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Old December 27th, 2008, 07:44 PM   #4
online inline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: seattle, WA USA
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i agree with the points the articles are making for the most part, and it's been widely understood for some time now, well over a year or two anyways.

But what surprises me is that they (MPC) are coming out with a 104mm wheel. This seems like a misstep, imo. The difference between 104mm and 100mm is little more than an eighth-of-an-inch (1/8"+). This is very little, and will have not much of an advantage over an 100mm set-up. I was expecting companies to come out with 106mm. And let me point out that a few mm of differences are more significant at the high end (approaching 110mm), where a skaters abilities are stretched to the limits, than at the low end (100mm), where a skater is presumably comfortable already.

The only reason i can think that this was done (going with a 104mm wheel rather than a 106mm or 107mm), was that the 104 mm wheel could be skated on most 100mm frames, while a 105 or 106mm wheel could only be skated on perhaps one brand of 100m frame, and would require a whole new round of frames by skate manufacturers, (whihc would either not be deemed to be cost effective, or at least, not welcomed whatsoever).

So, this is a way of putting new wheels on the market, whihc will probably be only marginally beneficial to some skaters. What would have been really beneficial- a 106mm wheel - would have required too much re-tooling by the manufacturers, and is not to be at this time.

I think there are many other considerations pertinent to this topic whihc could be considered, but the big point here is that the entry point in the straight sub-110 set-up has been entered at a point not much different than the existing 100mm baseline. Perhaps it will have some usefulness to indoor skaters more so than to outdoors, and i would expect this to be the case, where turning and maneuverablity are more in demand. But for outdoor set-ups, my feeling in that regard is, why bother?
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