Thursday, October 22, 2009

Evolution of the wheel: Changes in the Atom line for 2010

We all know and love Atom wheels, and they have responded to the undying love of the derby community by adapting and expanding their line of wheels for 2010. Anyone that knows me knows I love THE CRAP out of Atom wheels, and no, they don't pay me, but they really should.

Anyway. Here's what's new for 2010:

Trackers: Used to be pink, then purple 88As, now orange 91As. Good wheel for those girls that like a lot of grip but don't want to skate on all pushers, or for girls that want a slightly harder pusher.

Centuris: Used to be hybrid 88As, now 85As, probably to compete with the popular and amazingly awesome Sure Grip Sugar, which is only available through Sin City Skates.

Omegas: Now come in two colors and builds.

  • Green: The origional. 93A, tri-spoke hub, narrow profile.
  • Purple: Still narrow and 93A, but the hub is hollow core instead of spoke, which is a little more expensive but the hollow core doesn't flex as much as the spoke, so your wheel doesn't absorb as much of your force (meaning: you can go a little faster). If you're a lighter girl (120 or less), than you probably won't notice much of a difference but for sturdier ladies this can make a difference. I prefer to skate on hollow or aluminum hubbed skates.
Stroker: Comes in slim and standard, this is one hard-ass wheel at 98.5A. If you want something harder than the 95A D-Rod but aren't ready for this level of hard, you can try the Fusion, which is nestled in the middle at 97A.

New Wheels for 2010

I admit that I almost soiled myself when I saw the new Atom lineup. They have almost every base covered when it comes to hardness, width, and materials. Here's a breakdown:

Stingers: These are the new 88a pusher/slick surface wheel, similar to the old Tracker but with a hollow core for more roll and less flex (and they also cost twice as much). A few of us have been rocking these as pushers paired with the G-Rods or Dubz (tell you more about those in a bit), and we LOVE them. They are white like the Gs and come in both narrow and standard width. I will be trying all eight of these on the slick, polished cement of Port City's floor, I'll let you know how it goes.

Dubz: These are the new Mac-Daddy wheels that rock the new plastic/aluminum HYBRID core that Atom just unveiled. The idea is to just put aluminum where it will make a difference (the outside of the outer hub) for the strength and keep the rest of the core plastic to reduce the weight. These babies come in wide and narrow 100As (silver hub) and narrow 93As (red hubs- we've only tested the 93As so far). As a girl who loves her aluminum but hates hauling a million pounds of metal on the ends of her feet, I had to have these wheels. So far, when paired with the Stingers they feel about the same as the narrow G-rods (and are $150 to the G-Rods $100), but I am planning to try skating on all eight and have a few other girls of different sizes and skating styles to try them out too. For a wheel like this, you'll be able to feel the difference better with all eight, especially if you are coming from a full set of solid aluminum core wheels, like me. I'll keep you posted. As for the 100As, I'm gonna have to work my way up to those. I'm a grip girl, and those triple digits scare me. I'd love to hear from anyone that has tried them! Please include your weight range (it does make a difference), skating position, and skating surface.

Lanzini Rocket: This is basically an aluminum/plastic hybrid core D-Rod (95A) with a limited-edition custom painted red hub by Mitch Lanzini. It comes in standard width only and runs about $145. The Lowboys and Lowboy Slims are the same hardness with the same core minus the cute rocket graphics, come in two widths, and are a little cheaper ($115 ish). The D-Rod is also 95A, but with a solid plastic hollow core, making it slightly cheaper at about $100.

Superfreaks: Still sound steep? Never fear, in a nod to the shitty economy, Atom has introduced a tri-spoke version of the popular D-Rod (same hardness, more flexible core) that costs around $70. Now only if they'd do that for the G-Rod....sigh....

Wanna read more about Atom technology or drool over the pretty wheel pictures? Check out their online 2010 catalog here.

Confused by all this talk of narrow vs. standard width, grip vs. roll, hollow vs. tri-spoke vs. aluminum core? Tune in soon for my Wheel Basics blog :).

At your Servix,


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