Testing the 59 mm / 80 A Juice Jolt Wheel
Design and manufacturing
The Powerslide Juice Jolt wheel is made of several distinct parts because of its double density on-core:
- A very rigid black core made of polymere and composite,
- A polyurethane on-core of hardness 80 A.
The on-core has very thin grooves for a better grip.
The wheel design optimizes the flexing of its outside in bends.
We had the occasion of testing the Jolts both outdoors and indoors, for roller derby trainings, and on two different surfaces:
- very slippery concrete (in a skating rink) in Toulouse, France;
- StilMat surface (technical skating + handygames surface) in Montpellier, France.
FYI, our testers are two men weighing about 65 kg, that is to say quite light.
The wheels were set up on Bont Hybrid Package skates (see our test) and on a Bont Hybrid Carbon / Boen rk Derby UL customized pair.
Pretty similar to those of the other hybride derby wheels on the market, the Jolt has a diameter of 59 mm for a width of 38 mm. That size provides a good reactivity and maneuverability as you remain close to the ground. Let's mention that a 'tall' version in 62x38 mm is also available.
Although the core is made of hard plastic, it is soft enough for bearings to be inserted and taken off easily without extractor needed (e.g.: http://goo.gl/pKRyyO). As a comparison, Roll Line wheels are almost the extreme opposite as for bearing insertion.
The rolling of the Jolt is pleasant. Although its hardness is of 80A only, it doesn't crush when you put a strain on them (plow stops, powerslides etc.) The shape of the core is most certainly the explanation to that feature.
We had good feedbacks on three totally different types of surfaces. The wheel seems to adapt to a wide variety of grounds.
The Jolt wheels have a good grip in bends and offer a good support, which enables to grip without sinking into the ground.
We mixed the Jolt wheels with 84A Radar Vilains, which are excellent wheels but a bit too hard for the concrete ground of the skating rink: We placed the Jolts on the inside of the skate in order to stabilize weightbearings, so that we could slide with the outside wheels on plow stops and grip with the inside wheels for duckwalk speed-ups.
For a strictly outdoor skating use, the wheel is to be avoided. Indeed, just like any hybride wheel, it is hard and has a fast wear: after a 20 km skate on cycle lane our wheels had already started to lose their shape.
For a derby use on soft concrete, the wheel responds very well even if it is slightly sticky. We are a bit concerned that it may wear fast, especially if you always turn in the same direction on the track.
The wheel has a good looks although too dark to our taste (we like flashy colors). The shape of the core is really interesting, reminding that of the Radar Vilains, which are for us the reference wheels in the hybrid range.
The 'winged' core supports the urethane on specific spots, which enables to have a global compression in the shape of a wave, providing a strong grip in the holes and less grip on the bumps.
Wear and tear
The printing on the on-core doesn't last long. But given that it is not a crucial criterion as for equipment choice, let's say that the wear is satisfying.
Sensations with use
The Jolts enable a good speed taking and a good rolling while providing a great grip. It is a unique mix of sensations combining the advantages of outdoor wheels to those of indoor wheels.
Compared to the Radar Ghosts (in 80A) the rolling is totally different with the Ghost sticking a lot for the same size (62x38mm), preventing from speeding up as efficiently. The urethane is obviously not the same (although both are transparent) which accentu ates the sticky sensation. The Radar sticks while the Juice grips.
The main interest of an hybrid wheel is to enjoy a multi-surface grip while keeping the rotation speed (in reducing friction). The Jolt perfectly fulfils its function.
The Juice Jolts have a great quality-price ratio. They provide an excellent grip without sacrificing the rolling. All in all they offer great performances. We have definitely adopted them, just like the other wheels of the range.
Strong points and points to be improved
Brand : Juice
Model : Jolt
Year : 2013/2014
Distributed by : Powerslide
Available diameters : 59 and 62 mm
Width : 38 mm
Hardness : 80A (double density)
Price : 39.90€ the set of 4 wheels
Recommended use : Roller derby on all types of surfaces
Useful linksBy Walid, Leo and Emilien Martinoty
Translation: Chloe Seyres