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Roller Derby Forum Discussions about banked-track and flat-track roller derby events, teams, skaters, and training methods.

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Old November 4th, 2013, 10:12 PM   #1
hdmx539
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Question The lament of the derby player - "MOAR GRIP! MOAR SPEED!"

Alrighty!

Right now I'm rolling on Sure Grip Zombie Mids 92As. I <3 them and have been enjoying them for the last couple of months. (I currently do not do any sort of a "pusher wheel" configuration.) However! I've been wondering if I should get a grippier wheel.

Some stats and info:
I'm between 190lbs and 200lbs and practice derby on a wooden rink floor. It's getting colder here (tho' today it's been rainy), and I can tell the difference in the floor and how the weather affects it. The floor has been getting slicker. (Something that I hear about is how Dad doesn't really sweep his floor much so it's often dirty.) Fine, but I can still tell, in spite of the dust and whatever, that it's been getting slicker the colder the weather gets. The wooden floor at another rink I skate at is feeling rather slick also.

So here is what happened on practice at Sunday. We did a 27 in 5 drill and I noticed that as I was coming out of the apex and I was pushing with my left foot, it'd *sliiiiiiiide* under me. It is really a miracle that I did not fall on my left thigh (a problem I had earlier this year that cause serious bruising.) So the result of my crossovers was some push, but I felt like I was losing all the power and energy because my legs were really sliding more than it felt like they were propelling me. (Though it is probably that the opposite is true, because if not, I would not have been going anywhere.)

The point is that I feel the cold wood floor is slicker, but I recognize I'm probably one of those "heavyweights" that should be on harder durometer wheels. I had gone from Atom D-Rods 95As to Reckless Ikon XE 91As with non-metal hubs. When I tried the Zombies I knew that I was losing a lot of power in my pushes with the squish of the urethane hubs. So I'd prefer to stay with aluminum hubs.

My question is, I'm wondering if I should stay with 92As, but get the wider Zombies in order to have a larger contact patch, stay with the mids but get the 89A for grip, or go with the smaller 89A for grip but... argh!!! See? It's so confusing.

I'd love to be able to get any set of wheels and just try them out, but as it is, wheels can be spendy. I have a speed skate class tomorrow where us derby girls are invited to get our endurance and speed up. I'll wash my wheels and see how I do with them cleaned off, but I'm also willing to possibly get one more set of grippier wheels to try out.

I'm sure many of you are familiar with RollerGirlSkates.com. That's actually a store here in Lewisville, TX that I can go to to pick up a set of wheels, although I don't believe they have their whole line in stock at the store but the more common ones and brands. They are, quite literally, the only game in town (and it annoys me, to be honest. I know plenty of derby girls who would LOVE to boycott them and be able to go to another store. The only other store is in Denton and that's an hour's, or more, drive for me and their shop doesn't have that much.)

I'd love to try Rollerbones Turbos but they are far too spendy for me at the present moment. I'm currently counting pennies and cutting coupons to save for a set down the road, that or the Faster wheels, I haven't decided yet. Right now, the cost of another set of 8 Zombies is doable for me. While I can handle *some* slide, I don't want what I was experiencing last night at practice where I was getting far too much slide. I had been doing 26/27 in 5, last night I got 24. (Okay, so I was also a bit tired since this was at the end of practice. ) But really, the slide I felt doing my crossovers was disconcerting. While I didn't fall, I did have a couple of moments where I thought my left leg would slide out from under me during that part of the crossover push, and I didn't feel I was getting the acceleration I normally get with my right leg either.

I'd prefer a metal hub. Looking at RGS, right now Zombies would be the only set I could go and buy right now and have with me. I'm not opposed to ordering and perhaps waiting a few days, and if that's the case, what would you guys recommend that would have a set of 8 wheels, (some sort of) metal hub with a price of around $100 for all 8? If I do get Zombies, should I get the slimmer 89s? Or stay with the mid and get 89s? Would this be a situation for a "pusher wheel" set up? (I know some folks here don't care too much for that set up, but I'm not necessarily opposed to them personally), or would getting the same durometer but in the wider wheel give me the just enough extra contact patch that could provide some grip without, of course, losing speed? At this point I am inclined to go one of two ways: Get a set of 4 Mid sized 89s and set up a pusher wheel config, or get full 8 wheel set of 89s - just not sure what size.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Things for me to think about to help in making a decision?




ETA:
This blog is one I tend to refer to when considering "pusher wheel" and other configurations: http://www.rollersandrevellers.com/r...wheels/pushers
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Old November 4th, 2013, 11:49 PM   #2
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You are clearly putting a lot of thought into your wheel situation as a means for addressing the slipping problem you see developing as the season for colder rink temperatures arrives.

I suggest you take a step back and look at the broader perspective of all the things that impact a wheels slipping issue. You neglected to indicate your current skate setup - plate, boot, suspension tuning & cushions.

1) Your skates will roll best and grip best with all wheels down, and each wheel carrying an equal share of the vertical weight load & lateral push forces.

2) Having a plate suspension optimally tuned for freedom of action, such that all four wheels can better maintain fully intimate contact with the rolling surface at all times, can have a even bigger positive impact on wheel grip/roll than better wheels or mixing wheels may give you.

3) Good front-to-back weight distribution between the two axles also helps, and this relates more to skating form and technique for stance, balance, ankle flexibility, etc. ...

4) If your skate suspension is toward the too stiff end of the tuning spectrum, going wider wheels can help give you better leverage to keep wheels down flat on the floor as you lean the plate, but they will not improve roll much since it is mostly just a wider hub width that can help reduce wheel squish, and the protruding & unsupported lip zone cannot help much to spread the load; it only helps to hold grip as wheel go up on edges (not good for best grip).

So if your suspension is already fully free turning, and loading on all four wheels seems fairly equal, but your wheel grip still seem lacking, then the focus can shift more onto the wheels themselves.

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Old November 5th, 2013, 01:34 AM   #3
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Armadillo,

You're right, I had posted elsewhere what I was on presently and ass*u*me*d people would remember.

I am presently using Labeda G80 speed skate with stock plates. The bushings have been upgraded to Powerdyne Universal Magic cushions, red 78As. I have adjusted my trucks so while they're not so loose they wiggle, but are loose enough that you can see them turn when I move my foot from side to side. I am also on Sure Grip Zombie Mids 92A wheels as mentioned above.

Now, I have some Bonts with me and I am about to ship them off to be mounted on a Sure Grip Mag avenger - so it may be that my post is a bit premature. But I don't have that yet. (I'm going to do some heat molding tonight to ship off tomorrow. )

HDMx539
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Old November 5th, 2013, 04:42 AM   #4
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Honestly the 92' should be a pretty grippy durometer for your weight and skates.
However, humidity, temperature, cleanliness of wheels AND cleanliness of floors will also affect your grip, as well as proper form.

First thing I'd try is giving your wheels a good scrub, but since it was happening while taking corners, I'm thinking form could also be your issue.
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Old November 5th, 2013, 06:58 AM   #5
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I know that cooler weather can make a difference. And I am just in California where cool is the 50s.
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Old November 5th, 2013, 12:50 PM   #6
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Darkjester:
*nods* Yeah, I'll clean up my wheels and see how I do at speed skate (held at the same rink) tonight along with being conscious of my form.

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I grew up in Long Beach. I'm so jealous. I wish I could be back home in south Cali. Yeah... I remember the days of 50s being "freezing." Oh, and I still melt at 85 here in TX.
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Old November 5th, 2013, 12:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkjester View Post
Honestly the 92' should be a pretty grippy durometer for your weight and skates.
However, humidity, temperature, cleanliness of wheels AND cleanliness of floors will also affect your grip, as well as proper form.

First thing I'd try is giving your wheels a good scrub, but since it was happening while taking corners, I'm thinking form could also be your issue.
I just wanted to add, you know, I know this. I know this. Intellectually. (Not to downplay your post, mostly to highlight it.) So that's why I was completely baffled at the loss of purchase I noticed as I was skating. It was mostly noticeable coming out of the apex, but I could tell elsewhere on the track also. Just in the whole rink.
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Old November 5th, 2013, 01:50 PM   #8
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I have had this issue the OP has. SO I have a few environmental questions.

1) Is it the same turn that you are slipping in? Is it near where the heating and cooling vents are?

2) When you are doing crossovers are you trying to get real long power strides?


I ask this because one of our rinks is a great wood floor.. cold dry weather makes it FAST. And in the back (normally our turn 4) the HVAC vent has really changed the dynamics of that section of the floor. I always risk wiping out doing cross overs because I let a lot of my weight push my left leg for more power without more effort. Changing wheels did not help because it isn't a wheel problem: four wheels 225 lbs, centrifugal force and speed are working against me.

My solution was to come into turn for with more cross overs and smaller strides. I normally will try to get in 4 or 5 cross overs, but on turn for I work on getting 5 or 6 with shorter steps.

That solved my problem.
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Old November 5th, 2013, 03:42 PM   #9
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Default 92a zombies sound good to me.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by hdmx539 View Post
Alrighty!

Right now I'm rolling on Sure Grip Zombie Mids 92As. I <3 them and have been enjoying them for the last couple of months. (I currently do not do any sort of a "pusher wheel" configuration.) However! I've been wondering if I should get a grippier wheel.

Some stats and info:
I'm between 190lbs and 200lbs and practice derby on a wooden rink floor. It's getting colder here (tho' today it's been rainy), and I can tell the difference in the floor and how the weather affects it. The floor has been getting slicker. (Something that I hear about is how Dad doesn't really sweep his floor much so it's often dirty.) Fine, but I can still tell, in spite of the dust and whatever, that it's been getting slicker the colder the weather gets. The wooden floor at another rink I skate at is feeling rather slick also.

So here is what happened on practice at Sunday. We did a 27 in 5 drill and I noticed that as I was coming out of the apex and I was pushing with my left foot, it'd *sliiiiiiiide* under me. It is really a miracle that I did not fall on my left thigh (a problem I had earlier this year that cause serious bruising.) So the result of my crossovers was some push, but I felt like I was losing all the power and energy because my legs were really sliding more than it felt like they were propelling me. (Though it is probably that the opposite is true, because if not, I would not have been going anywhere.)

The point is that I feel the cold wood floor is slicker, but I recognize I'm probably one of those "heavyweights" that should be on harder durometer wheels. I had gone from Atom D-Rods 95As to Reckless Ikon XE 91As with non-metal hubs. When I tried the Zombies I knew that I was losing a lot of power in my pushes with the squish of the urethane hubs. So I'd prefer to stay with aluminum hubs.

My question is, I'm wondering if I should stay with 92As, but get the wider Zombies in order to have a larger contact patch, stay with the mids but get the 89A for grip, or go with the smaller 89A for grip but... argh!!! See? It's so confusing.

I'd love to be able to get any set of wheels and just try them out, but as it is, wheels can be spendy. I have a speed skate class tomorrow where us derby girls are invited to get our endurance and speed up. I'll wash my wheels and see how I do with them cleaned off, but I'm also willing to possibly get one more set of grippier wheels to try out.

I'm sure many of you are familiar with RollerGirlSkates.com. That's actually a store here in Lewisville, TX that I can go to to pick up a set of wheels, although I don't believe they have their whole line in stock at the store but the more common ones and brands. They are, quite literally, the only game in town (and it annoys me, to be honest. I know plenty of derby girls who would LOVE to boycott them and be able to go to another store. The only other store is in Denton and that's an hour's, or more, drive for me and their shop doesn't have that much.)

I'd love to try Rollerbones Turbos but they are far too spendy for me at the present moment. I'm currently counting pennies and cutting coupons to save for a set down the road, that or the Faster wheels, I haven't decided yet. Right now, the cost of another set of 8 Zombies is doable for me. While I can handle *some* slide, I don't want what I was experiencing last night at practice where I was getting far too much slide. I had been doing 26/27 in 5, last night I got 24. (Okay, so I was also a bit tired since this was at the end of practice. ) But really, the slide I felt doing my crossovers was disconcerting. While I didn't fall, I did have a couple of moments where I thought my left leg would slide out from under me during that part of the crossover push, and I didn't feel I was getting the acceleration I normally get with my right leg either.

I'd prefer a metal hub. Looking at RGS, right now Zombies would be the only set I could go and buy right now and have with me. I'm not opposed to ordering and perhaps waiting a few days, and if that's the case, what would you guys recommend that would have a set of 8 wheels, (some sort of) metal hub with a price of around $100 for all 8? If I do get Zombies, should I get the slimmer 89s? Or stay with the mid and get 89s? Would this be a situation for a "pusher wheel" set up? (I know some folks here don't care too much for that set up, but I'm not necessarily opposed to them personally), or would getting the same durometer but in the wider wheel give me the just enough extra contact patch that could provide some grip without, of course, losing speed? At this point I am inclined to go one of two ways: Get a set of 4 Mid sized 89s and set up a pusher wheel config, or get full 8 wheel set of 89s - just not sure what size.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Things for me to think about to help in making a decision?




ETA:
This blog is one I tend to refer to when considering "pusher wheel" and other configurations: http://www.rollersandrevellers.com/r...wheels/pushers
I would not go softer myself. I am 230 and I skate RBT 101s all year on all floors. I think you may be getting a bit caught up in gear analysis paralysis. In my mind, seem like it could be a bit of a form issue, not keeping weight centered over you feet when you crossover, or maybe something else similar.

But point is I think you can adjust to what you have since by most standards 92 is plenty soft at your weight on a wood floor. Also, when your new skates arrive, and you get used to softer suspension, if anything you may want a harder wheel then 92.

The DA45 adds a fair bit of traction over what your on right now just due to how much more the compliant the suspension is so I would certainly wait if I were you on wheels.

Instead focus on your balance, play around on your own and try to pay attention to where you lose traction in your push, and see if you are still balanced over your feet, or if you are pitched to far forward (my guess).

Either way, I think practicing feeling/adjusting to/working with the slip/grip of your wheels on different floor conditions is huge part of efficient skating. Trying to solve all these differences in conditions with equipment can quickly lead you to chasing your own tail, and robbing Peter to pay Paul, in this scenario Peter=Roll and Paul=grip..
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Old November 5th, 2013, 04:13 PM   #10
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Okay, that's it. I'm working with what I have. I think pjmariner has it:

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjmariner View Post
I think you may be getting a bit caught up in gear analysis paralysis.
I do have a tendency to over think things and I need to learn to use what equipment I have.

I have speed skate class tonight - I'll clean off my wheels, watch my form, and also look to see what's up with the environment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PappaWheelie View Post
My solution was to come into turn for with more cross overs and smaller strides. I normally will try to get in 4 or 5 cross overs, but on turn for I work on getting 5 or 6 with shorter steps.

That solved my problem.
Now that you mention this, PappaWheelie, I do remember one of the other derby girls saying the exact same thing. I had completely forgotten that. I'll work on this technique tonight also.

Thanks, folks. Working with what I have is really what I need to do at this point rather than rely on equipment. It can only do so much, at some point it must be the skater's ability that does the work.
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Old November 5th, 2013, 07:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdmx539 View Post
rufusprime99
I grew up in Long Beach. I'm so jealous. I wish I could be back home in south Cali. Yeah... I remember the days of 50s being "freezing." Oh, and I still melt at 85 here in TX.
Ya know what is weird though? As cold and miserable as 50 is, when I go skiing I don't seem to notice the cold. My daughter and I were the first folks up at Snow Summit one day, and it was 18 degrees. I could not believe how toasty I was standing there in the cold. And I thought about being freezing at 50 back home, but having no problem at 18. Granted I had warm clothes, but 18 is a helluva lot colder than 50. Skiing excitement I guess.
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Old November 6th, 2013, 01:06 PM   #12
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I want to update so that when others search and read the forums they can benefit from what we've discussed. I have to admit that a forum peeve of mine is when the original poster doesn't come back to update after having tried something (or not tried it for that matter.) And it's not something that's just on skatelogforums. It's on *any* forum. If someone is willing to freely share suggestions and advice, I feel it is my duty to come back and "report" what I have tried along with successes and failures. Okay, so... skating on ...

It's been raining here so the humidity is, obviously up. I did not get a chance carefully clean my wheels but I did wipe them down with a wet towel before putting them on at the rink. I figured that would have to be good enough for now. I also didn't notice any particular vents in the area of the turns on the rink. And I'm not sure if Dad has cleaned his rink. (I'm going to assume "no" here.)

I was conscientious of my form, though I'm sure I could get better. I also tried PappaWheelie's suggestion of smaller strides and doing more crossovers. This worked MUCH better and I did not feel so much like I was sliding and losing power from the push of both legs. I can, sometimes, be too far forward as pjmariner did suggest. Hmmm.. I think this might be a bad habit I'm going to have to work on.

At anyrate, I had better results last night with at *least* wiping down my wheels and performing more and shorter crossovers on the turn. (Because yes, I was trying to do more of a "long power stride" previously.)

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I'm not surprised! I guess context is everything, right?
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