Test : 110 mm Roll'X Maraton'X Wheels
Testing carried out by "Motard34" and "Alfathor"
Foreword (by Motard34)
For years, I've used F1100 & F1110 Matter wheels and before that, I used Mach 2 100mm and Grip 84mm Hyper wheels. I was overexcited when I finally got to try those one hundred percent made-in-France wheels, about which I had heard so much good. But what are they really worth compared those other wheels I had used before? And am I enough of a specialist to tell the difference?
The core is made of 13 white spokes slightly larger towards the center of the wheel. The center of the brim is highlighted with the red and the yellow of the brand. No overdo as to decoration. The only writing that can be found are the name of the brand and the address of their website. The brim has a good elliptical profile with a thin and slightly flattened parting line.
Unlike many other manufacturers Roll'X encloses a note in every set, with the technical characteristics of the wheel, the set number and, most useful, the fabrication date which gives you an idea of the maturation of the polyurethane.
We found no shards of plastic, whether on the core or on the brim. The coating is very neat, nothing to report.
The mounting of the bearings is fairly easy, whether you use regular bearings or bearings with adaptability rings, it goes quite smoothly. As for the spacers, we advise to use those sold by Roll'X. If you do there is no problem at all to change the wheel from one frame to another...
The testing for rebound proves to be very conclusive, the Marathon'X wheel bounces back quickly at a very good height.
The testing was composed of two phases with two different mountings.
#1 : Bont Vaypor standard boots + 3*110+90mm Inlinebus frames
#2 : Bont Vaypor molded boots + 3*110+100mm Core XXX frames
The boots are quite rigid and the frames flexibles. I've put on the 3*110+90 mounting which I know well since I use them on a regular basis. The first impression is not that positive: overall it's loose, really loose...
Ok, it has a good grip on the pushing phase and cornering, but I don't get any of the sensations I used to have with my F1110 Matter's. The roll sensation is dulled by those seemingly all-absorbing wheels. So I think : “Good training wheels. They sure hold, but they lack a little something in rolling and reactivity.
The boots are very rigid but also really close-fitting and my feet are used to them since they date back to 2005 (the boots, not my feet...). I discover the frames, which I just bought on rollerenligne.com. They prove to be REALLY rigid.
It's immediately a completely different story. I feel the comfort similar to what I felt during phase 1, that is to say the comfort of the Roll'X wheels that absorb any unevenness of the road. But in combination with the rigidity of the boots and frames, the result is great. The roll is OK, even if the all-absorbing softness of the wheel can be quite disconcerting.
Admittedly, I'm used to the Matter wheels which, when you put them on in combination with rigid frames and boots you can tell whether the coin you've just rolled on it is head or tail up. It is as if I had put my Bont molded boots on for the first time. Until now, after a while wearing them, I felt weird vibrations resonating in the carbon and eventually, numbing my feet. With the Marathon'X, nothing of the kind, no wheels noise, no creaking sounds, no dimmed rolling noise coming from Matter “hollow core”. In short, I feel like coming back to the old times of the top comfort Hyper Stripe but with a roll which has no reason to be jealous of Matter's one.
They have a good grip and can't be taken at a fault whether in the pushing phase (even when exaggerating the pushing movement) or while cornering (even at high speed).
I couldn't test them while raining, but I did pass a few wet portions of the road and they held.
With its 135-grams weight, the Marathon'X is quite lighter than the Matter Hollow Juice Core that has the same diameter, or than the Bont Mint Green.
Diameter : 110 millimeters exactly.
The white gum hardness is 85A.
The core is fairly rigid, it doesn't yield much while in torsion, while it remains flexible enough to absorb vibrations. These wheels are more aimed for road rather than for the track, for which the X'Bird series are, in my opinion, more appropriate.
These wheels wear at a slow, homogenous and regular pace. Though, while using them I'd advise to avoid the T-Stop, in which case they mark rather quickly. Otherwise the elliptical profile is easily kept as you long as you remember to regularly switch the wheels from one frame to the other.
Conclusion (by Motard 34)
Even if for short races such as marathon and semi-marathon I'll probably keep my Matter wheels because of their rigidity and also because they provide better sensations, I strongly recommend these Roll'X wheels for 6-hours-, 12-hours-, 24-hours-races, long distance, fitness, treks, etc.... In short, every time we need to trust our equipment for a rather long period of time with maximum comfort. The Roll'X wheels are also well-fitted for uneven grounds.
Jean-Stéphane Sierra, a French Elite and inline speed-skate molded boots manufacturer use them regularly for competitions (French- and World-inline-Cup races). He made the sixth place in the FIC of Lyon in 2009.
Of course they are also wonderful training wheels. I used them for the Tours' 6-hours race and will use them for every long-distance races I'll be in this year. They are really good wheels that manage to even the asperities of the road while keeping good dynamic capacities. On top of that, they are made in France, are of a more than reasonable price, especially given the level of performance. Plus an excellent service from the manufacturer who is always available to answer questions and offer advice. Who could ask for more?
Diameter : 110mm
Hardness : 85A (medium)
Width : 22mm
Adapted bearings : regular ones or micro ones with adaptability rings
Profile : elliptical
Weight : 135g
Price each : 10.25 Euros
Recommended use : inline speed-skates' competitions and training on medium and long distance
upsides & downsides
plusvery good roll
excellent value for money
Minus- quite fast wear when using T-Stop
LinksText by Eric Fouilloux and Alfathor
Pictures by Alfathor
Translation by Cyrielle Plançon and Thomas Lemaire