Test: Rollerblade Solo Trooper 2012
It's always a pleasure to test a pair of roller-skates before its official release. For two obvious reasons: to be the first web site to present it to our readers before its release. The second is that we love rolling with skates that other skaters have not!
The Trooper is an iconic skate from Rollerblade. It was a reference in the mid 90s. The brand gives this model up to date with its new Solo version. With this entry, RB motivated us to brave the cold of the winter ...
Design: simple and elegant
For those who have not yet understood the reference, the Trooper is a tribute to "Star Wars" and Empire troops with their immaculate armor. The Trooper offers logically brilliant white lines. The upper is accented with discrete gray straps. This skate plays on simplicity of lines and the brightness of white. It works!
Although it is equipped with removable soulplates, the trooper is strong and well done. The mass looks lighter compared with some previous models such as "New Jack". Small Trooper helmets are drawn on the cuff and the wheels to remind the name of the skate. A thoughtful design...
To perform tests of strength, we always use the same abrasive walls. This help us verifying how the skate resists wear. The Trooper is a very nice surprise: the soulplates and frames resist well. The boot itself endure pretty well falls and protects the feet fairly well. We are thus dealing with a strong skate. Its main weakness seems to be its color! White darkens after a fall...
But why Rollerblade has not opted for the "Blank" liner? Yet the brand has chosen the frame with the same name ... Ah yes, we almost forgot that the Trooper is an entry level skate. The Rollerblade liner is comfortable and strong. Its high cut gives a good support to the ankle.
The shock absorber goes far enough below the foot, which has the effect of reducing the impact when landing. The liner is properly seated in the shell, preventing any unwanted movements of the foot.
The Solo Trooper tightens with two straps and one lace. The lace is fastening the skate pretty well but these are really the two straps that will stall the kick and the ankle at the bottom of the skate.
This closure system is not the best because it lacks precision compared to micrometric buckles, but it also gives more flexibility. This means that you can really use the straps to be both maintained and have a little space for your foot.
Flexibility could be improved
The shell is not really soft when the skate goes out of the box... but we have some tips to make it a bit more flexible. You can use the V-cut on the back to improve flexibility.
The straps facilitage the top tricks, it is easier to stall. This was a big surprise for once. The skate does not twist on this type of trick and it provides good glide position. However, we would have hoped for a better flexibility in the early sessions.
New soulplates are really very impressive. Even if the design has not changed, the glide is clearly faster. It hangs a bit, but it really is better. The grip is not a problem and allows to "seat" your slides better. The groove is still well placed, easy to find, it help to make good royale tricks till the first session.
The Blank frame is a brand new model. We were not a fan of the old frame and we were already moaning... And again we would have done better to shut up! A new material, more strong and durable, a better glide... This frame has really been improved.
The H-block has been resized, it is easier to find. Grinds are easier. The combination frame/soulplate or negative plate is good. It offers a fast glide. This will delight the fans of the genre. The stalling is perfect thanks to the antirockers that do not bother the glide.
Wheels and antirockers
Rollerblade has equipped the Solo Trooper with 60 mm 88A wheels. This is good news! They are big, round and strong. What more! They do not slip too much and provide good grip even on cold ground. We tested them in winter temperatures, it's really a good thing. On the other hand, the Rollerblade antirockers are made in the same material as the soulplates. They are not equipped with bearings...
The Rollerblade Solo 2012 Trooper is one of the best entry level skates we have ever tested. Good glide, acceptable comfort, and above all a truly original design. This skate is also well adapted to practice freeriding if you remove the soulplates and put another frame. In summary, a good model to learn and progress under the best conditions ...
Strengths ang points to be improved
Pluses+ Good glide
+ Nice design
Model: Solo Trooper
Shell: Rigid / hardboot Molded shell. Removable components: buckles/ protectors, soulplates, shock absorber, liner
Liner: foam Specialized Street Fit - double padded tongue
Closure system: lacets et scratches Sangle à 45° avec protection et lacets. Lacets supplémentaires fournis dans la boîte.
Sizes: 38 - 46 EU | 23 - 32 cm
Frame: Composite Super Lock Blank UFS
Wheels: Rollerblade 60 mm 88A
Max. diameter: 72mm
Bearings: Twincam SG5
Price: 199 €
Use: Street, park et bowl
Technical sheet of the Rollerblade Solo Trooper 2012
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Translated by Alfathor
Thanks to Rollerblade