I haven't skated in about six weeks due to an ankle problem... gave my old skates away a couple weeks ago to ensure I wouldn't skate, so I could heal. Now it seems my ankle's good to go, so I finally finished setting up my new skates that Powerslide hooked it up with. Haven't really skated them yet, just rolled around the block. Skating flat feels great but I know I'm gonna eat a lot of shit doing grinds, at least at first, hopefully I don't get hurt.
Small Farmer3 skeletons
Size 9 Basic3 wraps, dyed black
Medium (262mm) Team Slimlines
56/88 Chimera Lilly wheels flat
-Tore the tongue apart and put in new padding (firmer/thicker/reaches lower), replaced stock tnuts as they weren't seated correctly.
-Ground the ridge out of the inside of the cuff just above the heel opening, and the correspinding rubber on the wrap, so my foot sits more "in" the cuff... lets me put the cuff at size 8 instead too, it looks prettier, haha.
-Fixed the mount for the ring holder on the tongue, now mounted lower and with two screws.
-Took a bit of material off the inside of the frame and shaved the heads of the mounting bolts a bit, so i could rocker the wheels up.
-Sewed extra velcro on the top strap so I don't get the "wings", and there's more velcro-to-velcro contact area.
-Shortened the toe straps (shit was way long, especially since I don't use the toe pads).
-Trimmed a bit of material on the release/lock in the buckle, so they'd actually release. The buckles suck at releasing, not sure how these got fucked up as they're the Salomon design and they worked fine on the last run of Powerslide-produced Xsjados.
Slimline first impressions:
The Slimlines... are actually decent. The groove is wider than it should be for flat, but with the wheels rockered up there's still a good amount of "cover" for the inner wheels. Of course after some sessions on Michigan's nice rough ledges I'm sure I'll have worn the shoulders of the groove off and will start sticking... we'll see. For someone skating mostly park and real smooth ledges, I think it's actually a viable option.
The height isn't too bad either... 33mm from the channel to the axle center, rockered up. With a 56mm wheel that puts the ride height at about 61mm, which isn't too bad. Not perfect, but workable. It'd be fairly simple for Kizer to revise the molds a hair to allow 56's rockered up (incorporate my mod basically), they'd need a super low-profile-head screw though. The mounting bolts they came with were way too long for Xsjados, even in the back, I trimmed them down a good 6mm in the front and 3 or 4 in the back.
Durability isn't going to be spectacular as there just isn't a lot of material in the groove area since the frame gets skinnier there... hopefully Kizer's material wears better than GC's, which I've always found to be very fast-wearing (they slide great though). I haven't skated Kizers since the first Stream frames so I really don't remember how the material grinds, we'll see.
Wheelbases on the Slimlines are 245mm, 262mm, and 280mm. I'm super stoked that Kizer stepped up and did a third size, it really helps out a lot of people as before they only made a "small" (240 or 245 usually) and a "large" (265-270 or so), which left most people in the 8-9-10 range picking between a frame that was too long or short. I personally would have probably kept the Small at 240mm and the Large at 270mm and made the Medium about 255mm, which is the same length as "Size 2" GC's and "large" Mooks and Salo frames. 255mm is just about perfect on most 8-9 shells and on small 10 shells.
Bumping the Large to 280mm is great for the size 13-14 bigfoots out there, who often find 270's to even be a bit small, but it stretches the Medium (assuming the Medium is exactly between the Small and Large, which it is in this case) out to 262mm, which is a smidge long for 8-9 shells usually. It's perfect for size 10 shells though. Since I'm riding flat on these I think the slight bit of extra wheelbase won't be real noticeable, as the frames are going to feel way maneuverable anyways.
The axle hardware... good and bad. Flat, low-profile head for the outside of the frame? Cool. lets you wear the frame wall down further before scraping the axle heads. Meet-in-the-middle design? Lame. C'mon, Kizer, you should know by now that that shit breaks, comes loose, just all-around sucks. Not a big deal but I'd prefer a "solid" axle.
The rocker washers aren't anything remarkable, basically an 8mm version of the old Lightning rockers. The fit in the frame is pretty terrible, though, at least in the inner spots. I can rotate the spacers about 20 degrees in each direction... basically, the spacers are an oval shape, and the holes in the frame are almost round... bush league. Fix that on the next run, that's something that China should have caught on their own so make them pay for the mold revisions.
There's a bit of "arch" to the frame, meaning the inner wheels don't quite touch when you set the skate on a flat surface. It's a very, very small amount, though, maybe a half-millimeter or so, not anything like the Fluid3's ridiculous amount of shrinkage-induced warp. I actually think the arch is going to be a slightly good thing for me as it will ease me into how flat handles, as the wheels wear in. I'm completely used to skating freestyle so the zoomy-turniness might be a bit much for me all at once.