Wheel bite happens when the wheels come in contact with the underside of the skateboard deck. It happens especially when taking turns or riding down a flight of stairs. Unlike the name suggests, wheel bite is not the literal bite on your skateboard wheels.
Wheel bite can result in skateboarding stopping with a shrill sound or in most cases the rider may fall face down and suffer injuries. This clearly depicts the importance of preventing wheel bites at all costs.
If you are a beginner, you need to consider it very seriously, or chances are, you will fall hard while taking an acute turn. To help you with that, we have brought you easy solutions on how to not get a wheel bite. So, let’s get the show started!
What Causes Wheel Bite?
Many of us consider that wheel bite might be caused due to our weight pushing the deck downwards and causing it to come in contact with wheels. However, this can be a reason in some cases, but there are some other factors too that contribute to excessive wheel bite. Let’s see what those are.
- Loose Trucks: Loose skateboard trucks cause bending to an extent that the deck comes in contact with wheels.
- Wheel Size: Big wheels sure look aesthetic and provide fun to ride. However, they come with the disadvantage of causing wheel bites to a very great extent.
- Wheel Wells: The lack of wheel wells also causes wheels to come in direct contact with the skateboard deck. The wheel well can simply be defined as the wheel pocket containing the wheel. Its presence gives high clearance, as a result preventing wheels from getting fractionated with the deck.
Check out Our Buying Guide + Reviews: 11 Best Skateboard Wheels for Skaters
Tips To Prevent Wheel Bite
Fortunately, treatment for wheel bites is entirely possible. There is no perfect answer to how to stop wheel bite on skateboards, however, there are several steps that can be taken to prevent it. These are just some mini-steps that will bring a huge difference to your skating regime by preventing wheel bite.
1. Tighten Skateboard Trucks
The wobbly skateboard trucks play a huge role in causing wheel bites. Skateboard trucks are a key to twisting and turning your skateboard. Undeniably, very hard trucks can also cause injury while turning and make the performance of twists difficult. Therefore, tighten them to a certain limit. You can check the perfect tightness by making sure that the skateboard does not wobble highly to a side when you turn it.
Related Article: A Comparison Guide Between Loose Vs Tight Trucks?
Moreover, if you are a beginner, tightened wheel trucks will work best for you in attaining balance and perfecting your skating tricks. Therefore, if you are new to the skating world, the use of tight trucks will save you from a lot of injuries.
2. Choose A Reasonable Wheel Size
Wheel size adds to the weight of the skateboard. However, if the wheels are of good quality and look aesthetic, everyone is attracted to the skateboard. Unfortunately, large-sized wheels do play a significant role in causing wheel bite.
The large wheels tend to come in contact with the bottom of the deck more often and this ultimately leads to wheel damage by wheel bite. This won’t happen during normal skating. The issue arises when you take swift turns or slide downstairs. Moreover, when you perform tricks that involve putting more pressure on one side of the skateboard, there is a high chance of friction between the wheels and the deck.
The perfect wheel size varies with the kingpin style. In the case of reverse kingpin trucks, 65mm to 70mm wheel size will fit perfectly well. On the contrary, if you have traditional kingpin trucks, then wheels lying in the size range of 55mm to 59mm are best suited.
3. Use Riser Pads
As the name suggests, the riser pads are used to raise your skateboard deck to prevent it from coming in contact with the wheels. These are added between the truck’s baseplate and the deck. Apart from solving the issue of wheel bite, they are also quite helpful in shock absorbance. Furthermore, these also give your ollie the extra kick, but on the downside, they affect maneuvering.
If you are thinking of buying your kid a skateboard, it is better to buy one with riser pads. This will help them in balancing along with acting as good shock absorbers in case of any impact.
4. Look Into Skateboard’s Bushes
Skateboard bushings come in various durometers. Choosing a hard one will certainly fix the issue of wheel bite. This is because harder bushes are generally larger in size too and prevent the wheel from coming in contact with the skateboard deck.
The bushings are that part of the hardware which determines the extent of turning of your skateboard. The softer the bushes, the more the trucks will tilt and eventually wheels get fractionated against the deck which results in wheel bite.
5. Work On Wheel Wells
Wheel well provides a sufficient distance between the wheels and the skateboard deck. These are other solutions to prevent wheel bites. They decrease the surface area for wheels to come in contact with the underside of the deck. Another way to work this out is by applying simple wax such as candle wax on the wheel well where contact occurs. This works like magic.
To Wrap Up
Skateboarding can result in pretty nasty injuries and there are several reasons for it, one of them being wheel bite. Besides being a danger to the skater, it can also damage the skateboard wheels and deck, so you’d need to buy another soon.
The good news is that it is totally preventable with just a few precautions. Therefore, if you follow the tips mentioned above you can easily get rid of wheel bite skateboarding and skate safely.
1. How to test for wheel bite?
After adjusting your skateboard trucks, you can tilt and check if the underside of the deck comes in contact with the wheels. Moreover, you can go on a ride and take turns to see if the underside of the deck and wheels are coming into contact. If so, then you need to fix the issue of wheel bite.
2. Can a wheel bite leave a skateboarder injured?
Wheel bite might sound like a simple issue but it can cause very nasty injuries. The skateboard comes to a screeching halt suddenly when the wheel bite happens, as a result, the skater falls off the skateboard abruptly. Since it is most common when taking turns, there is a chance of hitting your head against some hard object leading to fatal injuries.
3. What else can riser pads do besides preventing wheel bite?
The riser pads add an extra pop to your skateboard. They raise the board and prevent the wheels and deck from coming in contact with each other. Moreover, these are good shock absorbers and prevent skateboard hardware from damaged in case of a hard impact.