How to choose your speed frames (Yann Guyader)
A Cornelian choice?
Since the 84 mm were released worldwide in 2002, we got 3 more sizes of wheels, what also means new length of frames. These changes becomes more and more usual. How to make the right choice when buying new frames?
Several things are required to make it right:
1- The first and the most important is the wheel size that will fit into the frame,
2- the second thing is the length, as several frame lengths are available for the same size of wheels,
3- the last thing is the architecture of frame, soft, stiff or in between.
Diameter of wheels
When you buy a frame, the first thing you have to do is to choose the diameter of the wheels that will go into the frame.
As a consequence you need to buy a frame that fits perfectly with your body, your skills and the way you intend use it :
- For recreational skaters not really keen on hard training and beginners, I recommend to buy a frame of 12 inches long (maximum). This frame will allow the use of 90 mm wheels which is the best compromise for recreational skating, moreover that kind of wheels gives you the best feeling between roll, smoothness and agility.
For people who want to skate a bit faster
...and to do some regional races time to time, a 12'8 frame with 100 mm wheels should be the best weapon.
For people skating quite often and racing on a good level to the world class skaters
The 110mm frame is now the only weapon able to give you the ability to keep up and being competitive.
The only problem for you as a customer, is that the choice of 110 mm frames is becoming bigger and bigger. It might make you be a bit lost when you will go and see your local retailer. It also can become a nightmare when no one inthere is able to give you the proper advice.
The keys of a good choice
When you choose your frame, you need to find the one that is gonna fit the best with your body: tall or tiny, skating indoor, on tracks or road circuits, the length and the architecture of the frame that will fit with you is going vary a lot from skater to skater.
Here are the different types of frame adapted to speed-skaters according to your practice...
This kind of frame, shorter and lower than a 4x110 mm frame is perfect for people looking for reactivity and agility.
This frame is mainly made for track practicing, as it offers better cornering. This kind of frame is not only a track frame because we got the opportunity to see that it succeeds in many marathon races. We remember especially the WIC series where top class skaters like Yann Guyader, Matteo Amabilli, Elio Cuncu, Kalon Dobbin and others won many top events on the ICON frame and on the XXX Mean Machine.
This frame is much more comfortable and allows you to keep skating smoothly even twhen you get tired. On the other hand it's still the best combination for girls wherever they skate : indoor, track, road circuit or marathon...
This is the ultimate weapon for pure performance. Some top skaters like Andres Munoz or Nelson Garzon, would never change their big frame with any other kind of shorter frame. Its length allows a better push, more efficent to reach a top speed and gives you a better stability on high speed, what you can appreciate when you contest races like Engadin or Berlin.
Do not forget that using that frame is not that easy and not everybody is able to do it. You need to skate perfectly because if you're not smooth it may become a nightmare.
Indeed, when you're getting tired, you're skating worse and worse and this frame is not going to help you to improve your skating style while being exhausted. This frame better fits tall people. Indeed, it is the ultimate weapon, but you need to be able to use it if you wanna buy it.
The stiffness of frames
After seeing all the different frame lengths adapted to each practice, you need to choose the stiffness of the frame you want to use : soft, stiff or in between.
Soft or medium frames
These frames are adapted to people practising track as they offer the best cornering and reinforce the grip of the wheel when the urethane is bending in the corner what gives you a better push. On the other hand this frame is more or less adapted to any kind of skaters, tall, small, light or heavy, beginner or top class skaters...
This is the best weapon for the power. it could make a comparison with a big chain ring on a bicyle. This is the better tool to reach the highest speed, but when you get tired... be careful because it could become a bit hard for your legs!
This type of frame is dedicated to tall, heavy or powerful skaters but it's also the best weapon for sprint races like the 200 m.
LinksText : Yann Guyader
Photos : Alfathor, Michel Terrien, all rights reserved