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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 November 13th, 2006, 11:41 PM   #1
MNGreene
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Default Are off-the-shelf skates an option?

Ok, I'll admit it. I'm lost when it comes to what skates to get. I'm probably not alone.

I've read a lot on this forum and other places about wheel sizes, hardness, widths and combinations, boot molding, frames, etc. Great information for sure, but it is getting to be information overload!!

I've raced once and train on these over-the-ankle 4x100mm Rollerblade Lightning TF:
http://www.inlinewarehouse.com/descpage.html?pcode=RLTM

I would like to do more outdoor distance racing. I am ready to look at some low-cut skates, possibly with 110mm wheels.

Are there any off-the-shelf racing skates (not just components) that aren't a big dropoff from custom skates? This is for someone who is faster than the masses, but still 3 minutes behind the winner in a half marathon. I plan to train more and race more to try to close that gap some, and have no delusions about becoming an elite racer. But I don't want equipment to hold me back, I'll let my age and weight do that.

If off-the-shelf skates are not a high-end option, what does a person do? I realized the other day that Adam's Inline is not too far from where I work -- I assume I head there and talk? What do other people do for information? Do people "test drive" before they buy?
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Old November 14th, 2006, 12:30 AM   #2
Pepper Montana
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Hi, MN!
Buying skates is a chore. There is so much information to distill and you never really can be sure that you are making the right choice. It's hard work!

You are lucky to be able to go to Adam's storefront. Get your feet sized properly and try some different boots on. Take your time and linger over the decision. Read as much as you can and post all of your questions here. Buying skates is important for your development as a skater. The right skates can help you reach your goals much easier than ill-fitting and poorly suited skates.

Good luck and keep us posted!
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Old November 14th, 2006, 12:47 AM   #3
BWI-Sheldon
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I'm in the same boat as you. I've got the lightning TF. I don't know if you have the original wheels/bearings but you will improve dramatically by switching to quality parts. I gained 2 mph going to "Bones Swiss 6" and "Mach II" wheels. (believe it) At this point I do not believe there is any "off the shelf product" that will improve me to a higher level other than going to the professional level of equipment. After all you are on a 12.8" inch 4 X 100 frame, which according to reports is pretty lightweight and strong, (considering the other parts are crap), and the boot is somewhat lower cut for added flexibility over standard rec. boots.
I'm at a point, where the only way I will know how good of a skater I am, or how fast I can be, should be determined by my physical and technical strengths.
I also learned from these forums, that to try to cheap skates (pun intended) your way up the ladder, by buying "a little better boot", "a better bearing", "this wheel that wheel", "a smaller boot", "a larger boot", "maybe a lower boot", " maybe a thinner wheel" will cost you around four times as much money than just doing it right.
After losing the 50 lbs., and skating almost 2000 miles this past season, competing locall and winning, it is obvious to me that I do love this sport and it is worth spending the money on it.
Even though money does not grow on trees, for me spending the $1,500 is a drop in the bucket compared with all the other nonsense hobbies and adult toys we splurge on daily without batting an eyelash. This is even before the financial benefits of skating that arenít figured in, like a $5 daily 7-11 habit, less doctor bills, etc...
So while I am not going to say what skate I am working on getting, let me tell you that it is going to be a setup that is winning out there, and it is going to be custom molded. (If GK gets his b*tt to the east coast)

Go for it dude, you'll never miss the money.


Sheldon
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Old November 14th, 2006, 02:48 PM   #4
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Sheldon, I think you are right on! Go for it! You've come a long way this past year so an investment in top equiptment will help you get to the next level. At least you'll know it wasn't the equiptment holding you back.

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Old November 14th, 2006, 02:59 PM   #5
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Of course my excuse list will get smaller, as I only will be able to blame the weather.
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Old November 14th, 2006, 03:09 PM   #6
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I would have to agree with Dave. If you are that close to Adam's place then it's really a no-brainer. Adam will be able to set you up with the right equipment for your needs. Most importantly, a well fitting shelf boot. Without a storefront here in Southern California I went through several boots before finding one that worked. You will be able to eliminate all the headaches by having Adam work to find the right fit. Plus he will personally mold your boots if you ever need them done.

Scott
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Old November 14th, 2006, 03:47 PM   #7
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I tend to be wary of a "total" package speed skate, since the combination you get may work well for one person, while another would love the boot, but hate the rest of the skate.

I'd get some opinions about off the shelf components. You might even find a better price doing it that way.

Adams Inline has a page of different skate packages that feature different combinations of boots/frames/wheels. Here's the page:
http://www.adamsinline.com/speedskates.html

(of course, you can actually go there, so..........)
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Indoor Quad: Reidell 911 | Roll-Line Mistral | Corey Super Enforcers | Bones Swiss
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Old November 14th, 2006, 04:15 PM   #8
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Default Thanks

Thanks you everyone for the advice/support! I have a lot clearer idea now on what I need to do. Go to Adams, talk, try on stuff, contemplate and open my wallet.

Chuck - I saw the packages at Adams - that is a smart idea in my book. Makes things simpler for people. It seems like he must put together packages that work. We'll see.

Dave - years ago my wife worked with someone nicknamed Flounder. I had to show her your avatar and quote -- she got a kick out of it.

Thanks again
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Old November 14th, 2006, 04:21 PM   #9
Pepper Montana
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You're welcome. I'm envious... so close to a real skate store. I guess I could always open my own. Let us know what you end up doing.
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