|Reviews of Jenex, Eplex, and ProSki rollerskis|
I have had my Marwe 610 rollerskis for about 3 weeks and I have skied about 150kms on them. I have found these freestyle rollerskis simulate the real thing better than other freestyle rollerskis I have used.
Most of the rollerskiing I do is in the footshills west of Denver where (surprisingly) you will see more bicycles than cars, making for some ideal spots to ski. The terrain is mostly hills and the road surface ranges from smooth to rough.
Marwe rollerskis are imported from Finland by Finn Sisu out of Minnesota. Initially I was concerned about my weight (83-87kg) exceeding the capacity of the Marwes (they recommend a max 85kg limit - about 187 pounds). I contacted Finn Sisu and they assured me that my weight would not be a problem. They stated that they have many skiers around the country in the 185-200lb range skiing on the 610s.
I ordered my skis predrilled and I mounted the bindings. Mounting was straight forward. I found that threading the holes with the binding screws first (before mounting bindings) made the process much easier and insured the screws would go in straight when mounting the bindings.
The first thing that caught my attention when I tried the skis was the snow-like feel they have. When the ski is compressed the honeycomb shaft flexes somewhat like a snow ski. This also dampens much of the road vibration that a aluminum ski will not.
The wheels are 105x25mm. They roll over most road debris I encounter. After 150 km the wear on the wheels (or lack thereof) is good. The front and back wheels wear fairly evenly. I think this is due to where Finn Sisu places the binding - more forward than what Marwe recommends. My old skis have the bindings mounted closer to the rear wheel, and I did not get even wheel wear.
Marwe wheels come in four different rolling resistances (I think Finn Sisu only offers medium): very low, low, medium, great. The medium friction wheels produce a snow-like speed on all terrain.
The rollerskis seem fairly durable. My one concern is the bottom of the ski does make contact with the pavement when edging off the ski on occasion. The ski has a protective plastic runner on the bottom, but as the tires wear and the ski clearance is lowered, the ski is more likely to scrape the pavement and damage the shaft.
Marwe rollerskis come with plastic mudguards which can be removed if so desired. I have not used them in the rain yet so I cannot comment on their effectiveness in keeping wheel spray at a minimum. The mudguards are effective by keeping the skis free of dirt/grit which can damage the binding if it gets trapped under the boot.
There is one setback - No speed reducer/brake. Speed control has been somewhat of a problem. Hills are manageable. Anything less than a 5% grade can be controlled with a wide snow-plow. A steep hill takes a while to negotiate.
Overall, I highly recommend as an effective training device to simulate Nordic freestyle skiing. 4.5/5 stars
Comparing the Marwe 610 with other Rollerskis
I've rollerskied on Jenex V2 Aero 125s, Jenex V2 940 Combis, Elpex F1, homemade rollerskis. All have aluminum shafts and the main differences between the rollerskis was the wheels - size, speed, pneumatic or hard/soft rubber, etc. A large percentage of my rollerskiing was done on the homemade pair and the Elpex. The other skis were demo'ed from a local outdoor/ski shop or borrowed from friends. I used scooter wheels on my homemade pair and these were quite fast compared to any other ski. The durability was quite poor, although the scooter wheels are relatively cheap. The Elpex wheels durability was quite a disappointment - I think I got 200km total - not acceptable at $75/pair. I do have two friends who ski on the Elpex's and are happy with them. They also have gotten more kms from the wheels, which may be attributed to my weight of 87 kilos. The Elpex simulated snow speed better than the homemade, but were equivalent to the V2s and Marwe. The Jenex 940 combis were pure crap to skate on vs. the others, so I would recommend you don't waste your time. Specialize your ski for each discipline. I have heard the Marwe combis are excellent because you can convert specifically to skating by removing the classic extensions, making it a pure skating rollerski. The Jenex Aero V2 125s were nice....the large wheels dampen vibration and roll over most anything within reason. The speed reducers work very well. I was not happy with the weight and the durability of the pneumatic tires. Also, my weight does exceed the recommended weight limit of the ski. With my weight and the speed reducers I could not see the tires lasting very long. The wheels also have a checkered past even when used by skiers within the weight range. I have a friend with a pair who is on the upper end of the range and he has blown out a few tires. Jenex tells him he is too heavy or is skiing "wrong". I did not consider the V2 Aero 150s because of the weight. The Marwe and the V2 125s both dampen vibration better than the other skis. The Marwes, in my opinion, feel more like snow skiing than the 125s. I'm not smart enough to explain why...probably has something to do with what part of the ski is absorbing the energy from the road.
The Marwe's flex has not had any negative influence on the skis ability to roll over rough roads. The Marwes roll as well as any of the skis. They were the most comfortable and the most quiet. The ski is stiff enough but it also has flex - like a snow ski.
There is a trade-off when deciding which rollerskis. You have the snow-like feel and the excellent wheel durability of the Marwes vs. the safety features of the V2 Aero 125's. If you train on hills and are uncomfortable without speed reduction, then I would go with the V2s. If hills are not a problem - I would recommend the Marwes.