Buying guide for the inline season ~ Passion/Patin/Vitesse - Passion/Speed/Skating


25 avril 2018

Buying guide for the inline season

Summer is coming and the inline season too. When you want to buy a pair of inline speed skates for the first time, it might be hard to find a way between all the possible options. While the ice speed skates have essentially two parts, the boots and the blades, the inline speed skates have much more parts to consider. This article will guide you through the buying process of a pair of inline speed skates.

By Marc-Antoine Caron from  Marchands de vitesse
In collaboration with Passion/Speed/Skating
Photos by Carl Savard and stock photos

The boots are an important part of a pair of skates. It is important to understand that a pair of inline boots have its own characteristics and are different from short track boots. First, an inline boot is lower on the ankle than a short track boot. It gives more latitude to our ankles. Since we skate long distances with practically no corners, we don’t need as much support on the ankle than short track skaters. In addition, the inline boots are generally more resistant given that we skate on asphalt most of the time. Then, the more you pay for a pair of boots, the more it will be rigid and light because of the highest quality of carbon used. 

Finally, the inline boot has generally a 195mm spacing between its two points of support. It is important to know it because it is not the same as a short track boot which has a 165mm spacing. Not every frame will fit a short track boot however it is possible to put wheels on it as you will see later.

The frame is the second part of a pair of inline skates. There are many type of frames on the market with many different options. To be sure to have the right frame, we need to verify the spacing of the frame. As I wrote earlier if you have an inline boot the norm is 195mm. Normally, it is easy to find this information in the description of the products. On the contrary, if you have a short track boot, you will need a frame with a 165mm spacing. There are few models with this spacing. The MapleZ Vector and the Cadomotus Neo Transformer are two good examples. In addition, it is important to know the number of wheels and the size of wheels you want. The bigger the wheels will be, the faster they will be. On the other hand, they will be heavier which can cause fatigue and they will be higher which can be a challenge for the skaters with weaker ankles. The more common combination are four wheels of 100mm, four wheels of 110mm or three wheels of 125mm. A more upscale frame will be more rigid and lighter.

Despite the size of the wheels, hardness of the wheels is an important thing to consider. There are two ways to measure the hardness of a wheel. Some companies will use a number followed by the letter “a” like “85a” and others will use the scale “Firm” to “XX-Firm”. The harder the wheel, the faster it will be, but it will also make you feel more vibrations caused by the road and it will have less adherence. Generally, if you skate on asphalt, the “84a” or “85a” wheels and the “Firm” and “X-Firm” wheels will be the best.

Bearings and Spacers
Finally, when you buy a new pair of skates, it is important to choose the bearings you want. You need two bearings for each wheel. Most of the skaters will use Abec 7 bearings and will replace them when needed. The company Bones offer excellent bearings at an very good price too. For the ones looking for the ultimate performance, there are ceramic bearings. They are more expensive and you will probably want to clean them few times before replacing them. The spacers come between the two bearings and they are normally included with the frames.

Do not hesitate to contact us for more advices and to be sure to have the right skates for you!

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