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On 21 January 2017 at 18:09 | updated on 11 May 2017 at 22:01

Testing the Speed Skating Powerblade 125 3WD Skate by Rollerblade

Testing the Speed Skating Powerblade 125 3WD Skate by Rollerblade

Rollerblade has entered the market of big diameter speed skates with its key-model, the Powerblade 125 3WD, which is, as mentioned in the name, a 3x125 mm skate. Analyze...

By  Alexandre CHARTIER

Test Bench

Rollerblade Powerblade 125

It had been a while since Rollerblade hadn't release a decent speed skate. Probably that the arrival of a former World Champion as the product manager brings a new lease to one of the brands that made the greatness of speed skating in the 90's-2000's. it would even seem that Rollerblade plans on designing a whole range of speed models in the upcoming years.

Design

The Powerblade 125 has simple and sober lines, with a touch of modernity. Black rhymes with elegance, it's a color that should suit most skaters. The black/white/yellow color mix recalls that of the Salomon Team, back in the days, the perpetual competition of RB on the speed market in the 90's-2000's. A discreet strip with the colors of the Italian flag decorates the beginning of the laces on the right shell.

Rollerblade Powerblade 3x125 mm

The Shell

The black shell has quite a high-cut upper, which is a good thing for a 3x125 mm model. The carbon shell goes high on the side of the ankles, but has a v-cut at the Achilles tendon, which is covered by synthetic leather.
The finish is clean on the whole, cuts are clear and there are nearly no traces of glue. The carbon is perfect. No less was expected from those shells, made by Mariani for Rollerblade. The Italian manufacturer's experience is a true token of quality for the brand.

The frames are mounted with two longitudinal oblong holes under the shell. The interaxial spacing varies from 175 mm to 222 mm for size 41 EU, which offers a lot of adjusting possibilities.

Rollerblade Powerblade 3x125 mm

Support

As mentioned above, the shell covers the sides of the ankle, the Powerblade 125 3WD is reassuring for skaters lacking a bit of tone in the ankles or who are technically a bit short, the support of the shell will compensate a little for skating mistakes.

Tightening

The closure of the shell is ensured by laces on the whole length of the foot, completed by a micrometric buckle at the instep. The laces slide just well to enable good tightening precision. However you'll need to take your time to adjust them for your foot to be closely fitted.

The micrometric buckle is made of plastic and metal. For a model of such a range, a full metal buckle would have been welcome. When you tighten it to the max, it jams on the last notches. The foot is tightly held by the leather strap, but a more solid tightening may have been useful for sprints or speed-ups. It’s a shame to lose in skating precision because of such details. Moreover, in case of a fall, buckles are put to a severe test, and metal would have proved more sturdy.

Rollerblade Powerblade 3x125 mm

Comfort

Even before putting the skate on, a quick peek inside and you'll see that the liner has a well-designed ergonomical shape, pretty close to that of a made-to-measure molded boot with room for the malleolus. There is also space of movement for the Achilles tendon.
Give time to the tongue to break in a bit, and the rail-like sensation on top of your foot will disappear.

Rollerblade Powerblade 3x125 mm

Frames, wheels and bearings

The frames, wheels and bearings of the Powerblade 125 3WD are identical to those of the recently tested Tempest 125 3WD.

The 12.6 in 3x125 mm extruded aluminum frame of the Powerblade is a great size compromise for all types of skater bodies. It is rigid enough to remain efficient on linear races, but also flexible enough to offer maneuverability on more winding routes. It has two different interaxial spaces, so that it can be mounted on speed boots, as well as on fitness or freeskate boots.

Coming from the same molds as the Matter Images, the 125 mm Hydrogen Wheels are also made in USA. A good compromise too, for practicing on various grounds and under changing conditions. Yet, they lack a bit of grip on wet grounds.

The ILQ9 Pro Twincam bearings offer good rolling and didn’t require any maintenance during our whole test.

Rollerblade Powerblade 3x125 mm

Conclusion

Currently priced at €999, the Powerblade 125 3WD is quite expensive. This speed skating model by Rollerblade has serious assets, which will be much needed to face the competition of other top-range brands such as Powerslide and Bont.

Rollerblade Powerblade 3x125 mm

Strong Points and Points to Be Improved

Points forts

Pluses

+ Support
+ Tightening efficiency
+ Precision of the series shell
+ Finish of the boot

points à améliorer

Minuses

- Current price
- Plastic finish of the micrometric buckle

Technical Facts

Brand: Rollerblade
Model: Powerblade 125 3WD
Year: 2016-2017
Shell/Upper: Low-cut / Heatmoldable Powerblade Carbon
Liner: Synthetic leather - anatomical shape
Closure: 45° micrometric buckles and laces with blocking system
Sizes: 23-30.5 cm / 36.5-46 EU
Frame: 12.6 in (320 cm) 3x125 mm extruded Aluminum - 195 or 165 mm interaxial spacing
Interaxial Spacing: 195 mm
Wheels: 125 mm 85A Rollerblade Hydrogen
Max Diameter: 125 mm
Bearings: ILQ Pro Twincam 9
Spacers: Metal
Public Price: €999
Recommended Use: Competitive Speed Skating

Useful Links

Testing the Tempest 125 3WD Endurance Skates by Rollerblade

Released  on 21 January 2017 - Read 10364 times

Text and photos: :
Fondateur et webmaster de rollerenligne.com. Alexandre est un passionné de roller en général et sous tous ses aspects : histoire, économie, sociologie, évolution technologique... Ne le branchez pas sur ces sujets sans avoir une aspirine à portée de main !

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