125 Test Update
Sk8skool has a lengthy test procedure. It's not just "skate on them and see how they feel". We test indoor, on track and on road. We test on smooth, medium and rough asphalt, uphill an downhill. We motorpace testing behind a motorbike, we do top speed sprints, accelerations, long distances, and take times in all of those locations and types. We also skate alone, and in groups so as to get the best possible overview of how a wheel is in all situations. All of this has to be done on fresh legs, otherwise it means nothing. So this whole process can take up to 10 days (to do a thorough test on ONE set of wheels).
As a reference for comparison, the original Matter One20Five's are:
125.2mm, 180g, Matter urethane, plastic hollow core 88mm (external diameter) 83mm (internal diameter), 22.5mm narrow, pointed profile,
Arma - Armageddon - orange core:
125.7mm, 195g, 89A, Arma urethane, Aluminium 6xDouble-spoke plastic core 87.3mm in diameter, 24.2mm wide, rounded race profile
This is a really great wheel. The best thing about this wheel is the core, it feels stiff/solid (but not hard and brittle) and stable but gives a little back to you at the end of your push. The urethane is similar to the Matter G13 or Code White (i.e. good), it has that familiar feel of roll and grip.
On the road I found it has good roll, and pretty good rebound but occasionally you can feel the vibrations a little more than expected. The surprise for me was how good this wheel is on track, it’s very responsive and even though I’ve only tested it on asphalt and cement tracks it gripped well and felt agile and it didn’t get bogged down in the corners like some grippier wheels can do. (on a Vesmaco track I expect it performs even better). On a smoother road you’d need a harder version of this wheel (the yellow core version is available and is ?? hardness). Bottom line? It feels good, stable, comfortable and rolls well. … ladies and gentleman, we have a contender.
Click here to go to Arma's Facebook page.
Bont - Red Magic Hardcore - X-Firm:
125.7mm, 224g, 86A, MPC urethane, Aluminium 7 spoke core 82.4mm in diameter, 24mm wide, rounded profile
"So, are they any good?" ... is the question I've been asked many many times, on email, on Instagram, on FB comments, on FB messages, in real-life, in fact every time I put these wheels on, someone asks me about them... The answer is yes. They are very good. So to the details.... Well, they are heavy, 40g per wheel, 120g per skate and a whopping 240g per set. But you don't feel this when you first skate on them, all you feel is "WOW, they roll and roll and roll". Or as I said to Kim at triaging last week, there should be a safety warning on these wheels; "Warning: These do not stop rolling". (Ok, there was a tail wind, and smooth asphalt, but they rolled.)
Overall, I really like these wheels, they are very good. Not perfect, but very good.
Pro's: Very good roll, fast, very stable, very stiff, good grip, last long.
Con's: Heavy, difficult to accelerate repeatedly in a straight line, expensive.
The extra soft urethane makes this wheel the "best of test" in wet conditions. SO if it's raining, and you wanna stay on 125's, get Hardcore.
To see the FULL review of the Red Magic Hardcore that I tested and reviewed back in May, click here.
Click here to go to Bont's website.
Matter - One20Five - Wide - F1:
125.7mm, 194g, 90A, Matter urethane, plastic hollow core 88mm (external diameter) 83mm (internal diameter), 24.2mm (Matter is calling this "wide", but it's the same width as every other wheel from 80mm to 125mm, except their original One20Five. It's better just to think of the 22.5mm wheels as "thin"), normal race profile.
This was the Daddy. The original. This wheel was 'ground-breaking'. You have to admire Matter for gambling and investing and trying to take the sport forward to a more exciting image and equipment level. The basic design of the core is now 4 years old, and normally that wouldn't be 'too old', but in terms of 125 development we are on the steep end of the learning curve, so 4 years is long. This is an
improvement on the original wheel, the core is a little better. The urethane is good and the inner power band works fine, just like Matter's 110 wheels. I personally don't like the feel of the core, but many other people love it. Maybe I'm just too big, heavy and unstable. The wider profile (or what everyone else calls 'normal', i.e. 24.2mm, helps. It's controllable, smooth and more stable in the corners than the original this version.
Matter - G13 125 - Thin - F1:
125.7mm, 180g, 90A, Matter urethane, plastic hollow core 88mm (external diameter) 83mm (internal diameter), 22.5mm narrow, pointed profile.
To me this feels exactly like the original One20Five wheel (the thin blue one) ... except it's green. And I've written about that many time before - See our blog. The 'Achilles Heel"is the core (in my humble opinion). It's just too hard but yet brittle. It feels a little dead, and . I'm hoping Matter are going to "surprise" us all and bring out a new 125 wheel at Worlds next month... ? Or at least blow us all away with a new core design for the 125. That would be awesome.
Click here to go to Matter's website.
Roll'x X'Road and X'Dual:
125.6mm, 165g, X'Road 89A, X'Dual 92A, 165g Roll'x urethane, 13 spoke plastic hub, 91.3mm in diameter, 23.8mm wide, rounded profile
Let's get one thing straight, the price of wheels has gone up and up over the past few years... it's now ridiculous. Some wheels retail at 230 Euro! So... a cheaper wheel is very welcome. The X'Road retail at 120 Euro (that's almost HALF price of the Bont), and the X'dual retails at 168 Euro. But are they any good?
Well, for the price, YES! The dual pour wheels are pretty good if you're looking for a god training wheel or a cheaper alternative to the bank-breaking Bont's, Matter and MPC's. But don't expect equal performance at this price.
One big advantage to this wheel is that it is VERY light. At only 165g per wheel, it is 354g per set lighter than the heavier Bont's. And you can feel that. However, this is because of the super-light plastic hub and the thinner layer of urethane (18mm vs 22mm). Losing that extra 4mm of urethane does mean you loose a little grip in the corners, and you feel the bumps and vibrations a little more (i.e. not so much rebound).
Click here to go to Roll'x website.
Roll'x 125 Dual:
125.4mm, 205g, 5 spoke aluminium hub, 86.6mm diameter core, 24.1mm wide, rounded profile.
Tbh, this feels a little heavy, dead and lifeless. The X'Road, and particularly the X'Dual are better.
MPC - Big Black Magic - XX-Firm:
125.6mm, 200g, 90A, MPC urethane, Turbo core, 83mm in diameter, 24.1mm wide, rounded profile
This is my favourite wheel right now. I've skated miles on this wheel, and it even works on the tracks I tested it on. (I used the X-Firm version on track) The hub is strong, but has a slight but useable flex to it, it feels like it has a life inside it.
On road the feeling is of control, and it makes it easier to dare to go on the outside edge at high speed. The roll is good, especially on the XX-Firm version, it's fast. Actually, I'm struggling to find fault with this wheel. It's light (enough) at 200g (i.e. not excessively heavy like the Bont). It has good rebound, and the grip is good because of the 24mm of urethane depth and the dual pour (power-band inside), and it's not "thin", it's standard width, i.e. 24.1mm. It feels just like a 110 wheel, but with more roll. And that's what we've been waiting for, right?
On track the X-Firm was great, good grip and a feeling of stability in the corners. You can 'trust' this wheel and it invites you to step and lean. I didn't get to test this indoor unfortunately.
This wheel simplifies the issue surrounding 125's. There's not much to write about it precisely because it's just like the 110 wheels which has been developed over many years, but it's bigger and faster. There's no "if's" or "but's" to discuss. (But it's as similarly expensive as the other 125's, except the Roll'x).
My personal opinion is, right now, this is the test winner, but let's see what happens in China. .
Click here to go to MPC's website.
If you have any questions regarding 125 wheels, equipment or personal coaching, then just write to me here.
Let's go faster,