Carowind's Intimador

Carowind's Intimador will be one of 24 contenders in "Insane Coaster Wars" on the Travel Channel. (Carowinds)

The new "Insane Coaster Wars" coming to the Travel Channel this summer lets viewers take a virtual ride on many of the best roller coasters in the United States right from the comfort of their living room couch.

PHOTOS: 24 rides competing in "Insane Coaster Wars"

Premiering at 9 p.m. on July 8, each themed half-hour episode will let viewers vote online for their favorite coasters in six categories: speed, height, G-forces, inversions, wooden coasters and suspended coasters. A one-hour finale on Aug. 12 will count down the top 10 overall vote getters.

Though most of the coasters in the series debuted in the last decade, several hail from the 1990s, with a few from the 1970s and '80s. More than half the featured rides rank among the top coasters in the world.

The documentary-style TV show will feature physics, engineering and coaster experts commenting on the rides while footage from point-of-view camera mounts and remote-control helicopter shots play on screen. Riders will wear vests that monitor heart rate and G-forces.

Theme Park Review's Robb Alvey will serve as the coaster expert for the show with commentary filmed at Cedar Point in Ohio.

"The list of coasters they ended up with certainly covers a lot of ground," Alvey said. "I don't think anybody would be disappointed walking away from this collection of rides."

Alvey has traveled to more than 400 theme parks around the world and ridden 1,486 coasters during tours set up through his Theme Park Review fan website.

Every "Coaster Wars" show will pit four rides against one another in a battle for supremacy in a particular category. The results of already-concluded online voting will be shown at the end of each episode.

Let's take a closer look at each of the six themed episodes:

"G-Force Giants" (July 8)

All the coasters in the first show come from Swiss-manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard, representing four distinct ride styles that each pull more than 4 Gs.

The showdown should be between a pair of Busch Gardens rides: SheiKra in Florida and Apollo's Chariot in Virginia, both favorites among coaster enthusiasts.

The show's other two coasters hail from smaller parks: Afterburn at Carowinds and Medusa at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom.

Alvey's pick to win: SheiKra.

"Hang 'em High" (July 8, immediately following the premiere episode)

This episode combines suspended, inverted and flying coasters -- all of which hang below the track. Three more B&M coasters from the SeaWorld chain of parks (which also owns Busch Gardens) represent the main contenders in this category: Manta at SeaWorld Orlando, Montu at Busch Gardens Tampa and Alpengeist at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

The also-ran in this race: Aftershock from Idaho's Silverwood, a Vekoma Boomerang-style coaster that has fallen out of favor with most enthusiasts but is still beloved by everyday park visitors.

Alvey's pick: Montu edges out Manta.

"Splintering Speedsters" (July 15)