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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:50 am 
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Thought I'd start a thread with my skates in - I know there's one or two skaters on the site.

"I'm the Top Skate Dog, you cannot question my ways..."

"He doesn't even call it skating, he calls it the brotherhood of the wheel!?"

"Roll to the goal..."

These are my latest build, bought initially just as the boots, the other bits - soulplates and frames were something of an iterative process:-

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They're a pair of Deshi Spizer boots, USD (ex Deshi) carbon soulplates, and a pair of Powerslide Cell II UFS FSK frames.

I seem to have been skating on / building / buying freeskate / powerblade type skates in recent years. Although inline is a relatively recent, although strictly speaking retro (just, as my first pair of inlines was bought in 97...). I first started skating on ice, on hockey skates around '81. First pair of skates I had were a quite traditional pair of leather hockey skates, with an all metal blade / frame, bought from a local sports shop around 81 / 82 for a birthday present. I want to think they cost the princely sum of £25.

They weren't the coolest skates, ever - most kids were rocking plastic hinged skates, with plastic frames - most popular during all the time I skated on ice, proved to be Bauer Turbos - cool, in their mediocrity. I never owned a pair, and although it's been fashionable to relive those times by buying them these days, so far, it's not been an itch I've had to scratch.

A year or two later, I got some newer skates, that were quite trendy at the time, not least of all, because you could get them in different colours - Spogo Speed Pros - available in racecar red, go-faster blue, mellow yellow, and Ford-model-T black. I got black. Now this is an odd thing - they were truly trendy for a couple of years, really - but they weren't expensive at all, they were quite cheap, really - I think they were £20 new. I still have them in the garage (when I moved house a few years back, my parents practically insisted I get all the things that they'd been saving for posterity) so at some point I'll take some pics of my ice hockey skates from truly BITD and update the thread.

I bought one other pair of hockey skates, BITD, that are more like the ice hockey skates I have now, at least visually - although I didn't keep them that long, I swapped them for a pair of skates (that I've still got in the garage) that were my unicorn skates BITD - but never get your unicorn, it always disappoints, and these did, really (Lange Laser 3s).

Fast forward a few years, and I'd not skated on anything for quite some time. I'd seen the kids with these new fangled inline skates that they were jumping all over things, or on things, or off things. Wasn't truly sure, really. But in my late 20s, I decided to splurge on some inline skates, and maybe fill a little free time with it. Bought some Roces Chapter 3:22s - they were relatively expensive, and classed as aggressive skates, really - although, the only real difference back in those days, compared with normal inlines, was a bit of bolt-on metal and plastic, and smaller wheels to differentiate different types of inline skates. I think they cost me something like £180-£200 - bought them mail order. Most fashionable - but perhaps a bit overkill for somebody new to it all, were Roces Majestic 12s - think they were around £250 at the time.

To me, it didn't make sense to be spending a lot of money on something that I was new to, when I might not really like it any more. For a couple of reasons, that turned out to be solid logic. These are they:-

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They came with a heel brake - but before I'd even turned a wheel in them, I'd decided not to bother with that malarkey - in the words of the Dude "That aggression just will not stand, man...". It was easy on ice - just slide / hockey stop. No problems, right? Wrong! Skating on inlines did take quite a bit of getting used to, compared with previously having skated on ice. You didn't slide when you wanted, and did slide when you didn't.

Fortunately, my Roces Chapter 3:22 had rockerable axles (rockering is where the position of the wheels / axles varies in order to assist various things). Initially achieved by inline skate frames having special axle / washer arrangements, such that you could vary the position of each wheel as was your want. On skates without such features of the frames, you could largely do the same thing by using slightly smaller wheels. The point of it, is, well consider the blade on an ice hockey skate - given how they curve, somewhat at each end, to achieve the same on inlines, people tend to make either the front, or front and back wheels either slightly higher, or smaller, so that it's really the two wheels in the middle mostly in contact with the surface. This is done to aid maneuverability, at the expense of stability at speed. So speed skates running 100s, or 5 wheel frames, won't rocker at all - they'll all run their wheels flat.

Fitness / rec skates probably won't run any rocker, either. Aggressive skates tend to do the reverse, to either ease stability on ramps / pipes, or help with grinds. Hockey skaters tend to use hi-lo frames, and their wheels probably naturally wear into a rocker. Slalom / freestyler skaters tend to go with a full / banana rocker, though. Me spending years skating on ice hockey skates has largely meant I can't get along without skating with rocker - so that's the way I've always rolled. And for some reason, I've always gravitated towards boots more in the aggressive mold, than anything else, since that also seems to be rather similar, visually, to the skates that I used BITD. Skates like my current ice hockey skates weren't really typical back then.

Problem is, I'm too old and creaky to be jumping around and onto rails. And small wheels suck. Fortunately, my original Roces Chapter 3:22 allowed bigger wheels to be installed (aggressive skates use small, hard wheels, typically 50-ish mm in diameter. Rec / fitness skates 70-80, freestyle / slalom 76-84, and speed big as the frames can handle, and often 5 wheels. So I could put 76mm wheels in my Roces and also rocker them, they then became much nicer for me to skate in. Even so, it was rather sporadic, really, I'd go through periods of skating reasonably regularly, then not for a while.

Around 2000, I decided I'd buy some new inlines - just like many with a hobby, the idea of spending a fair amount, on the premise that it will commit and invigorate you to doing it more, eh... So I bought some Salomon ST90s - pretty expensive as skates were, then, about the best aggressive skates of their time, and truly awesome things - heat molded liners / socks, lace-lock "eyelets", heel shock-absorver. I spent a bit of time on them, but because of my prediliction for buying aggressive skates, I was stuck with these awful small wheels again. The ST90s were rather none compromised in terms of the frame - you could go slightly bigger in wheels (60mm at a push, but that was about it, really).

Not long after, Salomon and other prominent aggressive skate makes, decided to standardise on a type of frame fitment that was universal - so any aggressive frame, any boot - and given that aggressive skaters would often go through frames like nobody's business, given jumps and grinds, this was quite a revolutionary idea. People could mix and match as they liked. It was called UFS - Universal Frame System. And really only aggressive skates made use of it.

Salomon pioneered other lines of skates, in subsequent years, that used the standard - freeskates and kind-of fitness skates. Salomons FSK range because, largely, the choice of skate for freestyle / freeskate / slalom, until Seba, Rollerblade, and to a less degree, Roces got in on that.

So you could get a frame that would run bigger wheels, and bolt them to your aggressive boot, and have the best mix of heavy, bombproof, hot and sweaty - and frames with wheels allowing you to skate for longer and further in more comfort.

Only Salomon, really, made use of this to provide compatibility with other types of skates / frames - all the other makes largely just stuck with it for aggressive skates. And in fairness, it's stuck to present day. Around 2006, though, and Salomon left the inline skate business.

Had I bought my Salomon ST90s a year later, they would have embraced this new standard of UFS, but mine didn't - so for years, I just used them occasionally and my aging Roces got as much if not more use. Towards the late 2000s, I found out others had converted pre-UFS Salomons to be able to run UFS, and then started using Salomon's FSK frames on them. It needed some modification, and man's best friend - power tools - <John Major voice>Oh yes!</John Major voice>, a UFS / soulplate kit, and a UFS frame. I actually think they'd look that bit more distinctive were the frames more the cerise colour they look in the earlier pics - but that must have been an artifact of the way the pics were taken - rather boringly, they are deep red. Cue some modifications, and a 'la:-

ImageImage
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Suddenly new life had be given to my Salomons - and to this day, I've never been more at home on skates than these. Prior to rebuiding them like this, my Roces had travelled the world with me, now my Salomons did.

In the intervening years I have bought other skates, probably of most interest is these:-

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Powerslide Cell II FSK freeskates - of primary note is their use of UFS frames. Also worth noting, the very close resemblance to Salomon's Deemax range (some would be unkind, and same blatant copy, but oh no, not me - no sirree bob - you may well think that... but I couldn't possibly comment...):-

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(those aren't my Deemax skates, there - actually, I've never owned any Salomon FSK models - just the frames, they're just there to illustrate the similarities in Powerslide's first Cell IIs)

Of relevance, here - Powerslide are probably the single, biggest company in inline, now - and have swallowed up other brands and / or picked up their designs. If you compare their original Cell IIs (mine are 2005), the boot design is almost identical. The frame is UFS, like the Deemax, however, it's their own incarnation - in some ways better (easily allows bigger wheels, comes with 84mm wheels, stock), and each axle has rocker washers so each wheel can be rockered in 4 planes. The downside - a lot of freestyle / slalom skaters have said the original Cell II didn't provide as good ankle support as more dedicated slalom skates, and that their EA / extruded aluminium frame was weak. I've never had a problem with mine - although it does have to be said, Salomon's EA (extruded aluminium) FSK frames are truly excellent and a thing of beauty in terms of robustness above and beyond their aesthetic beauty. Although Salomon didn't make things easy with wheel choice on them (they tend towards having some pseudo hi-lo thing going on).

I have another NOS pair of them in a box, too, as some online skate shop was selling them on clearance, last year. Although good to skate in, and wickedly fast, again, they're not quite the same as my Salomon ST90s / FSK 237 hybrids.


Last edited by Neil on Sat May 30, 2015 5:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: My freeskates
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:51 am 
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FSK / freeskates was the name (probably as much of a branding thing, as anything else) that Salomon coined when they created their FSK line and line of frames - allowing those with aggressive boots to mix and match frames of another genre.

Since Salomon left the market, Powerslide has sort of got in on that act a little with their Cell II skates for a while - 2005 and for 4 or 5 years, their yearly improved / altered Cell II model sported a UFS frame. They've since abandoned using UFS frames on their skates - and although most decent non-UFS detachable frames use the same sort of bolt spacing (165mm) non UFS frames tend to be stepped, with the heel of the frame higher than the front. Similar in the speed skating world, where inline speed skates tend to use a standard bolt spacing of 195mm.

Since then, inline skate parts manufacturer Kizer has started to coin a phrase called powerblades / powerblading. Really very similar to the idea of freeskates, really - basically returning to UFS frames for other types of skates, allowing bigger wheel frames to be used on, say, aggressive boots. Some makes now provide complete skates built-up as powerblades. Kizer provide 2 frames for this - the Advance and the Arrow - I have one of each.

The Advance frame is plastic based frame, the Arrow frame is an extruded aluminium frame with plastic runners on the side for protection. They've also produced an updated Advance frame with an h block - because the main difference between the concept of powerblades and freeskates, is that powerblade frames are supposed to still embrace all that is aggressive skating and still provide a robust basis for grinds, that FSK / freeskates never really did - well not from the frame, anyways - soulplates on the skates used may have helped, but you wuldn't want to grind the EA FSK frames.

My Powerslide Cell II FSK skates are sort of freeskate / slalom skate:-

Image

My Roces Friday are a freeskate in a similar vein:-

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...the frames aren't UFS (although have the same bolt spacing of 165mm) they're a stepped frame / boot compared with UFS frames / boots which are flat where they meet (often UFS / non aggressive skates have a raised / stepped heel achieved inside the boot, though). These Roces Friday come pre-rockered in this size - axles don't move / orientate with any special washers - the front and rear wheels are simply 4mm smaller in diameter than the middle 2 wheels (ie 76-80-80-76).

I thought when I bought them they'd feel perfect - best of both worlds comparing my Powerslide Cell IIs and my Salomon ST90 / FSK 237 hybrids - full banana rocker, slightly smaller wheels than the Cell IIs so, so maybe a lower centre of gravity a bit like my ST90s. The reality achieves neither, and for some reason they just feel weird, when on paper and looking at them I thought they'd be a perfect fit inbetween my 2 favourites, really. But there you go - like bikes - all the logic and consideration in the world, and for some reason, the reality is far from the ideal I thought it would be. I've hardly used them - but I'm hoping to put more miles in, when I get more time.

In the meantime, semi-determined to build a back-up pair of Salomon / FSK hybrids I've bought 2 pairs of ST10s on ebay, neither ideal, one a little on the large side (although may well be just fine when I skate in them) and one a half size too small, which may well be quite unrealistic to use (they were cheap, though, and for the condition, an utter bargain). Problem is, the size info tends to rub off, and people forget and rather unreliably give their size in ebay auctions.

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ST10s being the blue updated versions, you can see some subtle changes in them, compared side-by-side with my ST90s. The cuff is cut slightly lower, the ankle / heel area bolstered slightly, the lace-lock things are still in place, other wise much the same, 'cept natively UFS, rather than having to be made to be with a gun against their head, like my ST90s were. I'm still on the lookout for a donor boot, in nice enough condition, that's close enough to my ideal size, that can be a worthy wearer of my 2nd set of FSK 237 frames, these will have to do for now - although slightly on the big size for me, but as the frame's the same size, and once tightened should probably feel about the same, or so I hope.

And my latest and greatest build - Deshi Spizer (Randy Spizer - like Randy Jackson, just different) boots, with tried with various soulplates and frames 'til I got happy with them.

This was my first attempt...

Image

...on the left, the stock soulplate arrangement, on the right, an alternative Deshi soulplate - both probably perfect for aggressive skating, but a bit too wide and clumpy for a freeskate. The frames are Kizer Advance powerblading frames - their basic plastic-type powerblade frames.

Moving on to Deshi CH-1 soulplates and the same Kizer Advance frame:-

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To Deshi / USD VII carbon soulplates, with Kizer Arrow frames:-

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...but the carbon soulplates run too small for the stated size (you can see a bit where the front of the soulplate doesn't quite extend far enough to the sole of the boot), and weren't available in black in the size bigger...

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...so grey soulplates, but I then had a cunning plan for the frames...

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So finished! Yeehar.

If they turn out to skate as good as I think they should, I'll then have another pair, I've deliberated so long on, and spent so much on, I won't want to take them on my travels, because I'll not be able to replace them, so yay me - nice going there...

So I'm back to either building up my compromise ST10s, or hoping I can spy a good donor boot for the 2nd FSK 237 frames to play wing man for my ST90s.


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 Post subject: My ice hockey skates
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:52 am 
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My CCM 2.0s:-

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My Bauer Vapor VIIs:-

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My CCM 155 prolites:-

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Although they don't look much different from the ice hockey skates available BITD (plastic frames, and a kind of fabric upper, these are entirely different from those in the 80s, they just look similar. The uppers / boots are significantly reinforced and have more ankle support than even the best of plastic skates I can remember back then.

Wish I'd have had them, then - I'd have been the coolest kat alive.


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 Post subject: My inline hockey skates
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:53 am 
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My Powerslide F-Series score:-

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I think... no I'm sure - they're the funkiest inline hockey skates I've ever seen.

My Tour RedMax:-

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...they've seen some action, man - they've done a few tours...

Bauer Vapor something-or-other:-

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CCM PF2s in need of a bit of a clean-up / tidy-up:-

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My project Bauer Vapor something-or-others, that need refurbing - eyelets need renewing:-

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They've got that funky TUUK rocker frame, which is why I bought them

My Nike hockey skates just in need of a thorough clean and polish:-

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:32 pm 
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maybe a stupid question , but where do you use them ? skate park ?

my kids love scooters . so spend a fair bit of time at the skate park ( they re too young to go on their own ), but not many people use skates .


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 6:26 pm 
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cchris2lou wrote:
maybe a stupid question , but where do you use them ? skate park ?

my kids love scooters . so spend a fair bit of time at the skate park ( they re too young to go on their own ), but not many people use skates .

Last skate park I skated in was in China, and it was hotter than hell.

Normally the prom, car parks, anywhere wide open, flat, with a good surface.

Think I'd like to spend more time on my ice skates, too - so maybe when time permits.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:25 pm 
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another stupid question , is there some models which are designed for everyday road use ?

I run or cycle to work , but those inline skates would be a good alternative , and a great work out .


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:12 pm 
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cchris2lou wrote:
another stupid question , is there some models which are designed for everyday road use ?

I run or cycle to work , but those inline skates would be a good alternative , and a great work out .

Some people would say fitness / rec skates - which are just basically general purpose skates.

Others would say the more freestyle / freeskate, perhaps even slalom type skate - simply because they have attributes similar to fitness / rec skates, but tend to be better built and more up to the rigours of urban skating.

So anything like:-

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The first pair are a custom build though - but would pretty much survive a nuclear blast, second and third pairs are freestyle skates - the downside would be neither come with heel brakes. That said - they're all effectively obsolete, or no longer available new. As a general purpose skate (not that they are, strictly speaking, a general purpose skate) I think I'd recommend some Roces ASP 100s - and I think a member on here (Dr Carlos?) was selling some not that long back.

Otherwise, something like Seba FR-X I guess - very decent skates, not hugely expensive, or Powerslide Metro, just a little more expensive. The major makes, Roces, Powerslide, Rollerblade, Seba all make decent enough skates - at the bottom end they can be a bit meh, really. Seba are really more slalom focused, although their FR-A and FR-X are a bit sort of crossover, really.

Like with bikes, anything overly cheap can be a false economy, but by the same token, no point in spending a fortune if it's something new. Roces ASPs, Seba FR-X and Powerslide Metro are all very decent skates, ideally trying them on helps because certain brands tend to fit a certain way (I always find Roces a bit of a narrow fit).

As a general rule, aggressive skates are built like trucks, and will take all sorts of abuse, but generally speaking have small wheels, which aren't nice to skate on for any distance, and any little bump, stone, or crack in the surface you'll feel - even though they have plenty of padding and shock absorbing - aggressive wheels tend to be the hardest compound used. Yes, you can fit, or buy them with powerblade frames - but then they'll either be expensive, or fairly expensive and you'll have to be taking them apart.

Hockey skates will have very little padding or shock absorbancy so although the boots and frames can seem very general purpose, for getting from A-to-B you'll once again feel every bump and that will produce fatigue. Fitness / rec skates will have suitable wheels, comfort in terms of ventilation - and almost certainly include a heel brake (although I think Seba sell heel brake kits for their skates) - thinking of it in those terms, probably sound most suitable - but the boots tend to be kind of wishy-washy and not great in terms of ankle support and robustness - which is why I suggested the models I have in preference to simply a decent, branded, rec skate.

So either, Roces ASP 100s, Seba FR-X, Powerslide Metro, or a decent branded rec skate. Thinking about it, heel brakes can be quite important if you're new - maybe a decen rec skate would be a better idea - I guess I've just cut to the chase, slightly, because often people want to quickly move on from rec skates, as they tend to be jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:19 pm 
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Having ridden BMX for a number of years and laughed at the inliners (like the skaters did) I started to read this wondering why I was bothering, but to be honest that was really interesting and I like hearing about the technical details. Nice one!

Nice to see there's room for some fancy anodising... ;-)


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:05 pm 
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Yes thanks .

Will wait for the summer and start looking for a pair .


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