May 4, 2010 at 3:16 am #90276
I have been using the V2 Aero 150SC for classic skiing for about 11 years now. I initially trained with V2 910’s, then moved to Terra skis when I moved near a nice dirt bike path, then I got the 150’s for a rougher road. I know that people find them difficult at first, but once you get the feel of the wheels, the advantages are manifold. I like to climb Mt. Royal here in Montreal, doing classic with the speed reducers on the second stop, then turn around and descend skating with the same speed reduction. I have a friend who prefers off-road skating with the 125’s, which are obviously lighter and shorter and easier to skate, even on a dirt road, but for classic off-road, there’s nothing like the 150’s. I have never tried the outrigger wheels, but they are a possibility for a beginner. I still use the Terra skis for everyday, flat dirt trails. It is a nice, slow ski for good dirt or crappy asphalt. Too bad Jenex discontinued them.
LawrenceMay 19, 2010 at 3:59 am #90277
Though I may be late to this party, I can comment on a couple things that might be helpful. I coach a HS team that has lots of donated roller skis & a wide range of ski abilities. IMHO, for safety reasons, no roller skier should be on roads w/o some kind of speed reducer or brake. We’ve used the Jenex out-rigger wheels on the V2 150 & found it very helpful. The comments here are correct, the 150 is very tippy but oh it has a fine ride on rough surfaces. We’ve also had very good success w/ the V2 125 skate roller & would love to try the 9000 & 125RXC classic. We’ve even switched the front 150 wheel with a 125 & it significantly tames the balance problem while still keeping the large rear wheel needed for a big skier. We have several brands of 70mm wheel classic skis w/ wheels ranging from 33 to 60mm width. Wider is easier to learn on but more likely to wear unevenly & become a problem to steer. Last but not least, compared to pneumatic wheels the benefits of a composite shaft are tiny & not worth the extra cost for skiing on rough surfaces.
Cheers & safe roller skiing!May 21, 2010 at 2:01 am #90278
I use the opposite strategy on my skating Aeros. I use the big 150 wheel up front, where it can roll over sticks, stones, and potholes easily, and use a 125 wheel in the back, where the lighter weight weighs the rear end down less than a big 150 I think the balance would be worse with the 125 in front and a 150 in back, right? Roller skis are already too tail heavy.
The downside is that the 125 tires wear faster than 150s, especially in the rear position.
RandyMay 25, 2010 at 1:29 am #90279
That’s interesting Randy, haven’t tried it. The 150s were donated to us. Very few can ride them w/o lots of crashes but I have one every tall girl on the team who likes’m & likes’m better w/ the 125 in front. They have speed reducers so the 125 wheel didn’t produce tail dragging.
Here in W. Oregon, there is no place to use them off road (either dirt is mud or gravel is too coarse) so we mainly use them on pavement for big skiers. Unless you are a big skier or able to go off-pavement, the 125XL is such a sweet RS there is not much reason to own the 150 IMHO. In the fall, we get lots of junk on our paths & the 125 has been plenty big enough for that. I saw some great dirt (very coarse sand really) roads & paths in New England this fall where the 150s would be a dream however. Yup the 125 tire wears faster but so far, we’ve gotten over 2 seasons on a pair & still going. But we don’t have hot pavement here either so your mileage may vary.May 26, 2010 at 12:14 am #90280
I’m assuming that the Aeros your team has are skating, since I don’t think the they make a 125 clutched wheel.
I’m about 160lbs, but I use the Aeros for two reasons. The first is that the larger wheels ride over sticks, stones, and pavement imperfections with ease realative to my old small, hard wheel skis. In the fall, I have to do a lot of my training after dark, and I got tired of falling hard when going hard and hitting something I didn’t see.
The second is that a lot of our roads around here are rather rough chip-seal, and the small hard wheels will shake my teeth out. I am tempted to try a composite shaft ski, though.
The 125 wheel/tire combination used to be lighter, but the trouble they had with both the tires and wheels led to redesigns that make the combo only 30 grams lighter than the 150 wheel/tire, according to my scale.
I do wear out probably at least 4 sets of 125 tires on the rear of my skaters a year, but I do roller ski an awful lot, and the chip-seal wears on them quickly as well.
I think the newer shafts are both lighter and lower than the old red shafts, too, which makes them more stable.
Give Len Johnson enough time, and he usually will improve his products to where they’re quite good.
RandyMay 26, 2010 at 6:31 pm #90281
Tradesmith and Randy: Did you drill the forks on the Aero 150’s to use a 125 wheel? Or did you just use the same axle mounts as the 150?
LawrenceMay 27, 2010 at 2:41 am #90282
At least the last two versions of the Aero shafts have come with axle mount holes for both 150 and 125 wheels. I don’t recall if any of the second generation (welded rather than rivited) red shafts had both, but I believe all of the silver shafts do.
The 125 holes are closer to the ground, of course, but also a bit further “inboard” on both ends, which shortens the wheelbase a bit.
One of the “nice” things about aluminum roller skis is that the shafts eventually fatigue and fail, allowing one to move up to the newest model. Right now I’m on one of the older silver shafts, without the double armed speed reducer mount and integral brake mount, and one with. Both of these features are definite improvements.
RandyMay 27, 2010 at 11:07 pm #90283
Randy, I feel pretty stupid now. I have an old, first generation pair of 150’s, with the riveted forks, but I also have a newer pair with the second set of axle holes as you describe. Because I have rotated several pairs of rollerskis over the years, my original 150’s are still fine. They date from 1998 or 1999, the first year that Len made them. As you do, I still have the old one-arm speed reducers on them. In fact, I hooked at pole with one the other day, forcing it to the highest resistance setting while I was rolling. Must have looked very comic, as I stutter-stepped forwards and just avoided a face-plant.
I have broken rivets holding the forks on my Terras, but I have never actually had a shaft fail. Must be fun.
I’m definitely going to try the 125 wheel in the rear. This must make skating on the combi 150 much easier.
LawrenceMay 28, 2010 at 12:15 pm #90284
One of the potential problems with the old one-arm speed reducers is that as the little springs age and get weaker, and the tolerance of the soft aluminum arm on it’s mount get sloppy, the arm can uncouple from the speed reducer and flop forward when you dit a rough patch or a bump, where it jams the ground or front wheel, resulting in a spectacular fall. It happened to me twice before I modified the setup to prevent it. The new double-arm is more effective because the pressure on both sides of the bearing makes the bearing run true, decreasing tire wear, and it can’t flop forward in the same way.
The wipe outs from this failure were much worse than when I’ve had shafts fail. I don’t recall falling when the shafts fail.
The last shaft failure I had was interesting. The top skin of the shaft pulled up under the binding bail clamp during a classic kick-off, allowing the bail clamp to open like a clam shell and releasing the boot. Where’d my ski go? I was able to pound it back down and double pole home. Those shafts had seem a lot of use, and I was happy to upgrade to the newer speed reducer model, since I almost always use them when classic skiing.
RandyMay 28, 2010 at 2:58 pm #90285
Randy, I have had the speed reducer lever arms fall off due to vibration! I like your story of peeling back the top of an aluminum shaft! My only serious ongoing problem has been with Aero speed reducers. I think it is the clay soil here in Montreal that creates the problem. When the dirt road on Mt. Royal is even slightly wet, the fine clay penetrates the bearing seals of the speed reducers. I’ve popped off the bearing seals to see this. I’ve always thought that the two-bearing design is flawed, in that water spun off of the wheel is driven into the space between the bearings, where the turbulence therein forces it through the plastic bearing seals. Sometimes, on relatively new speed reducers, I have had to free the bearing using vise-grip pliers. Finally, I resorted to cutting the rivets on the aluminum shaft that holds the bearings, allowing me to change the bearings, replacing them with SK bearings. Or, I simply popped the bearing seals to lubricate them.
The new speed reducers make removing the bearings easier, but I haven’t had to try it yet. I would prefer a speed reducer with one roller bearing, although I can see the wisdom of side-by-side bearings against the curved surface of the wheel. I’ve got to believe that Len Johnson has carefully considered what he has done, and that he knows much better than I do how to engineer a rollerski. But things can always improve, n’est pas?
LawrenceMay 29, 2010 at 4:10 pm #90286
More on Aero 150’s for classic.
When I bought my first pair of Aero 150’s, I was exclusively a classic skier. I needed them for the dirt road that climbs Mt. Royal here in Montreal. When I first used them, I only had low, classic boots. This did not make them easy to use, but one gets used to being more conscious about being centered over the wheels. Eventually, I bought combi boots, inexpensive Salomons (811, I think). I’m still using the same skis, purchased in 1999, but I recently purchased another pair from a friend who never liked them, preferring the Aero 125’s for skating, and Jenex V2 940SC for his smooth road classic skiing. I bought the new speed reducers, and bought new boots for the NNN bindings already installed. I have always used exclusively SNS bindings.
Well, I just went for my first ski on the new setup, and I was amazed! The new skis are lighter, closer to the ground, and have the bindings installed a little further back. So much easier to ski! Plus, my new combi boots, Rossignol X-9 Pursuit, are way more rigid than anything I have ever used before, so a have almost no lateral wobble now. Further, I find the NNN bindings superior for rollerskis. The pivot pin is more under the toes, rather than in front, as was the case with my SNS system, and the plug design doesn’t allow as much pivot as does the SNS, so the ski stays very close to the boot after push-off. With a good setup like this, I don’t see why anyone could not use these skis for classic. Interestingly, I find the stiff boot more important for rollerski classic skiing than I do for skating – it’s not like on snow, where you really need to push off the inside edge of the ski. But kicking off of a narrow ski like the Aero demands a pretty centered foot.
As a footnote, I prefer the SNS binding on snow, because it seems less likely to trap snow beneath the boot under conditions during which this can occur. I’ve been out with friends using the NNN system who had to quit because of this problem, while the SNS is pretty much unaffected by loose new snow under the boot sole.
Lawrence (Does this make me a Jenex fanboy?)June 24, 2010 at 9:26 pm #90287
Sorry I’ve gone so long w/o a reply. The security on this blog was kicking some of us out for awhile.
Boy, this has been a very informative thread, thanks much. Lawrence, I really appreciated the testimony about the NNN RS set up. I too have been an SNS purist. I’ll be looking for a NNN combi/skate boot @ the next ski swap –
One comment, heat is the reason there are 2 bearings on the speed reducer for pneumatic wheels. A ton of friction loss is being created by those & having only 1 bearing there would probably lead to increased tire failure. Those bearings are turning 5-7x faster than the wheel.
I too have fatigued an alu. RS shaft. But I’ve also removed the forks from a damaged shaft & bolted them on a sawn down old wood ski shaft – works great.
Cheers!August 19, 2010 at 3:11 pm #90288
I purchased a pair of V2 Terra Skis in 1998. Great for off-road skiing, but not as great as the Aero 150’s I purchased in 1999. I continued to use the Terras on a flat bike path near my home, as they are great, slow classic skis. Over the years I replaced forks, but the shafts and wheels held up. When the skis were discontinued, I bought an extra set of wheels, forks, etc. I just gave the original skis to someone, and asked Len Johnson at Jenex if he could make new shafts for me (same shafts as 900 series, I think), and he sent me the shafts in the picture below. Beautiful new Terras!
Then, I took an old pair of combi boots, but the neoprene away, trimmed off the plastic cuffs, and made myself a summer rollerski boot (photo link below). Nice to have something cooler!
I use the Aero’s for skating and for tricky stuff, but I love these old heavyweights!November 1, 2010 at 3:48 am #90289
Hey Lawrence, what are the dimensions of the tires on those Terra skis?
After reading the Fasterskier review of the Maplus Twin classic roller ski, I bought a pair of the wheels to stick on something to try. They are huge- 73x55mm & have an unique shape. I’m wondering if they would work for off-road classic?November 1, 2010 at 3:00 pm #90290
The Terra wheels are 100mm x 50mm. They are also kinetic damped, and are very slow. It was fortunate that I bought some extra wheels when Len stopped making them, apparently because they were too costly to make. First they are solid rubber, second, they must be drilled-out to lighten them, and Len said the drilling burned out expensive drill bits. Kristina Smigun said that Terras were her favorite ski.
I bought them for off-road, as they were the first ski expressly made for rough roads, then, when the Aeros came along, I bought 150’s, which are far better for dirt and bad roads. But the Terras remain my everyday classic rollerskis. Great for double-poling. I have a flat, dirt bikepath a block from my home, so I use the Terras for that, and save the 150’s for climbing Mt. Royal (I still do mostly classic on the 150s. I just prefer it). Since I run and swim some days a week, these 2 new pairs of skis will last me 10 years (the last pairs (same thing, I just retired after about 12 years — that’s pretty good, I think).
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