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On 25 May 2015 at 22:05 | updated on 12 September 2015 at 09:40

Testing the Skike V7 Fix Cross Skates

Testing the Skike V7 Fix Cross Skates

Skike presents a whole range of roller skis / nordic off-road and road skates. We took a pair of V7 Fix Crosses to get a breath of fresh air on dirt paths. Verdict...

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Test Bench

Skite V7 Fix

It's hard to give a name to this practice given the number of various designations: cross-skating, nordic skiing, off-road roller skiing, nordic skating... As many names as there are brands! Make your choice. Same for the debate about whether it is skates or roller skis. You've got wheels fixed on a frame, so that it doesn't really matter what you call it in the end.

Presentation of the Skike V7 Fix Skates

Test Skike V7 fixThe V7 is made of a wide and flat frame in embossed aluminum (pressed and folded) with a structure made of polymer fixed on it, in which you can slip your shoe. The structure has a skid-proof system to keep the foot in place. The V7 is labelled 'fix' because there is another free-ankle version too, allowing to reproduce cross-country skiing movements (providing that you have bearings with reverse lock system). The two tires are placed on both ends of the frame.

Mounting

The V7 are delivered with the wheels on the side. But don't worry it takes 2 minutes to mount them. The bearings and spacers are already placed in the wheels, you just have to slip them on their axles and you're good. It is quick fastening axles, like those on bikes, so that you don't even need a tool!

Tightening: Simple but efficient

It is quite simple: Skike opted for a 3-velcro strap. The lowest strap goes on the toes, the second on the instep and the third has a ring that goes around the ankle. So that your skate doesn't move under your foot.

Beyond the simple aspect, the manufacturer offers many possibilities of adjustment. It was indispensable since there is only one model for sizes 36 to 47 EU. Amongst other adjustment possibilities, you will find a micrometric buckle at the heel, to fit the shape of the shoe.

The ring around the ankle can also be adjusted sideways with a spanner adjuster, to compensate for a possible varus or valgus (knees to the inside or to the outside). With use, the tightening is quite precise, but it also depends on your choice of shoes.

Weight

Roues des skike V7 FixWith only 2.090 kg, the weight of the Skikes is quite reasonable compared to the competition, especially the Trailskates with their 2.6 kg. Of course, you should add to it the weight of your own shoe. The manufacturer can still spare a few grams, but it would probably be at the expense of the adjustment options.

With use, with time and with distance, the V7 seems lighter on your feet than the Skeleton by Powerslide.

The wheels of the V7 weight 381 grams per unit, bearings and spacer included. If you mount classic PU wheels for road skating, the weight gain will be consequent.

The V7 can support skaters up to 120 kg.

Comfort

Comfort mostly depends on the type of shoes you take. We would advise you to opt for semi-high shoes like sneakers or light trekking boots.

Frame

It is about 55 cm long and has several adjustment options with 3 different positions for the front wheel. The rear wheel also has different adjustment positions, but it is better to leave it in its initial place, otherwise you can't break: the break won't press accurately on the tire. On the standard mounting (between 36 and 47) the front wheel is placed on the second to last hole. On the hole further in front, you can use shoes up to size 51 EU (according to Skike). We have validated size 50 EU.
You can adjust the total length of the skate (wheels included) and slightly modify its ground clearance (of 4.5 cm). The shortest your set-up, the more handy it gets. The longer, the more stable.

The arms holding the wheels offer good flexibility that allow to gain a little handiness. The center part is rigidified by the plate on which you place your shoe.

Wheels

The Road Star wheels are 150 mm tires with a 30 mm width. They are the same as those on other competition models, like the XC Path by Powerslide. They can be inflated up to 7.5 bars: it's ok if you are a little heavy handed! We would recommend you to inflate them at this level for road use, to gain in rolling. Don't be afraid to inflate, it is good quality. For road use, you can also get polyurethane wheels of 145 mm.

Test Skike V7 Fix

Bearings

The Skike V7 Fix Cross skates are equipped with ABEC 7 6901 2RS bearings. It is not 608-type standard bearings. You can't replace them with your classic skate bearings. They are noiseless and smooth. Nothing to declare.
There are also bearings with reverse lock system in option. Mounting them on the front wheel only is enough to secure beginners and face slopes without fearing to go backwards.

Finishings

The Skikes are well made, the metal cuts are precise, the molded parts don't have a single chip, it's clean!

Breaks

Here again, Skike is all about efficiency and practicality. The brake system is integrated in the structure of the cuff: you only have to straighten up for the brake to get down on the surface of the wheel. You can easily modulate the pressure. According to your needs, you can vary the height of the brake with a spanner adjuster.

With use

The V7 is very simple to use with its 3 tightening straps. We also like that no tool is needed for the mounting of the skate. The braking system is also very efficient compared to that of the Skeleton. With the V7 you can brake with both feet, whereas with the Powerslide products you can only use one foot. It's very useful when going downhill.

For a better ease of use, we would advise you to get sticks. Skike has models that are adjustable in height at a very reasonable price.

With its ground clearance, the Skike V7 Fix (and most of its competition) is destined to be used on homogeneous grounds (without much holes), flat or downhill. With its frame 4.5 cm above the ground, you should avoid big bumps for your skate not to risk getting stuck or rubbing the ground. Same thing when leaving sidewalks, make sure you jump a little or get enough speed not to block on the obstacle.

Conclusion

Spike delivers a product that is both easy to use and efficient. The V7 Fix is very well designed with many adjustment possibilities that are not to be found on other competition models, such as the side adjustment of the cuff or the height adjustment of the brake. Its low center of gravity will reassure skaters looking for stability. It will allow you to practice cross-country skiing on rolling dirt paths, like towpaths for example. With sticks, it's a good means to refine your physical condition. It is at the public price of 299€, which is a bit more expensive than most models from other brands, except for the XC Trail II by Powerslide. It also comes from the fact that you can use your own shoes.

Test Skike V7 Fix

Strong points and points to be improved

Pluses

+ Adjustment possibilities
+ No tool needed for mounting
+ (Relative) lightness
+ Braking system

Minuses

- Low ground clearance (4.5 cm)

Useful links

Brand: Skike
Model: V7 Fix
Year: 2014-2015
Structure: Aluminum and plastic
Tightening: Velcro straps / Adjustment system with micrometric buckle at the heel
Wheels: Road Star 150 mm x 30 mm Cross (max. 7.5 bars)
Bearings: ABEC 7 6901 2RS
Frame: Aluminum
Brake: On both feet
Weight: 2.090 kg
Maximum skater weight: 120 kg
Public price: 299€

Photo gallery

Useful links

Off-road skates database on OLS

Testing the Powerslide XC Skeleton (2014)

Testing the XC Path Powerslide Off Road Skate (2011)

Testing the Trailskates (2009)

By Alfathor and Vincent Ricaud
Translation: Chloe Seyres
Photos : Skike et Alfathor
Released  on 25 May 2015 - Read 23510 times


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