Inline Skate Frame Buying Guide

10 Aug.,2022

 

skating frame

Inline Skate Frame Buying Guide

By Stephanie | October 2019

The easiest way to customize a skate and its performance is the frames. Here you will learn about boot/frame compatibility, the types of frames and a little about their characteristics so that you can easily find the frame that best suits your needs via our online frame filter and product descriptions.

The main factors we will guide you through on this page are:

  • Mounting (Compatibility)
  • Wheel Configuration
  • Frame Types
  • Additional Characteristics

Mounting (Compatibility)

In order for frames to work on your boots, they must be compatible. Compatibility requires that the mounting points on the bottom of the boots, match the mounting slots available on the frames. There are just 4 types of mounting:

2pt (Point) Mount

As the name implies, there are two mounting points where the frames fasten to the boots. Found on recreational, cross-training, all-terrain and speed frames (and boots), it is the most common. Aggressive frames are NOT included (see UFS Mount).

The measurement between mounting points on the boot determines which 2pt Mount frames are compatible. Measurements of 165mm or 195mm spacing are most common. Boots are typically limited to one measurement, where frames may be compatible with more than one.

UFS Mount

Universal Frame System (UFS) mounting is exclusive to aggressive frames and boots. So although they will fit all aggressive boots, they will not fit any other mounting types. Unlike other frames that have two mounting points, UFS mounting plates are the same height both in the front and back.

3pt Mount

Proprietary to the Bont brand, 3pt Mount frames fasten to the boot at 3 points and are compatible with Bont 3pt Mount speed boots only. Its design serves to help lower the height of the boot and provide added stiffness to increase energy transmission.

Trinity Mount

Proprietary to the Powerslide brand of skates, Trinity Mount frames also fasten at three locations working to lower the height of a skate and increase energy transmission.

Wheel Configuration

The wheel configuration tells what wheels are to be used on a particular frame.

Wheel configuration is shown in this format:

Number of Wheels x Size (i.e. 4x110mm)

Large wheel frames were once only for advanced skaters due to the length of frame and skill needed to get up and down from speeds. The arrival of 3-wheel frames has changed this, giving less experienced skaters access to the benefits of larger wheels on short and maneuverable frames.

Frame Types

Just because it fits, doesn’t mean you should buy it. This next filter allows you to select from frames specific to the skating style or environment you intend to skate.

Aggressive / Powerblade

To perform tricks, grinds and jumps at the skate park or off other, not always approved, obstacles around town. Most Aggressive frames are made of thick-walled plastics to allow for a smooth grinding surface that can take abuse. Wheel setups for these frames vary and are defined as:

  • Flat/Flat Rocker: All wheels same size
  • Anti Rocker: Smaller wheels on inside positions to lock in grinds
  • Freestyle: Outside wheels with large grinding surface in middle

Powerblade Frames included here as they too use the UFS mount and cater to a similar style of skating, but with the use of larger wheels (72-80mm).

Urban

Meant for fun on the streets, they optimize control and maneuverability by being the shortest length possible to accommodate their stated wheel configuration. Short wheelbases make them responsive for weaving in and out of crowds. These frames tend to be made of heavier metals than those found in speed frames or many cross-training frames to increase durability and rigidity.

Freestyle/Slalom

Typically have a max wheel size of 80mm in either a flat or more advanced ‘rockered’ wheel configuration and are not compatible with brake mounts. Similar to urban frames in that they are designed to give the skater ultimate control. A short wheelbase and high-grade aluminum are used to make ideal for maneuvering cones, artistic dance or anything else you want to do with precision.

Speed

Technologically advanced to be light, stable and provide efficient energy transfer at high rates of speed. Aerospace grade aluminums or alloys are common base materials and they support large wheel sizes for the high speeds associated with Inline Speed Racing. Frame lengths tend to be longer than other frames, making them best suited for advanced skaters who are looking for something speed driven.

Additional Characteristics to Consider

Other Specs to consider when buying frames include length, height, materials and weight. While these are not included in our frame filters, you can find this information in the product description.

Length

The longer the frame, the more difficult it is it to maneuver. 3-wheel frames have helped to shorten frame lengths, even when using large wheels.

Height

The higher off the ground, the less stable you will feel. This often referred to as deck height.

Material

Composite plastic, aluminum (or other alloy) will affect stiffness, vibration, response, grip, weight and even durability.

Weight

Heavier frames may be more durable and/or stiff, but would also add fatigue on longer skates.