Matter's speedy roll monsters
A Speedy Roll Model for Indoor Skating
By Francisco Ramirez
Matter's G-Shock wheels are among the top indoor inline racing wheels in the United States. Released in October 2006, they have hollow hubs and what the company describes as "high-rebound cores." They come in three hardnesses: firm (blue), X-firm (yellow) and XX-firm (white).
Over several days of testing, I experienced exceptional roll with these wheels. On a coated floor, they allowed me to easily maintain my speed, even while coasting.
The grip of the yellow wheels was good but not outstanding. The wheels grip well on a newly coated floor. But if you push hard, they tend to slip at the end of your stride. However, you can overcome this by combining them with the G-Shock Blue wheels, which are softer and grippier. Just one blue wheel per skate is enough to give you great roll and great grip at the same time, just what you want for racing.
World Champion Joey Mantia skating on the blue and yellow G-Shock wheels.
(NOTE: If you skate on a floor that isn't coated don't even think of skating on the G-Shock yellow wheels. You won't have any grip at all!)
These are not the longest lasting wheels in the world. I skated on them for two training days and at two inline speed skating meets. At the end of that time, they already showed some cracks — not many, but a few. The next time I raced on them, they did not hold the floor as well as they had initially. However, after rotating them, they felt as good as new again.
If you want top performance with these wheels, you probably will only want to use them at three meets before buying a new set. Of course, you can still use the old ones for practice.
The 100mm wheels are $12 each; the 110mm wheels (XL), $13. I thought they were expensive a year ago when the main competition was Hyper, which sold its indoor wheels for an average of $9. But now the main competition is MPC, which sells its wheels for as much as $16. So $12 doesn't seem so bad anymore, although many skaters hope Hyper will return to the field with a competitive wheel at a lower price. (In an upcoming review, I'll give you my take on whether MPC wheels are worth the money.)
The G-Shock wheels are the fastest indoor wheel I have skated on. They give you so much speed going into turns that you have to adapt your technique to control the G-forces. Using them convinced me that 110mm wheels are the way to go. I suspect that next year 110mm will be standard for both indoor and outdoor skaters.
The 100mm G-Shocks weigh 120 grams; the 110mm weigh 131 grams. On my skates, they seemed light (lighter than my old 5x84m setup) and easy to handle.
The G-Shock is an attractive wheel. Both the yellow and blue models are easy on the eyes.
Overall, the hub is sturdy, light and strong. The only quibble I have is with the opening for the bearings, which seems a little large. As a result of this, the bearings sometimes make a clicking noise as though they are moving in the hub. Nonetheless, I noticed no loss of stability.
Matter describes the yellow G-Force wheels as X-firm. My durometer rated them 91A, which is the preferred hardness for indoor wheels.
The Matter G-Force are very good wheels. I found myself going faster on them with less effort than ever before. In fact, they were good enough to convince me to finally switch full-time to 100mm wheels for indoor racing. For the confidence they gave me on the 100mm format, I found them to be worth the premium price. On the other hand, in the interest of keeping the sport affordable, I would like to see the price come down.