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On 30 August 2017 at 09:08 | updated on 20 September 2017 at 19:20

Testing the Tau 80 Carbon Trinity Slalom Skates by Powerslide

Testing the Tau 80 Carbon Trinity Slalom Skates by Powerslide

After testing the Powerslide Kaze earlier this year, Powerslide gives us the opportunity to have a go with the Tau, the brand's key model for freestyle slalom skating. And we certainly were not disappointed!

By  Luc BOURDIN

Test Bench

Presentation and First Hypotheses

Test du Powerslide Tau TrinityThe shell of the Powerslide Tau is made of rigid carbon, and is boosted by a high-cut structure boot. It has two ratchet buckles as well as laces, and the inside of the boot is covered with thick padding. There is a removable lateral abrasive pad placed on the outside of the shell, on the side of the toes.

The Tau is mounted on a pre-rockered Trinity frame. To compensate for it, the skates are sold with 76 mm wheels in the middle and 80 mm wheels at the ends, for a flat set-up with hard (85A) wheels of rounded profile.

It is a high-end model that should also satisfy hardcore sliders.

With a closer look, a couple details are brought to our attention:

• The closing buckles made of soft plastic: a curious choice given the price and the looks of the skate, which seems to be destined to technical skating, needing infallible and precise tightening.

• The choice of selling a slalom model with wheels of different diameters to offer a flat set-up, while the frame's main feature is its rockered set-up, required for advanced slalomers.

Here we go for a two-month test of the Powerslide Tau!

Testing Procedures

After 70 days of testing, the Tau has no more secrets for us!
Given the high number of frames using the Powerslide Trinity System, we tested the boot mounted on 4 different frames:

• The original frame with a flat set-up
• The original frame with a rockered set-up
• The Powerslide Trinity 3x110 frame (with 100 mm wheels)
• The 4x80mm frame of the Powerslide Kaze with a flat set-up

The Boot: A Remarkable Rigidity

The 100% carbon boot offers the rigidity that is expected on a model of this range. It is also very light.

Test du Powerslide Tau Trinity

An Optimal Front Flexing

Test du Powerslide Tau TrinityThe cuff can be removed with an Allen key. It is perfectly in accordance with the needs of slalom skating, with good flexing amplitude of to the front, and strong side support.

A Perfect Support

The height of the boot and the rigidity of the cuff offer perfect support, even with the increased "lever arm" effect due to the use of bigger wheels (with 100 mm). The Trinity system reaches its optimal energy restitution with the 4x80mm set-up.

For skaters using this type of high-end model for other things than slalom competition, the support of the boot is so good that you never feel the need to tighten your skate to the max, and the flaw of the buckles is not a problem anymore.
For freestyle competitors, metal buckles would be welcome.
On a side note, for daily commuting, it's the only skate that can be slipped on without tightening anything (not even the laces), and that enables you to skate loose without problem and even brake in case of need.

Side Pads Are Good, Front Pads Would Be Even Better!

The boot has lateral abrasive pads to protect the side in case of a fall. They are perfectly suited for freeriders and can easily be removed (cross-head screws) for slaloming. On the other hand, the nose of the boot is fragile and with the Corvo trend (a trick for which the slalomer is crouching on one heel, and skating on the front wheel), adding a nose abrasive pad for freestylers would be a good idea (Kevlar lining for example).

Test du Powerslide Tau Trinity

A Ventilated Boot

Like on many models of the brand, the outsole is ventilated under the foot, which is great in fine weather. However, avoid skating in the rain, especially sliding in the rain! It might be interesting if Powerslide were to develop some kind of waterproof cap, making it less wet to use the brand's perforated boots during bad weather.

Design

Last but not least, the sober design and sharpness of the shell have won quite a unanimous support, we only had positive feedback on the aesthetics of this model! The skate is black and grey, and only the orange inside padding contrasts with the rest of the skate.

Test du Powerslide Tau Trinity

Closure: Good but Improvable

Powerslide opted for a classic combination: laces going from the toes to the ankle, and ratchet buckles on the instep and around the ankle.
The laces are hard to slide in their eyelets, but offer optimal tightening. Like most skates equipped with that combination, the buckles are set quite close to the laces, and tend to get in the way when lacing up.

Good point: Both buckles are removable with a cross-head screwdriver, so that they can be replaced. They look fragile and leave a bad first impression, but yet, they held on during the test.
However the upper buckle's flexibility may be a problem with use. Moreover, the last notches of the instep buckle wear off faster, so that it quickly becomes hard to close them to the max. The upper buckles opened all of a sudden way too often while skating, just by touching one skate with the other!

Comfort

The integrated liner has a great finish. Once you've stepped in, you feel hugged and comfortable. Note that it runs small, so don't take a size smaller than yours. If you have a strong foot, chances are small that the carbon of the shell will adapt to it, and you may need to go for a bigger size to avoid painful training sessions. Otherwise, you can also take off the liner sock for even more precision a bit more room.

Test du Powerslide Tau Trinity

Frames, Wheels and Bearings

The Trinity Frame

Short and robust (243 mm in size 43 EU), the special features of the Trinity Pro Rocker Frame are its pre-rockered set-up (the middle wheels are lower than the end wheels) and its Trinity system (3 mounting points instead of the traditional 2).

The axle holes of the middle wheels are lower than those of the end wheels. If you mount four 80 mm wheels, you'll have a rockered set-up for more maneuverability, a must-have in freestyle slalom.

On the other hand, for non "dancy" or freestyle practices with inline skates, choose another frame, since you can't mount 4 wheels of the same diameter and have a flat set-up with this model. For example, if you have 80 mm end wheels, you'll need 76 mm middle wheels, so that all four wheels touch the ground. This implies a loss of velocity, which won't necessarily be suitable for all skaters investing in such a pricey pair of slalom skates, whether for speed or freestyle use.

Moreover, due to the Trinity system, the space between the wheels and the boot is as small as it can be. Powerslide has reduced the ground clearance for more stability and better energy return, a small detail making a big difference in slalom.

Three models are available, according to your foot size:

• Sizes 38-39 EU: pre-rockered 219 frame with 4x72mm wheels (rockered set-up)
• Sizes 40-41 EU: pre-rockered 231 frame with 76-72-72-76 mm wheels (flat set-up)
• Sizes 42-47 EU: pre-rockered 243 frame with 80-76-76-80 mm wheels (flat set-up for the test model)

Test du Powerslide Tau Trinity

Powerslide Wheels

Powerslide equips the Tau with the brand's own 85A Spinner wheels. Already tested with the Kaze, their rounded profile is suitable for freestyle slalom, a discipline where you spend a lot of time poised on one wheel. A more elliptical profile would have made wheelings harder to hold.

The skate in size 43 EU is delivered with two 80 mm and two 76 mm wheels, for a flat set-up (the smaller wheels in the middle to counter the pre-rockered design of the frame), or a very steep 8 mm rockered set-up, which is very appreciated by some freestylers. For the others, you'll have to invest in four additional wheels to reduce the size of your rockered set-up.

Test du Powerslide Tau Trinity

Wickel Bearings

The Tau is fitted with Wicked Twincam Freespin ILQ 9 Classic bearings, like many Powerslide models. They are of very good quality, nothing to report here.

Quality-Price Ratio

In view of the overall quality of the skate, the price set by the manufacturer is within the average range.

Conclusion

Powerslide created a very efficient skate for freestyle slalom skating. The only question is about the choice of a flat set-up on a pre-rockered frame, that would have been perfect with a fresh-out-of-the-box rockered set-up and 4 wheels of the same size. The brand also could have played the high-end card, and fit metal buckles and additional protective lining at the nose of the boot. However, even the most demanding slalomers will find that this model can meet their every need.

Test du Powerslide Tau Trinity

Strong Points and Points to Be Improved

 

Pluses

+ Global support
+ Precision
+ Reactivity of the set-up
+ Maneuverability of the skate
+ Versatility of the shell
+ Trinity system
+ Innovation

 

Minuses

- Flexibility of the ratchet buckles
- Several different tools needed to disassembly the skate's components
- Fragility of the nose of the boot

Technical Facts

Brand: Powerslide
Model: Tau
Year: 2017
Shell: Trinity 100% carbon fiber
Upper: Synthetic PU Nanoleather and Mesh
Liner: Integrated 3D anatomical "speedfoam" padding
Frame: Trinity Pro Rocker Aluminum 7005
Sizes 38-39 EU: pre-rockered 219 frame with 4x72mm wheels (rockered set-up)
Sizes 40-41 EU: pre-rockered 231 frame with 76-72-72-76 mm wheels (flat set-up)
Sizes 42-47 EU: pre-rockered 243 frame with 80-76-76-80 mm wheels (flat set-up)
Axles: 8 mm T25 Torque head made of aluminum 7075
Wheels: 85A Powerslide Spinner SHR
Bearings: Wicked Twincam Freespin ILQ 9 Classic
Sizes: 38-46 EU / 5-12 US
Public Price: €529
Manufacturer's number: 908111
Recommended use: Slalom Skating

Useful Links

Testing the Powerslide Kaze Freeride Skates

Released  on 30 August 2017 - Read 1067 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.

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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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