Skate Preview: the 2006 Rollerblade Collection

Rollerblade's Race Line of Inline Skates

2006 Rollerblade Problade

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Rollerblade's Speed Skate for 2006

By Robert "Just the Factoids" Burnson

The 2006 Rollerblade Problade is almost identical to last year's model with one major and one minor difference.

The big change is the frame.

This year's Problade came with a relatively clunky, though solid, dual-box frame designed by Mogema. Next year's model comes with one of Rollerblade's new lightweight, spider-web frames, the Pro Fuel frame.

The sleek frame is made of rugged 7000-series aluminum and weighs 190 grams, which is on the light side for frames that handle four 100mm wheels.

The other change for the 2006 Problade is the absence of power straps.

This year's model had two power straps over the laces. But Rollerblade decided to drop them after consulting with skaters who said they were superfluous, said marketing director Nick Skally.

The Problades are built on a carbon-fiber shell, which can be heat molded around the heel and ankle.

The boots are leather with plastic "Sliderace" guards on the outside to protect against scratches.

The skates come with Hyper Stripe 100mm/84A wheels and "Race" ABEC 7 bearings.

Street price is expected to be $499. The skates should begin to appear online and in stores in mid-January 2006.

The mount spacing on the frames is 190 mm but there is also a slot that appears capable of handling 195 mm spacing.

There is no women's-specific model for the Problade.

(Note: The Problade World Champion Limited Edition will not be available in the United Skates in 2006. But Rollerblade plans to bring in a new gold-version of the Limited Edition in March.)

(Photo: Rollerblade)

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Copyright © 2005 by Robert Burnson

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