The 88 wheel co Mcfly is quickly becoming a favorite for LDP riders around the world. But what makes it so special? What sets it apart from other big wheels in the industry? Check out my review to find out more.
- Height/Diameter – 86mm
- Width – 55mm
- Contact Patch – 50mm
- Durometer – 76a
- Core Position – Offset
- Core – Proprietary (it looks like the Kegel core but isn’t)
- Weight – 1.041kg
- Price – $85
Interview with 88 wheel co (Jeremy)
1. What were some design goals you had with this wheel? I know the Pranayama was heavily involved.
J – We set out to design a skinny, fast, durable, and comfortable wheel really focused on the needs of distance skating.
The comfort was a big deal, as when you skate long distances it puts a real strain on your body, especially your knees. Having a wheel that can dampen more vibration than the competition can go a long way to help reduce fatigue. We believe we achieved that from the feedback we’ve received from customers worldwide.
The wheel was designed around the Pantheon lineup of boards – specifically Prana and Trip – so you can get as tight a fit as possible without wheel bite. This meant we tapered the rear edge of the wheel to give a touch more meat, and increased the diameter by 1mm whilst still avoiding bite. That said this wheel will feel at home on any distance skating setup. We’ve even got folks using them for free ride because they can slide so well.
2. What’s the story behind the Kegel-like core?
J – This core was developed many years ago for my other wheel brand Boa Wheels (boawheels.com) when we moved our production away from Labeda. It looks like a kegel core and was done that way intentionally as we needed to maintain compatibility with electric skateboards that were using our wheels.
We made a number of improvements to the core that you can’t actually see. One area is how the core grabs the wheel. The way the core and the wheel interact it’s nearly impossible for the wheels to delaminate (we previously had a lot of problems with Labeda cores delaminating, part of the reason we decided to develop our own manufacturing processes in the first place and move away from them). The other is the more precise bearing seat. This is designed around SKF standards for bearing fit, so you have a very precise and true fit on the wheel, giving you even wear and rotation regardless of your bearings. The last improvement is the overall weight which is reduced 10g without any reduction in strength.
3. Any plans for any other LDP wheels in the future?
J – Anything is possible at this point, but nothing specifically slated right now.
As always, thank you for answering my questions 88 Wheel co. They’ve gone a long way to elevate this review.
88 wheel co Mcfly review
How do they roll? Do they accelerate quickly?
Despite the massive 86mm height and 1.041kg weight, the Mcflys accelerate quickly.
I found them to be easier to get moving from a stop than Caguamas, Kegels, and even the Mavericks.
I believe this is because of two things – how the lips are supported, and the urethane.
Only being 55mm with a 50mm contact patch, these wheels are actually quite skinny. This allows the core to support the wheel super well, and the lips feel pretty stiff as a result. I think this helps reduce rolling resistance by preventing the lips from being too gummy and squishy, and kneading themselves into the ground when you push.
I think this is what makes them faster than the 80mm, 1.022kg Maverick wheels. The Mavericks are noticeable wider and have a more squishy lip.
But in reference to the Caguamas and Kegels, the lips on those are just as stiff, if not stiffer. However, what I think makes the Mcflys faster in this case, is the urethane.
Blue ridge project did some testing on rolling resistance and found the Mcflys had some of the lowest.
I’m honestly not too sure about the above point, but in my real-world experimentation, I had an easier time pushing my board with the Mcflys on, than with the Caguamas and Kegels in a back-to-back test.
But really, I’m not too sure. It could have been the urethane, the precision bearing seat (letting the wheel roll better), or placebo. I can’t be certain.
But one thing is for sure, the Mcflys are certainly some of the lightest, easy accelerating big wheels I’ve skated.
An easy accelerating wheel is key
I found that a wheel that has low rolling resistance is so key when pushing around or doing serious LDP.
This is because you lose so much less energy accelerating and this makes a massive difference with how far you can go and how you can skate.
With the Mcflys I could push uphill and push for hours without feeling like I was exerting myself too much – I think it played a key role in making my 100km ride a little bit easier.
When riding them I felt it was me, the rider, holding myself back rather than the equipment. They always felt quite nimble.
If I was using any of the other aforementioned wheels I likely would have had a much tougher time, and wouldn’t have been a lot more miserable than I was.
I think the low rolling resistance of the Mcflys is invaluable.
If you’re doing any sort of serious pushing, the Mcflys is a worthwhile upgrade/choice. For just cruising around, it may not be that important, but as an overall wheel, it is awesome.
Are they fast (do they have a high top speed? What about momentum?)?
Not only do these wheels accelerate quickly, but they also have a high top speed, and maintain their momentum very very well.
When pointing them down a hill (even a mellow one), you will end up going quite fast. I remember there were times I broke 45-50kph on my 100km ride, without really trying to tuck or doing anything significant to really increase my speed.
This is impressive because it’s almost impossible to do on other wheels on the same hill – if I’m not in a speed tuck.
And speaking of momentum, there were times I could coast down a hill, then coast all the way up the next one.
There were times on other extremely mellow hills, that I would simply push in aggressively on the Mcflys, then coast all the way down, even picking up more speed along the way.
Again, this is impressive because on those same mellow hills I would lose so much speed on other wheels that I’d basically have to push most of the way.
But with the Mcflys, it’s so easy to keep the speed you already have and gain more.
The way they maintain momentum is seriously impressive.
Momentum conservation is key
Simply put, momentum conservation is important. You basically go further with every push, and every push costs you less energy.
Again, when you’re skating far or doing serious LDP, this is invaluable.
You’re not struggling to keep up your speed, or pushing every second to stop yourself from slowing down. You can coast a lot more and have longer gaps between your pushes.
When you’re skating a considerable distance, this really pays dividends in conserving your energy.
Again, if you’re just casually skating, it’s maybe not thaaaat important, but you will certainly feel the difference still. But if you’re doing any serious pushing, it is worth while.
How do they do over rougher roads (best longboard wheels for rough roads)?
One of the star features of the Mcflys is how well they do over terrible roads and absorb road vibrations, whilst still rolling super well.
Seriously. I have taken these wheels places that are incredibly awful to skate through. I’ve taken them over pavement so bad, that a wheel like the Kegel would struggle to get through.
And they’ve performed magnificently. Not only did they absorb road vibration and provide a comfortable ride, but they still managed to roll and keep up a decent amount of speed without bouncing around too much.
They are seriously impressive, and there is no road that I fear skating over when using these wheels.
Seriously. I just go. I power through. Honestly, I don’t even think twice.
And the crazy part is, they still have an incredible roll speed and acceleration. And this is very odd tbh – it’s usually the opposite.
You either get a wheel that absorbs a lot of road vibration, but that is too gummy and it rolls slow. Or you get a wheel that is super fast, but it reflects every single thing you ride over.
I don’t what magic 88 wheel co did here, or really just how to make sense of it all, but the Mcfly is doing something unique here.
If there was a goldilocks wheel, it would be this one.
Less chance of chunking
Finally, they have a lower chance of chunking than the other wheels.
This is thanks to how 88 wheel co makes these wheels. They have different manufacturing processes than other companies in the wheel manufacturing business – basically, they are wizards.
Anyway, this is a nice feature. With all the rough pavement, road imperfections, and debris you will likely encounter when riding around, it is nice to know your wheel won’t chunk that easily.
I’ve had wheels chunk on me for the simple fact of just bombing an unpaved road, or riding over a rough patch – things that I encounter in plenty on even the most basic of cruises.
It also is comforting that a wheel you will pay $85 for won’t have a big old piece of it missing. $85 is an expensive investment for a lot of people, so it’s nice to have a product that will go the distance.
And it really shows. The lips on my Kegels have started to go and tear a little bit, whereas the Mcflys basically look brand new and I’ve put in more distance on my Mcflys.
The Mcflys are the real deal.
Is the 88 Wheel Co McFly worth the price?
Considering the price of post-covid wheels, the Mcflys are a steal.
For the performance you get and the quality of the wheel, $85 is a very fair price.
Also consider, that Caguamas are $80 and Speed Vents are about $92-97. And you get comparative performance (or better), with superior durability from the Mcfly.
I think they are well worth the money.
Am I hyping these wheels up?
So, I know some people may think I may be talking up these wheels, but no. I’m simply describing my experience and how I feel. If that comes across as hype, well …
And a lot of other LDP content creators feel the same. These wheels are legit.
If you’re still not hooked/believe, I invite you to buy a set and try it for yourself. You’ll experience everything firsthand.
How do they slide?
Personally, I don’t want to slide my nice 86mm LDP wheels, so this review won’t cover that. I’m doing it from an LDP-focused point of view after all.
But 88 wheel co-team riders Jeb Brown has been doing some massive stand-up slides on these. Check him out in the video below.
The 88 Wheel Co McFly seem to break into a very smooth and controlled slide. They also don’t seem to slow down all that much – sounds like a great wheel to do really fast stand-up slides on.
Of course, they do come with a smooth finish, so you will have to wear past that to get the above performance.
Genuinely surprising to see the above performance from them. I didn’t expect they’d slide as easy or look as good doing it. I’m tempted to skate mine like that now haha.
I may have some wheels on the way that may replace my Mcflys as my LDP wheels. If they’re good enough, I’ll use my Mcflys as a slide wheel and update this section for you guys.
What didn’t I like about the Mcfly?
I liked everything about this wheel for LDP.
What do you think? Did you enjoy this review of the 88 Wheel co Mcfly?
Thank you for checking out my review. Big thanks to 88 wheel co for sending me these wheels to review and answering my interview questions. Catch you guys in the next one.