Wheel Review - Atom Jukes
Widths: 44mm & 38mm
Heights: 59mm only
Hardness: 95a, 93a, 88a
Colour: Red/Orange tyre with white/aqua hub and hardness specific décor:
Pricing and Distributors
billys.co.uk are only stockists of Atom wheels currently known in the UK. Roller Derby teams unfortunately do not get a discount (though it might be worth asking if you are ordering a lot).
Atoms are sold in packs of 4 at 44.99 each so a full set is going to set you back 90 quid! On the bright side, postage is free
The main thing that sets ‘jukes’ apart from other wheels is the height. At 59mm they are shorter than the standard 62mm wheel but what does this mean for a skater.
Firstly, it means you are closer to the floor. This might not sound like much (3mm) but you can definitely feel it. I can only describe the feeling as having wheels attached to your feet rather than beneath your feet. Consequently you’ll want to adjust your toe stops!
The 59mm height reputed to increase agility therefore enhance your ability to ‘juke’ other skaters and increase acceleration. This lower riding height does give skates more of a ‘running’ feel to them and consequently does make them feel more agile.
As with gears on a car (or bicycle for that matter) the smaller wheels give faster acceleration from a slow or stop position. The down side of this is that once you have got moving (in this case performed your juke) a smaller wheel will reach a lower top speed.
Personally I think this trade off (speed for acceleration) is perfectly acceptable in the obstacle course that is a roller derby jam. You might not get quite as many laps in on the 5 minute endurance skate but it’s a worthwhile sacrifice for the real game.
In terms of slim vs. wide, I think that these skates are all about the agility so getting the wide versions in my opinion is a pointless exercise. Being honest, I’ve only ever skated in slim wheels so I am probably being bias – I trip over my own wheels in wide format! Regardless the argument logic is sound.
MMR Head Referee