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Old October 27th, 2008, 02:57 PM   #1
chaosdsm
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Default Can we get a "Review" sub-forum started???

Any posibility of getting an review sub-forum going???

I see lots of threads asking about opinions on various products from wheels to skates, to GPS', etc... many of which have had informal reviews done by skaters already, but being burried in whatever forum the OP placed it in, makes it hard to dig-up.

Having all of our reviews in one spot would make it much easier for people to see if someone has already posted about a product in which they are interested.
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Old October 27th, 2008, 06:48 PM   #2
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Sounds cool to me. Reviews could/should include the following, if possible:
-item name (including model year if applicable)
-manufacturer name
-price paid, and where purchased
-how long you have owned it
-your skill and experience level
-item description
-item performance
-item durability
-uhh, whatever else people can think of

An example
Radical 100 by K2 (2007 model)
$130 on Craigslist, lightly used. Retail at the time was maybe $349?
I bought them about 1 year ago.
When I bought the skates, I was a relatively new "speedness" skater. I was averaging about 10 mph on my rec skates over fairly long distances when I moved up to these.
The skates are in the K2 softboot style. The boot is relatively soft and has an external hinged ankle cuff. The cuff attaches to an external shell that appears to be fiberglass. This fiberglass shell forms the exterior of the sole of the boot. The boot has 195mm spacing, with crossways slots for frame adjustment. The interior of the boot is nicely padded, especially the ankle cuff.
The frame is machined out of an extruded aluminum section. The axles are threaded so that skating tends to tighten the axles on both frames. There is a brake that works pretty well, considering the low cuff. A spare axle is included in case you want to remove the brake. The quality and craftsmanship looks pretty good to me.
The wheels provided are StarGrip Training 85A 100 mm wheels. They are okay, not great. They are very lightweight. As they have worn they have gotten fuzzy instead of wearing smoothly.

The bearings are ILQ-9 Classics. They are grease-lubed 6-ball bearings. They have been smooth and durable, with very little maintenance required. I like them a lot.

These skates are quite a bit faster than the 80mm rec skates I moved up from. The transition was easy for me. From the very first time I wore them I was faster than I was in the old skates.

The boot was a good width for me. I like wide shoes and the boot seemed good. The heel was a little wide inside, which made it hard to consistently hit my edges, since my heel would move from side to side inside. The cuff was nice and cushiony.

The softness of the boot can make it difficult the get the lacing tension right. Sometimes I would try to get them tight so that my foot wouldn't move around. This ended up cutting off circulation to my foot. Then I would leave them looser, and would end up with my foot moving around too much. The laces and the buckle/rachet/strap thing seemed to do their job fine, but I'm not really picky about that stuff. I just had a hard time figuring out how to get to the right tightness level.

In normal use the boot seems pretty durable. I fell a couple of times and managed to make some pretty bad scuffs in the material on the top of the boot. A more coordinated or more risk-averse skater probably would not have any problems.

Anyway, I really liked the skates and thought they were a really good transition skates to take me from rec skates to my current speed skates.
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Old October 27th, 2008, 10:21 PM   #3
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I'd like to know how our user community feels about adding a new subforum for reviews. Do you envision having one forum for all types of reviews, whether skates, wheels, bearings, skatebags, or whatever? And for all types of skates, whether speed, artistic, hockey, recreational, or aggressive? All in one new subforum?

- Kathie
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Old October 27th, 2008, 10:39 PM   #4
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We might want to consider what we wish for.---we may be makin it harder to find items that relate to a particular discipline---just sayin.
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Old October 28th, 2008, 12:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skateguy View Post
We might want to consider what we wish for.---we may be makin it harder to find items that relate to a particular discipline---just sayin.
Good point! Maybe reviews could appear twice - once in their home forum, and once in a reviews forum. Perhaps the way to do this would be a script that flags all threads with titles that begin "Product Review:", and copy them to the reviews forum. (As a non-programmer, I'm not sure if this is actually possible.)

Bill in Houston, I like the idea of including the info you list, but I worry that strict "rules" might discourage some people from posting potentially helpful reviews.

----Scott
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Old October 28th, 2008, 02:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sk8scott View Post
Bill in Houston, I like the idea of including the info you list, but I worry that strict "rules" might discourage some people from posting potentially helpful reviews.
Ya, I wouldn't want for them to be seen as rules. It's just that in a forum where people list skates for sale, but don't tell what size they are, or ask what kind of skates they should buy but don't say whether they want quads or inlines, a small checklist might help jog people's memories. But definitely, anything that anyone wanted to post would be better than nothing.

Together or separate doesn't make a lot of difference to me. If people would use the name of the product for the title of the thread then we could search pretty easily. It would just be nice to have a place to go look and see what people thought of a product that I might want to buy. And a place to send newbs who ask about a particular skate that most of us never heard of, but that one person wrote a really nice review of.

Just my thoughts. With or without, this is the best forum in the business.
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Old October 28th, 2008, 04:03 AM   #7
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I agree that a listing of some kind, might be handy. so the same questions aren't having to be answered over and over again. "What boots should I buy." What wheels are best for so and so"---Not that I mind, but folks may find it easier to find useful info, that has already been gone through, at length.
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Old October 28th, 2008, 07:29 AM   #8
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this sounds like a great idea.

lumping all disciplines may actually work to most peoples advantage by give them pros and cons from varied styles.

as fr as "rules" I'd suggest this bills list be used as an optional template or perhaps sticky ed to top of the forum as a Lotta people just don't think about certain things when all they wanna do is write about how great or crappy their latest purchases are.

overall it would be cool to have an area where if i was looking at skates i didn't know too much about, I could get an idea what others thought.
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Old October 28th, 2008, 03:55 PM   #9
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I like the review idea also.

There are times I've read a review someone wrote about a wheel and then months later can't find it or at least can't find it quickly.

As long as they put product review and what they are reviewing in the title, it should be easy to figure out. If it's specific to quad or inline, that should be in parenthesis too.

I think it should be that way because, I skate quads inside (speed boots), but if I decide I want to buy some inlines and skate outside, I don't know the names/numbers of the artistic quads or the inlines so I might read a review of an artistic quad thinking it's for inlines or vice versa. By the time I figure it out, I've wasted time and confused myself. If the review said (quad) in the title and I'm looking for inlines, I would know to skip it.
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Old October 28th, 2008, 06:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathie Fry View Post
I'd like to know how our user community feels about adding a new subforum for reviews. Do you envision having one forum for all types of reviews, whether skates, wheels, bearings, skatebags, or whatever? And for all types of skates, whether speed, artistic, hockey, recreational, or aggressive? All in one new subforum?

- Kathie
I think just one sub-forum to encompass all reviews would work, especially if people use descriptive keywords in the title so that readers can tell what the product is and what discipline it covers just from the title. Some title examples might look like:
2008 Reebok RBK 7k Pump inline hockey skates
2008 Bont Apache 3 point inline speed skates
Riddell Legacy artistic roller skates
Bones Swiss 7mm labyrinth 627 bearings

As far as any "rules" go, use common sense, don't use a review to libel (anything that is defamatory or that maliciously or damagingly misrepresents.) a company or product. Don't make claims that cannot be proven with scientific data. For example, "these xxxxx boots are made from very low grade material, while my boots of about the same cost from yyyyyy are made from a much higher grade of material" would be libel. If you have a specific issue with a product, you should contact the manufacturer before approaching ANY other avenues and making claims that could land you in a courtroom... Another example: "I was much faster with these new wheels. I didn't have my watch (or GPS) with me, but I definitely felt that I was going 3 or 4 MPH faster Vs the old wheels" would be a baseless claim that has no scientific data to back it up.

I'm not saying a review has to be 100% scientifically based, but at least some measurable data is highly desirable for any review. For example: "I wound up skating 11.5 miles in 1hr 7min 51sec in the xxxxxx skates Thatís a pretty long distance & fast pace for me after a 6-month break." (excerpt taken from my review of my most recent skates)

I think Bill has a good list of desirable information that could be included in a review, I would only add: Pro's & Con's Not necessary, but if there's anything that really stands out about the product for good or bad, let us know. For example, I once tried on a pair of skates in a store, the skates had a large seam that cut directly across the ankle bone when the laces were tightened, that would be a definite "Con" that others would probably find helpful.
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Old October 28th, 2008, 10:37 PM   #11
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I think a review section is a good idea. It helps people choose wisely what they buy.
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Old November 7th, 2008, 09:27 PM   #12
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psst, everyone start putting your reviews in this thread, and then maybe if we get a bunch kathie will make a subforum. if not, at least there will be a thread to go look at when you want to find a review.
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Old November 7th, 2008, 09:46 PM   #13
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Default Am-Wing Tarmac T2 Wheels - 100 mm

Am-Wing Tarmac T2 Wheels from Adams Inline. 24mm width, v-profile. 100mm diameter. $11 each, I think.

On the urethane: Tarmac T2 100mm
On the hub: SP+ 2007.10.08 (probably the date of manuf)

color
white to slightly creamy

number of spokes
15 spokes. 5 sort of keyhole looking pairs, and 5 straight ones

These wheels are supposedly designed for heavier skaters and american roads, or american skaters and asphalt roads. Either way, they look pretty sturdy. The hub holds the bearings very nicely and it seems inconceivable that someone could break the hub while skating and survive the impact.

These wheels felt slow at first. I think it was because they ride so smoothly. So when I timed myself, I was surprised to find that I went from doing my 20.5 mile skate in over two hours, to under 1:45. Shocking improvement. And very very smooth. Makes chip'n'seal seem not-too-bad.

There have been rumors around here of AmWing wheels wearing quickly, so these have been stashed away as my race wheels. They are solidly faster than the original stargrip training wheels my K2s had on them, and than tru-rev saturn wheels. I realize that that is not stiff competition. If anyone wants to send me some G3 or G4 wheels to do comparisons against, I guess I could make that sacrifice.

There is also a rumor that these wheels are terrible in the wet. I'm not going to doing any testing on that front. :-)

These wheels are dead-perfect round. Since this was the first set of wheels I ever bought, I didn't understand that sometimes wheels aren't round. Then I used the tru-revs, which are about a full mm or more out of round. Anyway these things are round and true.

These wheels will continue to be saved for race day until I get something better. Sheldon has done more long-term testing of the AmWings and can weigh in on the long-term performance.
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Old November 9th, 2008, 03:07 AM   #14
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Quote:
psst, everyone start putting your reviews in this thread, and then maybe if we get a bunch kathie will make a subforum. if not, at least there will be a thread to go look at when you want to find a review.
Actually, that's a great idea. I will definitely make a separate subforum if that's what the majority really wants, and if it's clear people will actually use the new forum.

Right now our skate reviews are in each per-discipline forum, and I'm getting mixed opinions about whether or not that should change. Some of our forum visitors think that's where they belong, and that's where they will be easiest to find. But hey, if you guys start actually posting reviews in this thread, and we get a significant number of them them in here, that would make it obvious a separate "reviews" forum is what a signficant number of people in our forum want. But inline skaters be warned... in case you hadn't noticed... quad skaters are prolific forum posters.

Aloha from Honolulu!

- Kathie

Last edited by Kathie Fry; November 9th, 2008 at 03:21 PM.
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Old November 9th, 2008, 07:31 AM   #15
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Although I'm new in this forum, I believe the decision should be optimized for searching. Imagine a speed skater searching just for the term "bont" to get an impression about their reputation or check which of their models is most popular. In a single Reviews forum she will get too many quad reviews. Or getting quad wheel reviews when searching Matter/Answer/Atom.

On the other hand, I also believe in the saying "Don't speculate. Experiment!".

I love this forum and wish us all good luck. Thank you Kathie and everyone
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Old November 19th, 2008, 08:55 AM   #16
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Perhaps if we put all the reviews into a subforum, we could standardise on the titles?

Eg.
Aggressive - Xsjado - whatever

So the discipline goes first, then the brand and model? This way its easier for anyone who searches (:


Just my two cents.
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Old November 19th, 2008, 04:35 PM   #17
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No need to think about it too much. Nobody is posting any reviews anyway.

Subforums don't get created when someone says "wouldn't it be nice if..." they get created when there is an actual purpose for them. And we ain't there yet.
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Old November 19th, 2008, 09:13 PM   #18
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Default Searching the SkateLog Forum

Quote:
Although I'm new in this forum, I believe the decision should be optimized for searching
I agree, search is one good way to find skate reviews in the forum. And while we're on the topic of search... just FYI... you will probably get much better search results by using the bright blue "Search" link at the top of every page in the forum. The white Search link in the blue-gray bar at the top of the forum is the search engine built in to vBulletin. That search is OK. But the bright blue Search link above it uses the Google search engine which - in my opinion - yields better search results.

- Kathie
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