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Question about plates

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Question about plates

Postby sweetnightmare » 06.12.10 11:50AM

Just bought my skates, Vandals, currently being made at the Riedell factory :) After much research I thought I made a good choice but now I found a review with mixed things about the PowerDyne nylon plates and other nylon plates in general. Many have complained of cracking. Would love to your opinions, so I can figure out if I'll be need to save my pennys and purchase aluminum plates.

Thanks in advanced to all you lovely derby ladies
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Re: Question about plates

Postby Rogzilla » 06.13.10 5:49PM

Nylon plates are not ideal for derby, especially if you're putting 150 pounds or more on your skates. It's offline now, but at one time Black Eyed Susan had an interview up with one of Riedell's own product designers who was saying this.

If I had an extra pair of boots to mount, I'd look for a set of Sure-Grip XK4 DA45s, or some other 45-degree action plate to put on them. They're supposed to be awesome.
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Re: Question about plates

Postby SwedeHurt » 06.13.10 8:27PM

i have nylon plates, been skating on them for 2yrs, I love them, and I am around 170 pounds
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Re: Question about plates

Postby Em Dash » 06.13.10 10:08PM

If you decide you do want aluminum plates, save up some money and go with the high level plates. The cheaper ones are heavy, and even though it might just be a few ounces, it does actually make a difference.

OMG and Bonnie know a ton about skates and plates and are really good at answering specific questions. If you haven't wandered over to Five Stride yet, you totally should!
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Re: Question about plates

Postby Lemony Kickit » 06.14.10 9:33AM

SwedeHurt wrote:i have nylon plates, been skating on them for 2yrs, I love them, and I am around 170 pounds


Agreed. I skated for two years on nylon plates (it was what I could afford) and all 150+ pounds of me had no problem with them!

And like Dash said, Bonnie and OMG could definitely give a much better answer to this question. Stop by Five Strides and I'm sure they'd be happy to discuss and help you figure out what would work best for you!
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Re: Question about plates

Postby mac n sleaze » 06.14.10 9:35AM

I have been putting 160 lbs on the same nylon plates since mid 2006 and have had no problem either.
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Re: Question about plates

Postby Mr. Bill » 06.14.10 2:40PM

Although I don't qualify as a "lovely derby lady", I always have two cents to add. First, don't worry about something that hasn't happened yet. If your purpose is to plan to upgrade your equipment, the economy can always use an injection of capital in the form of you buying new plates. On the other hand, if you are under 170 lbs., the nylon Riedell plates have proven very sturdy for most of us. I'm about 170 and jump up and down on my skates during drills and they have held up fine so far. If you just want the best stuff available, be careful you aren't wasting money on equipment that is well above your skill level. Plates that the top skaters might like because it suits their skating style may not be what works best for you. I do have to recommend talking to Bonnie and OMG at Five Stride. In the conversations I have had with them it is apparent that they aren't just trying to sell you the most expensive thing or the thing they have in stock. They will talk to you and discuss your needs and your menas ($$) and give you options. Don't get ahead of yourself and worry about something that may never happen. But if your money is burning a hole in your pocket, head to Five Stride and shower them with your disposable income.
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Re: Question about plates

Postby Rogzilla » 06.14.10 4:08PM

Breakage isn't the only issue I've seen with plastic plates, it's the fact that they bend. Apply enough force to a plastic plate, it will flex while you're turning and your stride will lose energy.

You'll notice this especially if you have a particularly long foot. Take a mirror and prop it up on the floor so you can see the underside of your skate, you may see it flexing while you move your foot back and forth.

There are a couple of plastic plates out there that folks I know (in the 150-160 range) swear by, but the Powerdyne ones aren't it. I'm (ahem) beyond that weight range, so after I ditched my R3s I've never even considered another plastic plate.

Your mileage may vary, of course.
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Re: Question about plates

Postby Sweet Sherry Pie » 06.14.10 4:29PM

I have been using Powerdyne nylon plates forever and I love them. I am very hard on my plates- I push really hard- crossing over, cutting, slalmoing and stopping. Never had a single issue. I weight 130.
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Re: Question about plates

Postby sweetnightmare » 06.14.10 6:08PM

Hi everyone!

Thanks for all your input! Looks like maybe I will be needing to replace the plates at some point at least. I don't think they will handle my weight. I weigh 185-190ish lbs. I figure I'll just see how it goes with the nylon plates until I save up for good plates or they break, which ever comes first lol.

I looked up the Sure-Grip XK-4, they seem to be a best seller on most skate shop websites. I will definitely take a trip out to Five Stride!
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Re: Question about plates

Postby RefInPeace » 06.15.10 6:48AM

Curious to know who's had nylon plates crack due to weight issues.
I'm no helium balloon, weighing in at just under 90 kilograms (the non-metric number makes me a little self-conscious :D ), and have been using the stock PowerDyne Torq nylon composite frames plates that were attached to My First Skates, and haven't been a problem yet.
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Re: Question about plates

Postby Rogzilla » 06.15.10 9:00AM

RefInPeace wrote:Curious to know who's had nylon plates crack due to weight issues.
My friends at Pioneer Valley went through a period when male and female players of varying weights cracked Powerdyne Torqs (also known as the Thrust). IIRC, most of the cracks were right behind the toe stop. In one instance, the pivot cup cracked and the truck popped out of it, rotating 90 degrees and creating a potentially dangerous situation that fortunately the skater recovered from. There was also another break I was told about where the toe stop socket separated from the plate.

They had a local Riedell rep that worked with them and replaced the plates. Riedell told them early versions of the plate had these issues that were addressed later, but by then people in the league were being steered away from plastic plates.

Also, last year at the Colossal Coastal Roller Expo I met a female skater on Penn-Jersey She Devils who told me about cracking her R3's plate right down the center in the middle of a bout.

As far as the flexing goes, like I said earlier, my first skates were R3s and since I started skating I've weighed anywhere between 200 and 220 pounds. Once the flexing issue was pointed out to me, I put a mirror on the floor to check it out and sure enough, I could see it. Later on I switched to a set of Hammers (125 boot, metal Triton plate) as well as metal-hubbed wheels, and while it may seem subjective, I can certainly feel the difference in terms of control and the energy I'm exerting on turns.

I also want to note that using a metal plate isn't the be-all, end-all solution that will make you sleep soundly at night, safe and secure that your plate will never fail:

http://www.skatelogforum.com/forums/sho ... hp?t=26911

In her gear seminar at Rollercon, La Petite Mort of Fast Girl Skates said that all plates, plastic and metal, are capable of cracking. When it comes to the rigors of derby, I believe it. I also don't want to seem like I'm picking on Riedell. I'm sure other companies' plastic and metal plates have had breakage issues, the Powerdyne Torq/Thrust is simply the one I have anecdotal evidence of.

(Incidentally, Ref In Peace, see you at Shore Points this weekend for the GSR bout.)
Last edited by Rogzilla on 06.15.10 3:52PM, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Question about plates

Postby Rogzilla » 06.15.10 9:37AM

I was also able to find the interview that Marizpain conducted last year with Dan Johnson, Riedell's chief designer and engineer. Here's the part about nylon plates:
Q: People ask me the difference between nylon and aluminum plates and I remind them of what it is like trying to cut meat with a plastic knife versus a metal knife. It is hard to carve a turn in a nylon plate, or at least it was for me when I was skating on them three years ago. They eventually warped, then did wonky things under my feet. Doesn't nylon, as a material, ultimately wear out and cause the plate to torq?

A: Nylon plates in any design are not built for Derby. They are inexpensive and are very cost effective for a beginning Derby player or roller rink skater who goes round and round once a week. Nobody skating competitively or professionally skates on nylon plates. It is a matter of performance and longevity. Quad speed skaters, artistic students, and fresh meat can all start out on nylon plates, but they will want to make the leap to metal plates once they gravitate to a certain level within their sport. Nylon serves a purpose, but can only take a skater so far. There are other exotic materials; carbon fiber, ceramics, etc. (just like knives), but their cost is prohibitive.

The language I used in my first post should have been a little clearer, while the part about nylon plates not being ideal for derby comes from Mr. Johnson's statements, the "150 pounds" part comes strictly from my own observations. Most of the people I know who have had issues with nylon plates have been above 150 pounds or so.
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Re: Question about plates

Postby Hyper Lynx » 06.15.10 9:53AM

Weight issues aside, some people may prefer nylon plates because they do bend and somehow that helps with hockey/plow stopping. I recently switched to metal plates and am still re-learning how to do both, it's somehow different and not as 'easy' but then again I had nylon plates (never a problem, I'm about 150) since I started derby in '05 so maybe it's just a force of habit.
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Re: Question about plates

Postby Mr. Bill » 06.15.10 2:39PM

Although I respect Mr. Johnson's position as chief designer, engineer and sourpuss for Riedell, his statement that no one who skates competitively uses nylon plates bears no relationship to the real world of roller derby, where nylon plates are commonplace. While it's true that skaters well above my skill level may prefer metal plates (because there are also magnesium and titanium plates out there as well as aluminum) for any one of a number of reasons, alot of us have not made the jump from $200 for a skate package to $1000 for plates alone (no matter how superbad they may actually be). Please apply the law of diminishing returns to your own skating ability in relation to the amount of money you are spending on skates/plates and ask yourself, "is the $900 difference between the Titan Pro plates and the Powerdyne nylons worth the benefit I'm getting" (god knows I've asked myself that and answered no). Conversely, you should also ask yourself if the $30 difference between the $59 Powerdyne Thrust nylon plates and the $89 Poweerdyne Triton aluminum plates is really giving you a superior plate just because it's aluminum (metal fatigue in underengineered stressed aluminum is a major cause of cracking).
Lynx is right. As far as normal flex in nylon vs aluminum plates, all plates flex. There is no hard and fast rule that flex is bad or good. The high dollar metal plates flex less, but does the flex you are experiencing affect your performance? (don't assume that just because it is flexing, that the flex is keeping you from being Bonnie Thunders). Structural flex is built into many mechanical things, including car and motorcycle frames and airplane fuselages. OK, enough fun for now.
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