Testing the Powerslide Defcon Dual Density 80 mm Wheel
At last, a double density wheel in a diameter suitable for freeskate lovers! The least to say is that I had very specific expectations and many preconceptions about what a dual density wheel should offer. In order to sum up my state of mind before even starting the test, I was hoping for a better speed up reaction and a better grip in bends, a better grip on wet surfaces and a better cushioning than the Hyper Performance + Grip that I usually use. I had also been warned that if that product hadn't been on the market before that model, it was because double density wouldn't provide much improvements in that diameter given the small thickness of each material.
The Powerslide Deacon Dual Density wheel has a solid black hub which you insert your bearings. The on-core is made of two polyurethane layers of different densities: 85A for the outside layer and 78A inside. The profile is slightly elliptical and quite similar to that of the Hyper Concretes. The black and grey printing is sober and conveys a pretty urban looks to the wheel.
Get ready to have the bearings imprinted into your thumb! Taking the bearings off is even harder than inserting them into the wheel. Without bearing extractor, it is absolute hell.
These wheels can roll indeed, but except for tight bends, their overall performance remains slightly under the Hyper + Grip. As for their rolling comfort and cushioning of the various coating defects, I didn't feel any significant difference compared to wheels of same diameter and same hardness of outside on-core layer. The sensations are close to those of a simple density wheel.
I really got my kicks from urban slaloming, it was where I really felt the actual benefits from double density: half-way between hard grip and reactivity when exiting all those successive small turns. On the other hand, I was greatly disappointed with their holding on wet grounds, my expectations were not met on that point! Same conclusion as for their rolling comfort, the wheels react just like any other good simple density wheel with the same features.
Wear and tear
After 6 months of light urban practice, at a rate of 5 km/day on average, come rain or come shine, on any type of surface, with minimalist maintenance, the test is rather positive.
No big hole in the wheels, the wear is slow and even. Let's note that I didn't have to do much urgency breaking on my daily commute to work.
The general finishing is clean with a good joint between the hub and the on-core. No bubble on the surface.
Sensations with use
I loved the reactivity of the wheel during small turns, the rebound sensation make you want to play with it! Despite the 85A hardness of its outside layer, I felt a lack of energy restitution in straight lines.
Its technology places the wheel in the upper price range.
It is a niche wheel that may be recommended for some specific skatecross courses with many sharp bends for example. Although it is initially designed for outdoor skating, the Powerslide Defcon Dual Density wheel would deserve to be tested in hockey situations, on small courts (40*20 m). According to me, this wheel is similar to a Hyper Concrete, with an extra rebound effect...
Strong points and points to be improved
+ Grip in bends
- Lack of rolling in straight lines
Model: Defcon Dual Density
Average public price: 25€ / 4 pc.
Hardness: 85A outside / 78A inside
Available diameters: 80 mm
Recommended use: Freeskate
Translation: Chloe Seyres