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A Trio of Ski Skett Classic Rollerskis

Rollerski Reviews

Thu, Sep  1, 2005 - By Ben Arians

I have searched long and hard for good rollerskis that feel like skiing, aren't too expensive, and hold up. In my 20+ years of training, racing, coaching and selling Nordic skis and skiing, I have used a lot of classic rollerskis, and over the last several years have found that the Ski Skett Nord classic models are light, flexible, come in a variety of wheel speeds/durometers, and handle incredibly well.

The Nord series is the do-it-all model. Primarily a classic ski with rubber wheels front and back, the Nord can be made into a combi (skate and classic) ski simply by using a harder urethane wheel in the back.

There are three main Ski Skett classic models:

Nord CL

Ski Skett Nord CL classic rollerski
 

The Nord CL is a traditional two-wheel classic rollerski. This classic rollerskski is the best feeling classic ski I have found - its light weight feels more like a snow ski than other, heavier models. The weight is quite low, significantly lower than any classic models from ProSki or Marwe. While not providing as much flex as the Marwe, it has more than the Jenex 930.

Nord TB Combi

Ski Skett Nord TB combi rollerski with fast polyurethane rear wheels
 

The Nord TB Combi is the same as the CL, but has faster polyurethane rather than rubber wheels in the rear. The rear wheels get most of the wear when skating, and the polyurethane wheels are much more durable (and faster!) than the rubber wheels, especially given the stress from the lateral push typical of the skating. There are two urethane wheel types available, the faster yellow version and the slower, slightly heavier black wheel.

As a combi ski, the performance is still excellent for both skate and classic techniques. The TB is faster than the CL because of the polyurethane wheel in the rear.

You could even make a skate version of the Nord simply by putting urethane wheels on the front wheel as well as the back. The resulting ski is very stable, and the wheels would last for years. (Ski Skett makes another skate rollerski called the Fire, which with the Heavy Duty wheels would offer the same speed and better skate performance while being less expensive, and almost as stable. I have skated with the Fires while using low-top classic boots, and been surprised by the stability. I still prefer the Shark for overall performance, though.)

For junior skiers or others on a budget, the Nord Combi offers the best skate performance of any combi rollerski I have found, while giving up relatively little in classic performance. The edging clearance is great, but the wheels are wide enough to give better stability, but not so wide that you cannot push off properly. The only real drawbacks seem to be a harsher ride with the urethane wheels, and a slight reduction in snowplowing effectiveness. The weight is also a plus, coming in at significantly less than the Marwe Combi or ProSkis resulting in a more user-friendly ski for smaller junior skiers.

Nord EL

Ski Skett EL recreational classic rollerski
 

The last model of Ski Skett is the EL, a three-wheeled classic ski available in two versions, the Snowbelt and the Sunbelt. The Sunbelt comes with a special binding so you can use a regular running shoe instead of a ski boot (similar to the Jenex NordiXC). However, this binding system leaves a lot to be desired in both fit and durability. Stick with the Jenex NordiXC if you don�t have ski boots.

The front wheel is a rubber ratchet wheel, and the two rear wheels are urethane, inline skating-type wheels. This ski is excellent for those who would like to get ski training in the summer, but are intimidated by the two-wheeled rollerskis.

Wheels and Speed Reducers

Ski Skett offers a wide variety of wheel choices with which the skier can custom design the performance of the ski, putting more emphasis on durability, speed, or stability. Using the slow wheels both front and back makes for a fairly slow ski. This is emphasized by using the slower, double-sealed bearings, which will last much longer than the standard black bearings. Interestingly, with the rubber wheels, the slower wheels are of harder durometer than the faster version. If you live in a wetter environment, I highly recommend using the red, double-sealed bearings, especially on the ratchet wheels. I live in Anchorage, Alaska, and we get our share of rain even in the nicest of summers. We probably have the harshest rollerski environment around, and I have been very pleased by the durability of the better bearings. Applying some White Lightning dry lubricant to the bearings will also help protect your ratchet wheels from freezing up as a result of getting water inside the wheel.

Their speed reducers also are a nice touch if you feel like a little more resistance on the flats and downhills. However, they are not as good as the speed reducer models offered from Jenex. My recommendation is if speed reducers are important, then stick with a Jenex model.

Recommendations

Each of these models works best on smooth pavement because of the relatively small diameter wheels. Having two rubber wheels on the Nord CL allows it to absorb bumps a little better than having a combination of rubber and polyurethane wheels, as on the TB Combi ski. My feeling for the Nord wheels is that they provide good combinations of wheel diameter and width: narrow enough that will turn and edge properly, wide enough to provide reasonable stability while using classic boots, and large enough diameter to role over smaller rocks or road debris. The rubber wheel composition is soft enough that the wheels tend not to jam as easily on small rocks (as V2/Jenex road models tend to do). Admittedly, the ride of the Nord is rougher than ProSki�s C2 and C3 models, but the handling characteristics are significantly better. I feel like I can actually carve with my Nords, meaning I can take tighter turns without having to snowplow.

The polyurethane wheels are also more slippery in wet conditions.

If you can afford a dedicated classic rollerski, the Nord CL is the way to go. If you only want one pair of rollerskis, go with the TB Combi. Either model will serve the aspiring racer, the performance skier, and the experienced racer. If you want to tour on rollerskis, or value stability over speed, try out the EL's.

Ski Skett

Nord CL

TB Combi

EL

Description

Classic only

Classic & skating

Three wheel, classic only, use regular running shoes


Frame

Aluminum 6082 T6

Aluminum 6082 T6

Aluminum 6082 T6


Length frame, axle center to axle center

 700 mm

700 mm

700 mm


Number of wheels for frame

 2

2

3


Wheel material  Soft rubber Rubber front wheels, fast polyurethane for the rear wheels Rubber front wheels, polyurethane rear wheels.

Wheel diameter and width in mm

 74 x 40 mm

74 x 40 mm

Front wheels: 74 x 40 mm, rear wheels 74 x 20 mm


Ratchet device

 Back wheel

Back wheel

Front wheel


Weight (pair)

 1.5 Kg

1.6  Kg

2.4 Kg


Variations Ratchet device in the front wheels. 1. Ratcheted front wheels (instead of back ratcheting), or 2. No ratchets, for skating only. None

Accessories Speed reducers, Splashguards (4, or 2 in the read only if their are the speed reducers in front) Speed reducers, Splashguards (4, or 2 in the read only if their are the speed reducers in front) Speed reducers or  front Splashguards

Full Disclosure: Ben Arians is Manager of Alaska Mountaineering & Hiking which sell Ski Skett rollerskis. Ben is also an Assistant. Coach of the Alaska Winter Stars Ski Team.