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What should you consider when buying roller skis?

Buying roller skis can be difficult. There are a lot of options on the market to choose from. Here, roller ski expert Patrik Nilsson explains what is important to think about.

Photo: Erika Yousra Aouda

This is what you should consider when buying roller skis chatted with roller ski expert Patrik Nilsson at Rullskidcenter (Roller Ski Center) in Sweden to hear what is important when buying new roller skis.

What do you need to think about first when buying roller skis?

“First, you should think about where you train roller skiing. If you are going to roll on cycling paths, you need a stable and good roller ski with good comfort. Comfort is even more important if you ride on poorer surfaces such as gravel. If you are going to ride on roller ski tracks, which are often a bit tricky with fast turns, then you should have an easy-to-handle ski. The asphalt on the tracks is often excellent, and comfort does not matter much.”

Is there anything special you should consider when buying roller skis as a beginner?

“If you’re going to ride classic, it’s important to have wheels that provide good comfort. It doesn’t matter as much if it’s aluminum or a wooden frame; a great part of the comfort comes from the wheels. A longer frame and the binding position will affect the roller ski feel when you become a better skier. But if you’re a beginner, it’s more about feeling confident on the roller ski. Slightly wider wheels and preferably a slightly lower center of gravity so that it feels stable.”

Which rolling resistance should I choose?

“Often you roll on wheels number two, but on classic roller skis, the wheels number three are a bit difficult. Wheels with resistance two rolls a little light; it’s nice to roll them in the summer, but if you want to train and then race on snow, you should ski on wheels number three. In skating, you usually roll with wheels number two, as raising the heart rate already on this resistance is easy.”

When choosing rolling resistance, your fitness background also plays a role, says Patrik Nilsson:

“If you don’t train so much and are going to start your first Vasaloppet, maybe you raise your heart rate too much if you roll with wheels number three. Then, wheels with resistance number two are what you need in order to be out for two hours without the heart rate being too high the entire time. Discuss your fitness background with the shop and consider where you will roll and your goals.”

Besides a pair of roller skis, what else do I need?

“You need a helmet, road pole tips, and a small file to sharpen the tips and keep them in good condition. When it’s still cold outside, the asphalt is hard, and the tips wear faster. We usually recommend that you sharpen the tips before each session. Then it is important that you use glasses to protect your eyes from other people’s pole tips.”

Roller ski expert Patrik Nilsson from Rullskidcenter.

Also, read our roller ski test to see which roller skis suit you:

The Big Roller Ski Test 2023

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