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V2 Aero Rollerski Buzz
Dec 6, 2001

There's quite a buzz about the Jenex V2 Aero rollerski. I have not had an opportunity to ski a pair yet, but I have seen them used and talked to people who own them. Here's some background and a couple stories. 

Jeff Ray on V2 Aeros heading east from Island Lake State Park.

Jeff Ray skiing down a dirt road on his V2 Aeros.

What's different about the V2 Aero?
Instead of "normal" rollerski wheels, the Aero uses pneumatic tires. According to the marketing literature, rolling resistance can be varied by changing air pressure. The tires allow you to rollerski on dirt roads. Skating, classic, and combi models are available.

Accessories include: 

  • ATR Speed Reducers to adjust the speed of the ski;  
  • Outriggers that can be mounted to the outside of the ski - up to two per ski - for additional stability when classic skiing; and
  • An Air Pump to keep the tires at the right pressure (Jenex says a standard air pump cannot be used to fill the tires).

Although they weigh more, and have a somewhat different balance point, people seems to adjust to them quickly.

What are skiers saying about the V2 Aero?
Jay Hole is a Michigan Cup racer who has thrashed me on many occasions. Jay has many reasons why he moved to Aeros: 

"1. The wheels on my 850's were getting really small and needed replacing anyway. 

2. I'd heard good things about the Aeros, especially the effectiveness of the ATRs. 

3. I can go out my driveway and ski through the neighborhoods as opposed to 20-25 minutes each way to the metropark. As you can see in #5 below, this is not that different from the metroparks anyway. I can cross the train tracks (they are 'at grade' near my house), storm sewer grates, totally beat up pavement, etc. with no problem and a lot of the roads I need to cross are less busy than the road crossings in the parks (again - see #5). 

4. Some of the pavement even on the metropark bike paths is rough so the vibration is bad - no problem for the Aeros. 

5. Our metroparks here [Jay now lives in the Cleveland area] are not like Kensington with a bike path around a lake. They form a sort of linear 'necklace' around the city and have road crossings, not parking lot entrances - real roads with lots of traffic, every 1-2 miles which often have 1/2" to 1" stone and gravel chunks. So every mile or so there is a delicate 'dance' of getting across without getting hit, stopping so long your HR goes to 80 in the middle of an interval or falling on the bumps and gravel. The Aeros take the bumps and stones out of play and allow much more effective speed control, ability to bail out onto the grass (they will roll!). 

6. They are great for group workouts with different abilities, I can ski with some friends down here who are about even on a bike, but not as proficient at skiing with 1 or 2 'clicks' on the ATRs and still get in a good workout."

I haven't seen Jay on his Aeros, but I have seen Jeff Ray on his while skiing on the new Wixom / South Lyon / Island Lake / Kensington connector trail. Jeff rolled right over drops between the bike path and road crossings (I had to gingerly step over them so as not to fall). He rolled through some gravel that had almost caused me to crash, and then he skied up and down a dirt road. He didn't carefully make his way down that dirt road - he went full bore.

Why am I interested in the V2 Aeros?
Southeastern Michigan is blessed with wonderful bike paths that are ideal for "normal" rollerskis. Still, I've crashed four times this year because I've hit a sharp pebble. I think the Aeros would have prevented those crashes. 

I've also a strong proponent of speed reducers. I use them on my current V2 850 rollerski to match the speed of slower rollerskiers, to get in a harder interval workout, and as a cautionary measure on some downhills. I really only have two positions that work with my current speed reducers, particularly if the 850 wheels are worn. The four position system on the ATR Speed Reducers should give me additional speed variations.

Finally, I travel up north to visit family, and the roads around Ellsworth are a bit rough for my normal rollerskis. I think the Aeros would allow me to explore new roadways, include dirt roads.

I'm very curious about the durability of the tires - I've gone through three pairs of wheels on my 850's.

I'm hoping to test a pair (this spring?) and I'll write a more personal review about my experiences. (Thanks Jay and Jeff).