On 23 January 2015 at 19:01 | updated on 30 January 2015 at 19:09

4x100 mm or 3x125 mm: Which set-up for which type of skater?

4x100 mm or 3x125 mm: Which set-up for which type of skater?

Speed skating is a real equipment race... Skaters are always looking for better equipment, the one that will enable them to gain a few seconds on their reference times, to better absorb rough surfaces, to follow the guys at the club, but how to find the optimal set-up? Answers...


Choose your setup

Rollerblade Tempest 100 FemmeWe don't follow all the same objectives: staying fit, competing, crossing a country...

You should find the set-up that's best for you, taking into consideration your technical level, your gender, your body type, your power and your budget.

In order to do so, you should determine first which skater-type you are!

A few basic principles:

  • The smaller you are, the more you feel the size of the wheels
  • The taller you are, the the less you feel the size of the wheels
  • The taller and more powerful you are, the easier the handling of big diameters
  • A light skater goes uphill more easily... A heavier skater is more at ease downhill
  • If you are in a hilly area, keep a medium diameter to go uphill more easily
  • The less technique you have, the higher the boots, the shorter the frames and the smaller the wheel diameters you need
  • The more technique you have, the bigger you can get in wheel diameter and frame length

Our tip

Don't be obsessed with buying the latest high-range skates if your technical level isn't on top. This could even put you off skating.

The biggest mistake is to opt for too big diameters or too low boots while your ankles are not muscled enough or you still haven't perfectly nailed the stride/push technique... There's a good chance that your performances won't be as good as with your fitness skates, and that you hurt your feet with the carbon boots if you skate on the inside edges, the skates will only emphasize your flaws. Don't forget that skating is about enjoying yourself above all!

A few examples of skater-types

I occasionally do endurance
>> rather 100 mm

If, for you, skating is a sport supplement to another physical activity, in order to keep fit, without any competition objective, a high-boot model with a 4x100 mm wheel set-up could be just right for you. Brands offer many standard models with those diameters.

You'll get both the comfort of a fitness skate and the good rolling of big wheels, without needing much skating technique.

I regularly do long distance skating
>> 3x100 mm or 3x100/1x100 mm

Montage roller longue distanceEndurance skating is your main sport, and you like to do weekly outings of 20 to 50 km. You can set up a 3x100 mm or a 3x110/1x100 mm frame on your speed/fitness boot. You'll improve your rolling, getting feelings close to those conveyed by a 4x110 mm set-up, but more stable with a lower center of gravity.

Warning: Most 3x110 mm frames have a 165 mm interaxial distance whereas other frames have a 195 mm distance, make sure your boot is compatible!

I do intensive long distance skating
>> 4x110 mm or 3x125 mm

You skate more that 50 km per week at training, you're not afraid of taking up long distance skates several days in a row at a rate of 80-100 km/day, a 4x110 mm set-up will lead you (almost) everywhere.

The 3x125 mm will be particularly interesting if you skate on rather flat areas, without breaks of pace, and long straight lines.

If you go in the mountains, we d' advise you to go for a simple 3x110 mm customized set-up that will be far easier to handle.

I'm a speed skating competitor on track and road circuit
>> rather 4x110 mm

It's the current dominant diameter on all distances in competition, even if the 3x110/1x100 mm is still a common set-up in the women's category. The 3x125 mm isn't (yet) officially authorized on competitions today.

Montage custom avec chaussure Sierre et platine hybride Cadomotus

I'm a competitor on road and marathon
>> 4x110 mm or 3x125 mm

If you don't take part in a national or international competition supported by the FIRS (International Federation of Roller Sports), you get the choice of weapons! The 3x125 mm is tolerated on some marathons.

The 4x110 mm is better for speed ups and pace changes, whereas the 3x125 mm is more suitable for linear races, where you can swallow up the miles without interruption.

A summary chart?

Warning: Those data are subjective and based on personal experience only. The goal of the chart is to give starting points for reflexion according to your needs and lay the foundations of compromises.

Your opinion may differ!


 4x1003x1103x110 et 1x1004x1103x125
Weight (wheels / screws / frame)B ACFE
Theoretical rolling E D C B A
Comfort on rough surfaceDCCBA
Handling A AB B D F
Technical level needed BBCEF
Power needed A A C E E
Speed up easeB ACDE
Maximum speed E D C B A
Breaking timeBBCCEG
Wheel price BB CD DE F
Frame priceABCDD
Relief management BAB C D E


What type of roller-skates will suits you ?

How to choose skates when you are a speed-skating beginner?

Choosing your long distance skates

110 mm: stresses placed on muscles and joints

Testing the 3x125 mm set-up

By Alfathor
Translation: Chloe Seyres
Photos : all rights reserved
Released  on 23 January 2015 - Read 20417 times

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