Bones X97 Wheels

Bones X97 Wheels Review: Testing the X-Formula’s Grip, Speed & Durability

This is my review of the Bones X Formula X97 skate wheels. I’ve been skating these wheels for the last four weeks. Here is what they felt like to skate, where they shined, and where they fell short.

Pros

  1. Incredibly fast on smooth surfaces and skateparks
  2. Durable /No flat spots
  3. Slide well for ledge tricks
  4. Lightweight

Cons

  1. They felt overly hard and offered virtually no shock absorption
  2. They are on the expensive side

Why Did I Buy the X97 Wheels?

I loved the Powell Peralta Dragon Formula Wheels and wanted to try something similar yet more suited to skate my local concrete park. Bones advertised these as having the same benefits as Dragons, so I figured I would like them, too.

Where Can You Buy the Bones X-Formula Wheels

You can get these wheels on Amazon or at the Tactics Skateshop.

Bones X97

Price: $40 – $48

Sizes Available: These wheels come in the following diameters:

52mm,53mm, 54mm, 55mm, 56mm, 58mm, and 60mm

They also come in three shapes, the V1, V5, or V6, which gives these wheels a width range between 30mm to 36mm.

Three shapes bones x97 comes in

You can learn more about the different Bones Wheel shapes and their dimensions here.

Size I Skated for this Review: I skated the 52mm V5 Sidecut shape.

My wheels were 52mm high by 30mm wide with a 14.5mm contact patch.

Our Review Rating of the Bones X97 Skate Wheels

Overall Rating

Considerations Rating Out 5 Score Out of 100 Weight / Importance to Score
Speed 4.80 96 10
Shock Absorption 2.50 50 10
Durability 4.20 84 10
Grip 3.80 76 10
Rough Spots / All Terrain 3.50 70 10
Skatepark Skating 4.80 96 10
Street Skating 4.20 84 10
Ledge Tricks / Grinds 4.60 92 10
Powerslides 4.50 90 10
Overall Feel While Skating 3.80 76 10
Weighted Score 4.07 81.4 100

Editor’s Rating:  out of 5 stars 4.07 out of 5 stars

My Overall Experience With The X97 Wheels

When I first set these wheels up, they were noticeably fast. I nearly fell pushing because I wasn’t expecting them to be so quick, and my board rolled faster than my body weight. I quickly learned to adjust and loved how well these wheels performed at my local concrete park.

Bones x97 wheels skated after four weeks

On smooth concrete, these are some of the fastest wheels you can get.

The main challenge I had was that they seemed to feel harder the more I skated them. It’s probably an instance where the material on the outside of the wheel is softer, and the inner part of the wheel is made with a harder durometer.

Ultimately, I decided I was going to trade these wheels out after four weeks because they started to feel more like a 101a hard wheel than a 97a moderately soft wheel. They still slide well on features and are very fast. However, they just lacked any sort of dampness or shock absorption, so my feet would get tired from feeling every single vibration as I rode. That was disappointing because their shock absorption is one of the main benefits of why you would opt for these wheels. It’s one of the highlights Bones calls out in its ad for the X-formula.

Bones X97 Formula the call out for absorbs impact is circled

Unfortunately, they don’t absorb shock anywhere near as well as the 93a dragon wells do. To be honest, they actually absorb less shock than my Spitfire 99d Formula Four wheels. I found this to be disappointing because it’s one of the main highlights that Bones advertises for these wheels.

In terms of being an all-terrain wheel, they can technically ride over bumpy, rough terrain, but you’ll feel every single bump, which makes you never want to. So, instead, these wheels are best kept skating on smooth ground.

Now that I know, I’ll just got a second set of Dragon Formula wheels. Those wheels fit the highlights of the X-formula ad better.

So the takeaway is that while the Bones x97 wheels say they are a softer 97 durometer with a description that sounds like Bones’ version of Powell Peralta’s Dragon Formula. However, they are not similar feeling wheels. The Bones X-Formula is a noticeably harder wheel that lacks the dampness of the Dragon Formula wheels.

Performance Metrics

For this section, I am going to measure the Bones X Formula wheels across a few categories, such as durability, grip, and smoothness. The data from these categories will help you understand how these wheels measure up and if they’ll be the right wheel formula for you.

Bones X97 Wheels review

Speed

The X Formula 97a wheels earned a 4.8 out of 5 in the Speed category.

These are some of the fastest wheels that I’ve ridden for skating on smooth surfaces. They are advertised as an all terrain wheel. However, they aren’t as capable of cruising over cobblestone or rougher terrain as the Dragon wheels, so it isn’t faster outside of the park. It’s at its fastest when the ground is perfectly smooth.

Durability

The X Formula 97a wheels also earned a 4.2 out of 5 in the durability category.

After four weeks of skating, these wheels had no major durability defects that affected the way they skated. They have no flat spots, and the shape of the wheel lasts longer than the Dragon wheels, which started to round off on the side that pointed away from my truck’s axle at around the same time.

I am noting there is one straight line scratch running through the width of my wheel. I saw something similar with the Dragon Wheels. This scratch is from a burr on a rail that I tailslide across. The burr was sharp enough to scratch my wheel.

scratch in an bones x97 wheel

This scratch is not noticeable while I skate. I am just noting it here to say that if you skate features that have sharp flaws, you might wear these wheels out faster than normal because the surface of the wheel feels like a softer material that can get scraped or gouged off.

Speed (The highlight of these wheels)

This is the highlight of the Bones x97 wheels. They’re exceptionally fast for skating at my local concrete park.

I scored the X97 wheels a 4.8 out of 5 in the speed category.

These wheels are exceptionally fast on smooth ground and moderately fast on smoother asphalt for street skating, too. Through the four weeks I skated them, they didn’t lose their speed.

Shock Absorption / Smoothness (Where these wheels fell short.)

This section was where I was disappointed in the Bones X97 wheels.

They earned a 2.5 out of a 5 in the shock absorption / smooth riding category.

These wheels mention very similar benefits to the Powell Dragon Wheels.

Benefits of X97 Wheels

I was expecting these wheels to have the smoothness and dampening properties similar to the 93a Dragon formula wheels, just in a slightly firmer durometer. However, they don’t.

The Bones X97 wheels are a very different feeling wheel than the Powell 93a Dragon Formula wheels. The X97 wheels do not offer anywhere near as smooth of a ride as the Dragon Formula wheels. Skating with the X97 wheels, I felt every bump or crack that I rode over. It made skating at some spots more difficult than it usually is for me because my feet would get tired faster from feeling all of the vibrations. This is ultimately the reason I decided to go back to my Dragon Wheels instead.

Grip

The X Formula 97a wheels earned a 3.9 out of 5 in the grip category.

To me, these wheels don’t have the level of grip you would expect from a softer wheel that’s under a 99 durometer. They actually felt more like a harder wheel than a soft, grippy wheel.

However, there is a benefit to this. If you do a lot of ledge tricks, you’ll want a wheel that allows you to slide across the rail or ledge. These wheels are better for that style of skating over being a grippy, cruisy, sort of soft wheel.

With that said, these offered enough grip to skate a concrete park and felt a bit better on the asphalt at street spots.

Comparison: The Bones X97 vs. Powell Dragon vs. Spitfire Formula Four Wheels

The chart below compares the Bones X Formula X97 wheels with the 93a Powell Peralta Dragon Formula Wheels and the 99d Spitfire Formula Four wheels.

Bones X-Formula X97 Wheels Powell Dragon Formula 93a Spitfire Formula Four 99d
Pros Speed on smooth surfaces, Slides on rails and ledges All-terrain soft wheel, Slides on ledges, Grippy, Smooth ride Popular street/park formula, Prevents flatspots
Cons Not smooth, Feels every bump Not the fastest (soft) Not the fastest, Not for rough spots
Park Skating Great (5/5) Decent (4.2/5) Decent (4.4/5)
Street Skating Decent (4.8/5) Great (4.9/5) Good (4.8/5)
Powerslide Yes, easily Yes, easily Yes, easily
Ledge Tricks Yes Yes Yes
Grippiness Moderate (4.0/5) Maximum (4.8/5) Moderate (4.8/5)
Flat Spots Prevents flat spots Prevents flat spots Prevents flat spots
Smoothness Weak (3.1/5) Very smooth (4.8/5) Moderate (4.2/5)
Speed Fast (5/5) Moderate (4.6/5) Moderate (4.6/5)

The Main Benefit of the X97 Wheels

It’s an exceptionally fast wheel for riding at a skatepark that is resistant to getting flat spots and skating ledges.

The Main Drawback of the X97 Wheels

The main drawback is that you feel every single bump or crack. It just is not the smoothest feeling wheel. This makes you only want to skate it on smooth surfaces, which will defeat the point of needing to buy this formula for most of you.

So is the X-Formula Wheels Worth It?

In most cases, no. These wheels will not be worth it, and their competitors offer wheels that will do a better job for the type of skating you do most often. So instead of these, I’d recommend getting a harder 99d Spitfire Formula Four wheel for skating smooth ground or get the 93a Powell Dragon Formula wheels for skating rougher ground.

The one area where these wheels shined was in their speed while skating concrete parks. If you want a wheel that slides and rips parks exceptionally fast, then you will love the Bones X97 wheels. You just need to be aware that they don’t offer much in the way of shock absorption.

I was let down by these wheels because they were advertised as being all terrain wheels that absorb some shock. They weren’t for me, so I switched back to my Powell Dragon Formula wheels and we will keep it moving.

Where to Buy the Bones X-Formula Wheels

You can get the Bones X97 wheels on Amazon or at the Tactics Skateshop.

However, I’d really recommend you check out the Powell Dragon Formula wheels.

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