IWONDER took the esk8 community by storm when they dropped their “cloud wheels”. However, after news of cracked cores began to spread like wildfire, Iwonder quickly went back to work to redesign the wheel (I know, I know lol). Have they done it and can they get back on the board from a publicity disaster? Let’s take a look.
Check out the Cloudwheel Discovery on IWONDER’s Website.
The cloud wheels bridged the gap between all terrain tires and standard urethane wheels. They are that middle ground for both comfort and range as hey absorb quite a bit of road vibration and allow you to ride in very bad and damaged roads and even light dirt trails due to their unique thread pattern, however because of a narrow contact patch the grip is not as good as a urethane wheel on smooth roads, so keep this in mind.
So what’s changed:
Well they’ve given us the D!,ehmm… D for “discovery” that is. The reimagined wheel is now called the 120D and the 105D. The number stands for the diameter in millimeters and the D stands for discovery.
When news that center cores were cracking and some riders going down as a result, the community showed no mercy against IWONDER, their social media was quickly filled with horror stories and photos rightfully so, the message that came across to me was “we love your wheels however we don’t feel safe with your product, please address that immediately”. So let’s take a look at how they have responded and what’s changed
- All new core design with much thicker spokes (ABEC pulleys no longer fit)
- Different core material
- Cores are now clear
Iwonder will recommend you use nothing but their now released “kit” which includes all necessary hardware. I ordered the EVOLVE set that included: ( it’s worth mentioning now that your ABEC style press on pulleys will NOT fit, neither will your ownboard and various other pulleys for the previous Cloud wheels)
- 2x drive belts
- 2x belt covers
- 4x Icloud wheels
- complete set of bearings with spacers
- 2x drive gear pulleys with bearings
The Kit is currently offered for various belt driven boards such as Ownboard, Evolve, Exway, Backfire, and Booster boards as well as some hub driven boards, please confirm your board is one of those. I have fitted the Evolve kit to Evolve clone boards such as verreal, and ownboard without any issues.
Hub motors users have been holding out for an answer to their wheel limitations for years now. We currently dont have many or any choices for hub motor boards, IWONDER has heard their plea for help and has made 2 adapters that fit a wide range of boards, they have adapters for 5 bold and 6 bolt hub motors, if you are wondering what that means simply take a look at your board and count the screws on the motor holding the outer plate and visit the Iwonder web site to confirm the wheels will fit your board before you buy.
Accelerating and Braking
This question comes up often when mentioning wheels, for this we have to dive deeper into some of the mechanical engineering at play. First we must understand the wheels themselves are not the cause your accelerating, hill climb or braking is thrown off. This is a result of gearing that is either changed due to the diameter of the wheels or the main gears being used. One example I will use is if we take an Evolve kit which comes with a 40 tooth pulley gear that was designed to be used with an evolve board which has 150kv motors and a motor gear of 15 tooth, we end up with a final ratio that gives me a top speed of 25 mph, however once that same kit was installed on a Verreal RS the top speed was 28 mph and for this reason the kit designated for the ownboard is 44 teeth vs 40 teeth for the evolve, when using the 44t the top speed would also be 25 mph. If you were to use a taller gearing to give you a higher top speed you would also lose some acceleration or torque feel and your braking will also feel less responsive. In contrast, if we were to use a lower gearing, our top speed will be decreased however torque will rise and braking will be more responsive. For this reason they have paired their gearing in the kits to be on the efficient range for the boards they are intended for.
I would like to see them produce direct drive adapters for people with boards such as an ONSRA direct drive which I dont believe are able to use this new discovery wheel at the moment.
On the road:
I wanted to push the wheels to their limit so I geared up (safety first) and installed a board fitted with a 10s5p 17.5AH custom battery by yours truly to really give these a workout, I’m no light rider either at 215lbs. First ride impression? I’ve missed these wheels ! they felt every good a bit as the originals, nothing has changed there. But can I trust them with my life now?.
I rode for a total of 28 miles that day, and the next 3 days I would put them through a test of the roughest roads I could find, so much so that eventually I couldn’t avoid a large 3-4 inch ledge and bailed out last second, the board hit the curb dead on with my right front wheel.
Walking back to collect the board I had a feeling this would end my testing, this is not considered normal use in my book so I was prepared to see some damage, nothing apparent, surely we might see a crack? NOPE, nada, nothing! This was it, this is where I felt that peace of mind that has eroded away watching story after story hitting the group pages. It was now restored.
The final word
As of time of writing this I have logged over 200 miles on them, I just now wiped each down, and happy to report there are NO cracks on any wheel including the one I smacked into a curb. I feel confident riding these wheels as I SHOULD. I will continue to push them over the next coming months. As of now, I think they accomplished what their goal was, this comment holds as true for IWONDER as it does for the criticism of the community. The “Discovery” wheel is here to stay.
Check out the Cloudwheel Discovery on IWONDER’s Website.