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Inline speed skating

Inline speed skating is similar to ice speed skating except you skate on dry land as opposed to skating on ice. Inline speed skates consist of the boot, frame, bearings, and wheels.

The boot is similar or the same as ice speed skating boots. Most newer models are composed of carbon, leather, and such materials to reduce weight and allow for what's called heat molding to obtain a better fit.

The frame attaches to the boot, generally by two bolts six inches apart. Its purpose is to hold the wheels. The frame comes with hardware to attach the wheels to it, typically consisting of a threaded smooth axle bolt that goes through the hole of one side of the frame, passing through the wheel [with the bearings installed], and then threaded into the other side. The older frames were usually square shaped with an open end for permitting the wheels to be installed. The newer models have less material, making them lighter. Frames are generally made from aluminum.

The bearings are inserted in the wheels, two to a wheel. They are press fitted into the wheels. They will turn on axles that come with the frame. [See above.]

The wheels are shaped similar to a bicycle tire reduced in size. The "tire" of the wheel is composed of polyurethene blends that are poured into the plastic-spoked wheel mold. The standard speed skating wheel size for races used to be 80mm in diameter. Today the faster wheels are the 84mm wheels. The 100mm wheel is considered even faster but aren't readily available to the general public.

The technique for inline speed skating used to mimic the classic ice speed skating style. However, around 1992 the scene changed dramatically with the appearance of Chad Hedrick. The technique he used revolutionized the sport. It was called the "Chad" or now commonly called the double push technique, or DP.



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