The best roller blades should give you a smooth roll. So it is vital to learn the various parts of an inline skate and how it functions. Having such knowledge helps in diagnosing and solving usual inline skates problems[Common Problems with Inline Skate & How to Fix them]
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Vital Parts of An Inline Skate
It’s the part of an inline skate that covers the foot and thus gives it much protection. The boot upper can be of synthetic material, leather or suede. Other valuable parts of the skates found on the boot include eyelets, laces, and tongue.
Depending on its design, it can have a high or low top profile. The high boot profile offers enhanced ankle support and hence making skating easier, especially for a beginner.
On the other hand, it’s common to find low-cut boots in speed skaters. Such a low-cut profile gives the ankle more room for flexing. Further, speed skaters often use carbon fiber.
At the same time, it’s common to find recreational skaters having soft boot type. The softness means enhanced comfort even for prolonged skating.
One key advantage of the firm boot is that it offers better foot protection and easy control of the inline skate.
An inline skate frame helps position the wheels correctly and connect them to the main body. Usually, the frame material is either plastic or metal. Whereas most recreational skaters boast premium-grade polyurethane fame, the speed inline skates have metal or carbon frames.
Carbon frames offer high flexibility and a smooth ride. However, they provide inefficient power transfer from the leg to the wheels. But in the recent past, technology has given birth to high-end carbon frames of monocoque design.
The high-end carbon equals aluminum in stiffness yet lighter. Extruded aluminum though pricey, offers a more solid design.
If you have more body mass, then a metallic frame suits you. Besides, such plates have high strength to take on uneven surfaces.
The chief role of the ball bearings in any inline skate is to allow the wheels to revolve smoothly and freely. In the usual setting, each wheel has two ball bearings inserted in the wheel hub. The two ball bearings have a molded flange to keep them apart.
An ABEC scale help show the ratings of a bearing. The ratings are of odd numbers (1, 3, 5, 7, and 9) and indicate the level of precision. The higher the ABEC rating, the higher the level of accuracy.
Nevertheless, since 2007 some inline skate brands have started using their rating system. A good example is the Rollerblade brand using the rating system of SG1-SG9.
The wheels are the round rotating parts that connect the skate to the ground. Inline skates wheels are generally of durable plastic (polyurethane).
Wheel sizes differ from one type of inline skate[ Inline Skate Types] to the next.
Generally, the larger the wheel diameter, the higher the speed and smooth roll. Big wheels can roll on uneven grounds smoothly and produce fewer chances of tripping compared to small wheels. However, the initial roll-off of large wheels requires a significant amount of energy.
Small wheels give a skate a low center of gravity and easy maneuverability around obstacles. Further, a small wheel size means faster acceleration.
Apart from size, wheels also differ in hardness. The hardness of a wheel is rated on an A scale, durometer, and varies from 72A to 93A. As the rating goes up on the A scale, the degree of hardness of the wheel also increases.
When it comes to durability, hard wheels take the lead. However, as for a good grip of the ground, soft wheels win hands down.
The heel brake helps one come to a quick stop. The heel brake, as the name suggests, attaches to the heel of the frame. Mostly you’ll find it on the right leg. But if your dominant limb is left, you can shift it there too.
In case of an emergency or you need to slow down when skating downhill, the heel brakes come in to use. Also Rollerblade brand in the recent past introduced advanced braking (ABT) in beginner rollerblades.
You’ll find air ducts on the front position of inline skates. Their function is to support the aeration of the feet. By so doing, the ducts prevent over sweating of the feet that could otherwise dampen the insole.
Each of the parts mentioned above plays an integral role in the proper functioning of an inline skate. So, careful care and maintenance of inline skate[How to Maintain Inline Skate] parts are vital.