Reviews By Ron: Wheel Selection

By Ron Marfori:

I’ve received a few great questions about wheel choices so I thought I would share some of my thoughts.

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Over the past 5 or 6 years, there has always been a wheel that stood out to me as the dominant wheel. First it was the original MPC Road War, then the Bont Mayhem, and currently the Matter G13. Unfortunately, those wheels are typically the most expensive options, but worth the money especially if you like to have a dedicated race set. For those who like a super hard wheel or for ultra-smooth conditions like the Apostle Island race, go with the Matter G13 F0. For all other races, the Matter G13 F1 provides a great combination of roll and rebound without sacrificing a ton of speed to the F0. Another great option would be to mix the F0 and F1.

The MPC Black Magic wheel is a solid choice although a few skaters noted issues with wear. The MPC Storm Surge is still the go to wheel for wet conditions. I only have 4 which I put on the front and back in wet conditions. I don’t see the need to use ALL Storm Surges unless there is standing water or consistent rainfall [Editor: in which case you should probably not be racing.]

Atom Boom Inline WheelsI don’t have much experience with the Atom Boom line although I have heard very good things about them from other skaters. The Matrix line that TWINCAM used a few years ago were great wheels.  Atom provides a less expensive option for training and I wouldn’t hesitate to race on them either.

Bont no longer makes their own wheels. Instead they just rebrand other manufacturer’s wheels and maybe change the core or urethane formula as a way to differentiate them. Unless you really like one of their options, I don’t see a reason to buy them over the other brands especially since the prices are the same.

For training wheels, I know many skaters like to train and race on the same type of wheel. As for me, I will train on whatever I can find cheap and favor durability over speed. I even like to train on slower, less firm wheels and save the fast setup for race day. The MPC and Atom wheels are both great options for training sets. I would lean towards the Atom line over MPC due to the possible wear issues. For training you want something that will last and not wear out on you prematurely.

Also, watch for sale and closeout deals on wheels from previous years. Great Lakes Skate has Atom One’s for 8 bucks a wheel and Nettracing has Matrix wheels for $11. Bont has some Mayhem’s left for $13.50 and watch Ebay for deals.

About Ron Marfori:  Winner of the 2012 (individual) and 2013 (team time trial) Metrodome Inline Marathon, Ron emerged as a lead pack skater in 2010, but has excelled since 2011, routinely finishing in the top 10 of the Minnesota Inline Grand Prix.