Test : H2 EOSkates 3x110/1x100mm Carbon frame
A huge potential on the Speed Skating market
We discovered the EO Skate frames with the 4x104mm Diablo model in 2007. In 2008, the Sprint appeared on the market: the frame showed numerous improvements compared to the previous models.
At the time, the brand had already mapped out the main lines of its concept: a sandwich of carbon structure. The carbon models of EO Skates were the most accomplished on the market. Remember Hopiframe with their aluminium bridges and carbon sides, a heavier and less coherent concept, a less mastered technology. Carbon frames used to be known as fragile. Since then, this point has been improved a lot…
Being truthful to its beginnings, EO Skates presents a model mixing black touches of carbon decorated with a modern white font highlighted with the number 2 in red.
Unlike the aluminium models, the sides of the H2 frame are solid and reinforced.
The back and front bridges leave a rather large contact zone which fits with most of the models on the market. There is a support piece at the center of the frame in order to rigidify the whole frame. The internal sides of the frame are perfectly smooth. The external sides have bulges for more solidity, which also distribute the forces between the different wheels.
The 3x100/1x110mm H2 EO Skate frame’s dimensions are standard according to its wheel diameters: 12’’8 inches, i.e. 326 cm.
The axle center distance is also standard with 195 mm.
The front bridge is 96mm high and the back bridge is 107mm, which is quite low on the whole. Balance is thus excellent.
The most interesting aspect of this frame’s measurements is its light weight! Only a bit more that 125g per frame, i.e. 75g less than an aluminium frame of equivalent measurements (~200g). You save 37.5% of the weight!
Yet it is not impossible that you’ll need a block to raise the frame up to the boot with specific molded boots.
You find this problem more often with the M2 frame (where the 2nd wheel might be rubbing a bit under the boot), than with the H2 (where only feet exceeding size 45 will be tickled by the 1st wheel).
We have been skating more than 1.000 km during 2 months with the H2 frames to make this test, during trainings as well as during races, alternating sequences on smooth and damaged roads, bikeways and tracks. We have also made a couple of solidity tests in urban settings, in order to get out of the strictly ‘speed skating’ use of the frame. Program: jumping, brutal changes of direction, and even sliding!
Last but not least, we gave a pair of frames to Raphael Planelles from Villetelle, an all-rounded European champion, who likes equally sprints and marathons.
The H2’s rigidity is satisfactory on the whole, despite the thinness of its sides and the absence of supplementary bridges to reinforce its structure. The back part is a bit more flexible than the front part, whereas the center part is really rigid. As a result, the frame works a lot with its ends, which makes it easy to use and prevents you from skidding in the bends.
Let’s note the presence of only 2 oblongs, one in the front and one in the back. There are some side adjustment possibilities but no longitudinal ones, unless you have a boot with an insert along.
Screws and bolts
EO Skate frames are delivered with specific screws and bolts, the heads of which are particularly flat and flared in order to offer the biggest contact area as possible between the carbon and the screw. So that the whole is more coherent and reliable, and the pressure exerted while skating spreads on a bigger area.
EO Skates particularly cares about axles to minimise the “sticking” of new axles, guarantee a long-term tightening, and minimize the risks for axles to unscrew. Screws undergo the same treatment.
Solidity: an underserved fragility reputation
Carbon frames are not more fragile than aluminium frames, they only react differently to impacts: whereas aluminium is going to get out of shape, carbon fibers tear when the shock is too violent. The frame doesn’t actually break but it cracks where the fibers are not intact anymore. It becomes very flexible. To break carbon for real you need an extremely violent shock which would break all the fibers up and down the frame.
In the end the result is the same: aluminium is out of shape and the frame is also unusable or not-precise.
Thus, let’s forget about this idea saying that the EO Skate frames are going to break at the first little shock, we had fun jumping walkways, concrete cones, jumping gaps over 1m without any damage on the frames. With a normal speed skating use, whatever your level, these frames won’t say a word of protest.
The first time you try the carbon frames, you have the feeling that you have no efficiency, no rolling. Indeed the diminishing of the weight on the front makes you believe that you’ve lost your ‘mojo’. After a couple of sessions, you realize that your speed didn’t slow down in fact. On long distance races, this loss of weight is welcomed: you grow less tired.
You can feel the weight difference especially when you push, when you have to reach a high speed very quickly, as you need to spend less energy. Same comment as for uphill skating and sprints where you reach the aim faster.
On starts, the H2 give back the strength of the push very efficiently and are thus very reactive during impulsions.
We have also tested the 4x110mm: you win 7cm in height with the 3x110mm compared to the 4x110mm, so that the 3x110 is more aggressive, nervous and easier to use. It fits better to small skaters and tries less the ankles.
We have also concluded that you have less the feeling of being on a railroad track with the 3x110mm than with the 4x110mm: the legs are less tried and you don’t have to push as much to keep your speed (for intermediary skaters, elites with long stride will like the 4x110mm sensations better).
Last thing to note: lots of people are afraid of the vibrations generated by rigid material like carbon – but there’s nothing like that with these frames, the sandwich design must have something to do with this. On the other side, we changed wheels during the test, and we realized that wheels have more influence on comfort than the frame in itself.
Carbon has invaded cycling, formula 1, aeronautics… This material is already used for handmade shoes. There is no doubt that aluminium frames should be scared! EO Skates masters its technology and proposes a very accomplished product which proved itself during the last World Championships under the feet of Nicolas Pelloquin. As for us, we were seduced by the H2 because of their lightness, their easiness during the push and, despite everything, because of their comfort. Even if at first we were a bit sceptical about their solidity, we forgot this point to concentrate on their exceptional global performances. Congratz to Eo!
Comments of EO Skates after reading the test:
“Since this test, we have improved slightly the frame in order to reinforce the front and back parts which were too flexible. Thus, the weight of the frames is now around 135g. The whole is even more coherent and reactive.”
Raphael Planelles’s impressions (European Junior champion)
"For the moment I’ve only tested the 3x110mm. First impressions: it’s so light that it’s even confusing at first. You have the feeling that you can’t push… but according to the times I did after one month, it’s just a feeling due to the lack of practice with this frame, especially because I’d been skating for a year with a very rigid frame.
I tested it for one week on the track of Geisingen (Germany). I had the feeling that I could fly! And the times of the launched laps and of the 100m confirm it. I broke my records. The H2 is very reactive at the end of the push, it answers fast. Next step: testing the 4x110mm!"
Strong points and things to be improved
+ reactivity, easy to push
+ easy to use
+ a French product!
- destabilizing first sensations
Brand: EO Skates
Set-up: 3x110 mm and 1x100 mm
Length: 12’’8 (326 mm)
Axle center distance: 195 mm
Axles: 8 mm aluminium 7075
Front bridge: 96 mm ( / ground)
Back bridge: 107 mm ( / ground)
Delivered with: Axles and screws
Other models: M2 (4x110 mm) and S2 (4x100 mm)
Advised use: intensive practice of speed skating on track and road for competition. Long distance.
EOSkates Web site
EO Skates at the 2011 Le Mans 24 hrs
Test: EO Skate 4x110 frame test (2009)
Test: EO Skate 4x104 sprint frames
Video: 2011 Le Mans 24 hrs with the EO Skate / Solutions Resto Team
Blog of the F2P Compex Team, sponsored by EO Skates
Translated by Close Yr E’s
Pictures: EO Skates