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Speed Skating Forum Most of the discussions in this forum will be about inline speed skating but discussions about ice speed skating and quad roller speed skating are also welcome.

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Old October 1st, 2019, 04:49 PM   #1
romekjagoda
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Default Stiff vs. flexible frames

I have been reading about frame stiffness and flex, but could never relate to it. I personally have two frames (basic PS 4x100 and Schankel hybrid 3x110/100) and little experience with other frames. The Schankel one was advertised as a stiff one, but some other people called it 'dead as wood' and 'unresponsive'.

Can somebody please write out the characteristics of stiff and flexible frames (briefly, pros and cons), with examples if possible? For whom what frame (height, weight, technique)?

Maybe I am the only one bothered and uninformed, but I found no informaiton on this on the internet.
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Old October 1st, 2019, 08:25 PM   #2
BMW325TI
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Well I switched from aggressive skating to speed skating.
Before speed skating I had several powerblading skates e.g. Powerslide Megacruiser 125, that one was equiped with flexible frames.

Steering was easy (also because it is short; 255mm), you can feel any vibrations very well. I replaced that frame with stiff one, less vibrations but feels very dead.......

Stiff frame should have a better power transfer to wheels.

It is just personal thing.....only way just try many as possible and find the one you like...
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Old October 2nd, 2019, 03:03 AM   #3
topcarbon
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Flex and stiffness

Not as simple as black and white

Your weight, your stroke and technique, frame length wheel hardness all play a factor in flex.

Iím 90 kilos and my EO 4x110 flex and rattle. They feel fast over rough pavement because of their material(carbon).

My Simmons frames are stiff, 3x125, and donít roll well over some pavements.

Skaters who are less weight will flex any frame less than me
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Old October 2nd, 2019, 01:12 PM   #4
romekjagoda
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Thanks for the replies guys.
It puzzles me a little that there is relatively little info out there and maybe even little experience (or people not sharing more about this, I should write). Indeed, I know that I am asking about something I should (in the best case scenario) make my own experience about, but gathering such experience would be costly and I want to avoid buying 3 frames to figure out which flex level I like best. But I do accept that it's talking to a blind person about colours...

Anyway, while we seem to know the factors, we have not yet discussed their role/relationships with stiffness/flex.
1. Weight --> the higher the weight the stiffer frames should be. Right? But, if I am 80kg / 183cm should I look for a stiffer or a more supple frame?

2. Technique --> how and what aspects of technique influence the choice of frame flex? If .... then choose stiffer/suppler frame.

3. Stroke lenght --> The longer the stroke length, the ... the frame should be.

4. Terrain/surface --> the rougher the surface, the more flex the frame should have to amortisise the shocks better. Right?

Etc.
I know it's hard to take only one factor independently of the others, but starting from such simple relationships maybe we can get a little wiser...?

Cheers.
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Old October 2nd, 2019, 02:30 PM   #5
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I have e.g powerslide triple x core 2 (old model), very stiff frame and absorbing vibrations very well. Yes material thickness and the way they cut out the is very important. But this frame feels very alive , with proper frame alignment. So alignment is also important! While I have also a cheap chinese frame, less weight, stiff and thick. I really cant feel big difference after I adjusted frames to right spots.
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Old October 8th, 2019, 02:26 PM   #6
romekjagoda
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW325TI View Post
I really cant feel big difference after I adjusted frames to right spots.
I think this is the key: can an amateur, which most of us are, really feel any difference in flex, responsiveness, etc. It makes not point to discuss this aspect at length, if it does not translate into palpable differences in the way various frames feel.
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Old October 8th, 2019, 03:40 PM   #7
ese002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by romekjagoda View Post
I think this is the key: can an amateur, which most of us are, really feel any difference in flex, responsiveness, etc. It makes not point to discuss this aspect at length, if it does not translate into palpable differences in the way various frames feel.
If you roll downhill at high speed, a stiffer frame will feel more stable. If you roll over rough pavement, that same frame will also transmit more vibrations.
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Old October 9th, 2019, 09:24 AM   #8
romekjagoda
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ese002 View Post
If you roll downhill at high speed, a stiffer frame will feel more stable. If you roll over rough pavement, that same frame will also transmit more vibrations.
Thanks, that makes sense.
However, I presume that the feeling of lack of stability at speed has to do with the weight of the skater, too, right? Is it a very uncomfortable feeling? Do you feel it like you're floating or walking on moss?
I skate 75% of rought pavements and thus lean towards a somewhat more flexibile frame, but I am not sure if I am not overthinking it and exageratting the differences really, and instead maybe I should focus on one factor (overall deck height)...
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Old October 10th, 2019, 08:09 AM   #9
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I have experienced length of frame will affects more stability at higher speeds.

It feels like you are cycling with no hands and constant to find moment of balance.
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