Star Grip ST-W 100 wheels - Still a contender
The once and maybe still world champion?
By Francisco Ramirez
Star Grip was a hot topic on skate message boards when it introduced the first lightweight 100mm wheels a few years ago.
But how times have changed.
Now every manufacturer makes lightweight "Big Wheels" and the likes of Matter, PC Vane and MPC have eclipsed Star Grip's reputation.
But is it really time to forget about Star Grip? Our review of the new Star Grip ST-W (white urethane) wheels would suggest otherwise.
I found the Star Grips to be easy on my legs, neither too hard, nor too soft. However when I first started using them, I had a tendency to develop shin splints, which I attribute to the wheels' narrow profile. (They are 20, rather than 24, mm wide.)
Their narrow gauge can prove challenging to skaters who pronate (turn the feet out at the ankles) or supinate (turn the feet in). But for other skaters, the thin profile provides a benefit, making it easy to get on outside edges, which facilitates the double push.
Star Grip rates them at 85A; my durometer put them at 84A.
The ST-Ws provide excellent roll. Once you get up to speed, you feel little loss of momentum on flat, smooth surfaces. They roll much better than the old white Star Grips, which were sluggish. In fact, they seem to roll as well as the harder Star Grip Ti clear urethane wheels.
They hold the pavement very well. Even in tight turns, I felt no sliding. As a result, there is no need to combine them with softer wheels.
They last surprisingly long considering their narrow profile (which means less urethane). Mine still have a good profile despite 100 miles of hard skating.
They could easily be used for three marathons.
Not cheap, but not as expensive as some: $12-$13.50 a piece.
The wheels take their name from the patented "Star Hub." Each wheel has seven plastic spokes. The hubs seem less rigid than the Ti's. And that's good because the anodized chrome spokes on the Tis tended to break. These do not.
These wheels do not flex much, even when sprinting. As a result, they provide excellent top-end speed. In fact, they seem to be as fast — or nearly as fast — as any other wheel on the market. They are still the wheels I judge all others against.
The narrow profile and wide hub gives them the sleek look of a racer.
100mm wheel: 106 grams
Are these still the fastest wheels on the market? Maybe not if you put them side to side in a time trial with one of today's crop of speed demons. But nonetheless, they still deliver. They provide excellent top-end speed, they hold the road, they never slip, and you never have to worry about combining them with other wheels. You just put them on and roll.
Many things have changed over the last four years. But this wheel is still a winner.