2 wheels good, 4 wheels bad?

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dodgy
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2 wheels good, 4 wheels bad?

Postby dodgy » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:43 pm

While experimenting with a heel brake yesterday I used a flat 80mm set up for the first time in years...and it felt so slow! Not just non-manoeuvrable, which I'd have expected but really slow. Is this just an illusion, or is skating on 2/3 wheels actually faster? less friction etc.

ld50
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Re: 2 wheels good, 4 wheels bad?

Postby ld50 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:19 pm

Let me answer your question with a question: Do you see speed skaters skating on two wheels?

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Re: 2 wheels good, 4 wheels bad?

Postby gummidge » Thu Dec 01, 2011 2:59 pm

The way I imagine it is that metaphorically the longer the wheel base and/or the more contact you have with the ground the higher the gear you are in. If you are used to a "low gear" then a "high gear" does feel inefficient at first, especially before you get up to speed. You may also find you need a bit of a change in technique to be as efficient as before.

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Re: 2 wheels good, 4 wheels bad?

Postby Dan B » Thu Dec 01, 2011 3:23 pm

It's a good metaphor, but as an explanation it skips a step. Physically the 'gear' you're in depends on the angle your setdown skate forms from the direction of travel: if the skate is pointing 5 degrees away[*] from "forwards" when you're pushing on it, you will go further on each push than if you're "duck footed" and your toes are pointed out at 45 degrees. Longer frames make it easier to hold a shallow angle because the skate doesn't tend to steer outwards as much when you push on it, but they're no more use than short frames if you don't set down at a shallow angle in the first place - this is probably where dodgy is going wrong

[*] In reality, once you get to cruising speed you want to be setting down as near to straight as you can manage. If you want to go at 5 metres/second (about 11mph) and take a stride every two seconds, that's ten metres a stride. Assuming your stride is a metre wide from setdown to end - which is going to be a fair degree of kneebend for most people - arctan(1/10) is about 6 degrees. Less if you're going faster

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Re: 2 wheels good, 4 wheels bad?

Postby evilzzz » Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:41 pm

Most probably you just need more time & miles logged to get used to a flat setup. Flat is definitely faster once you have adjusted to it, but subtle differences in the way you skate rockered vs flat has a huge impact when you are transitioning from one to the other.

If you want better stability but still good maneuverability you could try a front-only rocker; I think this is a good compromise for street skating.

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Re: 2 wheels good, 4 wheels bad?

Postby dodgy » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:52 pm

Ta for the replies. It's not a problem - I was just idly curious as to whether I actually rolled/coasted more quickly on 2/3 wheels. I know that once one starts actually pushing having more wheels is obviously an advantage; but rolling downhill, until the inevitable speed wobble kicks in, would less wheels on the ground be quicker?

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Re: 2 wheels good, 4 wheels bad?

Postby Phil » Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:00 pm

I would say that 2 wheels would *feel* quicker (assuming a normal bannana rocker) because it's harder to balance and so I'd suspect you'd start rolling with much less effort, it's also much more maneuverable but I don't think it would be quicker. Otherwise you'd be getting pro hockey skates coming with a rockered frame, which last time I checked they didn't. Also speed slalomers (the good ones) use a flat setup iirc

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Re: 2 wheels good, 4 wheels bad?

Postby ld50 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:14 am

Two wheels is not faster than four on downhills or flats, just as four wheels is not faster than five wheels.

Of course one would also have less grip with less wheels. I would suspect that fewer wheels/bearings results in more pressure on each bearing, giving less role. In any case, when it comes to speed: four wheels>two wheels.

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Re: 2 wheels good, 4 wheels bad?

Postby atlsk8r » Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:04 am

Maybe what dodgy meant was that skating flat felt more "sluggish".

I recently switched to a flat setup on my old Seba Highs slalom skates for ramp/bowl skating. And whenever I first put them on, they feel downright sluggish. Like I'm skating through molasses. Despite the 231mm frames and old wheels worn down to 70mm.

I realize that this illusion is caused by the reduced maneuverability of the skates compared to rockered Igors (and rusted bearings probably don't help), but the sensation doesn't go away until about 10-15 minutes of skating.

Ditto for when I put on speed skates (also flat) for the first time in a while. However, I don't normally bother with speed skates except for the month leading up to A2A. And I don't skate much freestyle during that month, so the sluggish sensation goes away after a few training session.

ld50
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Re: 2 wheels good, 4 wheels bad?

Postby ld50 » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:16 am

atlsk8r wrote:I realize that this illusion is caused by the reduced maneuverability of the skates compared to rockered Igors (and rusted bearings probably don't help), but the sensation doesn't go away until about 10-15 minutes of skating.

Yes, exactly. I got the same feeling going from a 5x80 to a 5x90, which is a heavier and less maneuverable setup. Despite that feeling and those two draw backs, I found the latter to be faster.

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Re: 2 wheels good, 4 wheels bad?

Postby gummidge » Wed May 30, 2012 2:01 pm

Dan B wrote:It's a good metaphor, but as an explanation it skips a step. Physically the 'gear' you're in depends on the angle your setdown skate forms from the direction of travel: if the skate is pointing 5 degrees away[*] from "forwards" when you're pushing on it, you will go further on each push than if you're "duck footed" and your toes are pointed out at 45 degrees. Longer frames make it easier to hold a shallow angle because the skate doesn't tend to steer outwards as much when you push on it, but they're no more use than short frames if you don't set down at a shallow angle in the first place - this is probably where dodgy is going wrong

[*] In reality, once you get to cruising speed you want to be setting down as near to straight as you can manage. If you want to go at 5 metres/second (about 11mph) and take a stride every two seconds, that's ten metres a stride. Assuming your stride is a metre wide from setdown to end - which is going to be a fair degree of kneebend for most people - arctan(1/10) is about 6 degrees. Less if you're going faster

I missed this. Yes, I totally agree with all of that.

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Re: 2 wheels good, 4 wheels bad?

Postby azumi » Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:50 pm

I have to say, if 2 wheels good, 4 wheels bad? 0 wheels sucks!
Last edited by azumi on Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 2 wheels good, 4 wheels bad?

Postby Toby » Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:20 pm

1. 'experimenting with a heelbrake.' Why has this not attracted comment? What has happened here in the last 2 years?

2. Having a rocker certainly gives some eccentric techniques a boost. I'm thinking really energetic jumpy styles like Sammy/Dylan, which obviously aren't efficient or good for racing, but can kick ass over short distances/ street skating.

dodgy
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Re: 2 wheels good, 4 wheels bad?

Postby dodgy » Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:10 am

Toby wrote:1. 'experimenting with a heelbrake.' Why has this not attracted comment? What has happened here in the last 2 years?



Have you tried t-stopping down wet, mile long 1 in 6 Lakeland hills? With cattle grids? Don't, it's a bloody stupid idea...

http://skateslakescakes.blogspot.co.uk/

but it's mine, & I'm blogging about it. Well I will be when I manage to find more than half a mile of even vaguely skate-able tarmac...


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