Gear ReviewsReviewsPursuit Roller Ski Review

Avatar Topher SabotJune 26, 20094

Pursuit roller skis are sold exclusively by the RollerskiShop.com, a business started in 2004 with a mission of providing low-cost roller skis.  The RollerskiShop introduced their own brand, Pursuit, in 2005.  There are currently six models of Pursuit skis available, all skate, ranging in price from $150 to $220.  The RollerskiShop keeps costs down by using shafts extruded in the US and machined near the distribution center in Minnesota.  Additionally, there is no physical store.  Sales are on-line only.  You can visit the Rollerskishop at www.rollerskishop.com.

Skate Skis:
T5302
T5304
T6002
T6004
T6005
T6101

Silver, lots of silver.

All but one pair feature the standard skate roller ski construction of an aluminum shaft with a cutout fork.  The main differences are in the length and the weight.  The one exception is the higher-end T6101, which features a bolt-on angled fork.  This lowers the shaft, resulting in a less “tippy” feeling.  This fork is similar to the Marwe fork.

All Pursuit skis come with the common eastern European wheels, available in three speeds, and two diameters.  These wheels are also found on the Pro-Ski S5e, the Ski Skett Shark, the PSI Skate, among others.  One difference is that the RollerskiShop offers a 105mm wheel in addition to the standard 100mm option.

These skis have a unique aesthetic.  The T5302 and T6002 are black, and look like many other skis.  The other models are plain silver aluminum.  Along with holes drilled in the sides, this gives the skis a unique bare-bones industrial look.  According to the RollerskiShop, this further cuts costs, and scratches will be less noticeable.

The only difference between the T5302 and the T6002 is the shaft length.  Same with the T5304 and the T6004.  The seemingly arbitrary naming scheme suddenly makes sense!  T stands for “Training,” the first three numbers is the length (wheelbase) in millimeters, and the final number is the generation.  The short models are 530mm, standard for shorter skate roller skis.  The longer models are 600mm, another common length.  The one exception is the T6101 – which is obviously 610mm.  The added length is due to the bolt-on fork.

We were sent the T6004 to test, equipped with 105mm Speed 1/2 wheels, and have had some experience with the T5302 as well.

Pursuit T6004 ($159.99)

http://www.rollerskishop.com/ecart/proddetail.php?prod=T6004

3 Skier RatingSummary: The Pursuit T6004 is a fine all-around skate training ski.  A standard aluminum shaft construction, the most notable feature is price.

Pros: Cheap, simple construction, gets the job done.  Available in multiple wheel speeds.  Different speed wheels can be combined.  Free mounting or drilling and free shipping in North America.

Cons: Aluminum shaft is more prone to vibrations on rough roads when compared to composite shaft skis.  Lack of angled fork makes for a higher ski.

The Pursuit T6004
The Pursuit T6004

As mentioned above, the Pursuit T6004 features the usual mid-range skate roller ski construction.  The shaft is a single piece of aluminum with forks cut out at both ends.  The wheels are the common imports from Eastern Europe.

The shaft on the T6004 is not identical to other skis, however.  It is a bit thicker, and has a series of holes drilled in the side along the length of the ski.  The holes serve two purposes – first of all they result in a lighter ski, and second they give the shaft a bit more flex.

In terms of performance, the T6004 works well – very similar to other aluminum shaft skate skis with wide diameter wheels.  The added flex in the shaft is subtle, but I noticed it – softer than the Pro-Ski S5e and the Ski Skett Shark.  The extra give made for a slightly smoother ride and a more ski-like feel.  Knocking of some weight didn’t hurt either.

Performance on rough pavement is average – consistent with other aluminum shaft skis with 100mm (or bigger) wheels.

The wheel and fork
The wheel and fork

Our test pair came with 105mm wheels, as opposed to the usual 100mm set.  The hubs are the same size, the tire is just thicker.  You pay an extra $18 for these ($4.50 per wheel), and get some extra life.  I actually wasn’t crazy about the bigger tires though and recommend saving that $18.  5mm doesn’t sound like much, but I felt significantly higher off the ground, resulting in tippy skis.  In regards to ski feel, the closer to the ground, the better.

The Rollerskishop offers a variety of wheel combinations, allowing you to mix and match to dial in optimum speed.  There are three wheel options, Speed 1 (Faster), Speed 2 (Slow), and Speed 3 (Ultra Slow).   We tested the Speed  1/2 mix, with a Speed 1 wheel on the back and a Speed 2 wheel on the front of each ski.  This combo worked well, putting the ski in the “average” speed range, very similar to the Ski Skett Shark, the V2 XL98R, and faster than the Marwe.  I found that this is a good training speed.  The Rollerskishop told FasterSkier that the straight Speed 2 is their biggest seller, and that they recommend Speed 2/3 for top citizen racers.  Based on my experience, going with the 2 / 3 combo would result in more controlled downhill speeds, but also not enough V2.  I have a number of high school aged skiers skiing on the 1 / 2 combo and this speed provides a good mix of techniques at level 1 training pace.

All told, there are 5 different speed options on these skis.

In action....
In action....

The T6004 features the 600mm shaft. The longer shaft combined with the bigger wheels did give this ski a somewhat clunky feeling, and they also tended to be a bit tip-heavy.   Like all the mid range skaters, they don’t feel high-performance, but are very functional.  Because of weight, I would say the Pro-Ski S5e and the Ski Skett Shark have somewhat better feel, but this will not impact the quality of training.  The roller ski shop recommends the shorter 530mm shaft skis for smaller skiers.  This makes sense, the only drawback being that they may grow out of the skis.

Wheel diameter comparison - the T6004 with a 105mm is the rear ski, the Pro-Ski S5e with a 100mm wheel is the front ski
Wheel diameter comparison - the T6004 with a 105mm is the rear ski, the Pro-Ski S5e with a 100mm wheel is the front ski

When rating roller skis for these reviews, I did not factor in price, just performance.  The big draw of these skis, and most of the Pursuit line, is the price.  These are some of the most inexpensive roller skis on the market, making them ideal for Juniors just getting going, and anyone else looking for good value.   From a “bang for your buck” standpoint, these skis would be rated four skiers.

At this point I have no information on durability,  though, the holes in the shaft concern me a little bit.  And while we will see how they perform over time, we have had no problem with the T5302 which a number of local Juniors have been using for several years.  Since the wheels are identical to a number of other skate skis, tire wear should be very similar to those models.

An added benefit is that the Rollerskishop offers free mounting and competitive prices on bindings.  Even if you don’t purchase bindings, they will drill the skis for free.  Most shops charge a mounting fee of at least $10, so this is a nice perk.  And after mounting nearly a dozen pairs of skis for these reviews, I highly recommend having a ski shop do the dirty work.  It is critical that bindings be mounted straight, and even if you have access to a jig, mounting roller skis can be time consuming and difficult due to the short shafts and the forks.

The Rollerskishop also sells replacement wheels that work with a number of different brands at the lowest prices I have seen.

FasterSkier’s Buying Advice: The Pursuit T6004 is an excellent value.  Similar in performance to other aluminum shaft, wide diameter, skate roller skis, the price makes them a good choice for Juniors and anyone on a budget.

A length comparison of a variety of skate roller skis. The S5e is second from the top and the S2 is fifth from the top.
A length comparison of a variety of skate roller skis. The T6004 is fourth from the top.

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Topher Sabot

Topher Sabot is the editor of FasterSkier.

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4 comments

  • Avatar
    tradesmith45

    July 2, 2009 at 12:00 am

    Nice review Topher. Good comments about choosing roller skis to match training partners speed. Too bad you couldn’t test the new model w/ the bolt on forks. Couple questions: could you notice any difference between 100 mm & 105 mm wheels? Also, what heart rates do you consider Zone 1 for a high school kid say 18 year olds? Keep up the good work!

  • FasterSkier
    FasterSkier

    July 2, 2009 at 10:46 am

    The main difference between the 100mm and 105mm is obviously the diameter. As I mentioned in the review, this was noticeable – I felt significantly higher off the ground. Otherwise performance was quite similar. I could see the 105mm wheels being a good option on the bolt-on fork model. The angled fork will balance the extra height.

    The other question is whether or not you get an extra $18 of wear out of the 105’s. My guess is yes, but that is very much a guess.

    Zones are tough to generalize as there are wide ranges. Kids with naturally higher max heart rates will have a significantly higher Zone 1. I recommend performing a max heart rate test and calculating zones based on that. If I had to give an answer I would say 130-145ish, but that could easily be 120-135.

  • Avatar
    GearWest_Matt_Fox

    July 2, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    I would like to note that the aluminum hub used to make the PSI roller ski wheel does look to be the same extruded tube stock. This tube stock is than cut into puck shaped pieces and than machined into wheels blanks that look alike. The difference is in the rubber. The PSI has an exclusive compound that is sold to Gear West and has superior wear to other less expensive compounds tested by Gear West. It also has a slow speed to simulate true ski speed and to keep speed under control. As always, it’s all in the details not the first look.

  • Avatar
    OEB2ODB

    May 10, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Purchased a pair of 6005s w/100mm wheels, speed 2/3 about a year ago. I’m 210lbs, size 50 salomon boot (thanks Pacosxc!).

    the rollerskishop.com was really great about moving the binding up a bit to fit the boot and recommending profile instead of pilot for a little added lift. No complaints, they work great and I’d buy them again.

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