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Opinion

Bones Skateboard Wheels Buyers Guide

Bones Skateboard Wheels Buyers GuideBones Rider Felipe Gustavo. Photo: Dave Chami
Posted by Neil Chester8 min read
Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Bones has been around for almost as long as skateboarding has. Coming out of the Powell-Peralta camp, they first produced skateboard wheels in 1977, so you can be sure the production quality of both their wheels and their bearings are as good as it gets. Read on as we breakdown all the different wheels formulas, sizes and models of Bones Wheels and Bearings.

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TL, DR

  • Bones Wheels have a size, shape and formula/durometer for every style of skateboarding

  • Street Tech Formula (STF) is what you want for street skating.

  • Skatepark Formula (SPF) is better suited to ramps and transitions.

  • Easy Streets, STF’s but with a 99a durometer.

  • Bones Wheels have 40 years of manufacturing experience and thoroughly test their wheels.

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Bones Wheels’ pride themselves on bringing the most advanced technology to skateboard wheels. Their unique formula has been rigorously tested to the point where they claim it is hands down the best urethane on the market. Bones produce several different formulas of urethane, which are available in many shapes and sizes. They collectively cater to all types of skateboarding and give you the widest choice of any wheel brand currently on the market.

There is a huge debate and rivalry between Bones and Spitfire, both companies claiming to be the best out. Bones Wheels were born out of the legendary brand, Powell Peralta, and have been producing skateboard wheels for 40 years. So, it’s safe to say they have both the history and knowledge to manufacture a great skateboard wheel.

Bones state that you’ll be able to find a cheaper skateboard wheel, but not a better quality one. Since day one they have been produced in their own factory in Santa Barbara, California. This ensures a premium end-to-end manufacturing process that they heavily control. The Bones Wheels factory is also where they conduct a vast array of product tests, generating a lot of information regarding their unique production processes. You can check it all out here.

Here’s a breakdown of all the different urethane formulas, shapes and sizes that Bones Wheels have to offer.

BONES FORMULAS AND SIZES

To help you better understand the many shapes to Bones Wheels, see below, Each wheel version, such as V1, V2 etc are only available in certain height and width sizes.

Bones Street Tech Formula - STF

Bones STF Formula - Bones Wheels Buyers guide

Arguably the most popular Bones Wheels formula, using the best properties to provide the ultimate street wheel. Bones STF wheels have a high resistance to flat spots and retain a high rebound to help with pop, grip and slides. These are a harder wheel, which is perfectly suited for street skateboarding. The Bones STF’s come in five different forms:

  • V1 Standard: designed for all-around skateboarding: available in: 50x30mm, 51x30mm, 52x31mm, 53x31mm, 54x32mm

  • V2 Locks: designed to lock into grinds: available in - 49x27mm, 51x28mm, 53x29mm

  • V3 Slims: designed for technical skateboarding: available in - 50x28mm, 52x29mm, 54x30mm

  • V4 Wides: designed for more stability: available in - 51x32mm, 52x34mm, 53x34mm, 54x34mm, 55x34mm

  • V5 Sidecuts: designed for less drag: available in - 51x30mm, 52x30mm, 53x31mm, 54x31mm, 55x32mm, 56x32mm, 58x33mm

Bones STF Formula Wheels Buyers Guide Size Chart

Bones STF Formula - Bones Wheels Buyers guide
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Bones Skatepark Formula - SPF

Bones SPF Formula - Bones Wheels Buyers guide

The name very much states what these wheels are best suited for. Bones SPF wheels are slightly softer than the Street Tech Formula, which gives more grip on smooth, often slidely surfaces, such as skatepark floors or transition. Similarly to the STF, Bones Wheels Skatepark Formula are also are highly resistant to flatspots when skating these smooth surfaces. The SPF wheels are available in two hardnesses:

Similarly to the STF’s, the SPF’s also come in five different shapes, the names have somewhat changed so here’s a guide that should help you pick what’s best for you:

  • P1 - Street Course: Smaller and narrower shape for more technical street course skating. Available in: 51x30mm, 52x31mm, 53x31mm, 54x32mm

  • P2 - Bowls, vert: Versatile, wider riding patch for stability, larger lip radius to roll over coping. Available in: 56x37mm, 58x37mm, 60x37mm

  • P3 - Bowls, vert: Versatile, widest shape available, more stability at higher speeds and corner carves. Available in: 60x40mm, 62x40mm

  • P4 - Street course, bowls: Versatile, well-rounded shape for street course and bowls, smaller and narrower for more technical skatings. Available in: 52x34mm, 53x34mm, 54x34mm, 55x34mm 

  • P5 - Bowls, vert: Versatile, lighter weight, less side drag, lock in for faster longer grinds, graphic protection, most preferred shape by the pros. Available in: 54x31mm, 56x32mm, 58x33mm, 60x34mm

Bones SPF Formula Wheels Buyers Guide size chart

Bones Wheels Buyer Guide - Bones SPF Wheel Sizes and Shapes
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OTHER BONES FORMULAS

Bones ATF Wheel Buyers Guide

Bones All-Terrain Formula - ATF

These are a much softer wheel (80a), which provide a very smooth ride on a variety of surfaces. Particularly on rough surfaces, where they offer the maximum grip possible. They are available in many shapes. From a larger cruiser style wheel to a more regular shape, giving you the softness to be able to cruise but also still enabling you to pop a few tricks here and there. ATF wheels are perfect for filmers, who need maximum grip and a smooth, fast roll.

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Bones Rough Riders Wheels Buyers Guide

Bones Rough Riders Wheels

Bones Rough Rider wheels make use of the All-Terrain Formula but are available in a more old-school shape. They feature a really wide riding surface making them ideal for long cruises and downhill skateboarding.

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Bones 100's Wheels Buyers Guide

Bones 100 Wheels

Bones 100s are value wheels made to be affordable, whilst still retaining some of the technologies that feature in Bones more premium range of wheels. Running at 100a durometer they offer a high rebound and a firm ride. They also hold UV protection to prevent the wheel from discolouring. So if you don’t skate every damn day, your wheels won’t look really old after a period of non-use.

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Bones Easy Streets Wheels Buyers Guide

Bones Easy Streets Wheels

The Easy Streets are a new wheel from Bones. Put simply, they’re the Bones STFs but in a 99a durometer, so ever so slightly softer than the traditional STFs. There has been some confusion over the naming of this wheel, these are not, in fact, soft wheels, and should prove pretty popular we think.

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Parade Opinion on BONES Wheels:

For us, Bones wheels rank up there amongst the best. If you see the right shape, size and formula that you believe is going to be suited to your skateboarding, then we’d say go for it, you’re unlikely to be disappointed.

You will be getting a wheel that is born from decades of refined testing, and from an evolution of Bones’ production methods. Not to mention a quality product that has been proven through many satisfied customers worldwide. YouTube will confirm this.

We fully recommend you give Bones a try. We are confident they will work to your liking, giving you both durability and great performance. We see no reason why Bones wouldn’t become your number one choice of wheels the next time around.

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BONES BEARINGS

Bones Bearings are also very highly regarded, they produce a wide range of bearing that cater to all levels of the market. From an entry-level beginner bearing through to the demands of the highest professional rider. Bones have produced skateboard bearings for over 35 years, having pioneered technologies and constantly upped the quality of their production.

Importantly they offer no ABEC rating, for more information on this see our general Bearing Guide here, preferring to rely on the trusted reputation and known quality they have built up over the many years of thier existence. Many people only buy Bones Bearings and don't consider any other options.

The Bones Bearing range is split into Bones Reds and Bones Swiss, two families that offer many different types of bearing within. They cater to all price levels and offer a bearing for every level of skateboarding.

Let's take a look at the full Bones Bearing range:

Bones Reds Buyers Guide

BONES REDS

Bones Reds are the entry point in the entire Bones bearing line, they are standard quality bearings with a nylon ball retainer, steel pre-lubricated ball bearings and are rated by Bones as 'Skate Rated'. This means they perform to a certain set of tolerances that reflect their price and position in the bones line-up. They are made in China.

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Bones Reds Big Balls Buyers Guide

Bones BIG BALLS REDS

Big Balls are a new bearing to the Reds line, they are standard build like Reds but roll faster due to having a 17% larger ball bearing. The larger size also means they keep rolling longer and are less susceptible to dirt and grime that can build up in a bearing. They also offer a longer lifespan due to the larger balls.

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Bones Reds Super Buyers Guide

Bones Super REDS

Super Reds up the quality further by having superior polished bearing races and balls. The steel balls are also made from higher-quality steel. This not only leads to more speed and longevity but also produces a smoother and quieter roll. An extra feature is black removable shields with laser etching.

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Bones Reds Race Buyers Guide

Bones Race REDS

Race Reds and precision ground bearings designed for high-speed skateboarding. They feature high-quality polished steel balls and include a built-in spacer to provide perfect 0.400 spacing between bearings. So your trucks need to be properly tightened at the axle nut to gain maximum benefit.

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Bones Reds Ceramic Buyers Guide

Bones Ceramic Super REDS

This is where it gets technical and expensive. Ceramic bearings consist of "grade 5, silicone nitride, hot isostatically pressed ceramic balls". They provide the least amount of friction, as opposed to steel, therefore giving the most speed. Uniquely the super hard balls actually re-polished themselves the more you roll, which alongside Ceramic never rusting, give the long-lasting bearing available.

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Bones Swiss Bearings Buyers Guide

Bones Swiss Bearings

The first in the Swiss family and are often all you need. Many skateboarders insist that once you've had Swiss you can never go back. The difference is very noticeable. Bones Swiss Bearings have been produced in Switzerland for over 30 years, which instantly ups the material and build quality. Bones state they offer "professional competition-grade speed and durability". We can't argue and well worth the extra cost.

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Bones Super Swiss Bearings Buyers Guide

Bones Super Swiss 6 Bearings

Next up are Super Swiss, these bearings feature 6 balls instead of the regular 7. The design philosophy behind this is to provide even more speed and strengh due to each ball being larger in size. They are similar in quality to regular Swiss Bearings and also carry the made in Switzerland tag.

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Bones Swiss Ceramic Bearings Buyers Guide

Bones Swiss Ceramic Bearings 

This is the pinnacle of all skateboard bearings, the highest quality available and is reflected in their price. The ceramic balls used are lighter and of the highest grade available, giving a quicker acceleration, faster and longer roll. They are also waterproof, further upping their durability and of, course, are made in Switzerland. If money is no concern, this is the Ferrari of skateboard bearings.

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