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This week's column:

What Do You Think of 105mm Setups?

April 24, 2013




QHi, Bill: What is your opinion of 105mm wheels? Some smaller U.S. skaters, particularly smaller women, have started skating on setups with four 105mm wheels. But I haven’t heard much about skaters using them elsewhere? Are they popular in Europe or Asia? And are any world champions using them? Teri in Oakland

Ask the Coach!

Hi, Teri in Oakland: So far, I haven’t heard about anyone in Asia and Europe using 4x105mm setups. So apparently, this is something coming from the USA.

A couple years ago, I was in favor of smaller skaters using hybrid frames with one 105mm wheel positioned behind the toe wheel. But I gave up on the idea because, at least at that time, there weren't any high quality 105mm wheels on the market. And to win races, you must have the highest quality wheels.

In theory, a 4x105mm setup should provide some benefits. It would be shorter and lighter and that would make it easier to handle and less fatiguing, especially for skaters with smaller feet: size 38 (US size 6) and under.

On the other hand, a 105mm setup would most likely get "out rolled" by a 110mm setup. I don’t have any experience with the 4x105mm setups, so I can’t say how much roll you would lose. But I can tell you that you lose lot of roll with a 4x100mm setup.

Some of smaller skaters tried to compete on 4x100mm setups during the transition to 110s. But they found they were no longer competitive.

Over the years, I have become a little skeptical about changes in skate technology. It seems that many of them are driven more by the need of skate companies to generate sales than a desire to help skaters. But I don't know whether that is the case here.

The question we will have to answer is whether the improved handling and lighter weight of 105mm setups makes up for their reduced roll?

As far as that goes, the jury is still out.

Cheers, Bill


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