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Fitness Skating and Training Forum Discussions about on-skate and off-skate training, hydration, sports nutrition, weight loss, injuries, sports medicine, and other topics related to training and physical fitness for skaters.

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Old May 11th, 2016, 06:03 AM   #1
KiwiCowgirl
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Default New Skating Group Advice Please

Hi Everyone :-)

I'm after a bit of advice on inline skates. I am an artistic skater (quads) and I recently started a learn to skate group in my small town. it has been going really well and at the end of last year I did a little bit of quad speed skating with some of my adult students (trying to remember some of what I learned when I did speed skating as a kid in the 80's!). They really loved it and have been after me to do some more this year so I have been thinking about starting a road skating group. I do not have much experience with inlines, but I reckon that they would be the best choice for skating on the road. My initial idea was to go and buy a couple of $20 pairs of second hand skates and just give it a go, but as I live in New Zealand there doesn't seem to be many adult sized second hand inlines for sale. Those that are for sale are hockey skates and are going for over $100. I can get a cheap pair brand new for $100 but they seem a bit plastic-y.

So... what would you recommend? should I:
a) get some super cheap new skates
b) splash out a bit ($200-300NZD) on slightly better new skates
c) buy the second hand hockey skates
d) or go for the wildcard and get some speed skates from china (aliexpress). they sure look flash

thanks for your consideration
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Old May 11th, 2016, 10:29 AM   #2
WJCIV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KiwiCowgirl View Post
a) get some super cheap new skates
b) splash out a bit ($200-300NZD) on slightly better new skates
c) buy the second hand hockey skates
d) or go for the wildcard and get some speed skates from china (aliexpress). they sure look flash
a-b) 300NZD is cheap for anything of reasonable quality. Bont has a couple of reasonable packages (barely) in that price range that will work for you. It's mostly their 3 point mounting options they are trying to get rid of. That limits the upgradeability, but they're still decent skates for the money.
c) It's an options, but you'll be limited from a speed skating point of view. Hockey skates are made for short sprints and maneuverability. Most of them have high rigid cuffs, which means you can't really bend the ankle forward. That in turn limits how much you can bend your knees and get low.
d) This is probably the worst option. They look fancy, but the materials on many of them are very cheap. You're risking injury when something breaks.
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Old May 11th, 2016, 11:50 AM   #3
hyperiuSupern0va
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KiwiCowgirl View Post
Hi Everyone :-)

I'm after a bit of advice on inline skates. I am an artistic skater (quads) and I recently started a learn to skate group in my small town. it has been going really well and at the end of last year I did a little bit of quad speed skating with some of my adult students (trying to remember some of what I learned when I did speed skating as a kid in the 80's!). They really loved it and have been after me to do some more this year so I have been thinking about starting a road skating group. I do not have much experience with inlines, but I reckon that they would be the best choice for skating on the road. My initial idea was to go and buy a couple of $20 pairs of second hand skates and just give it a go, but as I live in New Zealand there doesn't seem to be many adult sized second hand inlines for sale. Those that are for sale are hockey skates and are going for over $100. I can get a cheap pair brand new for $100 but they seem a bit plastic-y.

So... what would you recommend? should I:
a) get some super cheap new skates
b) splash out a bit ($200-300NZD) on slightly better new skates
c) buy the second hand hockey skates
d) or go for the wildcard and get some speed skates from china (aliexpress). they sure look flash

thanks for your consideration
Hi KiwiCowgirl,

you're from New Zealand ? I love that place, it's wonderful !
many might not agree with me but really, i believe this is the best budget idea as a beginner. once you are a pro, then you can invest in something better. of course some here may say to just go ahead and buy a renowned brand like K2 or Rollerblade, theyre around 200-300$. will last long and comfy. if you think that's a good idea, then go ahead. theres so many awesome skates so be careful before you buy something. we like to help !

dont buy too cheapy skates. you need good bearings, very important! or you'll feel tired and the skating experience will be dreadful. just like touring on a bicycle, you wanna glide around in speed and bliss, so bearings are the same. you want good bearings to be in motion, hopefully for a longer time yet with satisfying speed. cheap skates dont have that. how much more required on rough unpredictable tarmac.

here's what you do for the budget idea:
get a decent pair of inline skates that looks tough/well built and able to last long, not speed skates from aliexpress. please be mindful of the skate frame for the wheels. choose preferably metallic. a cheap but decent pair of inline can be around 70-90$ with shipping i think. choose carefully, theres so many.

then you spend another 30$ for a decent set of black ceramic bearings. black is harder and better than white ceramic bearings and generally better than metal. high quality metal bearings are good and worth it but also more expensive. dont be fooled by fake twincam bearings in aliexpress, most are fake. doubt you can find any genuine twincams.

in aliexpress, wait until you receive your goods and are satisfied with them to only then click "confirm goods received". after that, the payment will be released from aliexpress to the seller. so if there is any issue with your purchase on arrival. you can start a "dispute", and if it need be, aliexpress will intervene and be the judge whether you get a refund. i am sure they are lenient and reasonable. you can upload pictures and videos there. so through this, it is quite secure.

if you have extra money left, spend on good quality wheels that are 85A to 90A hardness. these type of wheels will last longer on general roads.
if you need further help , i'd be glad to perhaps pm you a good seller there for the bearings.

why not speedskates you ask ..? well, they are kind of pricey and they dont have proper comfort or shock absorption. i even hear that cornering may not be easy. the triskates are a good idea for urban skating but it is pricey. so if you can afford speed skates, getting triskates from renowned brand or good urban skates is a better idea. speed skates dont have brakes, so you need to do T-stops.

oh ya, get 80mm wheels too, they are bigger, last longer and same price of 72 and 76mm.
i bought my skates from china but not through aliexpress, i was there personally to test it. its great, cheap and comfy, bearings were ilq7 so i had to change them.

i bought other things through aliexpress like bearings and wheels. i really like mine - i'll share a pic of mine later on
be mindful of the proper size and just observe the built design of the skates. skates around this budget are usually full hardboot. if you do buy a more expensive skates, go for the best, dont go mediocre or else you need to spend again for better bearings. oh ya ! please be careful when buying, make sure the wheels are all the same sizes. some sellers have the habit of selling wheels that are sized 72, 76,76,72mm. that means a banana/rockered setup. it is more for slalom , curvy. you dont want that for general urban skating / freestlye.
i'd be very happy if i get to help ya and well hope these do help for now, regards !
nova

This video below is officially from seba skates, one of the most famous brand for inline skates having a large event in china. you'd be surprised how many people do skate in china, and their stuff isn't as bad as people think. skates arent high tech rockets, they can be well made with the current tech. im sure many popular branded skates are actually made in china and then shipped to the rest of the world. i was in tianjin last year too, same location.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fP3hNUKdGA

Last edited by hyperiuSupern0va; May 11th, 2016 at 02:53 PM.
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Old May 11th, 2016, 04:08 PM   #4
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Bearings - there is a big difference between absolute trash and good bearings. There is very little difference between good and great. Ceramic (of a good enough quality to last without chipping - there are even different grades of black ceramic) are expensive - on the order of $170 (USD) if you find a good sale. Wheels make a much bigger difference. Top of the line steel bearings are about $70, and good bearings are available for $50. Bones Reds are available for less than $30, but they will wear out and have to be replaced in about a season if you skate enough and don't do very regular maintenance.

Also, to be clear, I am not saying all Chinese stuff is junk. Very good stuff comes from there (include stock Bonts, I believe). However, aliexpress is full of cheap knock offs which are made with cheap materials from sellers who merely see the shape of skates and think they can make them cheap and undersell the established brands. If you have a frame made out of a lower quality aluminum it is much more likely to bend or break while skating. That requires you to buy another frame at the least, and may cause a crash as well.
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Old May 11th, 2016, 08:15 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info! yeah, I was just being a bit cheeky throwing the ali express speed skates in the mix

I think that its probably best for us to go with some cheaper recreational type inlines at the moment. The problem with buying them in NZ is that as far as I know there is no-one selling any recognised brands, you've either got super cheap plastic ones or you're on your own ordering from overseas (and paying $50-$100 in shipping!). With that in mind any ideas on which models are good? or does anyone know of a reseller in Australia? It's slightly closer to home and therefore less shipping costs.
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Old May 12th, 2016, 01:32 AM   #6
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There are decent HYBRID SiN ceramic (black balls only; steel races) bearings available starting at ~$50+ per set of (16)

Some are chrome steel (will rust) and some are stainless steel races (rust resistant). If you can find the Stainless steel black ball ones near the $50 piece level, I say they are well worth it at that price for the certainty that hitting a puddle of water does NOT require you to remove & clean bearings ASAP after session ends. PEACE OF MIND is worth $omething!!!

-Armadillo
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Old May 22nd, 2016, 07:55 AM   #7
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I'm in your similar situation, Kiwi, in that I'm going inline for the first time (since I was 30; now 50). I'm planning to use them around Chicagoland, some paved trails like the Fox River Trail, some in the city. I also own outdoor quad skates (but will follow the conventional wisdom and put them on the shelf while I teach myself inline again).

I've watched tons of videos, read skate forum, and changed my mind more times than I care to admit. I don't have any friends in-person or try skates, although I did sign up for the Windy City Skaters meetup. I've watched their great skate videos and think I can keep up, speed wise, in just about any skates that I choose because they're in-town, intersections, potholes, with some on the lakefront, from what I am seeing (note: that's not to say I won't fall on my face many times more than they do' they seem a very skilled bunch. #respect). But, I'll mostly skate alone anyhow.

For me, and this is just me, I've come way down in my wheel size ideas. Originally I was into 100mm. Now, thinking 80mm best. Unrockered. While I like fitness and rec skates, and was a month ago going to order some Seba Highs (despite the fit issues initially, which might be particularly off-putting as I try to get back into the inline game, enough to worry about as is), I've ratchet even that down to what I think will be best for me: hockey skates with outdoor wheels.

I love my CCM ice skates, and I have no issues with laces (although slower, I prefer them to breakable ratchets and the wearing out of Velcro; as any yer knows, laces can be micro adjusted for tension when done right, and no lace slip). I get a custom fit from laces. I know about what I size to get if I order CCM hockey skates. I'll save the 80mm indoor wheels that hockeys comes with for indoor rinks in the winter; I'll have to spend about $50 more initially to buy a set of outdoor wheels 80mm 84a, and then I'll have what I want: mobility. Sure, they're with less road vibe absorption than rec skates, but buying the proper size with thicker socks, tied snugly, and adding a new insole if needed, is something that ice hockey skaters can relate to (and, it's harder to machine wash a neoprene rec skate liner than it is a pair of acrylic hockey socks...lol)

Watching Bill Stoppard's many YouTube videos, where he is blazing fast with hockey skates (and only recently began using anything else after his partnership with the Proskaters Place) showed me much' if you haven't already, do YT search him. If your environment is like his (and mine), and as you have hockey skates readily available, and because they can be cheaper than other types of skates (even after adding more wheels, and sometimes bearings), they have many advantages. I've also drawn the conclusion that fast is great, but I honestly don't want to go 25 mph down the bike path; not my goal to snap a collarbone when a slow-turning 100mm setup leads my unskilled feet into a dog leash or a teen on a skateboard. Lol. I sort of like bursts of speed, and, again, I think 80mm wheels and mobility are right for me. Just me.

Certainly, if your nascent road group is going to be on railroad converted "rail trails", or tons of near-straight paved areas, then a larger wheel may be better for you. There is no perfect skate, for sure. Honestly, if you watch Stoppard's channel, and if you are like me, you will come to appreciate a good, all-around 80mm unrockered skate. And maybe, a hockey skate. Conversely, if you watch and say to yourself that you won't every be on that type of curby roadways, then you might come to a different conclusion from the same videos; we are so fortunate to be able to see so much through the kind work of others, like advice from Armadillo on the forums (I've read many of your quad posts, sir; thank you) and videos like Stoppard's 200+ or so. Lol.

Just my (very limited) buying and selecting experience. I can't wait to get my CCM RBZ 90s.

Steve

PS Do tell us what you go with, Kiwi. And I will update or start a thread when I get to cruising and get the pain in the arches and ankles; let the bellyaching begin!
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