What is Wheel Bite and How to Fix it

Richmond Bendu Sep 28, 2022
45 People Read
Skateboard, wheel bite, skating
Table of Contents
  1. How to prevent wheel bite when skating?
  2. In What Situations Does Wheel bite Occurs Most Often?
    1. Stomping Your Board
    2. Jumping From High Places
    3. Rotating Before The Landing
    4. While Performing Sharp Turns
  3. Is Wheelbite Common on Skateboards?
  4. Conclusion

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. This won't affect the quality of the products, since you're satisfaction is most important. Walmart skateboards are a cheap alternative to a regular skateboard, 

One of the worst feelings is when you skateboard, you have struggled to land a trick, and when you finally do, the joy is instantly ripped away because of a wheel bite. This pain isn't limited to technical skaters; cruiser boarders and longboarders have the same problem, and you never see it coming, making the fall harder.

Wheel bite occurs when the wheels come in contact with the underside of the board. The sudden block on the wheels stops the board, and you lose your balance, most likely resulting in falling off the board.

Wheel bite is very common and not always a bad thing, it is still annoying, and luckily there are many ways to fix it.



How to prevent wheel bite when skating?

There are many ways to prevent wheel bite, some are easier, and some require more effort since there isn't a standard for wheel size, truck size, bushing hardness, or loose trucks. Here are some reliable ways to remove wheel bite

  1. Tighten Your Skateboard trucks

  2. Replace the Bushings

  3. Add Riser Pads

  4. Use Smaller Skateboard Wheels

  5. Choose a Deck that Has Wheel Wells or (DIY)


  1. Tighten your skateboard trucks

The easiest solution to prevent wheel bite is to tighten your trucks. Tightening your trucks creates more resistance on your trucks lowering the chances of wheel bite, but by doing this, your board becomes less responsive.

The tightness is something you will get used to over time, but I won't recommend this technique for cruiser boards or longboards because this solution often holds back the board's capability. You tighten the trucks by screwing the kingpin nut with the clock.

Tightening the trucks doesn't always fix the problem; the cause can be squashed or cracked bushings. Bushings are cheap, and if you want, you can get stiffer bushings that prevent wheel bite; some trucks are also known for being extra loose.

  1. Replace the Bushings

Skateboard - Bushings | Cruiser board, Longboard

If tightening your skateboard trucks doesn't work, you must consider replacing the bushings. Bushings are often overlooked, but having the correct bushings for your weight can be exactly what you need.

Wheel bite occurs most often when the skater is too heavy for their board; a heavier skater should get harder bushings for their board. Getting harder bushings can make a huge difference, but remember that they eventually need to be changed.

If they are squashed or cracked, it is time ta change them; the same goes for if tightening the trucks doesn't work anymore.

Tablet for bushing hardness

Bushings, Bushing hardness, tablet

  1. Add Riser Pads

Hard 1/2" Skateboard Riser Pads — East End Surf & Skate

Adding riser pads can be the best solution for preventing wheelbite. However, I don't recommend buying riser pads for a regular skateboard deck unless you intend to use it as a cruising board.

Landing certain tricks can be difficult with riser pads because the center of gravity is higher, but since I recommend riser pads for cruiser boards or longboards, you probably won't have this problem.

Riser pads are rubber or hard plastic blocks that add extra clearance between the wheels and deck. Since there is more room between the wheels and deck, they allow sharper turning; they also work with shock absorption, so your board won't crack as easily.

The bigger wheels you have, the thicker the riser pads; here is a table that shows what you need

Wheels bite, riser pads, size table

Making sure you have the proper hardware is essential; the worst feeling is when you open a box of new parts and find out that you have to wait for new parts since you ordered wrong.

  1. Use Smaller Skateboard Wheels

Using small wheels is an easy solution to the wheelbite problem; sometimes, your wheels are too big.

Small wheels will prevent wheel bite, but this choice will also impact the board's performance if you want to cruise a lot, a cruiser board should add riser pads instead of smaller wheels, but a regular skateboard should use smaller wheels if they intend to do tricks.

with smaller wheels, it is less likely to wheelbite, but they are a lot slower and lose momentum faster. The bigger the wheels you have, the faster you go; because of this, larger wheels are often favored by pool and bowl skaters. Pool/bowl skaters often choose to have bigger wheels but tighter trucks to compensate.

  1. Choose a Deck that Has Wheel Wells or (DIY)


I mostly use cruiser boards, so wheel wells are one of my favorite ways to deal with wheelbite. With wheel wells, you can do sharp turns with your board lower without getting wheelbite.

If you choose this method, you won't have to sacrifice control or stability. Also, without risers, you are closer to the ground and have a lower center of gravity, making you more stable and in control.

Wheel wells are one of the more old-school ways of dealing with wheelbite for cruisers and longboards. Most of the cruisers I bought already had wheel wells, but I used proper tools and sanded them down one time.

When I made my own wheel wells, it wasn't as good as a factory-made, but they got the job done.

Wheel wells are pretty uncommon for street skateboards but for cruising and carving, I recommend them highly.



In What Situations Does Wheel bite Occurs Most Often?

Some people experience wheel bite more often than others, but is this because they have the wrong setup, or is it the situation? I rarely experience wheelbite, but I have friends trying the same tricks as me and falling because of it; What is the difference between them and me, and are they doing something wrong?


Stomping Your Board

The most common reason for experiencing wheelbite, even when you have the right equipment, is putting too much weight on one of the sides of your board.

You usually stomp on the board if you want to catch the board to land correctly, but if you do this too hard, you will experience wheelbite. A good way to stop stomping is to learn to catch the board in the air; this is a lot harder, but it is something you need to master if you want to progress in skating.

There will be some situations where stomping is necessary, but you have to learn when the time is right by trial and error.


Jumping From High Places

The taller you are, the harder you fall: this also applies when skateboarding. You will weigh much more on the landing when you jump from a height. Wheel bite occurs when the bottom of your board touches the top of your wheel, and this is much more likely to happen if the forces pushing the board down are stronger.

If you want to avoid wheelbite when jumping from a height, you need to learn to fall on the center of your skateboard. I don't mean with both your legs on the middle, but with your legs in the center of both trucks; this is to avoid your board leaning on your wheels and to minimize the risk of your board breaking.

Your trucks are the strongest parts on your board, so it is essential to learn to land on them if you want your deck to last longer.


Rotating Before The Landing

It is normal to rotate to the left or right when you do tricks like ollie or kickflips, but if you have height enough speed and rotate too much, you will press your board onto the wheels, causing wheelbite.

You usually rotate because you move your shoulders to the side while doing tricks. A simple way to stop moving your shoulders is to record yourself while practicing and consciously try to minimize the movement.


While Performing Sharp Turns

It is more common to experience wheelbite while turning when you are using a cruiser board or longboard; this is because the trucks are usually looser, and you do tighter corners or carving.

You need to make wheel wells or install riser pads if you want to be able to turn as much and get less wheelbite. If I can, I prefer skating without riser pads, but you should definitely check them out since they are cheap and easy to install and remove.

I will always choose wheel wells over risers, and if you look at most cruiser boards, they already have them.



Is Wheelbite Common on Skateboards?

Wheelbite is a very common problem for everyone in skateboarding, there are a lot of different factors, but if you have tried the tricks in this post, it is probably as good as it gets.

the different parts you choose for your board can determine how much you will wheelbite. A heavier skater is more at risk, but with the proper setup, it should be too much of a problem.

if you have 56mm or bigger wheels, you probably will wheelbite a lot more unless you add risers. Getting harder bushings or tightening your trucks with the kingpin nut is also a good solution. a wheel well is a good option and gives more control, but it's not recommended for street skating; some truck leans more, so you need to consider this as well.



Conclusion

Wheelbite is a common problem; I hope you have found a solution to your problem with the help of this list.

On the underside of your board, you can see the wheel bite marks, a small trick I have used to see if I have fixed the problem is to use a marker on the spots and see if they are gone at the end of the day.

In the end, only try to fix the wheel bite if it affects your skateboarding ability; no matter what you do, you will still experience it.

Table of Contents
  1. How to prevent wheel bite when skating?
  2. In What Situations Does Wheel bite Occurs Most Often?
    1. Stomping Your Board
    2. Jumping From High Places
    3. Rotating Before The Landing
    4. While Performing Sharp Turns
  3. Is Wheelbite Common on Skateboards?
  4. Conclusion

Disclosure:  Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. This won't affect the quality of the products, since you're satisfaction is most important. Walmart skateboards are a cheap alternative to a regular skateboard,