Testing the 110 mm 86A Atom Matrix Plus
After the blaring arrival of the Atom Boom in 2014 in the high range section of speed skating, this year Atom discloses a mid-range wheel, the Matrix Plus. The American brand tries to position itself on the market with a performant wheel at a competitive price, manufactured by Mearthane.
It is the replacement for the Atom Matrix wheel. The latter was a simple density wheel.
The new Atom Matrix wheels are designed with the M-Tech technology. They have the same characteristic core, made of 6 double spokes, as the Atom Boom, the key-model of the brand.
Just like the Boom, the Matrix Plus is available in 100 and 110 mm.
It also has an on-core made of dual density polyurethane (softer inside, harder outside).
With its flashy green color, the wheel doesn't go unnoticed! The printing is simple. The elliptical profile is quite soft.
The finishing is perfect: No bubble, no plastic fragment.
The rebound test is quite conclusive: The resilience of the wheel is good, it goes back up to a good height.
No problem to notice as for the insertion of the bearings.
The grip is good on dry surface, in straight lines and bends. On wet surface however, the grip becomes precarious, especially on poor quality grounds. It's a bit like skating on eggshells. To sum up, these are no rain wheels.
The rolling sensations are good/ The wheel accurately renders the push, no loss of energy to deplore, and no sticking sensation either.
Wear and tear
The wear of the polyurethane is quite slow and even, despite a good part of the test on rough grounds. After 80 km, the parting line had disappeared on the T-stop foot... But it was still there on the other foot.
The Matrix Plus has reduced some of the flaws of the former generation. It wears more slowly than its ancestor, the Atom Matrix. On the other hand, the lack of grip characteristic to the Matrix range is still there. Atom delivers a quality wheel at a very competitive price. It will have no difficulty to find its place on the market. It will suit skaters looking for a very good training wheel, and will provide decent performances, even in speed skating.
Strong points and points to be improved
+ Moderate price for a dual density wheel
- Lack of grip on wet grounds
Model: Matrix Plus
Diameter: 110 mm
Available in: 100 or 110 mm
Hardness: XF (86A)
Use: Training on road in dry weather
Unit price: 14€ (i.e. 112€ for a set of 8)
Useful linksBy Alfathor
Translation: Chloe Seyres
Photos : Alfathor