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On 04 December 2011 at 08:43 | updated on 10 December 2011 at 19:53

Choosing your freeride skates

Choosing your freeride skates

Among the practices where customization is king, the Freeride has a special place. These roller skates must combine the performance and the rolling of a fitness skate and the strength of a street skate. Online-skating.com proposes you an overview of the mandatory characteristics for this type of roller skates ...

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The ubran roller skating pushed to its limits

Seba FR1 bleuA freeride roller skate is a hybrid between a fitness skate and a street skate. As such, you have find a skatee which combines a maximum of technical features common to both disciplines.

The boots

Most of Most of freeride roller skates available on the market are equipped with rigid shells because they are stronger and provide more support. They are usually completed by a stiff spoiler to improve the control and the support of the foot..

You can also use a semi-soft street boot (with less shell), which will be lighter but also offer less support and protection in case of impact..

Banish fitness boots that do not have enough foot support and protection.

Freeride boot are often protected by anti abrasive pads

Anti-abrasive pads are often added on the sides to reduce wear of the shell when falling. The "nose" of the boot can also be strengthened.

Ideally, it is better that these protections are removable to be changed when they are worn.

Tip: never wait to have used the screw heads to replace them or it will be more complicated to remove!

Soulplates : not mandatory but really useful

If soulplates are not essential to the freeride skates, they are still very useful if you also practice street-skating, if you slide on rails and walls, for example. Very few skates available on the market offer this option, you will need to buy an aggressive boot to have soulplates.

Frames: extruded aluminum or nothing

There are quite similar products to those used in slalom but more massive to withstand the shocks. K2 Mod frames have long been a great success such the Salomon FSK a few years ago. They had the advantage of keeping a certain compactness (about 250 mm), while being rigid and very strong. Currently, the Seba frames are a reference.

Preference will be given to aluminum frames with thick walls and well reinforced by several bridges. This will be the only ones able to withstand big gaps or soul slides.

Wheels : solid core required!

It's easier than before to find Freeride wheels in shops. This may also certainly be explained by the fact that riders often use the same wheels for slalom skating.

Is generally chosen diameters from 72 mm to 80 mm. For hardness, 84 or 85A are recommended to better withstand to cess-slides and give a good glide. Their profile is generally more round like the hockey wheels or slightly elliptical.

Hockey wheels can potentially suitable for freeride skating.Hyper has recently released a reknown model: the Concrete + Grip.
Matter also recently released a good product: the Matter Freeride (F1 Juice). Otherwise, there are also other brands like Nano or Gyro that propose cheaper products with a good value for money.

And what about custom skates?

In freeride skating more than elsewhere, customization is common to create the skate of your dreams. With the variety of spare parts available on the market, you can really make an original skate that meets the needs of freeride..

Less than € 200 - overview of the main skates available in your shops

In the 2000s and before, most of the skaters who wanted to practice freeride had no choice but to make their own skates because the offer of the market was very limited. 

Powerslide Metro

Since 2009, manufacturers have increased their efforts to provide a larger number of skates dedicated to freeride.

Powerslide Metro (2009)

Powerslide released the Metro in 2009, this is an entry level freeride skate . It only costs € 149. The Powerslide Metro has an interesting technical level, here are its main qualities and points to improve:

  • A very rigid and reactive shell
  • A good comfort thanks to a Sifika liner ...but it could be improved (one feels every rocks on rough surfaces)
  • The fastening system is  very effective. It combines micrometric buckles, laces and scratches
  • A simple, robust and classic frame
  • Bearings are a little fragile, they lost their circlips while skating!
  • Wheels with good grip but little rolling and uneven wear
  • A capricious hardware that you must constantly strengthen

Seba FRX

The FRX was created to allow beginners with low budget to discover the joys of freeride. The main differences between the FRX and FR1 are:

  • The cuff is not adjustable in height or laterally
  • The kick is hosting a tightening strap instead of a micrometric buckle
  • The frame is stamped instead of being extruded. It is equipped with twin axles instead of single race axles
  • The wheels are entry-level

Powerslide Cell FSK

Rollerblade Fusion X5This freeride skate is now a classic from Powerslide. The Powerslide Cell FSK is one of the oldest Freeskate products on the market. It looks like a slalom skate.

It includes: 

  • A light semi-soft shell uncommon in freeride skating, it lacks rigidity and protective pads for freeride
  • A compact and light aluminum frame
  • Entry level Powerslide Freestyle Wheels 80mm 84A
  • Additional anti-abrasive pads would be welcome

Fila NRK Road (2011)

The Fila NRK Road looks like a Seba FR. Fila seems largely inspired by the French model. We find the main features of Seba:

  • A similar fastening system with micrometric buckles
  • An adjustable 4 positions cuff
  • The upper is composed with basalt fiber
  • Anti abrasive pads are welcome
  • The extruded aluminum 6000 frame extrudée is well designed
  • Fila proposes Hyper Concrete wheels, an excellent choice!

Rollerblade Fusion X5 (2009)

Rollerblade has created a new line of freeride rollerskates in 2009, the Fusion serie. The X5 is one of the most successful models of the brand:

  • A stiff and strong shell
  • A comfortable liner
  • A reactive frame
  • Large soul plates under the shell to slide on walls and modules
  • A comment however: the low quality of the wheels that wear out quickly and irregularly

K2 Il Capo (2010)

Seba FR DeluxeIn 2010, K2 released an interesting freeride skate, the IL Capo, in the spirit of the Soul a few years ago.

The main features of this skate:

  • A shell with good support but a cuff which softens with use, thus losing precision
  • Large areas to a stall with a generous soulplate for freeride skating
  • Excellent comfort thanks to the K2 Softboot
  • The liner is a bit fragile, it was torn from the shell
  • The fastening system with straps and laces would have deserved an additional micrometric buckle
  • The skate is designed for beginners or advanced freeriders

Seba FR1 (2008)

Seba revolutionized the market of freeride skates in 2006 with the Seba FR1. This skate was designed by a rider and it makes a difference! The FR1 feature many useful options: 

  • An adjustable 4 positions cuffAluminum inserts with 7 holes under the boot to adjust the position of the frame depending on your skating
  • Very compact and rigid frames available in 4 sizes
  • A rigid shell with anti-abrasive pads on the sides of the shell. Unfortunately it lacks some flexibility.
  • A set of good standard wheels with a slow steady wear and good grip, which is rarely with other brands!
  • The FR1 are not equipped soulplates for a more "aggressive" use

Summary

BrandProductcomfortsupportfastening soulplate ?framewheelspricetested on
OLS ?
Les than € 200
PowerslideMetro++++++no++++€ 149
SebaFRX++++++no++++€ 149
PowerslideCell FSK++++++no+++€ 199
RollerbladeFusion 84+++++++yes+++€ 199
SebaFR2++++++++no+++++€ 199
€ 200 to € 300 
RollerbladeFusion X5+++++++yes++++€ 209
K2Il Capo+++++yes++++€ 229
SebaFR1++++++++no++++++€ 249
FilaNRK Road+++++++no+++++€ 299

Useful links

Choosing your long distance skates (products comparison)
Choosing your long rides roller-skates (general information)
Choosing skates for your kids
What type of roller-skates will suits you ?
Buying second-hand skates

By Alfathor
Photos: all rights reserved
Released  on 04 December 2011 - Read 62606 times


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