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Old May 2nd, 2016, 02:14 AM   #1
fredygump
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Default Can you help me build my dream skates?

Hello, I'm trying to build a pair of skates specifically suited to my skating. My use will fall inbetween recreation and speed skating. I like going fast and attempting to have good technique, but I won't be competing or circling a track with a stop watch. For distance, I'm skating more than 5 miles, sometimes 10-15.

history:

My first skates were high end Bauer recreation skates, 78mm wheels. They did have plastic/vinyl frames, but were pretty okay. I could go fast for short periods of time, and I could maneuver well. I would grind down a few sets of [cheap] tires to the hub in a summer, even though I rotated them every day. I basically stopped road biking because I had so much fun on skates.

Then I bought a pair of K2 5x87(?) skates. They had aluminum frames, super stiff...I could maintain speed a lot longer. But they were also a bit clumsy at slow speeds, and it was difficult to skate down a sidewalk on occasions when I was forced to be on a sidewalk. Overall they were faster, but they were less fun for me. And my interest started to die not long after I got them.


Now I'd like to build a pair of skates that put the fun back into skating--skates that can be fast, maneuverable, and compliant on less than ideal surfaces.


Boot:

I have a boot in mind that seems ideal (I think it is a unique style of boot?):
http://www.proskatersplace.com/engli...zero-boot.html

Is there another good boot that would perform well, that isn't a race boot? There is the Bont semi-race, but it definitely looks like a race boot.


Frame:

I'm interested in a 3x125 frame, but I don't know if I should be?. The cheapest option for that is the "megacruiser" frame set (frame and wheels) by powerslide, which is 10" long.

Or should I be looking at a 4x110? But then there is the problem of the boot I like has a 165mm bolt spacing, which eliminates a lot of 110mm frames.


And materials--most frames I've seen are aluminum, which I experienced to be very stiff and harsh on rougher stuff. Is there a frame that is designed to absorb some vibration from rough surfaces? Is there a composite frame that is designed with some vibration damping?

And of course, the question of frame length. I'm assuming a shorter frame will be more agile, but a longer one is faster? Or is the flex of the frame most important in agility?

Or to ask the question a different way, where is the "tipping point" between performance and comfort? It's impossible for me to understand the pros and cons to all the options, so I'm hoping to benefit from people's experience. I want to balance comfort and "good" all around performance, but without sacrificing too much top speed.

Last edited by fredygump; May 2nd, 2016 at 04:08 AM.
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Old May 3rd, 2016, 01:21 AM   #2
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Default Custom... or Just Hyperskate Zero's or GTO?

While building custom skates is certainly challenging and fun, that is also a lot of money invested into a "One-off" skate that may, or may not work for you. If it doesn't work, then it'll be a huge loss trying to resell the skate to recoup some of your money back. Since you're looking at the Adapt skating boot why not just purchase a pair of either the Adapt Hyperskate Zero's or the GTO's depending upon what you have in the treasury? See how you like them and then you can either customize them from there or stay with them. Either of those Adapt skates are freaking awesome!
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Old May 3rd, 2016, 01:27 AM   #3
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If I were you I would think REALLY hard about why I think I need a 125mm wheel.

If I were recommending to you I would say 4 x 100 in a 4 x 105 frame and then for your next wheels go 105.

Just my $.02.
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Old May 3rd, 2016, 10:14 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by McKool View Post
While building custom skates is certainly challenging and fun, that is also a lot of money invested into a "One-off" skate that may, or may not work for you. If it doesn't work, then it'll be a huge loss trying to resell the skate to recoup some of your money back. Since you're looking at the Adapt skating boot why not just purchase a pair of either the Adapt Hyperskate Zero's or the GTO's depending upon what you have in the treasury? See how you like them and then you can either customize them from there or stay with them. Either of those Adapt skates are freaking awesome!

Yeah, they are some of the best looking skates I've seen

But the price for the pre-assembled skates is more expensive than buying parts. The website offers several frame and bearing options to bundle with the boots at a significant discount.

(I can't cross-reference prices of Adapt wheels and frames, because nobody seems to sell them in the US.)

The pre-assembled skates only come with 84mm wheels, and I was hoping to go larger.
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Old May 3rd, 2016, 11:42 PM   #5
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If I were you I would think REALLY hard about why I think I need a 125mm wheel.

If I were recommending to you I would say 4 x 100 in a 4 x 105 frame and then for your next wheels go 105.

Just my $.02.



Thinking about it too hard is the thing that puts me in danger of buying them! Posting a question is my attempt of saving me from myself!


I did some math to help me make a comparison of minimum frame length for each wheel size:

5x87mm + 3mm spacing = 360mm = 14.2" --these were the last skates I used.

4x110mm +3mm spacing = 339mm = 13.3"
4x100mm +3mm spacing = 309mm = 12.2"
4x90mm + 3mm spacing = 279mm = 11"
4x84mm + 3mm spacing = 261mm = 10.3
4x78mm + 3mm spacing = 243 = 9.6"--these were my first/most used skates

3x125mm + 3mm spacing = 256mm = 10'




What happens if I ignore the wheels and choose a frame length first? I've experienced the extremes of frame length. The 5x87mm was too long, but I never had a problem with the 4x78s, except it took a lot of energy to maintain speed when I was pushing.

The short (and flexible) 4x78 frame was more fun and still fast enough--once I did timed laps on an outdoor running track and managed to maintain 20mph average over 1 mile on those skates. (Then I watched the winter olympics and saw speedskaters going 30+mph... )

I am 6'2", but I don't know that I really need a frame longer than 10" for my use. I don't know how much speed can be gained vs how much turning/agility would be lost if I went to a 12" frame?



So my reasons to buy 125mm wheels:

1) 125mm wheels is larger so it rolls over cracks/rocks/branches better
2) 3x125mm allows roughly the same frame length as a general purpose "recreation" skate.
3) 3 wheels = less vibration/lower frequency vibration than 4 or 5 wheels


Vibration frequency...with 5 wheels, you feel 1 bump 5 times, because all five wheels hit the bump once. (Please forgive the nerdi-ness to come.) When traveling 12mph (17.6ft/sec), and with 1 bump ever 1ft (assume 12" frame):

1 wheel = 17.6 hz
2 wheels = 35.2 hz
3 wheels = 52.8 hz
4 wheels = 70.4 hz
5 wheels = 88 hz

If 24 bumps/foot = rough asphalt, then:

3 wheels @12mph = 1267.2 hz vibration
4 wheel = 1689.6 hz
5 wheels = 2112 hz

At 20mph = 29.3ft/sec; 3 wheels = 2110hz, 4 wheels = 2813hz


Yeah, so obviously I need help. I've scoured the internet for reviews and opinions of 125mm wheels, but everything I find is about speed characteristics. That or comments about whether or not 125mm is ruining the sport...
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Old May 4th, 2016, 09:34 AM   #6
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I don't like the look of that boot. It has a very high, non-articulating cuff. You will not be able to get "good technique" in such a boot because if your ankle don't bend forward you can't bend your knees without having your weight (butt) too far back. It's also hard to tell how far up the "thermoplastic shell" goes, so I don't know if you will have sufficient support around the side of your foot.

Why don't you fell comfortable on a lower cut speed boot? We may be able to address that. If not, there is the Bont semi race or Powerslide Marathon. I don't know much about those except that most speed skaters who get them transition pretty quickly to traditional boots. Then there are the options from other boot manufacturers with articulating cuffs.

I think aluminum frames are probably your best bet. There are carbon fiber frames, but they are made to be pretty stiff. How rough is the road you are worried about? What you probably want are softer wheels. That's a better way to dampen vibration than getting a frame that isn't sturdy enough. Larger wheels will also dampen the vibration.

You might want to look into the deck height of frames as well as length.
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Old May 5th, 2016, 12:58 AM   #7
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I don't like the look of that boot. It has a very high, non-articulating cuff. You will not be able to get "good technique" in such a boot because if your ankle don't bend forward you can't bend your knees without having your weight (butt) too far back. It's also hard to tell how far up the "thermoplastic shell" goes, so I don't know if you will have sufficient support around the side of your foot.

Why don't you fell comfortable on a lower cut speed boot? We may be able to address that. If not, there is the Bont semi race or Powerslide Marathon. I don't know much about those except that most speed skaters who get them transition pretty quickly to traditional boots. Then there are the options from other boot manufacturers with articulating cuffs.

I think aluminum frames are probably your best bet. There are carbon fiber frames, but they are made to be pretty stiff. How rough is the road you are worried about? What you probably want are softer wheels. That's a better way to dampen vibration than getting a frame that isn't sturdy enough. Larger wheels will also dampen the vibration.

You might want to look into the deck height of frames as well as length.
My potential choice has a lot to do with being honest with myself about the fact that being as fast as possible is not important to me right now. It is easy for me to be tempted to think the stiffest, lightest, biggest, fastest, most responsive, etc thing is what I need. But it isn't true right now.

I'm looking for inline skate equivalent to a cross-trainer shoe. But I don't like the bulky plastic boot with ratchet strap design that dominates the "recreational" skate market.


But I would consider speed skates for a second pair. I hear that there is some speed skating groups not too far from me--it's about 1 hour drive.


I understand your point about articulation. There are promo videos of "urban" skating with the boots, featuring jumping, sprinting, slalom, and generally darting all around. To me this indicates adequate articulation? But I've never skated with a low-cut race boot, so I don't know what benefit they provide.

The boot design--the composite material comes up on the sides almost the full height of the boot. Here is a video that includes a shot of the composite boot component at 01:05: https://vimeo.com/135191072
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Old May 5th, 2016, 10:35 AM   #8
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Any thoughts on a 3x110 set-up? (I know they're supposed to be for kids and little people, according to inline racers...) Big wheel advantage, plus short frame characteristics. Add to that an common and well established wheel diameter

If 3x125 works for world class skaters, a slightly smaller size should work for me.

I think that might be what I end up with.
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Old May 5th, 2016, 12:07 PM   #9
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I understand your point about articulation. There are promo videos of "urban" skating with the boots, featuring jumping, sprinting, slalom, and generally darting all around. To me this indicates adequate articulation?
I wouldn't bet on it. A lot of the sprinting I see from urban skaters is more akin to running on skates than a smooth skating form, and the other things you mention require quick bends of the knees followed by a change in motion that puts you upright again (well, slalom is typically a bit more complicated, but not really a point in favor here). That's different than smooth sustained roll. To do that you need to have your knees bent in general and make strides out. If you try to do that in high boots you will either put your weight so far back it won't feel natural or balanced, or you will bend a lot at the waist which tends to lead to a really inefficient backwards (instead of sideways) stride and put you more at risk of falling forward (which often results in wrist or collarbone injuries).

I did check out the videos at the bottom of the page you linked to. The guy both kicks way back and leans forward. It's possible to look good in these skates, but I think you would be better served by another boot that didn't reinforce bad habits.

I wouldn't say the construction is unique. It's not actually all that different in design from a straight hardshell boot - it's just different material. There were speed skates in the late 90s that were similar. Some were trying to stop pronation in serious speed skaters, and others were marketed at fitness skaters who were scared of the low cut options. You don't see those any more.

I wish there were some good reviews of the Powerslide Marathon or Grand Prix from people I trust. They look like something closer to what you want, but I don't know how good they are.

3x110 should be fine for your purposes. They don't roll terribly well (in racing terms) for larger people, but they will roll well enough for most fitness skaters. If you are really worried get a 3x125 frame and just put 110 wheels on there.

By the way, thinking about your frequency calculations, it appears you only have one bump every length of the frame. I know very few skating surfaces like that. More likely you have several bumps close together, and multiple wheels will be hitting bumps at the same time. Add to that bumps on the front wheels are probably more noticeable than those on a middle wheel. So it is unlikely that the difference in vibration is as extreme as you calculate. There may be a small difference, but don't get scared by those big numbers.
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Old May 5th, 2016, 01:18 PM   #10
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I know Pieter (Adapt Brand) and several other skaters (incl. one of my best friends) who skate the Zero or GTO boots/skates, and I have seen it is easy to skate with good tech./form because of the fit (heatmoldable boot) and the cuff that allows enough front to back (knee/ankle) flex to go "deep".

Pieter used his GTO's to skate a (very very wet!) 24h race in one of our FNS Amsterdam teams last year, I was coaching/timing because of a broken wrist...
Pieter was keeping up with more than a few capable guys on big wheel speedskates while his skates have a 260mm frame and 4x84 wheels.

My friend also skates his Adapts (Zero's in this case) very fast, with good kneebend if he feels like it , every fridaynight when blocking roads for the FNS Amsterdam (sprint/stop/sprint/stop/etc.). He even switched from his speedskates to his Adapts during a marathon for charity on a small innercity loop and was lapping 3x125 and other bigwheel skaters many times.

All I am saying; big wheelsize isn't always perfect and you don't always need low cut speedboots to be fast. You need equipment that is right for you and what you want to do. That is why I like my Seba Trix (also speedy for a tall boot!) 4x80 for FNS and fun, K2 4x90 for casual touring (also FNS sometimes) and big wheel speedskates for training and racing.
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Old May 5th, 2016, 04:38 PM   #11
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+1 greazer

Quote:
Originally Posted by fredygump View Post
I'm looking for inline skate equivalent to a cross-trainer shoe. But I don't like the bulky plastic boot with ratchet strap design that dominates the "recreational" skate market.

But I would consider speed skates for a second pair.
To build on the shoe analogy OP used, if someone wants a cross trainer, don't recommend a racing flat... Dedicated speed skates lock you in to that particular discipline... I'd go for something all-purpose like the Adapt skates, Seba Trix/Trix 2 or Seba GT series. These should provide plenty of stability for urban type skating but should also flex enough for fitness/casual speed skating. Wheel size is up to you, but it sounds like 84mm or 90mm would be a good match for you based on your preferences.
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Old May 5th, 2016, 11:23 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by greazer View Post
I know Pieter (Adapt Brand) and several other skaters (incl. one of my best friends) who skate the Zero or GTO boots/skates, and I have seen it is easy to skate with good tech./form because of the fit (heatmoldable boot) and the cuff that allows enough front to back (knee/ankle) flex to go "deep".

Pieter used his GTO's to skate a (very very wet!) 24h race in one of our FNS Amsterdam teams last year, I was coaching/timing because of a broken wrist...
Pieter was keeping up with more than a few capable guys on big wheel speedskates while his skates have a 260mm frame and 4x84 wheels.

My friend also skates his Adapts (Zero's in this case) very fast, with good kneebend if he feels like it , every fridaynight when blocking roads for the FNS Amsterdam (sprint/stop/sprint/stop/etc.). He even switched from his speedskates to his Adapts during a marathon for charity on a small innercity loop and was lapping 3x125 and other bigwheel skaters many times.

All I am saying; big wheelsize isn't always perfect and you don't always need low cut speedboots to be fast. You need equipment that is right for you and what you want to do. That is why I like my Seba Trix (also speedy for a tall boot!) 4x80 for FNS and fun, K2 4x90 for casual touring (also FNS sometimes) and big wheel speedskates for training and racing.

Thanks. I didn't imagine that I could get input from someone who knows the person who makes these skates!

I admit I am deeply impressed when I find a product like the Zero skates. They seem simple and functional, and it ignores the design trends everyone else follows. It doesn't appear to be trying to stand out or to be anything special, which makes it unique. So I kind of feel that I have to buy them now that I know they exist.. But buying is not to be a frivolous consumer. Instead, I think of it as a vote in favor of the people who make it and the ideals it represents.
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Old May 6th, 2016, 12:01 AM   #13
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+1 greazer



To build on the shoe analogy OP used, if someone wants a cross trainer, don't recommend a racing flat... Dedicated speed skates lock you in to that particular discipline... I'd go for something all-purpose like the Adapt skates, Seba Trix/Trix 2 or Seba GT series. These should provide plenty of stability for urban type skating but should also flex enough for fitness/casual speed skating. Wheel size is up to you, but it sounds like 84mm or 90mm would be a good match for you based on your preferences.

Well said. It took me a long time to figure out why I wasn't having as much fun as I used to have--but then I realized that my skate were ruining the experience! Maybe I was faster with them, but it didn't feel the same.

I found a skater who talks about the "urban flow", and this flow is what skating is all about to me. For me, the perfect skating experience is to find the feeling of being unconstrained. It's just being in motion and feeling free to move, losing awareness of my skates and the fact that it is physical exertion. It's about forgetting everything, including speed, lap times, and a theoretical ideal technique. I end up going fast because I'm having fun, which is different from the goals of a true speed skater?
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Old May 6th, 2016, 12:29 AM   #14
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I did check out the videos at the bottom of the page you linked to. The guy both kicks way back and leans forward. It's possible to look good in these skates, but I think you would be better served by another boot that didn't reinforce bad habits.....


By the way, thinking about your frequency calculations, it appears you only have one bump every length of the frame. I know very few skating surfaces like that. More likely you have several bumps close together, and multiple wheels will be hitting bumps at the same time. Add to that bumps on the front wheels are probably more noticeable than those on a middle wheel. So it is unlikely that the difference in vibration is as extreme as you calculate. There may be a small difference, but don't get scared by those big numbers.
I don't skate like that guy... I prefer a somewhat tucked position with my arms behind my back when I'm at speed, and I push to the sides. My body is like a pendulum swinging under me, with my head staying almost perfectly still. If feels right, and I'm always flying past everybody else.

If I'm accelerating, sprinting, or climbing a hill, I'm aggressively swinging my arms to balance each push. Arm swinging is all or nothing; i don't see how mild hand waving accomplishes anything. Again, this seems like the only way to make any forward progress, especially on a hill.




And yeah, my vibration thing falls apart pretty quick. But I'm hoping it is true that the foot-numbing "buzzing" I have experienced with the 5x84 skates will be reduced with fewer and bigger wheels.
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Old May 18th, 2016, 01:37 AM   #15
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I got my skates! After skating 4 miles, I've decided that they give me the skating experience I've been missing. Compared to a true "speed skate", I like that the back wheel is directly under my heel, and that the front wheel is under my toes--it feels natural. I'm glad I didn't go with a longer frame.

My old skates (5x87mm) made me feel off balance--I think the length of the frames resisted direction changes so much that they made me work harder to point my feet to make small balancing corrections while rolling. They made me doubt myself, tempting me to think that I am just getting old (I'm 34) and maybe I just don't have reflexes to skate like I did when I was younger.

But with these new skates, I feel agile and in control. It is a huge difference! I haven't skated for a year, but I immediately felt lot more comfortable on these skates already than I ever did on the old ones.

Oh, and did I say they are fast? Despite being out of shape, I was comfortably cruising at 15+mph on a trail. In a couple weeks I'll be going quite a bit faster.

Now I just need to tune up the engine a little.


Here they are:



(I also commented in the thread about 3 wheel skates, but I'm trying to not repeat myself....)


I am pleased with the boot. They are well made, better than I expected. I was unsure about the width of the boot, but it turns out that they are wider (for their length) than most shoes. They will form/lace up narrower, but it is good that they allow for a wider foot.

Before heat molding, they felt hard and stiff. After heat molding, they feel like Vans skateboard shoes. They're comfortable, and they make me feel like the wheels are the natural extension of my feet.

I like the 3x110 aspect. I'd ignore all the bad things people assume if I were you--they are highly maneuverable, especially with this particular frame that has the middle wheel shifted to the back. Combined with good wheels, they give all the maneuverability I can imagine. I'm tempted to say they are more maneuverable, but I don't want to get carried away. Suffice to say that these are catching on with slalom skaters.

The final spec:

Adapt Hyperskate Zero boot (only)
Seba 3x110 frame
gyro 110mm 86A
Twincam ILQ-9 bearings
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Old May 18th, 2016, 02:26 AM   #16
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I got my skates!

Here they are:



Adapt Hyperskate Zero boot (only)
Seba 3x110 frame
gyro 110mm 86A
Twincam ILQ-9 bearings
Those are seriously badass! Makes me want to shamelessly copy your idea...
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Old May 28th, 2016, 01:08 AM   #17
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I designed and built my dream skate about 10 years ago. It used 100-90-100-125 mm wheels. It was a lot of fun and was fast for the time

Now I'm back skating on a 4x110mm frame with 100mm wheels presently. I like the idea of 3x125mm but I would worry about going over grates and twigs. The 4-wheel skates look lile they have a safer wheel spacing.
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Old May 28th, 2016, 05:08 AM   #18
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I designed and built my dream skate about 10 years ago. It used 100-90-100-125 mm wheels. It was a lot of fun and was fast for the time

Now I'm back skating on a 4x110mm frame with 100mm wheels presently. I like the idea of 3x125mm but I would worry about going over grates and twigs. The 4-wheel skates look lile they have a safer wheel spacing.
Don't worry; go skating!

If the twig is small, you won't notice it at all. If the twig is big, you will still be very aware of the fact that you just ran it over. The twig only hits your front wheel...so I just don't understand what you mean. And you just roll over the top of a grate--it doesn't matter how many wheels you have or the spacing interval of the wheels. (But having more than one wheel per skate does help considerably.)

Ask what frame length you want, because it seems you already want the 3x125. Same frame length as your 4x110 will feel almost the same. The difference might be a placebo effect. Shorter frame will give more maneuverability. If I had gone with 3x125, I would have picked the shortest quality frame I could find. But 125mm wheels are limited and quite expensive. I picked 110mm because with them I can afford to buy new wheels when these ones wear out.
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Old February 10th, 2017, 10:07 AM   #19
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Well, my Hyperskates Zero (boot only) have arrived. And they fit! Don't have lots of experience with them yet, but already can recommend to omit top eyelets when lacing.

Next step is frame/wheel choice. Frames. I choose between EO 165mm frames: 100x4, 125x3 and 125-110-125. I have bike path nearby with rough, covered with dust, sometimes damaged asphalt and a few kilometers of pavements with smooth asphalt. Both are crowded in a daytime, so maneuvering and T-stops are often. Currently I lean towards 100x4 12" setup because it is lower, more agile, has more points of contact thus less slippery. Also I'm a bit of conservative and I don't think that being on a 3 big wheels is cool thing itself. Finally, 4-wheel setups look better for me.

Wheels. As I said, majority of my route is rough asphalt and some parts are smooth. Also, I weigh 62 kg (pretty light). Best wheels I had were matter superjuice F1 and they were just awesome on smooth patches of road, had enough grip on wet, but... on rougher surface I felt not enough grip and too much vibration, especially in low boots. Lots of T-stops eat up to 7mm of urethane during one season and I don't want wheels with flex band because of that. So, my "ideal wheel" is matter juice F2. But looks like they don't produce them any more, IMPOSSIBRU hard to find. So, I need another 84-85a wheel without band. Will purchase frames from der-rollenshop.sportkanzler.de, they offer this wheels:

Rollerblade Hydrogen Berlin Marathon Edition 100mm 6,68 - heard only good things about hydrogen, but not sure how are they compared to matters.
Bont G14/G15 100 mm/84A Speedwheel 7,77 - had good experience with G3, sure a bit slower than juice, but good grip and comfort.
Hyper XTR 100 mm Speedwheel 6,29 - don't know anything about this wheel, but if K2 stock wheels are produced by Hyper (at least hubs look like Hyper), I don't trust them. Because K2 stock wheels are terrible.
Hyper Hyperformance +G 100mm/85a 7,52 - heard good things about it from FSK guys.
Hyper Xenon by Mariani/Cado Motus 100mm/85a 9,45 - seems like previous model with another print/hub...

There are also Movemax and AmWing wheels, but I don't know these brands and don't trust them. Also, movemax are extremely cheap.
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