how to prevent wheel bite

How To Prevent Wheel Bite [One Simple Step]

There is one simple method to prevent wheel bite on your skateboard, use riser pads. Riser pads sit between your trucks and board, rising them by 1/8 inch to 1/2 inch. 

There are a few other options, however, each one will suggest that you alter your preference in one way or another. 

Using risers is really the only way to skate with soft bushings or larger wheels without getting the dreaded wheel bite.

What Is Wheel Bite?

Wheel bite occurs when either your wheels are too big, your trucks are really loose, or a combination of both. It causes the wheels to grip against the deck, similar to a bite or a clamp. The board can then abruptly stop, which oftentimes leads to injuries.

It is a major problem for anyone that experiences it but there are quite a few ways to prevent wheel bite.

How To Prevent Wheel Bite

  1. Add some risers
  2. Tighten your trucks
  3. Use harder bushings
  4. Use smaller wheels
  5. Sand in your wheel wells

The first and easiest way to prevent wheel bite is to purchase some risers and put them on your skateboard. These will raise your board 1/8, 1/4, or 1/2 inch from the trucks, putting an end to your wheel bite.

That being said, some people don’t like their board being raised slightly. And for them, there are a few other options. The simplest is to tighten your trucks.

If that’s not an option, you can purchase smaller wheels or harder bushings, or sand in your wheel wells. Sanding in the wheel wells will remove some of the graphics on the deck and can be a prime location for future pressure cracks.

What Are Skateboard Risers?

Risers, also known as riser pads, are hard plastic pads that are inserted between the trucks and the deck to raise the height of the skateboard. They are often used to eliminate wheel bite, which occurs when the wheels rub against the deck during a turn or landing a trick.

Wheel bite can be dangerous, suddenly stopping the motion of the wheel, causing a bad wipeout or damage to the wheel and board. Depending on your style of skateboarding, risers can help to preserve your deck by reducing the risk for pressure cracks where the board and the trucks meet.

Should You Install Risers On Your Skateboard?

The larger the wheels are on your skateboard, the more of a chance you have for wheel bite. If your board has large wheels, like longboard wheels, you should consider riser pads. As a standard of measure, the larger the wheel and the longer the board, the more height is needed from a riser pad.

Risers also help to prevent wheel bite after landing tricks, helping to prolong the life of the board. They also help to give your board more pop since they add more space between the board’s tail and the ground.

Another reason to add riser pads on a skateboard is for shock absorption on impact.

Benefits of riser pads:

  • Eliminates wheel bite
  • Increase pop
  • Adds shock absorption

If your skateboard has wheels that are 55mm or smaller, you typically don’t need riser pads. However, if you want the extra pop and shock absorption, I’d suggest getting ⅛ inch as they are the smallest risers available.

Riser Pads Sizing

One-eighth inch (1/8″), quarter-inch (1/4″), and half-inch (1/2″) riser pads are the most common sizes. It’s important that you choose the proper size hardware, depending on the size of risers that you choose. Typically, you’ll need longer hardware to compensate for the added space between the deck and the trucks.

Hardware Size Calculator

If you want to put riser pads on your skateboard, you’ll need to get new, larger hardware to accommodate the extra height. Consult the chart below to discover what hardware length will complement your risers.

No Riser – 7/8″ to 1″ hardware
1/8″ Riser – 1″ to 1 1/8″ hardware
1/4″ Riser – 1 1/4″ hardware
1/2″ Riser – 1 1/2″ hardware

Going a step further, you can have a better idea as to how large riser pads you need based on your wheel size.

WHEEL SIZE (MM) RISER SIZE (IN) 7-PLY DECK HARDWARE (IN) 8 OR 9-PLY DECK HARDWARE (IN)
49 to 54 N/A 7/8 1 1/8
55 to 57 1/8 1 to 1 1/8 1 1/4 to 1 1/2
58 to 64 1/8 to 1/4 1 1/8 to 1 1/4 1 1/4 to 1 1/2
65 to 67 1/4 to 1/2 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 1 1/2 to 2
68+ 1/2 1 1/2+ 2

Standard Riser Pads VS Angled Riser Pads

There are two different kinds of riser pads, standard and angled. The most common is a standard riser pad, these are the ones that you’ll see on regular skateboards using slightly larger wheels or low-profile trucks. 

Angled risers are typically only ever used on longboards or cruiser boards, as they are not used for street, skatepark, or vert skateboarding.

Angled riser pads are shaped like a wedge, raising and positioning your trucks at a fixed angle. You can use these angled risers to angle the trucks away from or toward the middle of the board. If you have a spare longboard or cruiser, I suggest that you get some angled risers and test out the different combinations of truck angles for yourself.

These wedge-shaped risers will increase your turning capabilities, making your cruiser or longboard more dynamic than ever.

Is There Anything Else Should I Know About Risers?

Most risers are made from hard plastic, however, there are also some made from polyurethane with more flexible designs. These soft polyurethane riser pads are referred to as shock pads.

Shock pads have some differences from risers. For starters, they’re shorter, softer, and used to absorb shock instead of adding height. Shock pads are typically 1/8″ and mostly used for skateboarding on rough terrain.

When skating on rough surfaces, vibrations get sent through the trucks and deck, into your feet and legs. After skateboarding for long periods of time, this can become extremely uncomfortable. However, shock pads can be used to absorb and dampen the vibrations much better than traditional riser pads.

Shock pads also help to protect the skateboard from getting pressure cracks, much like riser pads. So if you want to increase shock absorption without adding much height, shock pads may be the better solution for you.

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