Cartwheels Urethane Wheels
Review by Xi Jin
About me and these wheels
I have been fingerboarding for about 18 years, and I would say I am a skilled amateur fingerboarder. CloseUp.fr sponsored me before they dissolved their team. I have been involved with the online scene on FFI, FBHQ, YouTube, and more recently on Reddit, Discord and Instagram. I am a genuine enthusiast for all things fingerboarding, and hopefully my 19th review will come across as unbiased as always, especially as I am unaffiliated with any fingerboard company.
As for experience with wheels, I have simply lost count of how many dozens of sets of wheels I have owned, as well as all those that I have tried at meet ups. It is important to note that I am a urethane wheel guy, I prefer urethane wheels compared to other materials.
These Cartwheels Urethane wheels have been set up with a Blosom 32mm deck, FBS tape and Ytrucks X4 32mm trucks with stock bushings. I have been using this setup for approximately 4 months, which has been plenty of time to become accustomed to it all. I have been using it solely for indoor use, although I have taken it with me across continents and many places.
How did I find these wheels? I saw all the pictures @Scartledge (the owner of Cartwheels) was posting online, and immediately bought into the hype. I DM’ed him to see if I could buy some wheels for when I was visiting UK.
[i]I pretty much just copy and paste this same format for all my reviews to save hassle. I personally prefer text-based reviews as opposed to video reviews as the reader can choose to read it at their own pace instead of being forced to follow the speed of the reviewer and who can often trail-off topic. I like to write my reviews detailed with enough information for potential buyers to know everything about the product before purchasing.
Apologies for my low quality pictures.[/i]
Company Profile: Cartwheels
Simon Cartledge @Scartledge heads Cartwheels and has been established since 2011, on and off. Since 2011, he has been experimenting and perfecting fingerboard wheels with cores, and many of the wheels are of a nylon material. He is UK-based, but I believe there are/were other distributors. I have the special honour of actually naming his brand; it is an awesome pun on his name and business.
Simon also previously made and sold some obstacles under the name Cartledges (another awesome pun!).
Important Note: He is currently on a hiatus, as he has recently done some seriously adulty stuff - like marriage and making a tiny human.
I believe when you buy the wheels, you may receive extras depending on what promotion is on. I bought only the wheels. I have seen Cartwheels stickers although I did not get any with mine, apart from the one sticker sealing the small envelope. I did get a nice handwritten note which is a great personal touch.
Wheel Diameter: ~8mm
Core Outer Diameter: ~6mm
Core Inner Diameter: ~4mm
Wheel Width: ~5mm
Material: Urethane wheel, plastic(?) core
Bearings: Dual, Symmetrical
Note: All measurements are approximate
Price: £22 (But usually £30.50 including postage, I think Simon discounted them for me because we have known each other a while)
Shipping cost: - My domestic postage cost was included in the price, I am unsure about international orders.
Time to arrive: - No idea as I was living in another country but asked him to post to my parents’ home. But it only took 1 day for my previous Cartwheels.
Simon has provided great communication throughout different stages of the transaction.
The wheels are packed in a small zip lock bag (the tiniest I’ve ever seen) inside a brown envelope with a card notice, and the whole thing comes inside a bubble mailer.
Inside the small brown envelope
Finally getting to the wheels
From initial inspection to months of use, I didn’t see anything wrong with these wheels. The surface of the wheels may look bumpy at first, but this is just the material and it does appear smoother after use. The material of the wheel appears uniform in shape and colour.
The cores are available in many different colours - I opted for pink and purple on the two sides of the wheel. You can check out the Instagram link for the full range. The only purely aesthetic negative I can find about the wheels is the craftsmanship of the cores. There are very tiny marks on the cores, possibly from how the cores are made (cast?). But this is such a minor detail, only aesthetic and probably unnoticeable because of the vibrant colours.
They set up on my Ytrucks X4 perfectly with no problems, and can be set up in either orientation as they are symmetrical but with different colour cores on each side. This is pretty awesome as you get more colour coordination options with setups. I did not attempt to use them on other trucks - Simon explicitly discouraged use with Blackriver Trucks and Dynamic Trucks, but said it could be possible with inverted nuts. They should work with Tech Deck trucks though.
Overall, the performance is amazing. As a fingerboarder, I have reached the stage where I can adapt to any fingerboard product or set up. As I previously mentioned in the introduction, I am a urethane wheel guy. Compared to the feel of other urethane wheels I have used in the past (there have been a few), Cartwheels are among the best.
Urethane wheels in general provide a lot more grip compared to the average plastic wheel, can make some screechy sounds and are generally more realistic, reflecting the material of skateboard wheels. On surfaces like polished wood, this extra grip gives a lot more control to the whole board. Wheels really do provide a big impact on the feel of a board, sometimes in a way that is underestimated.
As with other urethane wheels I have used in the past, you will need to wear in the wheels to optimise the performance. It may not feel completely smooth at first, but it does become noticeably better after an hour or so. For complete optimisation, I shredded it for a couple of days and then I was completely happy. These wheels don’t free spin much compared to some other wheels, but they do roll completely smoothly after wearing them in.
Cartwheels does exactly what I expected of them, and more! They are of extremely high quality and I could perform a lot of tricks with so much control! One main thing I noticed from observation and then riding was that these wheels are slightly bigger than the average wheel. It is around 0.5mm larger in both diameter and width. I think this is a good thing as this gives us greater contact with the surface, more grip and more control.
I fingerboard with a lot of different styles: street, tech, freestyle, transition, flatground, old school. Apart from transition which I have been unable to test, I have been able to perform all these styles to comfortably advanced levels. There is a slight negative for freestyle tricks however. The symmetrical layout of the wheel means that the axles of the trucks will stick out, which is not ideal for railstand/primo tricks. Despite this, I have actually still find it reasonably comfortable to do freestyle with these wheels. For the normal fingerboarder, this won’t be a problem and in fact this wheel layout is probably better for street tricks.
Here is a line of tricks I just did with the setup, showing the control and ability to still do freestyle:
I am incredibly impressed with the quality and performance of these wheels. I may have been fingerboarding for 18 years, but since I set up these wheels, my consistency in certain tricks have improved and I have actually learned a few new tricks - nose manual nollie heel, nose manual nollie late front finger flip, nollie front finger flip underflip.
In my opinion, Cartwheels urethane wheels are among the best urethane fingerboard wheels out there. In addition, the nylon version core wheels are also pretty amazing too although I don’t have my own set - I tried a set owned by another UK friend. Anyway, if you love urethane wheels, you must try these wheels! If you’re not sure about urethane, you can still try them, or opt for the nylon material option which is harder and less grippy.
I must mention that this review is just what I think about the wheels. Reading/watching multiple reviews by different people is definitely advised. After some quick digging, I couldn’t actually find any reviews for the Urethane wheels apart from a few short comments from one person, but I’ve also included links to other detailed reviews for other Cartwheels.
Related External Links
Cartwheels Urethane Wheels post on Reddit : https://www.reddit.com/r/Fingerboards/comments/87cxvl/cartwheels_feels/
Cartwheels Nylon Wheels review by @Onkel_Urban : http://fingerflipinc.com/t/cartwheels-nylon-dual-bearing-wheels-urban-talks/1160
Cartwheels Nylon Wheels (white) blog by @martin_fingerboardTV : http://www.fingerboardtv.de/2018/product-blog-cartwheels-cartcores-nylon-white/
Cartwheels Nylon Wheels (black) blog by @martin_fingerboardTV : http://www.fingerboardtv.de/2018/product-blog-cartwheels-cartcores-nylon-black/
Cartwheels 2011 Metal Core Wheels review by myself : http://fingerboardhq.darkbb.com/t5523-cartwheels-bearing-wheels-preview
Where to purchase
Webshop link again: https://cartwheels.bigcartel.com/
If you have read this review and it was useful, please reply! Review threads don’t always get a lot of replies, even if they are read. If you didn’t like this review, please tell me why so I can improve! If you would like a product reviewed, you should probably contact @Onkel_Urban or @martin_fingerboardTV, they are really awesome!
Much love to everyone around the world!