Tru-Rev has introduced a line of three-wheel frames intended for young skaters who want to enjoy the benefits of bigger wheels without the added weight.
The new frames come in three sizes, one each for 84, 100 and 110 millimeter wheels.
During the past few years, most adult speed skaters have switched to speedy new "Big Wheel" setups, which feature four wheels of 100 or 110 millimeters.
But the larger wheels have proved too heavy for many younger skaters. As a result, most have remained on four-wheel setups with smaller (72-90mm) wheels.
However, using small wheels is only one way to lighten the load. Another is to reduce the number of wheels. Eliminating one wheel cuts more than 200 grams for every skate, says Tru-Rev's Desmond Kameka.
"We have seen some nice results with the new 3-wheel frames primarily on indoor, track or road criterium courses," he said. "We are not certain how this setup will work on longer races. However for younger skaters, the races are much shorter than for older skaters."
The frames ($275 per set) are intended for children, ages 4-12.
Kameka said the larger wheels provide young skaters with "better roll, particularly in the draft. "However, as the skater gets older and stronger, we would definitely recommend switching to four wheels due to the momentum you can achieve once you build up speed in longer races."
Related reading ...