I have been very patient in making this declaration, but I think it's time to make sure everyone knows. If you are playing outdoors on a rough surface that is known for chewing up equipment, whether it be asphalt on the street, in back alleys, or local outdoor rinks built atop a concrete water reservoir. You have A LOT of choices for outdoor hockey wheels - a wide spectrum of colours, hardnesses, and prices.
The best outdoor hockey wheel, period!
At a glance, it might seem that all outdoor wheels are all in the same ballpark, '84a is 84a' and they all perform the same. You might say, the no-name, knock-off wheels made overseas are the same as the branded, USA made wheels. If you feel that way, I'm sorry, you would be wrong! Stop saying that!
Until recently, the top contenders were the Labeda Asphalt and the now missing-in-action Hyper Pro 250. Both were the best at the time and did their job. Both were also very expensive up in Canada, but as us Canadians do, we bit the bullet.
I'll acknowledge Kryptonics, Red Stars and the Rink Rat Outdoors, but despite the lower price tag, they were a step behind the classic orange choices.
the outdoor classics
Ultimately, our groups consensus was the Hyper Pro 250 that had the lower price tag and was believed to hold up better and last longer.
However now, I'm going out on a limb to say there are no more contenders. There are the pretenders and then, there is the clear leader.
The best wheel available today for outdoor roller hockey is the
Revision Axis Outdoor wheel (84a) Hi-Lo Clinger Outdoor hockey wheel (82A), period.
the new king
- Because of customers who are lifelong Labeda Asphalt or Hyper Pro 250 users who refused to believe anything would last longer, who have switched over to the Revisions and come back for more.
- Because even the players over 200lbs who burn through wheels like no others keep calling and asking for the Orange Revisions by name.
- Because after burning through nearly every outdoor hockey available wheel myself, it becomes clear. The Revisions last longer and can be worn down smaller than the others
- Because of their useful 'wheel wear grid' which helps you quickly identify which wheels have the most meat left on them when you are rotating them.
'wheel wear grid'
Be wary of "86a-90a" claims. Harder does not necessarily mean longer lasting. I like to compare a piece of sidewalk chalk to a rubber tire. The chalk is definitely harder than the tire, but when both are dragged across pavement, the chalk wears away quickly and the tire will resist breaking down as easy. I believe they call this feature 'abrasion resistance'.
I'm no Chemist, so I can't speak technically for why the urethane holds up better.
A few sources credit "Neal Piper", the inventor of the Hyper Pro 250, for helping Revision create their superior formula for their 84a outdoor wheel. The move paid off as the Orange Axis is sitting pretty above the rest.
cross section of Revision Axis Outdoor (left) and Labeda Asphalt (right)
You can buy sets of 8 'outdoor' wheels for around $15CAD on ebay. I won't disagree those options might be the best dollar value. Following this route though, you might find yourself having to rotate your wheels and replace them very quickly, but for some people that's no big deal. I think where the higher end, name brand wheels win is they will last longer, chunk or defect way less often, meaning more time playing the game and less time fiddling with your wheels.
Labeda and Revision wheels are both made in the USA to strict standards and both brands have a vested interest in protecting their reputation by only providing quality products. Compare that to the wheels made overseas with no name to be held accountable for potentially inferior or faulty products.
If you want cheap wheels, the options are numerous. We provide wheels at every price point because we know there are customers that want to get rolling for as cheap as possible.
However, we are also aware that some players want the best wheel available. For those, our recommendation is clear!
Now that you know a bit about it. Try them for yourself!
The Revision Axis Outdoor wheel is available in 80mm, 76mm, 72mm, 68mm and 59mm.
UPDATE: This wheels is now sold under a new name: Hi-Lo Clinger Outdoor Hockey wheel - available in 80mm, 76mm, 72mm, 68mm and 59mm.
Issues, questions, comments or anything else?
I'm happy to hear what you think! Shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
- sean @ Coast to Coast Hockey Shop