What you need to know about roller skis
SWIX sells roller skis for skating and classic style. When you have several options, it’s good to know what the technical terms mean and which features are right for you. This is what we'll help you with today.
Weight, torsional stiffness and flex
The most important considerations when choosing roller skis, regardless of which technique you prefer, are weight, torsional stiffness and flex.
- The weight plays a big part in how much you feel the ski on snow.
The weight is the biggest difference between aluminum and carbon roller skis. Note that the weight stated in the product specification is the total weight.
- Torsional stiffness is the rigidity of the ski frame. This means that when you turn on the roller ski, a low torsional stiffness will cause the frame to try to twist, resulting in instability. A ski with high torsional stiffness therefore provides more stability.
- Flex is an option only for carbon roller skis. Flex is the degree of stiffness in the frame with two options: medium and stiff. Medium flex is recommended for most skiers and gives you the perfect combination of comfort and performance. Stiff flex is mainly recommended for skiers with an extra strong kick. Stiff flex is 30% stiffer than medium flex.
Wheels and roll resistance
- Roll resistance is the degree of friction between the wheel and the ground (usually asphalt), applicable mainly to classic roller skis. There are several factors that affect the roll resistance of the wheels: The temperature, hardness of the rubber, thickness of the rubber part of the wheel (rubber track) and age of the wheel. Rubber hardens over time and its properties will change. Two-year-old wheels will behave differently than brand-new wheels.
- For classic skis, we have three degrees of roll resistance.
The most commonly used and recommended for the vast majority are Medium or C2 resistance.
- C2 is a good combination of roll resistance, wear behavior and grip on wet surfaces. This roll resistance is standard on all Swix roller skis.
- C1 wheels are recommended if you want a faster wheel. They roll significantly more easily, but wear faster and are harder to manoeuvre due to the increased speed. They can also feel slippery on wet surfaces.
- C3 wheels are the heaviest and slowest wheel in Swix’s collection. We recommend C3 wheels for experienced skiers who have a specific purpose for this type of wheel.
- C2 is standard on roller skis for skating.