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Braking systems for inline speed skates

roadskater's picture

I know lots of speed skaters that do roadskating and they use a braking system. I've heard of the "Miller brake" and the "Powerslide brake" and also GatorbackSkate.com has a system including that cool leash that I've seen Mark Farnsworth demonstrate in person at the T2T prologue. Uwe Brockmann and others developed various homemade setups to add leverage to braking, and these are great in a cyborg way! I'm using 5x84 but would like to know about 5x80 and 3x100+84 and even 4x100 setups. Anyone done testing, have experience to share, and know the relative costs? I know you do! Skateylove, Blake


skatey-mark's picture

my experiences

For 5x80 and 5x84, you can't beat the Miller brake...  The only problem is finding one, of course!  New, they were around $50 and come with one pad.  Used, you can usually get them for around $25 and they may or may not have a pad...  The replacement pads Miller sold were insanely expensive, but you can use Rollerblade pads instead, which are only $5 each.  (You want the ones that say "STD BRAKE/ABT LITE" on the package, or something like that...  It used to be the 760L brake, but those were discontinued and replaced by the "STD" pads...)

For 90 & 100mm setups, you want the GatorBrake...  (For 100mm, it doesn't matter if it's 4x100 or 3x100+84 or 3x100+90 or 3x100+90 because only the back 2 wheels matter.)  I'm not sure if the GatorBrake works with 110mm wheels, but it should be easy to find out by going to gatorbackskate.com and asking...  The brake is $50 and I think comes with a pad (but it doesn't mention it on the website, so be sure to check.)  The replacement pads are $3 apiece, but can be bought it bulk for an even better price ($50 for 30 is the best deal...  $1.67 apiece!)  There is also a "firepad" that sparks when you use it, which is really cool for night skates...

Powerslide also makes bolt-on brakes, but they suck.  Their first attempt was metal, and had the pad at entirely the wrong angle, so yo had no leverage.  (Other than that, it was well made...  But it was useless.)  Their current version has the correct pad angle, but it made of plastic and has been known to break (and not in a good way!)  You want to BRAKE, not BREAK...  :)

Oh - and the leash...  Uwe is probably the best known here in the States for his "bucket handles" that he used...  The GatorLeash is the same idea, but streamlined and less noticeable.  The learning curve is probably a little higher than Uwe's version, but still very manageable for anyone.  The leash does work well, and gives you extra leverage when braking.  It also gives you the extra leverage while taking less effort!  So if your shin muscle is getting fatigued from braking, the leash will be a good thing to try.  Those are $25 on gatorbackskate.com...

$50 may seem a little high to pay for a brake, but it's cheaper than buying new wheels!  And you'll get a LOT more mileage out of you wheels if you're not t-stopping.  Plus, you'll be less tempted to roll through intersections, etc, to save your wheels -- just grind that brake pad into the pavement and lay some rubber!  :)

Braking for K2 Three Hundred

This particular frame I use in combination with the Gatorback brake and leash system.  I will confess to not having mastered it.  Because it is pancake flat in the 2 places that I am most apt to be skating, in Myrtle Beach or in South Jersey, I don't get the use out of the system to get enough practice.  The Gatorback system, brake and leash, are quality products.  In my case, it's the "brakee" that is lacking.  I believe that anyone that is inclined to use a brake in the first place would be very happy with this set up.  It mounts easily to the K2 frame, 3X100 w/1X84.

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