We just got in the first production parts off of the new tooling.
These wheels are a 40mm x 70mm solid rubber wheel, with an extruded aluminum hub. We even went to the extra expense of making a custom hub extrusion, with gear like teeth on it to better grip the rubber under the forces of kicking.
They start production by extruding long pieces of the hub material by squeezing aluminum through a die. The long pieces are then cut to 40mm lengths, and machined to the final size. Another mold that has the final shape of the wheel is then used to mold the rubber around the core.
By making a custom wheel mold, we were able to exactly control the shape of the side wall, and top of the wheel. These wheels have an almost vertical side wall and a flatter top than on some other wheels. Since they are going to be used in a classic only ski, not specifically intended as a combi ski, they will be more stable while you kick, without requiring the best skate feel all the time.
These wheels will be available in the same soft and medium hardnesses that the skate wheels are. By not using a very soft rear wheel, and relying more on the speed reducer, wheel life will be maximized.