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Old April 25th, 2007, 09:47 AM   #56
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 254

Originally Posted by xlracer View Post
Richard I have another question about the Jet. When did Chicago stop making that plate?
Kennedy the angle of the King Pin, it is 45 degrees. Every speed skate I have ever had, has this angle of truck. I believe sometime in the mid to late 80's when the Jumbo wheels started hitting the market, the transition to double action 10 and 15 degree trucks came into use in speed skating. I remember my Jumbo Fanjets getting ripped up on the inside edge because they were hitting the mounting bolts when you leaned into the turns.
Splitwoods can give you a more accurate technical breakdown for the use of the 45 degree trucks for racing.


45 degree trucks were the angle of choice all the way thru the end of the woodies era. Once we started to venture outdoors we found that the Europeans favored the 10-15 degree trucks for heel-toe style of skating.

The 45 degree angle lent itself to a lower center of gravity, and perceived superior control in the slide which was inevitable on a powdered track. Some of our workouts I would switch off of my 45's to a pair of 10's on the same floor, and there was no question in my mind the 45's had it all over the 10's in the corners indoors. Now outdoors as the our techniques developed, I favored the 10's especially on the road.

As you indicate before too long the wheel makers kept on making taller wheels and adjusting the widths, until they needed to change the plate mounting systems, truck and axle widths to accomodate the wheels, so that they eliminated interferences with mounting bolts.

As an aside to this discussion, I had always felt that a double action 45 degree plate would be just the ticket and pleaded with Charles Snyder to modify the Imperial, lighten it up, and he would sell a ton of them. He did just that a few years after we shut down! In fact he incorporated our Flip Axles into that skate as well. I saw one or two pair of them in the early 80's if I recall.

Lastly, your question on the Chicago Jet. They were fairly well replaced by the Super Jet in racing circles going into the mid 60's and beyond. I believe they kept the Jet in production for the fast paced round and rounder market for years after that. There was a stamping of a jet fighter with an afterburner smoke trail on each plate as their logo for the Jet plate!

It was not uncommon Tracy to see many mismatched skates on the market, especially the ones that came in from the Distributors and Retail Sporting Goods stores already mounted up. Many times these guys used day laborers, who knew nothing about skating and would not know center heel, center ball mounting principles from a hole in the ground! If you wanted a good matchup, you had a professional at your rink do that for you. Me I always mounted my own plates from the time I was 12 years old! That picture you have shown is a perfect example of a plate, too small for the boot, and mounted too far to the rear!! I always would find the center line on the plate, scribe it with a black magic marker, and use Snyders marking tool to do the same on the skate boot, for an easy matchup, never had a problem with that procedure.


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