Testing the 2013 Roces Labs
Testing the long distance 2013 Roces Lab skates
Here is a design a little different from that of the other brands. The Labs have a futuristic side with their mix of carbon and fabric which provides a metallic effect covering the skate. The black and silver touches go well together with the discreet red of the plate. The Labs rely on contrasts of very distinct colors. The final effect is quite a success as during night skates, you are treated to “You've got pretty cool skates!” remarks.
The boot is built on the same typical structure as all long distance fitness models: a carbon basis topped with quite a compact cuff for a great freedom of movement.
Support and tightening
The tightening is efficient, and the foot is well supported by the structure and snug in the shoe. On the other hand, there is no room for strong feet, only thin feet can enter.
The tightening relies on the combination of 4 elements:
- laces on the whole upper of the boot
- a velcro strap on the front
- a micrometric buckle on the instep
- a micrometric buckle on the shin
The laces perfectly support the foot and nothing moves once tightened. A very good point for the buckle on the instep which offers a very good general support. The cuff is not too high and the micrometric buckle locks well.
The sensations once the skates are tightened are close to those of slalom skates...
By the way, that boot would deserve a try with a more compact frame... Why not? Upcoming customized set-ups to be tested!
After having covered every square inch of the Canal du Midi in the south of Toulouse, then of the cycle lanes of the Île de Ré we are positive about the comfort. The liner did not move, the fabric inside did not either. Nothing wrong.
Still do not forget that it is a fitness-long distance skate with a mix of carbon and glass fibers for a better efficiency. It is not a fitness skate as comfy as your stuffed slippers.
The low-cut cuff made of plastic offers a decent support and keeps a good flexibility. A good compromise for skaters who are not at ease with low-cut boots. A good transition toward speed skating.
The 335 mm extruded aluminum frame (13.2 inches) has 4 wheels of 100 mm. Warning: the 165 mm interaxial distance will considerably reduce the possibilities of customization. It also means that the center of gravity is higher than on a 195 mm frame. By the way, when we unwrapped the skates, our first surprise was to realize that the front wheel was very much to the front.
The rigidity of the frame is satisfying. However it is a bit heavy. For trek lovers, think up of changing it in order to save weight!
The frame also supports a 195 mm interaxial distance set-up. The fixing holes enable the frame to be adjusted on the sides. As for the boot, it has several fixing points which enable adjustments on the front, back or sides just like the frame.
As often on standard skates, wheels are of average quality. The Roces Labs are no exception. The wheels are quite heavy, and the oncore slightly crumbles... at least the rolling is not that bad. The polyurethane is quite comfy and softens the irregularities of the ground. Enough to start with but to be changed if you wish to take your Roces Labs for eating up kilometers, or have a go at leisure racing.
Roces has opted for sealed ABEC 9 bearings. The ones on the Labs did not have a very good rolling, even if the same reference which was equipped on another Roces test was quite satisfying. Hard to say.
A damper as for the screws of the frame: the axles are made of quite a tender alloy. Be careful to push in your key before uncrewing to avoid damaging the thread!
A very good finishing, no spillover glue, no ruck of fabric. Nothing to report here. A fine work.
Roces delivers a very good quality skate, with an excellent quality-price ratio. The roces Lab will please skaters looking for a compromise between low-cut boot for competition and performant boot for long distance. You can even use it to start out on leisure road races. As for us, we are probably going to start working on a slalom set-up with the Lab boot as a basis! We will discuss again about it pretty soon!
Strong points and points to be improved
- average quality wheels
Liner: Mesh – Progressive Anatomical Padding PAP – orthopaedic and anatomical Balance insole
Upper boot: soft/hard – super light woven carbon fiber
Tightening: micrometric buckles, laces and velcro straps – micrometric double racing buckle system
Available sizes: 3-13 UK | 4-14 US
Frame: Extruded Aluminum Racing Espace frames – 3 Arch Design – Zero Clearance Fast Locker axles
Length and interaxial space (mounting): 335 mm, 165 mm interaxial space
Max diameter: 100 mm
Wheels: 110 mm 84A Roces Totem SuperFurious (Shores)
Bearings: ABEC 9 Standard (608)
Price: 299 Euros
Translation: Chloé Seyres
Photos: Roces and Rollerenligne.com