Thursday, September 13, 2012

Who Wants a Free Ride? -- Abec 11 Freeride Review

Hey There Party People,

I mentioned a while back that I had received both Abec 11 Flashbacks and Freerides from none other than the generous folk over at Abec themselves! I have been thrashing the heck out my Freerides lately and am finally ready to write up a review on them. I consider writing a review on Abec Freerides no small task because they have been around for ages and have a fantastic reputation among people new to skating and slide fanatics alike.

Abec 11 Freerides come in several sizes and a variety of hardnesses. They are offered in 66mm, 72mm, and 77mm and with durometers coming in at 78a, 81a, or 84a. Most Abec 11 Freerides are offest wheels, however, the 72mm size are also offered with a centerset bearing seat. All of the sizes, durometers, and bearing seat options make Freeride one of the most diverse wheels on the market and they can suit a variety of riders needs. The set of Abec 11 Freerides that I have been taking to the streets are center set, 84a in durometer, and have a 39mm contact path.
What does all this mean for your ride?
Abec 11 Freeride are obviously the best at what their name suggests, freeride, so let's start there.

These wheels are just incredible for freeride! The Abec 11 classic thane formula is freaking butter under your feet. I am riding the 84a Freerides which are the hardest formula they offer in this line of wheels but it felt softer than other brands of wheels in a similar durometer. Which means while an 84a wheel in another brand may ice out under your feet pretty quickly the urethane formula of Abec 11 Freerides has no such problem. Transitions in to slides are smooth as silk and my friend refer to them as "ninja slides" because they chatter or screech like other wheels. All you hear is a smoooooooth sliding sound. The smooth sound and feel is consistent for holding long slides or hitting quick 180 slides, however, holding out those long standies is where these wheels really freaking shine. The only slight down side I would mention is that they can flatspot is you aren't sliding correctly, but that's true of all wheels.
Monkey footing so hard my feet are warping? 
This genre of skating isn't the necessarily the forte of Abec 11 Freerides but if you know what you're doing and you know what these wheels are meant for you then you will be good to go. Like I mentioned they have a really smooth slide which means that they can drift like a champ. However, you do not want to take them on a turn you are trying to grip through without expecting to slide. If you are going fast and turning then odds are you going to drift a bit on these wheels.

Abec 11 Freerides are purty darn good for some freestyle in addition to freeride. They are pretty thin for a longboard wheel which makes them nice and light and therefore dope for that freestyle time. Because if you are in the mood for flippy tricks on your longboard then you don't want some 75mm giants weighing down your board. If you are looking to do lots of freestyle on Abec Freerides then I would highly recommend trying out the 66mm wheels, which would be even more agile and nimble than the 72mm ones I am rocking.
Freerides are a great wheels to ride around campus, to work, or the grocery store. How do I know that? I have taken them everywhere and back again. I really like these wheels for commuting because they are the definition of a nimble wheels. Unless your hauling ass down a hill they have more than enough grip to let you pump your board with out sliding the wheels out. On the flip side they are also super easy to break out into slides if you need to slow down quickly with a few little checks. They also accelerate nice and quickly so you can get up to speed fast rather than having to push a bajillion times to get moving which nice if you have to stop and go often.
Bottom line:
Would I recommend Abec 11 Freerides to my friends?
I am certain that anyone who likes to slide would love these wheels more than they even expected to. Abec 11 wheels have always had a great reputation and these wheels are no exception. I am super happy to say that they live up to the hype around them and then some. If you like to freeride then look no further than a set of these wheels. If you ever find yourself in the market for some new slide wheels then I am going to send you running in the direction of Abec 11 Freerides, no matter what durometer, size, or bearing seat you choose I am certain you will be happy with them!
Photo Cred: Flerine!

Any Questions, Comments, Recipes, Letters, Rare Coins???
Send them my way!
Thanks and Stay Awesome,

My Current Favorite Setup:
-Rayne Vandal
-Surf-Rodz 176mm RKPs
-Orangatang Nipples
-Bones Reds
-ABEC 11 FREERIDES 72mm Centerset 84a