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Old April 25th, 2014, 09:02 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: London
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Originally Posted by iains View Post
#2 has also been told that if we can source them he could also use these style speed skates! Mum and I disagree!
I would say that he could, but there is no need to rush out and buy a pair if his current ones fit and he is going to outgrow them soon. The next time he needs new boots go ahead and look at speed style.

Originally Posted by iains View Post
His current wheels are noname 84mm 85a hardness. I'd prefer to get him less hard wheels. I'd guess that the wear caused by a small (25 kg) child will be less and they'll provide him with better grip. Maybe even rain wheels too, because it traditionally rains on local race days! And they race almost exclusively outside on a dedicated asphalt track.
I think we're going to need to clarify the term asphalt. I seem to remember that it is used differently in different parts of the world. Here is used mostly to refer to a very smooth surface that is typically only used in parking lots and driveways. It gets pretty slick when wet, but is very good when dry.

In addition, are there tar snakes? When roads crack from repeated expansion and contraction road crews often "solve" the problem by filling it in with tar. That's even worse when it gets hot (sticky) or wet (slick).

Whatever type of wheels you decide on getting, I recommend getting two sets. One for practice which can be run into the ground. The other is put on the day before the race and removed the night after. They will last longer in good condition and allow your child to perform at his best on race day. Store the set at room temperature in a bag to protect it from the elements and keep it out of direct sunlight. At that age, when you get new wheels they can become the new race set, and the race set can become the practice set.

Originally Posted by iains View Post
The bearings are something or other with a red plastic or rubber cap I'm loath to try and remove because I feel I'll never get it back on and all the ball bearings will fall out. I'd clean them regularly rather than pay for ceramics. Oh and people here clean and lubricate the bearings with WD40 which seems to be a bit strange to me? Would using a teflon bike chain spray be better?
There should be a shield or seal which protects the inside from the elements and a retainer that holds the balls in place. You can remove the shield or seal with no problem, but there is never any real need to remove the retainer. If the bearings get wet, you must remove them as soon as your child stops skating and put them in something (cleaner, WD-40, or gasoline). The reason the bearings are making sounds is either because they are not lubricated properly or the balls/races are already scratched. One of those problems is solvable. The other would relegate that set to a practice set or the garbage for me.

Ceramics make things easier because they do not rust, so you don't have to worry about cleaning them right after getting wet. Higher quality stainless steel also gives you a little bit more time, but doesn't eliminate the necessity.

WD-40 is not a lubricant. It is a Water Displacer. It's great for when you have wet bearings that you need to store before cleaning. It isn't absolutely terrible for your bearings under the load a small skater imparts, but you are better off with a real lubricant. Sewing machine oil, 3-in-1, Bones speed cream, etc. We can also argue grease versus oil, but I hope someone will just link to a thread we already have than start that here.

Originally Posted by iains View Post
He is still often falling over - partly with the change of boots - partly because he does push himself really hard. This is both painful and expensive in the number of new leggings we're having to buy. So some good knee / hip pads that don't slide down when he falls at speed would be good.
More likely the cause is technique. If the boots fit properly he should be able to adjust. Unless he is at the point of exhaustion/ his falls come mostly at the end of practice, I wouldn't blame the effort. It is hard to get kids to focus on proper technique, but it pays off in more ways than one. I personally find that pads hinder my ability to get in a proper stance, but some other skaters do just fine.

EDIT: You may want to have someone check the frame placement too. If your son's ankles are being torqued that could cause balance problems or floppy ankles.

Originally Posted by iains View Post
So what do you think I should be getting the kids for their birthdays? And where from? Thanks in advance!
Maybe a new frame? There aren't a lot of good speed wheels being made at 84mm anymore (to my knowledge). You can get something like a 4x100/3x110 transformer frame and stick 90s on there initially. Then your kid can graduate to 100s and 110s without needing a new frame. Each time the wheels wear out evaluate if he is ready for the next size up. If you do change size, do not just rotate them in as the race set as I mention above. You want to practice and race on the same size wheels.
You don't improve by training until it hurts; you improve by training after it hurts.

I love the phrase "I quit". It beats more of my opponents than I do.
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