulated with years of skating experience in mind, these can’t be rivalled for their purpose.

Moxi 

We love everything that Moxi does, and their wheels are no exception. Made by skaters, for skaters, the Moxi Trick or Fundae wheels are a great all round option for when you want to roll from the rink to the ramp, to your next RollerFit class without changing your setup. The Trick wheels are for those who enjoy a bit more slip and
agility while the Fundae will suit someone who doesn’t mind a bit more grip and stability.

Bearings 

Bearings can seem much more complicated than they are when you are starting out in roller skating, but choosing the right bearings can make a massive difference in how you perform on your skates. As mentioned in our section on plates, Roll-Line skates take 7mm bearings, whereas most other plates take 8mm bearings. It is very important that you check this before buying bearings.

The ABEC rating of your bearings is a measurement of the accuracy and tolerance of the bearing. In simple terms, these factors measure the RPM at which your bearings will spin. While other factors can come into play, generally speaking, the higher ABEC rating, the better your bearings will perform. However, some brands market high ABEC ratings but don’t take into account things like load handling abilities, materials and vibrations. When it comes to bearings, you will most likely get the best performance from known and trusted brands. You can read all you might like to know about ABEC ratings here. Some of our favourite bearings are:

Bones

Bones Reds bearings are legendary in the roller skating and skateboarding world. They have a good price point, are long lasting and come in 7mm and 8mm sizes. Bones Swiss
are a premium bearing offering optimal performance and are the
preferred choice of most competitor skaters, or those who want the most
out of their bearings.Bones use their own ‘skate rated’ measurement that performs equally as well, if not better than, many ABEC rated bearings.

Kwik Zenith Bearings S/16

Zenith’s are pre-spun with a lightweight and durable Delrin retainer, which makes them a sturdy and reliable option. They come in 8mm size only, and roll comparatively to an ABEC 9.

Roll-Line

Roll-Line offer premium bearings made in Italy that all come in 7mm size to suit their
plates, and range from an ABEC 1 to ABEC 9 rating.

Better Bearings

Better Bearings deliver 7mm and 8mm bearings in a range of ABEC ratings, including ceramic bearings. Even better they come in a variety of fun colours to add a bit of extra flavour to your set up.

Now that you have all the information you need to get yourself set up with the right roller skate plates, wheels and bearings, we hope to see you rolling at one of our classes or in the street soon! If you have any questions about any of these products, or just want to discuss the options a little more, see one of our friendly staff at your next RollerFit class.



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