Test : K2 Celena (2010 edition)
We haven't been testing many women-oriented skates lately. K2 has sent us a pair of the 2010-ediciton Celena, which we have put to the bench. This model is built around a soft&hard boot with 4 90mm wheels. Here come our testing results...
Feminine ! It's pink, it's white, it sparkles ! Soft shapes harmonize with rounded writings, texture patterns match the color choices. The boot is narrow and seems to wrap closely the foot. Undeniably, this skate is meant for a female foot. And you'll notice the little pink knot design, symbolizing the support to the anti-breast cancer foundation.
The Celena is a flexible skate with a minimalist rigid structure. After trials, one may say that it is very flexible, even flexible to a fault for the most demanding skaters. The plastic material of the small cuff does not offer very solid support. The flimsy connection to the heel leaves a lot of freedom to the ankle. Some may regret the hardness of the foam at the back, although it is also a testimony to the quality of the shoe.
As all shell-less skates, Celena are very comfortable. They fit like slippers to our tiny feet. Almost seamless inside, no more "it hurts, it scratches, ..." The relatively dense foam at the ankle protects our malleoli and keeps us warm in the winter. The front side of the shoe, thinner and more ventilated, offers summertime comfort. Only drawback, a strange sensation that the median part of the foot is very tight (from the plantar arch to the top side of the foot), even though the little tootsies have ample breathing room.
It is built around the classic trio: laces on the front, velcro strap on the instep and micrometric clasp on the cuff. The eyelets are made of string themselves, so the lacing is flawless. One may regret that they do not continue downwards for a more precise fastening on the end of the foot. Two more eyelets beneath the plastic cuff, just above the buckle, would be a plus. The instep is held tight by a velcro strap, solidly seamed on each side, which unfortunately limits the angle at which it can be fastened. Beware not to catch your laces in that velcro, for fear of reducing their life expectancy. The cuff micrometric clasp is made out of white plastic. Its free end fits between the cuff and the inshoe, which avoids its disgracious and potentially hazardous dangling.
With practically no hardboot and a thin cuff connection, lateral support is somewhat lacking. Your skating technique must be close-to-perfect, or else you will find yourself "skating between your skates" !
Despite the slick cut, the walls are thick and solid enough to make do without lateral bridges. The frames are adjusted with a slight inside bias, which may compensate somewhat if you tend to lean on the inside. Unfortunately, the permanent mount does not allow for ajusting the frame or replacing it.
K2 has fitted this skate with Twincam ILQ9 bearings, a tried-and-approved reference on the marketplace. No deterioration of the bearings was noticeable for weeks of trial and they do provide smooth rolling. Spacers are inserted inside the bearings, so you'll need a "pusher" tool to remove them.
The original mount is with 90mm 83A shore weels. The 7-spoke chore offers good rigidity. Its tranparent polyurethane bandage has a well-shaped eliptic profile and nice serigraphies. The weels erode regularly, with no remarkable material gaps and the degradation is homogenous. This design choice provides both comfort and respectable rolling efficiency. This weel is well suited to long strides without too much acceleration/deceleration. It provides excellent grip on dry ground but does not shine on the wet. If you would enjoy swift speed-ups and changes of pace, you will find the K2 wheel to yield too much under pressure. In short, this is a good wheel for its intended purpose, fitness skating, and it reaches its limits when one strains the skate a bit too much.
6mm axes are good enough for fitness skating and even allow the reckless to skate down stairs or curbs without fear. It is to be regreted that the threads are not directly drilled into the frames, which would make disassembly/reassembly operations easier, when cleaning up the bearings or switching the wheels.
A good skate for short or medium-range easy-going fitness skating or the family sunday stroll. Poor reactivity will not satisfy the alert skater, but comfort will make you really enjoy skating around smoothly.
Strengths and weaknesses
Plus+ Excellent comfort
+ Good finishing
+ Good value for money
+ Sophisticated aesthetics
+ Good grip
Minus- wheels erode rapidly
- lack of reactivity
Recommended usage : short or medium-range fitness skating
Users : Women
Boot : Soft/hard Softboot
Fastening : laces, velcro strap and micrometric buckles
Sizes : 34 to 42,5
Frame : riveted 2 stamped aluminium plates - V02 design
Brake : pad
Max wheel diameter : 90 mm
Wheels : K2 90mm 83A
Spacers : Aluminium
Bearings : Twincam ILQ 9
Mass : 1415 gr for size 38
Recommended Public Price : 199 Euros
Useful linksText : Alfathor
Photos : K2 and Alfathor