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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, 2015, 07:16 AM   #1
Anton
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Default Help with wheel setup for hilly terrain

Hi,
Hearing that larger wheels give greater speed, I moved from a 5x84mm frame to a 4x100mm one - only to discover that the effort needed with the larger wheels cuts down any possible speed advantage. On a flat road, the 100mm are actually doing quite well, but it's mostly up and down where I live.
Do you know if the difficulty is inherent, and I'm better off sticking to smaller wheels until I move elsewhere, or is it a matter of building up more muscle / learning better skating form?

I'm not sure if it matters, but rather than a proper speed boot, I'm using a fairly heavy high cuff Seba shoe (along the lines of this), mainly because that's what I was advised to buy years ago, but also because skating in the dark on iffy surface and only recently coming back to regular skating after a long break, I'm willing to sacrifice speed for safety.

Will appreciate your thoughts. Thanks!
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Old November 13th, 2015, 02:07 PM   #2
kentek
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Default video of you

Do you possibly have a video of you going uphill?

Without seeing your technique I will only be guessing.

Uphills are all about technique. Yes, strength helps but it only goes so far.

Here is what I try to do on my hill climbs:
Bend the knees even more than you do on the flats.
Take shorter strokes and increase the tempo
Hold the roll longer
Set down skate to opposing side of your hip- make it extreme.
Keep your shoulders still and perpendicular to the hill
If you swing your arms keep hands=arms low and don't let your shoulders hunch.
Hold a bullet in your teeth and smile! It's just a hill...
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Old November 13th, 2015, 04:35 PM   #3
WJCIV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kentek View Post
Hold the roll longer
Set down skate to opposing side of your hip- make it extreme.
Some good points in the post, but I don't understand these two points. What sort of hills are you climbing where your momentum stays high enough to maintain your roll for longer (and how does that mesh with a quicker tempo, which was another point)? And do you mean you cross your skate all the way to the other side of your body before setting it down?

It does take more effort to get bigger wheels up to speed. That comes from physics. Is the difference in effort truly noticeable for most skaters? I think the answer is yes, but not by a whole lot. They do change your height from the ground, which affects some of the other mechanics. From the information you have shared I would probably stick with the 100s so it doesn't feel like a wasted purchase at least until you wear out one set of wheels. You may adapt your technique in that time. If the next time you need new wheels you still aren't comfortable you can reevaluate at that point.
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Old November 13th, 2015, 05:53 PM   #4
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Default Bloody hard...

...to write about going up hill. I must have been out of breath.

Anyway- I hill not too steep I try to hold roll to max. But on steeper stuff, yes, turn 'em over faster.
Key is to keep skate under you.

I don't have a video either.
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Old November 14th, 2015, 09:56 AM   #5
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kentec - a video will take a bit since I'm usually out alone, but I'll keep it in mind.
I understand the points about short strokes and bent knees - by "Set down skate to opposing side of your hip" do you mean setting the direction of the push perpendicular to the moving direction?

WJCIV - this sounds reasonable, and I probably will stick with them awhile - the main difference I feel is getting tired quicker, but that's not a bad thing considering I'm looking for a workout in any case - and building up ore endurance can only be a good thing.


Thanks!
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Old November 14th, 2015, 03:44 PM   #6
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I'm a horrid outdoor skater, mostly because of hills. I won't compete outdoors because I do not like hills.

That said, all previous comments are correct about form. The more you let the skates do the work, the better you will get. I like to have my body follow the stroke of my skate and allow the skate to roll.

My current setup is a hi-lo 3x110mm/1x100mm setup. I actually found it easier to skate outdoors when I transitioned form a 5 wheel setup to a 4 wheel setup. There is less friction with one less wheel.
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Old November 15th, 2015, 09:54 AM   #7
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If anything, a 4x100 setup should be easier to push up (steep) hills than a 5x84 due to the shorter wheelbase.

But I feel it's more a case that you probably just need to get used to the new setup. Small changes in the stride timing (longer roll), higher deck height etc.. can have a noticeable effect which only come into focus when you are trying to push the envelope (eg uphill).

Hill technique varies a lot depending on gradient, and if you are really attacking the hill or trying to preserve energy, but I would suggest that you want to learn to do it as efficiently as possibly (ie slowly) first.
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Old November 16th, 2015, 02:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilzzz View Post
If anything, a 4x100 setup should be easier to push up (steep) hills than a 5x84 due to the shorter wheelbase.
In my experiments, it has always been the opposite. Lower deck heights are usually easier to climb hills with and wheel base doesn't seem to make much of a difference. Not everyone will agree.
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Old November 17th, 2015, 04:42 PM   #9
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Default The word I was looking for

Pendulum:

Skating on any terrain is a form of a moving pendulum. On hills the shape of the pendulum changes from the direction of travel to more side to side.
In keeping the pendulum moving up steep hills everything must be in sync: arm swing, push stroke in direction of angle of attack.

When it is right you will start to love the hills.

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Old November 17th, 2015, 04:48 PM   #10
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Yup, I think I am starting to adjust. Still far from loving the hills - except maybe on the downward slide - but it seems the larger wheels just need to be treated with more gravity - more effort per push, less frequent pushes.
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