Roleri - Roller Blades
Roller Blades are a type of roller skate, used for inline skating. Unlike
quad skates which have a configuration of 2 wheels in the front and 2 wheels
in the back, inline skates have two, three, four or five wheels arranged in
a single line. Some Roller Blades, especially those used for recreation,
have a "stop" or "brake" which is used to slow down while skating; most
Roller Blades have a heel stop rather than the toe stop, particularly
indispensable for Inline Figure Skating.
A skate is composed of a boot, which is worn on the foot. To the boot is
attached a frame, which holds the wheels in place. Bearings allow the wheels
to rotate freely around an axle. Finally, the rubber brake typically
attaches to the frame of the right foot.
For most skating a high boot is used, which provides more ankle support and
is easier to skate in, particularly for beginners. Speed skaters often use a
carbon fiber boot which provides greater support with a lower cut allowing
more ankle flexion. For recreational skating a soft boot is used for greater
comfort, but many other disciplines prefer a harder boot, either to protect
the foot against impact or for better control of the skate. The boot may
also contain shock absorbent padding for comfort.
The frame and wheels of an inline skate. Typical recreational skates use
frames built out of high-grade polyurethane (plastic). Low-end department or
toy store skate frames may be composed of other types of plastic. Speed
skate frames are usually built out of carbon fibre or extruded aluminum
(more expensive but more solid), magnesium, or even pressed aluminum, which
is then folded into a frame (cheaper but less sturdy).
Axles, bearings and spacers. Ball bearings allow the wheels to rotate freely
and smoothly. Bearings are usually rated on the ABEC scale, a measure of the
manufactured precision tolerance, ranging from 1 (worst) to 9 (best) in odd
numbers. The ABEC standards were originally intended for high-speed
machinery, not skating applications, and do not account for the quality of
steel used, which is also important. While higher rated bearings are
generally better in overall quality, whether they automatically translate to
more speed is questionable.
Diagram of inline skate wheels with different diameter and profile. Wheel
sizes vary depending on the skating style:
44-59 mm for aggressive skating.
68-72 mm for artistic inline skating.
47-80 mm for roller hockey skating.
72-80 mm for freestyle slalom skating.
72-90 mm for general recreational skating.
84-110 mm for speed skating.
A hard rubber brake is typically attached to the heel of the frame. Brakes
allow for skaters to bring themselves to a stop. Learning how to use the
heel brake thus is crucial for beginners.