Like a lot of people who skate, the wheel of choice for me was always Spitfire. That was part of the formula if you weren’t a ledge-tech type of skater. If you’re a tech guy you’d ride teeny wheels and your wardrobe is three sizes too big, but if your were more on the gnar-dog side of the fence, you rode Spitfire’s and Indy’s and you drank blue-collar beer, that’s just the way it goes. Myself being the latter. A little more year ago I began to notice the quality of Spitfire’s urethane compound was kinda slipping. My wheels were chunking out and flat spotting way to quickly. It was after buying numerous sets of their wheels trying to give the old stand by the benefit of the doubt, I decided I needed an alternative to the norm. Enter Autobahn.
Based out of San Diego as the wheel division of Arcade skateboards, they offer a full line of wheels from big to small so there’s something for every type of rider. They come in a variety of colors for those of you who have grown tired of the same old off-white wheel and they even offer a super soft filmer’s wheel. You can imagine how stoked I was when I got the opportunity to review the wheels that gave my skating a breath of fresh air, as well as a much sweeter ride. I usually roll a 55mm wheel but I chose to go a bit more manly and opted for their Dual Duro 58 mm GT/R wheel. It’s a dual durometer wheel with a clear inner core rating at 101A and an outer core weighing in at 97A.
I slapped a fresh set of the mythical and once hard to obtain NMB bearings from Rockin Ron at California Bearing and Supply (http://www.californiabearing.com/) into these beasts and set out for a spot suitable for enough for the ass kicking that would soon commence. I headed for the Knapp ditch in the West Hills. It’s an 80’s style snake run that is set at an incline so you’re guaranteed to haul ass. And what does one do if they need to stop you ask? Long fucking powerslides that’s what. I spent two grueling hours there trying to flat spot these bastards, but no dice. I’d say I took at least a few millimeters of urethane off of them, but it seemed they still refused to budge. Just to be sure it wasn’t a fluke and I wasn’t loco from being in the blazing sun for what seemed like days, I went to my local skatepark. The park’s skating surface is super smooth concrete and would surely reveal any defects. And as I guessed, the wheels held up when put to task, not one chunk or flat spot.
I’ve been riding Autobahns religiously for over year consistently and I will continue to do so. It’s a quality product that has yet to let me down. For info on Autobahn products, check their website: http://www.autobahnwheelco.com .