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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.

View Poll Results: Will 3x125 be good for the future of our sport?
Positive Impact 15 45.45%
Negative Impact 7 21.21%
No Impact 11 33.33%
Voters: 33. You may not vote on this poll

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Old March 9th, 2015, 03:12 AM   #21
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It feels like inline racing is about where bicycle racing was in the mid/late 19th century. We just need someone to invent the "safety" skate.
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Old March 9th, 2015, 05:49 PM   #22
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I think any number of wheels will be bad for our sport until wheel prices get more reasonable.
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Old March 9th, 2015, 05:57 PM   #23
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I think any number of wheels will be bad for our sport until wheel prices get more reasonable.
That made me chuckle.
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Old March 9th, 2015, 06:58 PM   #24
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It feels like inline racing is about where bicycle racing was in the mid/late 19th century. We just need someone to invent the "safety" skate.
The "safety" skate -- funny!

While our current situation is nowhere near as extreme as the Penny-Farthing vs. the modern "safety" bike, there is at least a bit of an analogy there.

http://www.theracingbicycle.com/Early_History.html
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Old March 9th, 2015, 07:02 PM   #25
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I don't see wheels in our sport as being overly costly. Yes, they are expensive, but I can probably get eight months or so on three or four sets of wheels (@ $160 set). And, eight months equates to a lot of miles...a lot. I feel pretty lucky to go almost an entire year with a cost below $700. When you think about it, there aren't a lot of sports or hobbies that you can do year-round for that price. Yeah, I do think wheels could be cheaper for sure, and I would really like it if they were, but overall, again, I feel pretty lucky that it's not worse.
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Old March 9th, 2015, 08:56 PM   #26
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It feels like inline racing is about where bicycle racing was in the mid/late 19th century. We just need someone to invent the "safety" skate.
After Skating My 1st indoor MSL in Master/Vet on 125's and spectating my second meet in 10 years this weekend... Then reading the comments of this thread again, especially this post (thank you ese002). I felt compelled to share this feed back. Here's why.

First off, I've been on 125's for 5 months now 70/30 indoor to outdoor 3 to 5 times a week/cycling/exersize and have very good form. I have also literally seen all of or available 125 equipment in action, frames and wheels under Very good conditions. Not only did I discover first hand a limitations of the 125 set up... and I had the privilege to informally interview:
2 WC & 1 JWC athletes 2 of 3 say yes to to 125's. All three not sponsored by Core/Matter.
Several coaches That included at least 4 of truly WC caliber. Total coaches, 5. 3 of 5 said yes, Some had ties to manufacturers (none to Core/Matter).
2 USARS top officials, 1 has current FIRS events experience. 1 yes and 1 by rule no, but is ok "if approved by USARS speed committee"??? So 5 yes, 4 no and 1 no, maybe. Call it 6 yes, 4 no.

Interviews with the coaches that witnessed the transition from quads to inlines, the old Zandstras (safety boot) kept coming up every time we saw skaters with poor skate posture, all wheel sizes. The example we had at the meet was 5 tiny tots. 1-3yr old on 3x60 roller blades with the hard shell (safety boot). other 4 much bigger/stronger looking kiddos on 3x90 and 4x80 maybe 3x100 and newer low cut speed boots. The 3yr olds been skating for two months after meeting his parents, I was told they wanted to get him a "speed boot" but the coach asked them to let him skate on the RB's until he has developed and demonstrated consistently good form and...The 3 yr old almost lapped the pack in 200m (boots kept his ankles square and straight) while the others struggled to turn/cross over due to lack of ankle support. This was obvious in all of the divisions regardless of size of wheel, myself included on 125s. New boots made a little higher for 125, (like ice/others have commented).

That said the floor was 75' wide while the track was laid out as 100m with "unprotected" railing for 50% of the straightaways and freshly coated with Roll-on. Can you say established/enforced "safety policy"? That's another tropic. This is definitely where 125s roll advantage is negated "small floors" 100m track with unprotected steel railings around it. 125s 1st elem girls, masters men open 1, 2 & 3 rolling away and 1 & 2 vet men 110s close behind. but 2nd in classic 2 & 3, master men 2nd, Where contested smaller wheels appeared to have the cornering advantage IMO under these conditions.

I spoke to 20-25 others regarding 125s and most seemed to be open and welcoming innovative ideas as our sport continues to evolve.

Whether 125's will help or hinder our sport will be dictated by the "laws of innovation diffusion"(gotta catch on with main stream public). J Blairs "cool factor"/positive social media will help.

sorry for the rant,
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Old March 9th, 2015, 11:07 PM   #27
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Much of the [speed]skating market we lose is to those whom get frustrated because of reasons sited - poor technique can lead to frustration and moving on to other seemingly easier sports. With increased frames & wheels size, what we don't see are more higher cuff supportive boots. I am seeing less & less decent options for cross-speedskates or higher cuff, aka "safe skate" speedskates (like the old C8's or powerslide marathon, or Bont sem-irace), or a youth "safe-speedskates with higher supportive cuff (outside that of a soft-boot fitness/rec skates) that fit the needs of a changing market. What is not showing up on the radar are any significant break-troughs are boots. Seeing far too many re-spins of the same 'ole, same 'ole when it comes to boots.

Manufactures are definitely caught up in bringing new stuff to market, good or bad. The new 125 frames are not without issues. The frame technology will be split between elite level skates and those fitness/cross-training folks, will manufactures continue to steer towards the bigger is better direction and phase out 90's 100's or 110's, or will they try to maintain an array of offerings? The market is limited, so spreading resources is a difficult balance for them. Not sure who quoted wheels prices, but a decent race set of wheels is pushing upwards of $200 any more. That is a chunk of $$ to most folks for urethane wheels. Along with bigger frames wheels prices have soared. I found it funny one wheel rep made huge agreement that 125mm is not any better than 4x110, and he went on to site oodles of champions on 110's. Yada, yada... guess we will see if his opinion changes when the company he reps produces a 125mm wheel.

I guess while here deliberating new technologies, what will be the plight/flight of RB's mono-mount powerblade skate? While I feel Davide Mariani makes exceptional boots, a 2-point std mount version would do well in the market to fit the void.

But regardless, the top elite skaters will always do well given any skate equipment setup, be it 4x110 or 3x125. Neither will make/brake what they do. But, for those who lack that level of technical ability (anyone see Bart Swings laps the field in Vegas?) possessing skills will still be a challenge, whether on 100's or 125's. Skaters like Bart really set the bar high for top athletes.

What we seem to miss, summarizing from inferences in reading thru this thread is the concern of alienating new/younger speedskaters with the equipment technology. But, first will respond to comments pertaining to a need for regulation/restrictions - "it just ain't gonna happen." People will buy what they set their minds on, whether or not they are qualified/skilled enough to use it. And, if you demand they cannot skate a session or join a group or club due to wrong gear, or dare tell them they are not qualified to skate big boys wheels.... they will disappear from the sport altogether. The sport is struggling enough, I don't see need to inflict restriction of gear, unless it is FIRS imposed racing regulation then yes, that is a realistic expectation. But, if it's a coaching group making determination about a skaters participation based on whether they think a person can handle the big wheels, you'll lose that person. though, much of that awkward situation can be readily avoided - depends on how graciously a coach can dance thru that conversation in guiding a skaters equipment decisions.

More of the problem seems related to the ability of bringing newbies along in the sport, due to lack of good coaching, qualified certified coaches or instructors, or lack of any available coaching altogether. Anyone can give a pointer or two, or proclaim to be a coach, but having standardized methods of coaching and structure to teaching progressions, and bringing folks along cohesively in the sport seems more of a surefire way to not only engage them, but help them work consistently from fundamental foundations to achieving higher level skills.

No one takes a lesson to ride a bike, except if you start racing, then you want to know exactly what you are getting into out there in terms of gear and skill abilities. (same holds true for most all other sports). In skating it seems a bit of a circus free-for-all of mixed information of skaters not getting quality, or proper, coaching to help them improve skills with any success. The technology side of things will come and go, but skaters will leave when they hit point of frustration, and it won't be the equipment driving them away as much as simply never learning to skate to a level where they can purely enjoy it.
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Old March 10th, 2015, 12:23 AM   #28
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The worst problem I see with current inline speed skating trends is that bigger =faster. It's much less known that lower =more stable and easier to use,which for the vast majority of skaters with less than 4 years experience is true. They would be better off stepping down a wheel size and keeping their current frame.
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Old March 10th, 2015, 12:57 AM   #29
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- **** With increased frames & wheels size, what we don't see are more higher cuff supportive boots. I am seeing less & less decent options for cross-speedskates or higher cuff, aka "safe skate" speedskates (like the old C8's or powerslide marathon, or Bont sem-irace), or a youth "safe-speedskates with higher supportive cuff (outside that of a soft-boot fitness/rec skates) that fit the needs of a changing market. What is not showing up on the radar are any significant break-troughs are boots. Seeing far too many re-spins of the same 'ole, same 'ole when it comes to boots. -

- I guess while here deliberating new technologies, what will be the plight/flight of RB's mono-mount powerblade skate? While I feel Davide Mariani makes exceptional boots, a 2-point std mount version would do well in the market to fit the void. -
I couldn't agree more.
We haven't seen any true hi-end cross over boots since Miller Sports ceased to exist.
Powerslide has shown pix of a carbon fiber out-sole "Marathon" skate, still no info on their website or product in the USA. Bont also showed a two point Semi-Race, only now it appears none are available to purchase anywhere. Luigino's new Blaze looks to be cut higher then the Bolt. Probably about the same height as the Strut but with the high arch "Pro-e" last of the Bolt which should accommodate 3 x 125 nicely. Still the Strut/Blaze cuff height will not give as much lateral support as a Semi-Race, or even their own discontinued Ultra-Challenge.
Id like to see Rollerblade team up with Mariani and do a higher cuff 3x125, would hope they didn't take to much of a loss on that mono-mount series and throw in the towel on speed skates.
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Old March 10th, 2015, 03:30 AM   #30
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I don't see wheels in our sport as being overly costly. Yes, they are expensive, but I can probably get eight months or so on three or four sets of wheels (@ $160 set). And, eight months equates to a lot of miles...a lot. I feel pretty lucky to go almost an entire year with a cost below $700. When you think about it, there aren't a lot of sports or hobbies that you can do year-round for that price. Yeah, I do think wheels could be cheaper for sure, and I would really like it if they were, but overall, again, I feel pretty lucky that it's not worse.
Indoors you don't get nearly that amount of time out of wheels. If you skate 3 to 4 practices a week, wheels last about a month. Plus you need good wheels for regionals and nationals. All said and done, to be a competative indoor skater, you are talking a bare minimum of 4 to 6 sets of wheels per year (more if you skate faster). This may sound like a lot, but you have to consider that you always have to buy at least two compounds every time you buy wheels. I have been to nationals and worn grippy practice wheels because the floor sucked so bad. You have to be prepared ahead of time or be prepared to pay a premium for wheels when you get there... if you can get any! This isn't true of all divisions, but for sophomore, junior, senior, classic and master it is a sad reality.
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Old March 10th, 2015, 01:34 PM   #31
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Indoors you don't get nearly that amount of time out of wheels. If you skate 3 to 4 practices a week, wheels last about a month. Plus you need good wheels for regionals and nationals. All said and done, to be a competative indoor skater, you are talking a bare minimum of 4 to 6 sets of wheels per year (more if you skate faster). This may sound like a lot, but you have to consider that you always have to buy at least two compounds every time you buy wheels. I have been to nationals and worn grippy practice wheels because the floor sucked so bad. You have to be prepared ahead of time or be prepared to pay a premium for wheels when you get there... if you can get any! This isn't true of all divisions, but for sophomore, junior, senior, classic and master it is a sad reality.
kufman, what you say makes sense. Honestly, I could probably benefit some from changing wheels more often than I do. I sometimes go too long on a set of a wheels, which in turn, takes more of an adjustment when I do put on new wheels. If wheels were $80/set, I probably would be changing more frequently.

If EO Skates is coming out with a 125 mm frame, I think the writing's pretty much on the wall that 125s are the direction the skating world is going. I can't see these manufacturers spending this much time and money on a new product if they weren't convinced that 125s were the future. For me, I'm really not all that excited about the 125s. I do think they look cool and are probably fun to skate on, but nothing in the feedback I'm hearing is suggesting they are significantly faster or better than 110s. The idea of having to go out, buy all new equipment, and then spend time adjusting to that new equipment is not something I really want to do at this point. Honestly, I just want to skate and not worry about the equipment aspect.

I know it sounds like I'm whining, but for me, equipment changes do take a lot of adjusting too. I've never been able to throw on something, especially something as significant as a 3-wheel skate vs 4-wheel skate and feel comfortable on it right away. I do a lot of distance skating, and I think part of being a good distance skater is feeling relaxed and comfortable on your equipment. If your muscle memory isn't there or if you're having to fight your equipment, it causes a lot of unneccessary fatigue.

So, if the 125s are truly superior to 110s, then maybe it's a good thing. If they are just a fraction better, then I think we're all having to spend a lot of time / energy on something that may not be necessary. I'm still waiting to hear more feedback on the 125s before switching, but it sounds like that is undoubtedly where the industry is headed.
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Old March 10th, 2015, 04:41 PM   #32
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My point is you could have someone who has skated most of their life and never competed, and be in the beginners races, a complete ringer. On 110's and have great form. Then you have tue entry level skater new to the sport competing against them struggling with the new sport itself let alone trying to use equipment that is obviously better for a seasoned skater.
This isn't a wheel issue at all. IMO skaters with experience (more than 2 years) shouldn't be skating with people just entering the sport in the first place. In the US they changed the "novice" rules and people can pretty much just stay in the novice division "forever" until they place at nationals. To me that is a much bigger issue than having someone with bigger wheels competing against someone with smaller ones. I know at our club we have a bunch of smaller kids on 125's right now, but none of them are 1st year skaters. All of the kids that are on them have been skating for 3+ years and have placed at nationals (so to me it makes sense that they tried and liked them) I think it's less about the wheel size than it is about experience in terms of making sure the playing field becomes more equal in the novice divisions...
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Old March 10th, 2015, 05:10 PM   #33
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This isn't a wheel issue at all. IMO skaters with experience (more than 2 years) shouldn't be skating with people just entering the sport in the first place. In the US they changed the "novice" rules and people can pretty much just stay in the novice division "forever" until they place at nationals. To me that is a much bigger issue than having someone with bigger wheels competing against someone with smaller ones. I know at our club we have a bunch of smaller kids on 125's right now, but none of them are 1st year skaters. All of the kids that are on them have been skating for 3+ years and have placed at nationals (so to me it makes sense that they tried and liked them) I think it's less about the wheel size than it is about experience in terms of making sure the playing field becomes more equal in the novice divisions...
I see your point but if the advanced skaters were throttled back by wheel and frame limitations of some sort it would help level the playing field. 3 years isn't enough time spent on skates to be on 125's let alone for a child if you ask me.

Theres also times to be considered when racing, if you "run too fast" like in drag racing you get DQ, because you obviously were hiding something and should not have been in the class or handicap that you started the race in.

Nationals doesn't mean much to me as a benchmark for saying those 125s are what your ready for. Not trying to be rude to anyone winning races there , but your lap times averaged after 10-20 laps would show if you were ready for larger wheels or frames. Just from the limited races I have seen the vast majority of skaters are on gear that is bigger than their britches.

I've seen too many falls just from that, even from very competent skaters who are ,no offense, probably better than the kids you speak about on the 125's that placed or won at nationals.

In a nutshell it just seems like inline speed skating is trying to doom itself.
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Old March 10th, 2015, 05:37 PM   #34
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In the US they changed the "novice" rules and people can pretty much just stay in the novice division "forever" until they place at nationals.
Note: The NW changed back to the old 3 year rule this year and USARS is changing back too.
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Old March 10th, 2015, 05:39 PM   #35
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I know at our club we have a bunch of smaller kids on 125's right now...
If small kids are already doing well on 3x125, then it is clear that we are nowhere near the limit of what is possible for advanced and elite men. Surely there are skaters who could jump right on 3x135 today (if quality wheels/frames existed) and get measurably faster lap times. We might all upgrade to 3x125 this year, but 3x135 will probably be the hot setup in 2016. It's hard to say where the evolution will stop, but I'm sure that many skaters will be faster on 3x135 than on 3x125. I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but it seems inevitable. I think I will probably stick with 4x110 for the 2015 outdoor season and see where things go.
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Old March 10th, 2015, 05:45 PM   #36
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I see your point but if the advanced skaters were throttled back by wheel and frame limitations of some sort it would help level the playing field.
But the new skaters would have to use the same equipment and still lose.
Putting a good skater on small wheels will slow him down, but not that much.
The new skater needs to put in the time training before racing, then be ready to lose some.
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Old March 10th, 2015, 06:05 PM   #37
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This isn't a wheel issue at all. IMO skaters with experience (more than 2 years) shouldn't be skating with people just entering the sport in the first place. In the US they changed the "novice" rules and people can pretty much just stay in the novice division "forever" until they place at nationals. To me that is a much bigger issue than having someone with bigger wheels competing against someone with smaller ones. I know at our club we have a bunch of smaller kids on 125's right now, but none of them are 1st year skaters. All of the kids that are on them have been skating for 3+ years and have placed at nationals (so to me it makes sense that they tried and liked them) I think it's less about the wheel size than it is about experience in terms of making sure the playing field becomes more equal in the novice divisions...
Good comment and makes sense. I agree, if an experienced youth skater can handle 125's let them take it on, if the rules allow it why not. If this equipment is available people will use it. It makes things more interesting as we will see those on 4 x 110 and others on 3 x 125's all competing, if the rules allow.

That novice rule is interesting and seems to workout. I liked racing (when I raced indoors) the more experienced novice guys on Saturday when my legs were fresh. It all evens out on Sunday when everyone gets on the line.
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Old March 10th, 2015, 07:15 PM   #38
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Nationals doesn't mean much to me as a benchmark for saying those 125s are what your ready for. Not trying to be rude to anyone winning races there , but your lap times averaged after 10-20 laps would show if you were ready for larger wheels or frames. Just from the limited races I have seen the vast majority of skaters are on gear that is bigger than their britches.

I've seen too many falls just from that, even from very competent skaters who are ,no offense, probably better than the kids you speak about on the 125's that placed or won at nationals.

In a nutshell it just seems like inline speed skating is trying to doom itself.
Nationals wasn't the benchmark getting on them, it was a point of reference. My point was the elemntary kids (one juvenile) that are on them are good skaters that have done well on 110's. I would argue that those skaters are NOT just flat out better than the kids I'm speaking of. Quite frankly if they were I don't see how they are struggling so bad on 125's. The kids I'm talking about can run sub 10 second laps no problem and it's not like only the kids are on them either. All of our pros (but one) are on them, and I know for me personally (I'm Grand Classic) they have allowed me to not only run faster lap times but also enables me to do more laps at a high pace with the pros in our endurance stuff. Essentially indoor I have been able to take 2-3 crosses per corner on 125's vs. 3-4 crosses on 110's. Not saying everyone should be on them, but from what I have seen at our practice (#1 team in the nation 2010, 12, 13, & 14) there is definitely some positive feedback.

And to your point about 10-20 laps there is NO QUESTION that the same kids I'm speaking of are able to do more laps at a faster pace. I know this for sure because our pace line warm up is a heck of a lot faster than it was earlier this year when most of the boys were on a 3x110 set up. Now I wlll say this the fastest of that group is still on the 3x110 set up, but it def seems like the other boys have closed the gap. I'm not going to say it's all because of the 3x125 set up, but I can't help but see the noticable difference.

Lastly, the kids have been speed skating for 3+ years, most of them have been skating since they could walk so I think that they have had plenty of time on skates.
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Old March 11th, 2015, 03:58 PM   #39
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Ok, I can't really say about indoor meets and such and whether change in wheel size will help or hurt because I know nothing about it.

I can speak from the parent angle. I also speak from the parent angle of a lot of hockey mom's and dad's. Just throwing this out there so if you guys have input into how things are done for meets you will keep this in mind.

If you want to draw young one's into the sport and a more general participant then keeping things inexpensive and the same are necessary. I think the bigger wheels are very helpful. I notice a big difference between 110 and 100 wheels and I only skate long distance outdoors where ankle endurance and lower leg muscles will fatigue and cause slow down. My best times are on a 3x110 1x100.

Here is what happened to a local ice rink. Started out great having little kids and preteens in hockey teams. Owner had a recycle of equipment program and there were getting to be many kids signing up. Then he tried to make money on selling only new equipment and stopped the used equipment program. Now you could still get used stuff but parents had to go find it. This lasted one season and then enrollment dropped to nothing and less. The rink struggled for another year and went under. I know some of the parents and asked why and said the cost was nuts. Equipment plus team fees for using the rink got very expensive. Football on the other hand is paid for by the schools, a parent doesn't have to pay for anything. So their kids now are playing football.

Now for me. If I had to buy wheels every few months to compete, and wheels were $25 or so apiece, I wouldn't compete. Now I periodically compete on outdoor marathons but I have done so on some seriously old Bont HR+R's but favorites and did very well. I know it is not the same thing at all but once again, like said earlier, if cost gets up there people will stop and that group will likely not be retrievable. Sure you'll have a few but that is just it ... a few. For outdoors racing I have to consider (as well as everyone else) the cost of getting to the race which is always not cheap. Then there is time off. Many factors so when you know the playing field is not level in the least, well, it kind of takes a lot of zing out of competing. Sure I still go but to one's close by. If you want to accommodate those wishing to push the limits with equipment, nothing wrong with that at all, have a class for that but at some point equipment needs to be the same. If I have to strap on a 4x100 to do a race, so be it.
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Old March 12th, 2015, 12:24 AM   #40
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Ok, I can't really say about indoor meets and such and whether change in wheel size will help or hurt because I know nothing about it.

I can speak from the parent angle. I also speak from the parent angle of a lot of hockey mom's and dad's. Just throwing this out there so if you guys have input into how things are done for meets you will keep this in mind.

If you want to draw young one's into the sport and a more general participant then keeping things inexpensive and the same are necessary. I think the bigger wheels are very helpful. I notice a big difference between 110 and 100 wheels and I only skate long distance outdoors where ankle endurance and lower leg muscles will fatigue and cause slow down. My best times are on a 3x110 1x100.

Here is what happened to a local ice rink. Started out great having little kids and preteens in hockey teams. Owner had a recycle of equipment program and there were getting to be many kids signing up. Then he tried to make money on selling only new equipment and stopped the used equipment program. Now you could still get used stuff but parents had to go find it. This lasted one season and then enrollment dropped to nothing and less. The rink struggled for another year and went under. I know some of the parents and asked why and said the cost was nuts. Equipment plus team fees for using the rink got very expensive. Football on the other hand is paid for by the schools, a parent doesn't have to pay for anything. So their kids now are playing football.

Now for me. If I had to buy wheels every few months to compete, and wheels were $25 or so apiece, I wouldn't compete. Now I periodically compete on outdoor marathons but I have done so on some seriously old Bont HR+R's but favorites and did very well. I know it is not the same thing at all but once again, like said earlier, if cost gets up there people will stop and that group will likely not be retrievable. Sure you'll have a few but that is just it ... a few. For outdoors racing I have to consider (as well as everyone else) the cost of getting to the race which is always not cheap. Then there is time off. Many factors so when you know the playing field is not level in the least, well, it kind of takes a lot of zing out of competing. Sure I still go but to one's close by. If you want to accommodate those wishing to push the limits with equipment, nothing wrong with that at all, have a class for that but at some point equipment needs to be the same. If I have to strap on a 4x100 to do a race, so be it.
Along that train of thought. The addition of the 125 will move many adult skaters to purchase the new 125 set-ups. This will make many 110 frames, wheels and such more available at discounted prices via used and new discount rates for the kids and skaters staying on the 110's.
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Pinnacle Stealth boots, 3 X 125 EO frames. Chandler, AZ
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