All-terrain Skating: Testing the Powerslide XC Path
Nordic Skating is not very widespread in France yet. However the discipline meets quite a success in Germany, as it enables cross-country skiers to train or to stay fit when there is no snow.
The XC Path combines of a semi-rigid fitness boot, the Phuzion 7 Hybrid Open Air, and of a frame made of extruded aluminum with two air tires of 6.25 inches, i.e. 15.9 cm.
That model is destined to Nordic Skating or Nordic Blading, a practice close to cross-country skiing, but for natural environment. The color mix of black, grey, lime green and silver reinforces the modern looks of the XC Path.
Softness and Rigidity
The front/back flexing of the ankle is perfect. The boot fits your foot and your moves closely, so that you can skate in the best conditions.
The Phuzion 7 Open Air boot is quite comfortable on the whole. It is made of very few parts. Let's note that there is no inside liner (less comfort but more precision). The foot enters a semi-rigid shell, completed with a tongue. The boot covers the foot efficiently. Note the many ventilation holes all around the shell.
Powerslide combines a classic lacing at the toes with a velcro strap at the in-step and a micrometric buckle at the cuff.
The laces are neither too short nor too long. They slide perfectly, almost too much given that there is no blocking system, which would have been handy to make the tightening easier, faster and more precise!
Let's hope that Powerslide adds one in the coming years…
The velcro strap efficiently holds the heel in the boot. However you'll need to readjust it after a while during your session in order to get more optimal support.
The micrometric buckle works well but proves to be a bit short with use. We could only lock it at the first notch.
On the whole, the tightening is efficient but Powerslide could improve the system with auto lock laces.
The Phuzion 7 Hybrid Open Air boot has a metal cuff, adjustable both in height and depth. It can be pulled down, raised, put forward or backward. It is totally independent from the lower part of the boot. In fact, the Open Air concept suspends the cuff on two bars placed on the inside and outside of the boot, linking the boot and the cuff together.
The boot in itself is low cut and displays your Achilles tendon. As for the sole of the boot, it has a ventilated x-shape, which improves the rigidity of the shell and lightens the whole.
An adjustable frame
This year, Powerslide opted for a 53.5 cm long frame made of extruded aluminum. It is quite an improvement compared to the previous editions where the brand had chosen embossed aluminum frames with two blades riveted to a central mount.
Powerslide didn't do things by halves as for solidity. The frame is a double void model (two upper and two lower parts) reinforced by several bridges. The least to say is that if you want to test its limits, you'll have a hard time trying to break it!
It is worth mentioning that you can adjust the height and spacing of the wheels according to what you are looking for: handiness or stability.You can also adjust the ground clearance of the skate.
Some of the spacers glued in the different axle holes (for potential changes of set-ups) tend to come off. To prevent it, don't hesitate to add a drop of glue.
The frame is more flexible at its ends than in its middle, for more handiness.
Note: Powerslide made the frame with a double axle spacing: you can mount 195 mm and 165 mm shoes on it. Nothing prevents you from mounting any skate boot you want on it! Moreover, the frames are also available separately. Feel free to customize your pair!
Powerslide equipped the XC Path with Rustproof ABEC 7 bearings. There is no deterioration of the rolling to declare after the 40 km of test, alternating asphalt, dry grounds and mud. We placed them in a jar filled water for a night, in order to see for ourselves if Powerslide had played the game. Before their bath, they were perfectly lubricated. The next morning, the surface of the bearings was not degraded, but part of the lubricant had vanished. Then we opened the bearings to check the state of the cage: No oxidation mark. Their resistance to water is thus superior to that of a classic bearing… However we would advise you not to renew that treatment too often.
According to the manufacturer, the two 15.9 cm Kenda RoadStar air tires can be inflated to 6.3 bars. We inflated them up to 8 bars for a better rolling on hard grounds. The tires are 3 cm wide which is almost too thin for rich and loose grounds… but the frame cannot be mounted with wider wheels anyway.
The rims survived the testing, no crack to declare.
Screws and axles
The 8 mm axles are strong and are completed by screws which are just as strong. The spacers are thick and of the same kind. The only damper is about the insets in which you place the axles not to damage the frame. They can come off if there is no axle, they are not all very well glued.
Contrary to its speed/fitness models, Powerslide chose 4 mm Allen screws rather than the traditional Torque model for the fixing of the frame to the boot as well as for the adjustment of the cuff. And likewise for the wheels.
Powerslide delivers a clean product. Nothing to declare except for slight traces of glue on the link between the upper shoe and the sole. The selected materials are solid and the German design inspires confidence. The skate weights 1.98 kg for a size 41, against 3.2 kg for the Coyotes. It is quite a light product for its use, hardly 100 to 400 grams more than most of the fitness models on the market.
The calf brake (rubber brake with a bar) was not delivered with our test skate so that we couldn't test it. It would have been most useful for downhills. Apart from that situation we didn't feel the need of having one.
Not only the XC Path enabled us to discover an alternative discipline to cross-country skiing, but it also enabled us to test a light and multipurpose all-terrain skate. You can use them on cycle lanes but they are clearly destined to hard grounds and stabilized soils. Skating will be more laborious on loose grounds. It's probably one of the most successful models that we have tested over the last years, far more enjoyable at use than a trail skate for example, due to better precision, comfort, handiness and lightness. We would greatly advise you to use sticks to gain in stability and propulsion, except if you feel like free skating…
Model: XC Path
Users: Men and Women
Boot: Semi-rigid Phuzion 7 Hybrid Open Air boot
Liner: Anatomical padding and mesh
Tightening: Micrometric buckles, laces and velcro straps
Sizes: 36 to 47
Frame: Extruded aluminum / 165 and 195 mm mounting
Brake: Calf brake (a bar system fixed onto the calf and pressing on the tire)
Maximum diameter: 159 mm
Tires: Kenda RoadStar
Bearings: Powerslide Rustproof ABEC 7
Price: 319 Euros
Use: All-path/terrain skating
Strong points and points to be improved
Pluses+ a good comfort
+ clean finishing
+ great stability
+ lightness of the product
+ 165 / 195 mm mounting possibilities
+ low ground clearance
Minuses- laborious on loose grounds
- a longer frame than that of the Coyote
- tightening to be optimized
|Screws and axles||09/10|
Marque : Powerslide
Modèle : XC Path
Année : 2011
Utilisateurs : Hommes et femmes
Coque : Souple/dur Phuzion 7 Hybrid Open Air
Chausson : Mousse anatomique et mesh
Serrage : Boucles micrométriques, lacets et scratches
Pointures : 36 au 47
Platine / châssis : Aluminium extrudé - Montage 165 et 195 mm
Frein : Bras fixé au mollet appuyant sur la roue
Diamètre maximum : 159 mm
Roues : Kenda RoadStar
Roulements : ABEC 7 Powerslide Rustproof
Entretoises : Métal
Prix : 319 Euros
Usage : pratique tout chemin ou terrain
LinksTexte : Alfathor
Photos : Powerslide
Translation: Chloe Seyres