Wheel Review: Deville Bombers[wptouch target=”mobile”]
The Deville Bomber wheels are advertised at 70mm in a 78a tech slide formula urethane said to be guaranteed against flat spots. Like most slide wheels these days, they are precision cut and come with a stone ground finish. The core is offset and, from my measurements, the contact patch is around 42mm.
Looking over that first paragraph, these wheels have the makings for a solid freeride wheel for those of you who love to slide. For me, the 70mm is a perfect medium as far as size goes. It works without any problems on drop through decks and you can normally run it on topmounts without much complaint (I had them on my Earthwing Hightailer and only got wheel bite once because I ride such a loose setup). The offset core makes it so the wheels break into a slide easily and the thin contact patch makes it so that you have control during the slide without shedding too much speed. And finally, the stone ground finish means there is no break-in time so these wheels slide great right out of the box.
Let’s talk about the ride for a bit. These wheels have what I would call a smooth, chalky feel to them. Their break out point was pretty inconspicuous, which took some getting used to. The point at which my wheels started going sideways was hard to distinguish from when they were going straight. I guess that’s just how smooth the slide was. The hook up, on the other hand was great. This was because I was able to control the wheels so well while I was sideways. Another plus is that there was virtually no chatter and very little noise in the slide.
The Bombers never iced out on me, which was great. Even while I was charging to hold out a long toeside (which can be a bit of a worry on some wheels for me), I always felt like I had a good amount of control over the wheel. They don’t have a ton of grip; these wheels are meant for going sideways! At higher speeds, it felt like they were either going straight or sliding. They ride like a slide wheel should, in my opinion. After all, what good is a super icy wheel that’ll slide for days if you can’t control them? And I’m not saying these wheels don’t slide for days. Believe me, they do.
Next up is wheel wear, a topic very pertinent those who like to use and abuse their wheels. As I said before, these wheels are guaranteed against flat spots. Well, so far, I would have to say that’s a fair claim. After putting in some solid hours on these wheels and even trying to flat spot them, they are staying pretty circular over all. Not even a bit ovalized yet. One thing I did notice, however, is that I started to see some slight coning (2-3mm difference from the inside of the wheel to the outside) after the first hour or so of sliding. The picture of the wheel below is after about 2-3 hours of skating hard. This isn’t too much of a surprise, though, since the wheels are offset and they leave nice fat white thane lines. That’s right! I was getting thane lines right out of the box on these guys (I wore off about 3-4mm of thane in a single session). This means there’s no disputing how far you actually slid; it’s a good way to see your progress as you tweak your form or speed approaching a slide. So yeah, they wear kind of fast, but they slide sooo nicely.
￼One minor complaint I had is that the wheels were advertised at 70mm, but when I measured mine, both with calipers and a ruler, they were around 68mm. I suppose it’s possible I just got an odd pair. It doesn’t matter too much to me, especially since I love the way they ride, but it would be nice if the measurements were consistent.
And so, the Deville Bombers are pretty much my ideal slide wheel. Yes, they wear fast, but what wheel doesn’t when you’re throwing them sideways against the pavement. They wear consistently and stay circular, which can be a huge problem for some other softer slide wheels. Yes, they cone, but you can always flip them (even though they’re offset) and wear them the other way if it bugs you that much. I feel like these are the kind of wheels that you can ride all the way to the core without them getting too messed up in the process. Another big plus on these wheels is the cost. They’re only $28 dollars on some websites! That’s a killer deal in my opinion. Awesome job, Deville, for making an awesome slide wheel at a super affordable price. I’m even considering picking up a few more sets of these.