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Each skating discipline requires special frame features. You’ll need handiness and reactivity in slalom, rigidity and efficiency in speed, comfort in long-distance, solidity and sliding in street, etc.
Frames can be molded, pressed, extruded or cast in one piece. Three other processes also exist for composite frames with carbon basis, they are detailed in our article written in collaboration with EOSkates on the making of composite frames.
It is the most common manufacturing process for frames made of plastic, the material is injected into a mold of the shape of the frame. That process is inexpensive and it is used for entry level products in the fitness range as well as for street Skating Frames.
Take a metal slab, most of the time it is aluminum, and press it to give it the shape you want. That process is common for mid-range fitness and long-distance skates.
At BJ Concept’s, a French manufacturer of speed frames, the process is slightly different: An aluminum foil is laser cut and folded with a press brake. Then the bearing seats are embossed and the screw heads are milled. All it is left is to polish the surface of the frame to remove the manufacturing traces and anodize it in black.
HOW THE SKATE BLADES FUNCTION
Every Ice Skate Blade has an inside and outside edge and a groove between the edges, called the “flat” of the blade.
The sole function of the flat of the blade is to glide straight forward and straight backward. To be on the flat you must stand so that the skate is upright (blade perpendicular to the ice). You will be gliding equally on both edges and in a straight line.
Edges have multiple functions.
Blade edges are designed to cut into the ice. Because blades are rockered (have a radius) they are also designed to curve. Therefore, edges have two functions:
To create a grip into the ice and set up the possibility for a powerful push, and
To travel a curved path.
The pushing skate is the one that must grip the ice to set up a powerful push. The gliding (directional) skate is the one that must be on a strong edge so that you can travel tight curves. These two functions are totally separate and distinct from one another. One skate digs in to push while the other digs in to travel a curve or circle.
It may be said that the Wheels Aluminium Hub is the heart of the wheel and certainly has a big job to carry out. Firstly, the hub provides an anchor point for the spokes and holds the bearings in place so the wheel can spin. Secondly, the rear hub holds the cassette or sprocket which transmits the forces from pedalling via the hub body to the spokes ultimately propelling the rider forward. Lastly, the hub provides a sound mounting point for the brake rotor and an anchor point- through the use of quick release or bolts- to keep the wheels and frame attached.
At the very cheapest end of the industry, hubs are made from three pieces of steel – two pieces for the spoke flanges and one tube in between. In the middle price range sits one piece aluminium hubs. These can be machined or forged from a chunk of alloy. Small production runs and intricate shapes rely on the machining process whereas large production runs and smooth, flowing shapes work better with the forging process. Many of the high end hubs return to the three piece construction paradigm; often with exotic dissimilar materials for the flanges and the hub centre tube.
Another area where hubs fall into two camps is in the bearings. Most hubs have a cartridge bearing pressfitted into the central tube. If something goes wrong with the bearings, they can be fairly easily replaced with an entirely new unit (including hybrid- and full-ceramic options). The more traditional bearing option is the cup and cone design. Inside the hub shell is a steel cup that holds the ball bearings, while on the axle is a cone that holds the balls against the cups allowing the load to get from axle to hub shell. Cup and cone hubs are more easily adjusted and repaired than the cartridge bearing option, however, once the cup is damaged you are usually looking at a replacement hub.
The Alu Spacer is a spacer profile manufactured with special aluminium alloys, is characterised by the following dimensions: height of 6.5 millimetres, length of 4, 5 or 6 metres, and width ranging from 4 to 26.5 millimetres. The thickness varies according to the end-use of the spacer. The bars can be packed into cardboard boxes of different lengths (4, 5 or 6 metres) or into steel containers with a capacity of 5 or 6 metres. In the latter case, thin sheets of paper can be inserted between the bars in order to keep them separate and the spacers can be fastened into bundles of 17 bars. It can be used in the production of frames with corner keys, bent using all current bending machines available on the market and also supplied, on request, with pre-inserted plastic or steel connectors. Its range can be supplied in the following colors: Mill Finish, Anodized, Anodized Gold, Anodized Clear Bronze, Anodized Black, Painted White, Painted Black and Painted Medium Bronze. Further, for huge orders, we can provide our customers with non-standard products in order to satisfy their particular needs.
The sheer range of stuff available in a typical bike shop can be bewildering. What’s a hydration bladder? Why might you need a turbo trainer? Are mudguards really necessary?
In reality, many people cycle happily in their normal clothes, possibly with just a rucksack to carry things.
But if you do ride regularly, whether to keep fit or for commuting, there are a number of Bicycle Accessories that can make your time on two wheels easier, safer and more comfortable. Some are essential, while others are nice to have.