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Inline Skating Terms Glossary

 

ABEC

 

ABEC is the acronym for Annular Bearing Engineering Committee. This committee sets the standards and requirements for ABEC rated bearings. The ABEC ratings for bearings are 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9; the higher the number the more precise the bearing

 

*Some companies have started to name their bearings themselves, i.e. Rollerblade uses “SG” rated bearings and K2 has started using “ILQ” rated bearings. This does not mean the bearings are lower quality; this simply means K2 and Rollerblade did not have their bearing inspected by the Annular Bearing Engineering Committee so they paid fewer fees enabling them to offer lower prices

 

ABT (Active Brake Technology)

 

Rollerblade brand inline skates patented their innovative braking system called ABT. ABT or “Active Brake Technology” offers the skater the ability to brake their inline skates with all eight wheels on the ground. As the skaters foot goes forward the calf presses against the rear cuff which activates the brake arm; the brake comes down and allows all eight wheels to still be on the ground

 

Axle Systems

 

Axle systems secure the wheel and bearing to the frame of the skate. Secured within the frame of the skate this allows an axis of rotation for the wheel. Axle systems come in all different sizes and styles depending on the skate model

 

Bearing

 

Bearings are round mechanisms which contains steel balls; bearings allow the wheels to turn smooth and free on the axle

 

Bearing Spacer

 

Typically made of steel, nylon or aluminum the bearing spacer sits inside the wheel between the two bearings which keeps the bearings evenly spaced and in alignment. Bearing spacers allow the bearings to operate most efficiently

 

Bearing Popper

 

Found on the Blade Tool from Rollerblade and many other manufacturers a bearing popper easily releases bearings from the wheel. Without this tool it’s easy to damage the bearing while attempting to remove it; a bearing popper fits right on the outer edge of the bearing and forces it out

 

BOA

 

Advanced lacing technology which uses a dial to tighten instead of laces which enhances function and performance

 

Convex Shape

 

Convex shape is the name given to the outward curve in frame design. This design increases strength and rigidity while decreasing weight

 

Core

 

Refers to the nylon center of most wheels; hubs come in a variety of types from hubless, open core and closed core

 

Cuff

 

Name given to the upper section of the skate, shell and liner

 

Durometer

 

Durometer refers to the hardness of the wheel. Measured in units of “A” The higher the number the harder the wheel

 

Footbeds

 

Like a footbed in any shoe these are found in the bottom of the liner and are also referred to as insoles. Inline skates come with anatomical footbeds which improve fit, comfort and performance. Footbeds can be upgraded and replaced depending on desired fit

 

Fully Serviceable Bearings

 

Most all bearings are full service; full service refers to the ability to remove the bearings outer crown retainer to clean and lubricate the bearings

 

Hardware

 

Name referring to axle systems and bearing spacers

 

Lateral Support

 

Name given to the support in a skate when moving from side to side; being laterally stiff in a skate provides great ankle support and edge control while turning

 

Memory Foam

 

Liner material which self molds around the skaters foot for an increase in support, fit and comfort

 

Non-Serviceable Bearings

 

Bearings which are permanently sealed and cannot be serviced

 

Polyethylene

 

Plastic used in production of select skate shells, typically softer and more conforming than polyurethane

 

Polyurethane

 

Plastic used in the production of select skate shells, typically stiffer and more supportive than polyethylene

 

Precision Bearings

 

Bearings that do not have an ABEC rating

 

Profile

 

Refers to how much of a wheel comes in contact with the skating surface; typically rated as narrow, rounded or wide

 

Rebound

 

Measure of the bounciness and liveliness of a wheel; high rebound wheels offer a livelier feel returning more of the skater’s energy. Low rebound wheels offer a less lively feel and dissipate more of the energy

 

Rocker

 

Creating a curved shape in the skates wheelbase making the skate rock or tip; often achieved with the use of spacers or different sized wheels

 

Serviceable Bearings

 

Bearings with removable shields for cleaning and re-lubrication

 

Shell

 

Plastic outer of the skate often made of molded plastic

 

Ventilation

 

Inline skates often offer ventilated properties whether it’s strategically placed holes in the shell of the boot to a breathable liner

 

Wheelbase

 

Measure of the length of the frame; determines the maneuverability and stability of the skate; longer = more stable, less maneuverable: shorter = more maneuverable, less stable