By Graham MacLean | Callaghan Valley Training Centre assistant coach/wax technician
Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in a Callaghan Valley Training Centre (CVTC) newsletter and on its website, and was republished with permission from Cross Country BC.
Most people do zero maintenance on their roller skis. This is all right most of the time but there are a few things that should be checked for safety.
Binding screws do come loose! If you notice rattling and vibration noise as you roll down the highway, it could likely be that one or many of your binding screws have come loose. USE GLUE! Epoxy works well, you can even buy specialized epoxy for adhering metal to metal. If the roller skis are wood, then good ol’ white glue works great. Common sense – you do not want the roller ski and binding to separate while skiing.
Wheel axle nuts do come loose! Check your wheel nuts regularly! Use thread locker such as loctite or lock nuts if it is a persistent problem. If you find the ratchet is slipping on your classic roller skis, it may be that the wheel nuts have worked loose. Wheel nuts do get damaged from scraping on pavement occasionally. If they are old, you may want to consider buying replacements so you can use a wrench to effectively tighten them.
When it is really smokin’ hot outside, avoid using your roller skis in the heat of the day. Occasionally the rubber on roller ski wheels will delaminate on super hot summer days. Replacement wheels are available at many good XC retail shops. CVTC athletes use primarily F1 Sprint skate roller skis and V2 930k classic roller skis.
Sharpen your tips often!! It is much easier to sharpen a tip that is not worn down too much. You will be thankful and your roller ski training will be more effective and less frustrating. Use a diamond file and try to maintain the angles on the tips. We often use a bench top tile cutter with a rotating diamond blade. This is best done by briefly and gently pressing the tip on the side of the diamond blade. Tricky at first but you will soon get it figured. We also have diamond hand files for side of the road maintenance. A spare tip and a lighter (to soften the glue) are two items you can carry in your drink belt. It sucks to have to ski back home with one broken tip.
Good luck with your roller skiing this summer!