Test: Roll’X X-Dual Speed Skating Wheels
Made in France
Roll’X is a French company based in the department of the Ain (01) and it is boosted by thirty years of experience in the designing and manufacturing of skate wheels.
Roll’X managed to establish itself progressively on the market of fitness and long distance wheels with models such as the X’Bird and the EndurX.
And yet, the French firm never really managed to take off in the very competitive niche market of speed skating wheels, not having any key-product to compete with great brands like Matter and MPC.
Recently, Roll’X doubled their efforts in order to offer more competitive products. By the late 2011 and early 2012, a yellow wheel appeared on the market and became a hit for indoor practice.
In the same logic, the X-Dual may soon titillate the big ones.
This model was developed in collaboration with Pascal Briand, an 8-time world champion, and former member of both the Salomon and Powerslide Teams.
Several years ago, Pascal had set up the Supersonic firm with his team-mates of the time: Franck Cardin and Juan Carlos Betancour. Pascal Briand followed each and every step of the manufacturing process and provided feedbacks all through the tests.
The core of the Roll’X X-Dual
The X-Dual is made of a core with 13 spokes. It is very open. Each spoke is curved in its center in order to improve the flexibility of the core. This type of design enables the wheel to have a better grip in the bends thanks to a bigger distortion.
Roll’X has mastered the bi-density manufacturing for several years already. A lot of you must certainly know the X-Rain, the much talked-about blue wheel which offers a great grip on wet grounds. The process of manufacturing of the X-Dual is quite similar but with radically different materials.
On the X-Duals:
The inside part of the on-core is made of high resilience soft polyurethane, just like a bouncing ball. When you make a rebound test on the upper part of the on-core, the wheel is quickly back at an impressive high.
The outside part of the on-core is made of harder polyurethane with different properties, in order to increase the rolling.
Then, the X-Dual has a central on-core favoring rebound and a harder pink on-core in order to increase the rolling.
The X-Duals are made of a 72mm core for a diameter of 110mm. The scale indicates a weight of 144 grams, i.e. 2 grams more than a MPC Road War and 8 grams more than a Matter Juice Hollow Core.
The model that we have tested is the X-Dual 110mm “2”, with an intermediate hardness. Hardnesses at Roll’X’s now work the same way as at Matter’s for some models: 3 (soft), 2 (medium), 1 (hard).
The finishing of the X-Dual is clean and the core does not show any trace of shaving. The polyurethane is smooth on the whole and without bubbles. Let’s note that Roll’X brings particular attention to visually check the wheels all through the manufacturing process. We have noticed so during our visit at the factory: as soon as a wheel shows a defect, it is put aside.
Inserting bearings is easy. Put your bearing on a table, put the wheel down flat on it and push in the axis: it enters without any difficulty…
The wheel goes back to a very good height during the rebound test. Yet the return is a bit slow…
The combination of a soft on-core at the center and a harder on-core around with a relatively flexible core gives a good comfort to the X-Dual. It is greatly appreciated on damaged roads!
The grip of the X-Dual is very excellent on dry grounds and on track. You can confidently tilt at an angle in any condition.
Their grip is constant and reassuring, and they never slip suddenly.
The tests on wet grounds were more contradictory. In urban use, the grip was average while it was good on track and road, especially on the tracks of Pibrac and the asphalt of Grenade.
Just as we have said, the core of the X-Dual is quite flexible, which eases the bend taking, particularly for indoor and track skating where you can keep a good grip even when you tilt at an angle.
Wear and tear
The wearing is slow and steady. The joint line disappeared after 50 km. The surface wears homogeneously in time. That is a good point for a wheel with such a competitive price.
Feelings with use
We felt a slight sensation of overweight at first but it disappeared as we skated along. We have noted a good rolling, but above all a great comfort on damaged grounds! The grip is really impressive and you can push hard. For hard-breaking lovers, the sliding is homogeneous too! But this is not the main use of a speed skating wheel J
Roll’X strikes hard with the X-Dual: while the rivals’ prices tend to increase unreasonably, Roll’X makes the choice of placing the X-Dual at a very affordable price in a period of crisis so that it is available to the greatest number: €13,50 for the bi-density wheel while the rival models are announced between €17 and €21 a wheel! Indeed there is a 30% difference, which is not to be neglected. And do not think that the more expensive, the better quality…
The little French brand comes to titillate settled values with its X-Dual. Available in 3 diameters and 3 hardnesses, the X-Dual should find its public on the track but also in indoor and road. The skaters who tested it at the international Trophy of the Three Track provided us with excellent feedbacks. That is all the best we can wish to our national manufacturer.
Color: white core/pink on-core, white or black prints according to the models
Available diameters: 90, 100 or 110 mm
Hardness: soft (#3), medium (#2), hard (#1)
Width: 24 mm
Weight: 144 g for 110 mm
Bearings: standard or micro-bearings with adaptors
Recommended public price: €11,50 to €13,50 according to the diameter
Recommended use: competition speed skating, on track and road
Strong points and points to be improved
Pluses+ very good rolling
+ quality/price ratio
- a bit heavy
110 mm wheels
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Translated by Close Yr E’s