Review: Blood Orange Morgan Pro wheels
Everyone knows Liam Morgan for his big, fast, and long stand-up slides on a longboard. That’s why I was very excited to try out one set of his new pro model wheels by Blood Orange. The Liam Morgan Pro wheel comes in three sizes (60mm, 65mm, and 70mm) and they are all 82a durometer. Each wheel has a different contact patch and offset bearing placement, so you can tell that a lot of thought has gone into the specifics of the wheel design. The wheel I tested and reviewed from the Liam Morgan Pro Series was the 65mm version. Even though this is the first gear review I’ve ever done, this wheel is the best wheel I’ve ever reviewed.
Seriously, I have tried many freeride wheels in my day and in my experience these perform very well considering factors such as quality, performance, style, and value. For value, this wheel seems to be priced right, at about 50 bones. Some cheaper wheels are out there, but these wheels perform so well that it’s worth the few extra bucks.
It’s usually pretty satisfying putting on new wheels. This wheel wasn’t as fun though and hurt my pretty artist hands. The core of this wheel seems as hard as a standard 101a street skateboarding wheel. It was tough to get the wheels on the bearings but you know they are gonna stay snug.
The 82a formula that Blood Orange uses for this wheel is so buttery and consistent. My first slide was grippier than I expected with the stone ground finish, but after a few more I was sliding smoothly. Not only does it feel nice, but it sounds nice too. The 65mm size was cool for me cause I like to do grinds on my longboard. The 60mm would be even better for grinds, but the 65mm worked just fine. The 65 has the most narrow contact patch and the widest bearing offset of the three sets, which allows for a stable, high-speed ride and a smooth slide. The lips of the wheels are square-ish for grip, yet rounded for smooth slides.
Once I got the wheels warmed up, I took them to the local hairpins we call Switchbacks in Portland. With not much sliding needed for the road, they were surprisingly grippy through the corners when I needed them to be. After that, I just needed to hit a steep smooth, hill so I could test out some longer slides. My slides were long and smooth and I felt like a pro. My new Skate[Slate] intern Nathan Harris was along with me and shot these photos of me skating (a rare moment).
Here’s the video made at the same time as the photo above:
(Rap music in the background) I wanted to stick some thane in the frame, so I had my main mane click a pic while I was slayin’:
Next I played around with a sidewalk handicap ramp. Note: One thing about leaving urethane lines is that people can tell how many times you tried something.
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These Morgan Pro wheels leave ‘thane like crazy, yet they don’t seem to wear very quickly at first. I skated three different sessions and it was only after the third one when I slid the most that I had to rotate my wheels for even wear. The urethane shreds off the wheel pretty evenly if your slides are drawn out and in a constant turn. After some long slides, this is a common sight:
I would recommend these wheels for anyone who is obsessed with leaving ‘thane lines. You can know how long your slide was without having your friend there recording it. In addition, these wheels are for anyone who loves to freeride and hybrid ride, while still going a little faster and gripping some corners. I imagine that if you are on the heavier side, these wheels may be a bit icy but really I wouldn’t know. They aren’t a race wheel and won’t grip super fast sweepers but they’re predictable and therefor safe when used properly.
- Smooth break-in
- White, chalky urethane lines
- Consistent slide and hook-up
- Not a stealthy wheel
- Difficult to mount