What is Wheel Bite? Ways to Fix on a Skateboard & Longboard
If you are an avid skateboarder, chances are you’ve experienced wheel bite at one point or another. But what exactly is “wheel bite,” and how can you avoid it?
In this blog post, we will explore everything you need to know about wheel bite, from what causes it to how to prevent it. So, strap on your helmet and lace up your shoes—it is time to hit the pavement!
What Is Wheel Bite?
Wheel bite is a common problem for skateboarders. It happens when the wheels touch the underside of the board and can’t move. The sudden block on the wheels can cause a skater to lose balance and potentially fall off their board. Hence, it is frustrating and dangerous for longboarders and skateboarders.
Causes of wheel bite on a longboard
Wheel bite occurs due to a number of reasons. Some common causes are:
1. Loose Trucks: If the longboard trucks are loose, they can easily turn a bit more, and the wheels can rub against the skateboard deck while turning sharply, resulting in wheel bite.
2. Soft Bushings: If the longboard bushings, which are the plastic or rubber components that connect the trucks to the skateboard, are too soft, they can allow the skateboard trucks to bend inwards more while turning, leading to wheelbite.
3. Large Wheels: Longboard wheels with a larger diameter can cause wheel bite if they are not appropriately matched with the skateboard trucks.
4. Tight Turns: If the rider is turning too tightly, the wheels can rub against the skateboard deck due to the angle of the turn.
5. Low Deck Clearance: Skateboard decks with low clearance can cause wheel bite when the rider leans over too much while turning.
6. Heavy Riders: Heavy riders may exert more pressure on the skateboard deck, causing it to sink a bit more, which can result in wheel bite.
How to prevent wheel bite?
To fix a wheel bite, there are a few different methods you can try.
1) Adjust trucks and tightness of bolts
One of the most common ways to prevent wheelbite is by adjusting the trucks and the tightness of the bolts. By tightening the kingpin nut, the amount of movement the trucks have is reduced. This increases stability and reduces wheel bite.
It is important to ensure that the bolts are evenly drawn so that the wheel stays stable.
2) Use riser pads
One effective way to fix wheel bite is by using riser pads. These pads go between the skateboard’s trucks and deck. They give the board a little more height and keep the wheels from touching the deck. This is especially useful for skateboarders who prefer larger wheels or who want to have more clearance when performing turns.
Riser pads come in different sizes, so it’s best to try out different ones to find the most suitable size for your skateboard.
With the addition of riser pads, you’ll be able to ride more comfortably and confidently without worrying about wheel bite.
3) Replace Your Bushings
If you have wheel bite on your longboard, it might be as easy as replacing the bushings. By choosing bushings with a higher durometer, you can make it easier to turn and avoid wheel bite altogether.
It is important to note that tightening your trucks may not always solve the issue, especially if you’re already using high durometer bushings.
4) Select appropriate wheel size
When trying to fix wheel bite on a skateboard, it is important to choose the right wheel size. Wheels that are too big can cause the wheels to come in contact with the underside of the board when turning.
On the other hand, smaller wheels might have more clearance and be less likely to bite.
5) Adjust ride height
Adjusting the ride height of your skateboard can help prevent wheel bite. By adding thicker riser pads or changing the height of the baseplate, you can create more space between the wheels and the underside of the board. This is especially important if you have a lower board or are using larger wheels.
However, it is important to note that adjusting the ride height can also change how the board feels and rides, so it’s important to find a balance that works for you.
Remember, there are multiple ways to fix wheel bite, so do not be afraid to experiment and find what works best for your riding style.
6) Get a Deck With Wheel Wells
One effective way to prevent wheel bite on a skateboard is by using a deck with wheel wells.
Wheel wells are cutouts that are made to fit bigger wheels without making the deck less stable or causing the wheels to get stuck. With wider and deeper wheel wells, you can fit your favorite wheels and enjoy a smoother ride without the risk of experiencing wheel bite.
7) Learn proper riding techniques
When riding a skateboard, learning the right way to ride is a good way to avoid getting wheel bite.
Riders should pay attention to how they place their bodies and how they distribute their weight to keep their wheels from touching the deck. Leaning too far can cause the wheels to rub on the surface of the deck, leading to wheel bite. Riders should also get used to controlling their speed and stopping with their feet instead of just their boards.
By getting good at these skills, riders can improve their overall riding experience and make it less likely that their wheels will get stuck.
Even with the right technique, though, wheel bite can still happen, so it’s important to think about adjusting your trucks and using the right gear to stop it.
What does wheel bite look like?
Wheel bite leaves its mark as scratches or even chipped wood on the underside of a skateboard deck from contact with the wheels. It’s usually noticeable at the back of the board and can vary in severity.
Is wheel bite normal on a skateboard?
It’s quite common for skateboarders to experience wheel bite while riding. This occurs when the wheels come into contact with the underside of the board, which can cause the wheels to stop moving suddenly. While it can be frustrating and even dangerous, it’s not out of the ordinary for skateboarders to face this issue.
Should you use riser pads to avoid wheel bite?
If you’re looking for a simple solution to avoid wheel bite on your skateboard, riser pads might just be your best bet. Riser pads are readily available and can be easily installed between the trucks and deck to increase the gap between the wheel and the deck, reducing the risk of wheel bite.
While they may add a slight increase in the height of your board, many skateboarders find the added distance worthwhile in exchange for a smoother ride and more control.
Combined with other solutions such as adjusting truck tightness, using appropriate wheel size, and practicing proper riding techniques, riser pads can be a key factor to preventing wheel bite and keeping your ride comfortable and safe.
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