-
On 30 November 2016 at 22:11 | updated on 26 July 2018 at 21:19

Testing the Rollerblade Metroblade 3WD Freeride Skates

Testing the Rollerblade Metroblade 3WD Freeride Skates

We had the opportunity to test one of the key-models of Rollerblade's freeride range: the Metroblade 3WD, a 3x110 model designed for freeskating. Feedbacks...

By  Luc BOURDIN

Test Bench

Analyse and First Hypotheses

Rollerblade Metroblade GM 310The liner of the Metroblade is built-in, just like that of the recently tested Powerslide Kaze freeride skate. A high-cut plastic structure, looking rigid, is in charge of the ankle support.

This skate distinguishes itself with its tightening system: velcro straps and laces only. Although you may get a negative preconception, the strap seems more « flexible » than those of former models of the brand. We'd rather wait for the test to give a verdict.

Following the same concept as the other models by the various brands having a go at 3x110 with short frames, the boot is originally designed for 4x80 set-ups. Time will tell if the height and apparent rigidity of the upper resist to bigger leverage once mounted on a 3x110 frame, because other models showed limitations in this field.

Who are the Target Skaters?

If you disregard its street looks, it is quite hard to determine the target skaters of this model. A foam pad is built in the insole, but placed directly on the screws. There is no shock absorber so-to-speak, which rules out the jumper-type profile. The side protective pads for slides look more like soul plates, but the way they are centered and the lack of room for stalling at the heel also rules out the aggressive skater-type profile. As for the height of the upper, it rules out speed skaters who would wish to try out short frames, and the straps don't seem to provide the tightening precision that is generally expected for skates of that range. Only by testing will we refute (or maybe not) those preconceived ideas!

The boot

My first impression remained throughout the test: I didn't find that the boot was close fitted enough, and I lost in precision. Since not everybody has the same foot shape as me, even if it usually does adapt well to standard foot shapes, I would recommend you to take your time in shop to choose your size, maybe even take one size smaller.
We are used to associate high-cut shell and upper to support and rigidity, but the sensation is not as strong as expected.

Let's note the presence of a removable side pad (thus also replaceable) at the front, which may help for stalling as well as protecting the shell. Unfortunately, there is not enough room at the heel for stalling. Another side pad at the back would have been a good bonus for stalling on walls and rails!

Tightening

Even if I'm not a velcro strap lover, I must say that Rollerblade has evolved a lot in this field. They are sturdy, yet thinner than usual, and no fold appeared at the place I would tighten them every day. And even if a fold had appeared, I could have slid the strap to change pressure points. The laces are effective, but don't slide well in the eyelets, tightening takes some time. The straps however have a big advantage compared to micrometric buckles, they don't impeach the lacing.

Support

Support is likely to be good for skaters with strong feet. For skaters with flatter feet like me on the other hand, you get the feeling that there is a little too much room for your foot and no matter how hard you tighten them, it is still a bit loose.
Moreover, after a few weeks, the leverage, being bigger because of the diameter of the wheels, got the better of the upper! I had the sensation I had broken the shell, which was not the case, but I significantly lost support at the upper ankle!

Comfort

At last, a test without blisters! I deplore the not-so-close-fit, but in the end, even if I didn't have any sensation of top comfort, I was able to skate long sessions without difficulty.

Rollerblade Metroblade GM 310

Wheels & Frames

The Frame

Robust and relatively short (257 mm), the lateral centering of the frame is adjustable. It weighs 215 grams, which is average. It can be set up with 110 mm wheels max. Reinforced with two bridges, the rear one is particularly high, increasing the heel rigidity.
Speed skaters who are used to long frames will find them very easy to handle, while skaters used to short frames like hockey, freeride, or slalom skaters, will find them quite long. For freeriding, one centimeter shorter would have been perfect. In this suitable-for-all configuration, the frame is less reactive.

Rollerblade Metroblade GM 310

The Wheels

Roue Hydrogen Metroblade GMRollerblade mounted 110 mm 85A speed-type wheels with an elliptical, almost rounded, profile on the Metroblade 3WD. The Hydrogen wheels are made in the USA. We measured them: 110.5 mm diameter and 88A hardness, 149 grams and hub width 23.9 mm.

We put the wheels to a severe test in the Pyrénées mountains, in France: they proved to have quite a good rolling and grip overall. We wore them to the hub on very damaged grounds! They didn't come off their hubs, despite big slides and brakes going downhill. As a conclusion, it is a very decent series model.

Bearings

Nothing to declare. They remained silent and smooth throughout the test.

Conclusion

The Metroblade 3WD is a very interesting model, but it may have difficulties to find its audience: the relatively long frame may be suitable for speed skaters or skaters loving sporty long outings, but they may not be seduced by the high-cut rigid shell, that also lacks precision. Free riders will probably find the frame a bit long and will deplore the lack of room at the heel for stalling on walls or rails. With such a set-up, this skate may be a good alternative for skaters with strong feet, who are looking for speed and maneuverability.

Strong points and points to be improved

 Points forts

Pluses

+ General looks
+ Evolution of the velcro-straps (better than on previous models)
+ Removable side pads

points à améliorer 

Minuses

- Lack of precision linked to rigid but loose-fitted shell
- Lack of room for stalling at the heel

Technical facts

Brand: Rollerblade
Model: Metroblade 3WD
Year: 2016-2017
Shell: 862 grams with sliders
Frame: Aluminum 255 mm 3WD (215 grams / Front bridge: 52 mm / Back bridge: 63 mm)
Wheels: Hydrogen 110 mm 85A (149 grams) - made in USA
Bearings: ILQ 9 Classic +
Overall Weight: 1618 grams
Public Price: €429

Photo Gallery

Useful Links

Interview With Greg Mirzoyan

Released  on 30 November 2016 - Read 14312 times

By :
Luc s'est illustré dans de nombreux domaines du roller depuis 30 ans. C'est un des fondateurs de la commission de freestyle à la FFRS. Il a élaboré les contenus des premiers Brevets d'Etat de roller acrobatique. Il en a d'ailleurs assuré l'ensemble des formations pendant 10 ans. On l'a connu athlète en saut et en slalom avant de le voir performer en street puis en skatecross. Il a rédigé de nombreux articles dans la presse spécialisée et sur le net, développé une platine de quad avec HawaiiSurf (la Monolith), dessiné de nombreux skateparks en France, formé des juges internationaux avec l'IFSA en slalom et jugé de nombreux contests en slalom comme en street.

Web site Facebook

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 !
Web site Google+ Facebook Twitter



Want to join? Email us!

Adv.