Friday, April 8, 2011

Wheel Review: Orangatang Durian 80a

Seriously, these wheels are saweeeeeeet as sugar (hence why I shot them with sugar when I first got them). I’ve had the privilege of putting on some serious commuter miles with them over the past two weeks and I must say, they’re quite appealing to me. So, with that being said, I would like to go out and say that the majority of what I’m going to be talking about in this review is how these wheels perform in a commuting manner. Now don’t worry, I know that they’re intended to be the freeride wheel series from Orangatang and I did test them in that field as well, but most of the miles I’ve put on this new thane is through commuting 10+ miles a day over the past few weeks.

Now, let’s get into the cold hard stats. I’m rocking a pair of the Durians, so they are the 75mm wheel. They come in a variety of 80a, 83a and 86a thane (as well as their other wheels in the freeride series: the fat free and the stimulus). The durians have a 45mm contact patch with benevolent teacher known as the ground and come pre-stone ground. “What does this mean?” you may ask. Well, that just means there is almost no break in time for these wheels. They will slide in a pretty consistent manner from when you take them out of the box, to your first week of sliding on them, all the way till a month+ down the road (if they last that long).

So, like I was saying, I put in some serious miles (okay, nothing as serious as that) on these guys making sure that they were up to par with the previous O’tang wheels I’ve ridden. I’ve got one word for these wheels: PREDICTABLE. Now, that may not sound good, but it is exactly what you want in the urethane that connects your board to the ground. When you want them to stick, they will, and when you want to bust a nice standie to shed some speed, you will have no problem throwing your board out and pushing the wheels sideways. What does all this mean? Again, another awesome all around wheel.

Besides skating everywhere on these wheels over the past weeks, I also dedicated some pure fun time to them as well. Because they are free ride wheels, I decided to take them to the local parking garage and see how they fared. Well, they held up just fine. Obviously, the parking garage took me faster than I am able to push while commuting. They would hold their own on an array of different slides and were able to handle the sharp corners at higher speeds better than I initially expected.

Pros?: well, it’s an awesome all around wheel. What more can you want from it? Skate from your house to downtown and throw in a few slides to keep things interesting. Use em to grip or slip, either way you’ll be happy.

Cons: I’ve always got to address this stuff. Orangatangs are expensive, yes, but you pay for quality. Now I know there are a lot of people who say O’tangs wear out super fast. That is a true. It would probably take me twice as long to go through a pair of Classic Freerides as it would for a pair of O’tangs. But hey, you make sacrifices.

Overall, would I recommend this wheel? Yes. The 80a happy urethane (Orangatang formula) is probably one of my favorite types of thane out there. For dedicated sliders however, you may have to buy a few pairs if you want to keep using. For the mean time, however, I will keep these wheels on my trusty commuter, where they’ll probably stay for a long time.

a shot of happy wheels in a Loaded family
wear comparison on my old O'tang in heats (used to be 75mm)

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