It’s almost summer. Time to finally pack away your skis and switch to their wheeled brethren. You know what’s the biggest difference between the two? It’s cold in the winter – hardly a good time for standing and chatting. Meanwhile, summer is perfect for just that – discussing training methods, tactics – and most of all, ideal gear.
Today we look at what is likely the most popular category of them all – training skate rollerskis.
Marwe 620ХС, Swenor Elite, SRB SR02 Professional Flex – those are the names that come to mind when one is talking about high-end skate rollerskis. There’s nothing wrong (and a lot right) with them – except for one thing: they are too ubiquitous. Everyone and his coach has them already – what’s there to talk about?
Well, we selected 5 top-range models from other producers based on one criteria: wow-factor. Which, of course, comes at the price, in that the Magnificent Five also happen to be the most expensive training skate rollerskis on the planet.
So we don’t have to repeat it: all of the rollerskis reviewed claim to “mimic winter skiing with unprecedented authenticity”, “provide extreme on-snow feeling” or “deliver the most realistic on-snow feel of any roller ski on the market” – the veracity of these claims could not be established at the time of publication. All of them come with de-facto standard 100mm wheels and (most) could be specced with either rubber or PU wheels of different speeds.
1. Quionne Carbon Fiber Skate
A new member of a relatively rare breed of carbon fiber monocoque (i.e. construction where the weight of skier is supported through a rollerski’s external walls), the only other ones are Globulonero B1 by Nones Sport and a little known Russian brand Avermax.
Carbon Fiber Skate is “baked” by Quionne Tech s.l in Spain. It’s extremely lightweight (700 gram per piece) and can be had in three different iterations – under 55kg, 55 kg – 75 kg and 70 kg – 120 kg. We are impressed with the last one.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is 349.95 €, but they can be found for less online.
Wow-factor: High. They look totally space age. And that monocoque – just like in the latest Ferrari or McLaren albeit on smaller scale!
2. Weasel Marathon
The Weasel rollerskis come from Solothurn in Switzerland and are made with a “special extrusion profile (42x18mm) made of high-strength aluminium alloy, CNC machined”. The manufacturer also wishes you to know that the Marathon are equipped with “HTB Made-in-Germany Magic Evolution high-end radial ball bearings” (not to be confused, however, with the really fancy HTB Dynamic Evolution that cost circa 120 € for a set of four)
Wow-factor: High. You’d have to mention casually that Marathon won a Reddot award for high design quality. Who even knew that rollerskis are judged for their design, huh?
To become a proud owner of this Swiss design beauty, you’ll have to fork out some 379.99 €
3.Rundle Sport RS 10 Skate
The overseas rollerski manufacturing prowess is represented by by Rundle Sport Inc. from Canmore, Alberta, Canada. Rundle is trying its own approach – a patented rollerski suspension, that, according to the company’s website, “reduces vibration and shock loading, improves foot and shin comfort, and reduces the risk of an overuse injury”. Rundle is another aluminum-frame entry in the high-end field dominated by carbon fiber platforms. One can have RS 10 (or, what appears to be their upcoming successor as a top model, Rundle FLEX™ Skate) with a choice of various dampers for adjusting the stiffness of the suspension – from 49 to 80kg plus.
Wow-factor: Depends. You’d have to find a way of dropping casually that the Canadian and the French ski teams would not train on anything not made by Rundle (allegedly).
Rundle RS 10 can be yours $379.99 or equivalent in Euros.
4.Vauhti Skate Exceed Carbon
The Finns are known for not saying much when there’s no reason to speak, so it’s difficult to ascertain what space technologies are going into the production of these sleek beauties. They do, however, score very high marks in tests – especially for smoothness of the ride
Wow-factor: Nah. You’d have to keep both the high-scoring test results and the price tag attached to them for anybody to react. A typical discreet Northern gem.
This gem is MSPR- priced at a cool 399.00€ (although they can be found for less on the internet) which makes them the second most expensive rollerskis in our review.
5.Rollersafe RS Skate Basic/XL Basic
Rollersafe rollerskis are in a league of their own – with a price to match. The good people from the Norwegian town of Son near Oslo have been the first in the world to figure out how to attach remote controlled electronic brakes to rollerskis. The brake trigger is attached to the ski pole (where else? ) and at your touch it “seamlessly activates hydraulic pumps controlling disc brake pads through calipers on the rear wheel” . Basically, it’s a remote relative (no pun intended) to a much talked about Red eTap HydroHC brake system found on uber-fancy bicycles. Rollersafe RS Skate can be had in 58cm (Basic) or 70cm (XL Basic) platform lengths.
Wow-factor: Be the talk-of-the-town. It’s safe to say that nobody in the radius of your longest lap has anything similar – yet. If somebody fails to notice you – just pull out your iPhone and commence remote adjustment of braking power (of course). All the attached gizmos add a weight penalty, though – the RS Skate weigh 1120g/piece.
Rollersafe RS Basic can be all yours for 529€, but the price includes Rottefella Xcelerator bindings. Splurge for the RS Complete (699€), and you get them in a fancy looking travel case + 2 spare wheels with brake pads.
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