This week's column:
'Are My Frames Too Long?'
September 5, 2012
Hello, Bill: I am a newish inline skater. I recently bought Bont Jet boots (size 7.5) and attached them to Rollerblade Tempest frames (110-100-100-110). The frames are 12.6-inches long. Almost the entire front wheel is sticking out past the end of my boot. Is this frame too long for me? I can wheel around fine, but I wonder if I would do better with a 12-inch frame with four 100mm wheels. I am up in Michigan and have zero inline skaters to ask for advice, so any help would be appreciated. - Sincerely, David
Hi, David: You should be just fine with the Tempest frames. Their length is a good match for your boots and should provide good maneuverability, quick acceleration, and stability on downhill runs.
These days, most speed skaters with size 7.5 feet use frames that have three 110mm wheels and one 100mm wheel. These frames are a little longer (12.8 inches) than yours, but still manageable.
Switching to frames with four 100mm wheels would probably slow you down on the open road by cutting down on your roll.
One thing to check with your current setup is that you have the same amount of wheel protruding from the front and back of your boots. If not, adjust the position of your frames so that your skates are balanced.
By the way, the basic rule of thumb is that no more than three-quarters of a wheel should protrude from the front or back of your boots. If more sticks out, your skates can become ungainly.