Rollerblade office caster wheels – buyer beware!

We purchased a set of Rollerblade office caster wheels.

We picked up a set of these office caster wheels that essentially have Rollerblade wheels on the bottom of them. Why do you ask? Initially, we wanted skateboard wheels for the bottom of our chairs to maintain the aesthetic however those didn’t exist. Rollerblade wheels were the next best thing. Since Rollerblade wheels have a low Shore A rating of around 75A it meant that the polyurethane is soft and thus will not make any noise on hardwood floors. In less than a month of having these, I ran into some problems! The story begins now!

Read on if you want to know more!

Online reviews.

Cannot submit review to amazon. For some reason, we can’t post a review on any of the major online outlets unless we give them money to become a “special member” or spend a few hundred dollars. We’re going to perform the review right here because that’s what a blog does. On top of that since my review will have its own dedicated page it won’t be buried underneath a tidal wave of fake reviews which is the great scam that amazon sellers tend to do even if a product is defective. The picture above is essentially the package that we got in the mail. The “Texas Real Rollers” with its lifetime warranty. It all looks official except there is one problem that we found out after one of our wheels broke.

There is no such company as “Texas Real Rollers!”

Go ahead and slam that name into your favorite search engine! Use quotes even! There is no such company by the name of “Texas Real Rollers”. In fact, the first hits you’ll find is yet-even more Amazon links. Which if you follow those you begin to realize that suddenly there’s a bunch of other companies that appear to make the same identical office chair! Ooof! Competition must be stiff out there. Here are some of the names and aliases we were able to find for these casters at the time of posting. Please note that so long as it’s easy to print in cardboard there will be “New Companies” popping up all the time.:

  • Texas real rollers
  • Office owl
  • Office addiction
  • Airkoul
  • Clever casters
  • SunnieDog – According to some of the commenters, this is a legit American business out of Flordia. However, it seems that they are re-packaging a Chinese product under their name. Naughty!
  • Seddox
  • MVPower
  • Cusfull
  • 44th floor
  • AGPtEK
  • Optico
  • Slipstick
  • MySit IKEA Chair (Seriously think IKEA should sue them for using their name.)
  • OuYi Office Chair
  • Splaker
  • DGQ Office Chair
  • ATOMDOC
  • Amzdeal
  • The Office Oasis
  • ALLGREEN Products (This is probably the most insulting name out of them all.)

Sadly, none of these companies are real despite the boxes and the claims of a lifetime warranty. Because you see, a lifetime warranty can only be upheld if the company which made you the product was alive to even start with. These are all fraudulent Chinese companies etching different names and different graphic boxes for the same product to give this grand illusion of competition. Only to turn around and sell it at a higher price-point in this bizarre state of a completely false competitive market. We’re not even sure if there was an original company that came up with the Rollerblade office chair caster. If there was feel free to leave it in the comments below!

The problem with the Rollerblade office wheel.

Office Rollerblade caster stem broke off. When we first installed these new casters onto our chair less than a month ago they were perfectly fine. However, because the wheel-base of a Rollerblade was a little thinner when you pushed away from your office desk. Sometimes it may have needed a little more force than a normal caster because the wheels would sort of lock themselves in a particular direction. It just meant you had to push a little harder away from the desk, not a big deal.

Two broke in less than a month’s time on carpeted flooring.

Rollerblade office chair caster failer. After day 24 not one of them broke but two. The failure point being around the thrust bearing assembly. Also, because the people that assembled these casters were pure assholes. The bolts which hold the polyurethane wheels are riveted into the frame. Preventing you from removing the wheel and into another fork unless you bust out the carbide rotary tool set to cut the bolts away. People have also complained about the forks themselves bending from fatigue and slamming into the polyurethane wheel making a particular wheel act like a sudden break as you’re rolling. However we never even got to that stage of displeasure in the life of these office caster wheels.

A mess and a disgrace.

Rollerblade office chair caster thrust bearing failure. So here we are with the metal sheered away from the thrust bearing spilling out all over your carpeted floor for your cat “Skittles” to run over. Eating them up and probably die from. Maybe even to have one of those lucky bearings get all up into your vacuum cleaner and destroy everything inside! 

We should also note that this isn’t even a properly designed thrust bearing! These clueless assholes which manufactured this decided they were going to powder-coat paint all over the raceways and say to hell with mechanical tolerance. You’ll notice the groves where the bearings ride alone are rough because it’s not the right metal to use for a proper raceway. The balls were simply eating away the paint and eventually the inside metal before having enough slop inside to break free spilling everywhere!

The fraud about weight distribution.

You will see a lot of these ads saying that these office casters can hold up to 500-600lbs before breaking. Well, we’re less than half of that weight and we’re here to report that calculation must be based only on the Rollerblade wheel or perhaps if said person was sitting perfectly still not rolling around at all. These are the products we despise. A product that you cannot service or get parts for. Ultimately forcing the end-user to buy even more. until the customer has bought mountains of garbage which cannot be fixed with conventional tools. Essentially, China boasted their numbers similar to how they boasted their DDR Hard-pads.

Alternatives for a better rollerblade office wheel.

This wouldn’t be a respectable blog site if we didn’t offer any solutions for the hellish landscape of this product. Since we purchased these from an eBay vendor we will be getting a refund back on these. Thankfully it was all under 30 days so no drama from the vendor. Will we go back to the shit plastic office casters? Probably not! And here is why.

From an engineering standpoint, it all makes sense.

uniq rollerwheel office caster. Because there is one company out there which decided to use a dual-ball-bearing (looks like 608 series bearings) set up within the stem of their casters to accept both radial (when a user forces the office chair load from the sides pushing away from their desk.) As well as thrust (when a user sits down in the chair.) To me, this makes sense, especially on carpets. Although ball-bearings are just Okay at handling thrust loads they are great are handling radial loads. Since the wheel is offset that means the bearing is accepting both thrust and radial loads. Like a skateboard; Putting two bearings in can compensate and distribute any thrust load easily enough. These were a little more expensive than the Texas Rollers we purchased. But we’re hoping that we get what we are paying for on this!

Customer reviews – Networking 101.

uniq rollerblade wheel caster box and postcard. Like the last set we got, it came with a box. But also a postcard that each header reads as follows:

We want you to be completely satisfied. Reviews are the LIFEBLOOD of our business! – UNIQ

Coming from a company where the box points to a website of www.uniqca.shop and a postcard referencing uniq.hk… Both of which resolve to a default website. We would like to think the lifeblood of a business is to actually have a legit website where people can get more information about your product. I’m no power-hungry Hong Kong business executive so we could be dead wrong on this! Anyways, it’s a little hard to give glowing reviews when there’s nothing to really refer to.

Confirmation that the stems in these wheel casters are indeed ball-bearing based.

uniq bearing confirmation. Once we got the wheels in our mailbox we inspected them and sure enough, that is a legit ball-bearing in the stem of my caster. Excellent.

Plastic covers popping off in less than 24 hours.

plastic caps falling out of the wheels instantly. Within seconds of installing my wheels and rolling into the room. I was finding these plastic caps all over the place. Great, another thing for my wonder-cat “Tabby” to die from. No need to ask what happened to “Skiddles” . He’s in a better place. Also, these are great choking hazards for babies. So thanks for killing children around the world rando Hong Kong company! You guys are amazing! Another word to note Manufacturers. If you really wanted to be “revolutionary” you would make your casters repairable. So we can just order the forks and save the planet from all of the polyurethane wheels your making.

I guess fuck the planet, fuck your cat, and fuck your kids! It’s better just to take a screwdriver and pop them all off to avoid any further mess. These new sets of wheels differ vastly from the Texas Rollers in respects that since the stem is perfectly straight I’m not using any force to push away from my desk anymore which is fantastic.

Wooden chair sockets versus steel sockets.

Many office chairs that you have seen on the market are typically loaded with steel sockets encased in a plastic leg housing. But it wasn’t always this way. Older office chairs especially coming from the 1970s and earlier may have a wooden socket which all that means is they drilled a hole into the wooden leg. Inserted the caster with no reinforcement! All Rollerblade caster wheels actually have a much higher load offset than the wheels from the 1970s. As a result, these styles of wheels could crack the wooden socket from the torque and you may have to retrofit your wooden chair with a steel socket in order to use these styles of wheels.

Stem measurements.

Different Stem Sizes Matter.

While some may consider this a bizarre question to ask. China has never failed us when it comes to failing to measure the most basic structural parts of a chair in the interest of shaving a half-a-penny off of a product. And the size of the stems for the wheels is an important factor. If for some reason china reduced the overall diameter of the stem or worse yet shorted you the consumer on the length of the stem. Damage could occur to the base of your chair as a result. So if you want to trust our Mitutoyo CD-6″-CSX calipers lets take a look.

Grip ring stem diameter

Alright, the average size hole of an office chair base is around 11mm in size.. the base will of course measure slightly smaller to accommodate the user pushing it into the base of their chair. Like our previous office chair stems this is a “Grip Ring” stem which what that means is there’s a section in the middle where a C-Clipped ring floats inside to lock the caster inside of the base of the chair.

Our Measurements indicate the stem is 10.87mm Which means that it gives less than 0.1mm of play to push this caster in which is acceptable.

Measuring the stem of the caster wheel from base to tip.

Measuring the stem from its base where the metal resides to the tip which has a 2mm taper you’re looking at around 21.85mm. This normally isn’t how people measure these. Most will measure from the base of the roller bearing plastic on up. So in this regard, the Uniq gives you a true stem, unlike most manufacturers which lie by adding the metal base into the total measurement.

Grip stem ring width.

Finally, we measured the spacing which can be important as if the space is too wide the ringlet may fall off or not even lock into the base. To which we found it at 2.35mm. which average is 2.5.

This just means the c-clamp ring will not wiggle around as much as a traditional caster. and may produce some stiffness if you moved it around by the head itself. However, with the ball-bearings in place that shouldn’t matter.

A new contender has appeared 07/27/2019

Stealtho Roller Wheel Chair.

I’d like to thank one of our readers “Ron J” for both correcting some of our terminology on bearings and also pointing to us a new product that went through kick starter and also unlike Uniq actually has a website and support. My heart almost stopped when I had seen they actually had legit support.

Unlike Uniq, nor Stealtho’s site or their Amazon Store does not really go into a nice breakdown of what sets their chair apart from the Chinese knockoffs. Except that we do hope they don’t powder coat paint the inner rails of their thruster bearing raceways like what we experienced from Texas Rollers.

We don’t hate thruster bearings as that style of bearing is actually designed for chairs. As in their very name, They are excellent at “thrust” loads. That is you sitting down in your chair. However, they are only “Okay” at radial loads (I.E. you moving around your office or carpet with them.

Now Stealtho’s do have one thing going for them that my Uniq’s do not. Which is the break mechanism? On a heavy carpeted floor breaks don’t matter. But if you get roller wheels on floors like wood or concrete you don’t want your chair flying all over the place as you work! Unless you’re a psycho like us and wish we could remove the truck/connecting rod and install some Swiss Bones ceramics loaded with Tri-flow because we want to fly across a 90×90 foot warehouse in one push.

Speaking of. There’s no indication if these casters connecting rod or “Truck” are riveted like the Uniq’s. ABEC 9 bearings are awesome but from all of the dust and debris in a building, they’ll get gummed up and will need servicing over the course of many years. We think of things like this because casters are one of those components you can transfer from chair to chair and should last for 25-30 years easily. Long term usage is what being environmentally friendly is all about.

Final thoughts.

This will probably not be the end of this blog and will update it if anything changes. However, I would like to propose an open letter:

Dear Chinese manufacturers,

If you’re going to commit theft of intellectual property. At least do it right and have it last for at least a few months. There is a market for a better office chair wheel. Can we please not fuck it up for everyone? How about starting with assembling a proper thrust bearing instead of smashing two pieces of low-grade steel with a few balls telling us this is your definition of “High Quality?” When you do make said quality product actually release a REAL company name that everyone knows is legit and will buy even more of. People will pay more for a quality product. There’s plenty of offices around the world who would like better wheels so you aren’t going to run out of customers anytime soon.

Dear American manufacturers,

What are you doing?!?!? people are paying good money for these sets of wheels and you are nowhere to be found! This is an opportunity to get in the door and state that you are the official Rollerblade caster company. Since obviously no one wants to lay claim to that title.

Six Month Update:

As of 02/10/2019 – The Uniq wheels are still going strong and keeping our fat asses from hitting the ground! Still zero play in the bearings and no warp in the forks of the wheels. So to those ends, we consider it a “Mission Success.” Uniq’s are more expensive than any of the alternatives. But worth it.  

As of 07/25/2019 – The Uniq wheels are still going and behaving just as when I installed them. Although the chair itself is disintegrating after 7 years of service and will be purchasing a new chair soon. I’ll be sure to pop off the Uniq’s and transfer them over to my new chair when they arrive.

That’s what server said.

 

+++END OF LINE.

13 thoughts on “Rollerblade office caster wheels – buyer beware!

  1. I hope this reaches you. First of all, all or at leas tomato of the the times you used the the word “then”, you should have been using the the word “than”. It made the article somewhat confusing and thereby, harder to read. But good grammar aside, I found you assessment informative, enlightening and more honest than all of the drivel I’ve found doing my research for GOOD office chair caster. I’ve been researching casters for at least a week and your blog confirmed what I had come to believe. Most of the rollerblade wheels are crap manufactured in China. In the case of at least one re-seller, SunnieDog, there really is an actual business with a website. It is operated by a women in Maine, USA. HOWEVER, her business does not manufacture the wheel. That product is, I believe, also manufactured in China. I base that in the IDENTICAL appearance of SunnieDog’s wheel to virtually any other rollerblade type wheel.
    I had also been looking into STEALTHO. They do have an actual website also. But they also seem to have the same ties with Chinese manufacturers that make the crap wheels. Reviews one other websites as well as their KickStarter page describes the same type of design flaws and product failures as the other wheels. Their response to this is swift replay to their customers through their website. Kudos to them for standing behind their product and for taking responsibility for their product failure. I have just started doing the research of UNIQ. It looks to me like their design is sturdier and better quality. But it disturbs me that I may not be able to reach out to them should anything happen as a result of product failure. So thank you for the honest critique.

    • First, apologies for the grammar. You’re right, I need to be better! I have went through and corrected then/than issues :)

      Also I would like to thank you for checking out this blog and for your response. Didn’t know that about SunnieDog. If they can show me their wheels do not explode like the countless others from China. I would be happy to revise the article accordingly. I have currently bought three sets of UNIQ wheels for friends and family and so far not a single problem. The current set on my chair is now a year old and outside minor wear on the rollerblade wheel and some debris i had to clean out of the axle they are still rolling as if I bought them yesterday.

  2. Great site … thanks for the detailed, engineering-oriented critique of the Rollerblade-style task chair casters that you’ve had experience with. Like you, I find it frustrating that 99.9% of all products made these days are just generic knock-offs of an established design made with cheap materials and little to no quality control. Today, as I was trying to find Rollerblade-style casters to replace the shit ones on my office chair, I was only able to come across two products which differentiated themselves via design improvements and the use of higher-quality materials & components from all of the crap being sold on Amazon and elsewhere. Uniq’s was one of them and Stealtho was the other, and it was while researching both of these products further that I came across your site. Anyway, I ended up purchasing Stealtho’s wheels largely due to the huge difference in customer service (Stealtho’s appears to be world-class, Uniq’s appears to be “Fuck you, you bought our product now deal with it!”). I also liked Stealtho’s use of ABEC-9 ball bearings in the wheels, although I wish their thrust ball bearings were fully sealed like the ones Uniq uses (at least they incorporate a cage, which I’m hoping will prevent them from failing like what happened to your original set of wheels … we’ll see!). BTW, not to be a dick or anything, but your reference to the bearings used in Uniq’s wheels as being “roller-bearings” is incorrect; they are ball bearings since they incorporate a ball as the anti-friction rolling element, and not a cylindrical roller as with roller bearings. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know about Stealtho’s wheels in case you ever start having problems with the Uniq wheels (I hope not!). I’ll try to remember to give you an update on the Stealtho wheels in about 6 months, but if they turn out to be shit, I’ll definitely let you know immediately via another comment here because I rarely make product recommendations, and when I do, I want to make damn sure people can rely upon them. Thanks again for alll of the great info!

    – Ron

    • Hello Ron,

      First. Thanks for visiting my blog. Also thank you for correcting me on my usage of roller bearings over ball bearings. That was a total oversight on my behalf and I thank you for pointing that out to me!

      Also you’re totally right about Uniq’s customer service (or lack there of) , at least Stealtho actually has a working website unlike Uniq so I do have to give credit where it is due. I don’t have a problem with thrust bearings on office wheels so long as they are engineered correctly. These chinese knock-offs powdercoat paint the inner rails which tolerance is lost within days when the paint grinds away. Bearings pop all over the place.

      The only last piece if criticism I will give both Uniq and Stealtho is I wish they both would stop riveting the truck or connecting rod into their casters and just use a lockable bolt in order to make both the roller wheel and bearing serviceable. ABEC 9 is sweet and all (and in fact better then Uniq which I think they’re sealed ABEC3 608z’s. But what if I wanted to put in a set of Swiss Bones loaded with tri-flow? Overkill perhaps. but hey, when you need to roll across your office floor getting that extra 5 feet of drift is important! :D

      I shall update this blog and point to the Stealtho site as a possible solution for people since their net-presence actually seems legit with having a kickstarter and even their own website. Way better then just an Amazon store front.

      And please leave additional comments of how your casters are doing. I’d love to hear it. I may just purchase a set of Stealtho’s to give to some of the people at work.

  3. Hello

    can you please tell me length and diameter of a shaft in millimeters

    i want to buy these “Uniq” wheels and where ever i find them for purchase Amazon/eBay and some other sites these measurements are missing

    Thank you

    • Hello,

      Thanks for checking out my blog.

      I took off a chair wheel and measured the diameter with my calipers . Then, took a picture and updated the article. In case you were curious the stem diameter is 10.87mm .

      Hope that helps out!

  4. Well, I just installed my set of UNIQ Caster wheels for my Herman Miller Aeron Chair. Oddly, there is only a WEBSITE ON THE BOX NOT THE Card inside. They seem to glide ok for now. I had the other metal ones and they were all FALSELY advertised and were crap. Suddenly noticed small ball bearings all over. These are a step above, however, I agree with you… C’mon American manufacturers! There has to be a profit here. Solid bearings would be ideal and no “swaged” stem… bolt it in so I can just replace the bolt eventually… much like how some “walker wheels” are made. Yes, I don’t like the other conventional casters because these “rollerblade” types roll much easier. I will buy the 1st Made in USA ones if designed well. Thank you for this blog… very helpful. I will keep you posted as to the life of these UNIQ ones. Cheers!

    • Thank you very much for checking out this blog. I am happy to report that i’m going on 9 months now since the creation of this article and with heavy shag carpet flooring the wheels are still rolling strong. I have a feeling that the plastic legs on my chair will snap long before the UNIQ casters will give out. lol!

  5. Just wanted to give another update.

    I found an email “satisfactionteam@opttico.com” for support of the broken casters.

    They were very helpful and nice, and immediately refunded the $$$ spent without me having to return them.

    I forwarded this blog post about the issues you had, which are the same issues I had (except for me it was hardwood floors).

    I hope they get their product straight, because their customer service was spot on and helpful.

    Thanks again for this post and your suggestion.

  6. I got the Opttico Office Glider casters 2 months ago and now the bearings are leaking out all over the place.

    Trying to find the website for the “lifetime guarantee” has been futile, brought me here tho.

    Thank you for posting this info. I will have to check out those “Uniq” wheels, hopefully I can get a refund from Amazon on the Opttico ones.

    • Well, we’re glad this site helped out a little. Just to give you an update the “Uniq” roller-bearing caster wheels are still going strong on my heavy carpet 5 months after initial purchase. And the carpet is not getting destroyed like what plastic rollers do. I bought 4 more sets for my gaming buddies and outside of the little plastic caps on the side that likes to pop off which is purely cosmetic they’ve been solid.

      Generally Amazon is rather good about returns. In the event they won’t accept it. Be sure and write a review. Amazon sellers ‘love’ reviews. ;)

  7. We bought these wheels from Amazon a few months ago, they were fine at first now after using for a while they are so loose they go too easley that the chair goes from under you and afraid to sit back down. Need to purchase another to replace them

    • Well, try not to purchase ones exactly like what you got. I’d go for the “Uniq” brand or any caster system which has standard issue roller-bearings in the stem. I’ve been rocking those now since late august on heavy carpet flooring and the stems are incredibly stable on them. Granted they seem to be ABEC5’s which means you may not win any office chair races with them. But they’ve saved my flooring AND carpet. :)

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