The skate is made up of wheels, frames, uppers, bearings, brakes and closures.
Frames: Frames hold skate components in place. Most roller / quad frames are made of aluminum alloy or nylon and fiberglass composites. Make sure the frames you select are designed for the type of skating you plan to do. Metal frames are stiffer, faster, and lighter, but typically cost more.
Uppers: The hard shell is constructed of molded plastic and is similar to a ski boot. The lower half covers and protects the foot whilst the upper half wraps around and supports the ankle. The two halves are connected with a hinge system that allows the ankle and boot to flex forward naturally.
These are the seven or eight balls at the center of each wheel. Each bearing has an ABEC rating that indicates the precision of their manufacturing. The higher the rating, the more precise the manufacture and the better the performance and speed will be. The general ABEC range is ABEC-1, ABEC-3, ABEC-5. Bearings are either serviceable or non-serviceable:
Serviceable bearings have a metal shield with a removable "C" ring, or a plastic/rubber type removable shield. These may be taken apart to be cleaned, lubricated or replaced.
Non-serviceable bearings have a metal shield that protects them. These only need to be wiped off with a clean cloth.
Bearings don't need to be cleaned after every use, but if they become wet, they should be cleaned and dried. Never lubricate the outside of a bearing because that will attract dirt and contaminants.
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Stoppers: These usually come as standard with all Roller Quad ranges. After substantial use the stoppers will wear down but are replaceable and easy to change over.
There are two primary forms of closure systems on in-line skates:
Buckles are found mostly on recreational skates. Skates with buckle closures are the quickest to put on and take off. The number of buckles varies from 2 to 5.
Laces are similar to regular shoe laces. Less expensive than buckle closures, and offer a uniform closing. This allows for more adjustment variations.
Typical wheel diameters for roller (quad) skates are 62mm for a low, stable centre of gravity. Most Quad Roller Skates are made of similar materials to each other, also following a very similar design for their shape.
Wheel hardness is measured in durometers. Lower numbers indicate a softer wheel and higher numbers indicate a harder wheel. The durometer is denoted by the suffix "A" (example - 80A). The typical roller / quad skate wheel is 82A. Roller Quad skate wheels are most suited to indoor riding and for smooth.
Changing your wheels
To avoid excessive, uneven wear, they need to be rotated at least once a week. Wheels should be changed when they show excessive wear on all sides. Skating with worn wheels is unsafe.
Determining Your Skate Size
Determining your proper skate size is essential for a comfortable fit. The size of your skate will be the same as the size shoe you wear.