rollerblades for skiers

Well, I'm a skier, and have been for most of my life. As it is approaching summer here (Australia), I'm thinking about buying a pair of blades. I am just wondering, what are the similarities and differences in handling between the two?

Posted by the_mad_man 7 years ago


Rebuilding NordicTrack ski machine drive rollers

Many people still buy and use a NordicTrack Ski Machine, although these machines are not as popular as they once were. I have talked to people who say they just plain wore out a ski machine. The part that wears is the one-way clutch inside the drive rollers. NordicTrack makes the one-way clutch sound very mysterious. In reality it is a one-way needle bearing and is available from Amazon or locally from a good bearing shop. The internal diameter of the one-way needle bearing used in my machine (Challenger, similar to a 303) is 5/8 inch. The outer diameter is 7/8 inch. The width of the one-way needle bearing from end to end is 5/8 inch. I originally had hopes of being able to install new one-way needle bearings, myself; but, they together with the bronze sleeve bearings on either side of the one-way needle bearing inside each drive roller are pressed into place. Pressing bearings is not a job for the average home tinkerer but requires a bearing press capable of exerting tons of pressure in a very precise manner. You can often have a local machine shop press the bearings in your machine's drive rollers. Or, you can send them away to Nordic Track Guy and have them rebuilt for about $33 with a one week turnaround. The core of the rollers really does not wear out, but new rollers are available on the Internet from $65 to $95, depending on the vendor. From what I can find, some models used an alternate size. Check to be certain you order the correct rollers, if you choose to replace. One of my drive rollers suddenly began to hiccup. It seemed that the clutch did not always release immediately when I pulled my foot forward. Then I noticed a little mush in the response when I began to bring my foot back on the push stroke. Before you rebuild or replace your rollers, try this: Remove one side of your Ski Machine. See the second photo and check the exploded diagram in your manual. Four nuts and two screws, all plainly visible, need to be removed. Slide the washers and the roller off of the top side. The shaft and flywheel can be wiggled out of the other side without removing anything from that side. Remove the washers and the roller from that side, too. Flush the one-way needle bearing by squirting some penetrating oil, like Liquid Wrench, into the bearing. Work it both ways with your smallest finger. Push a facial tissue into the shaft hole in the roller and sop away the penetrating oil and any metallic dust it lifts. Do this several times. Let the rollers air dry. A little lubrication is good. People who comment on lubrication for one-way needle bearings use Tri-Flo (I am not familiar with it.) or they use a little ATF transmission fluid. You want enough to lubricate, but not so much that the bearings slip. (But, see the comments below where the oil impregnated bronze sleeve bearings are supposed to supply enough lubrication for the needle bearings.) Put the rollers back in place on the shaft. Check to be certain they grab on the rearward stroke and release on the forward stroke. Reassemble the machine. Do not forget the washers between the roller and the side board. My machine works again as it should. The day will likely come when this simple fix does not help, and I will need to rebuild or replace the rollers then. But, for now, my rollers have a new lease on life. What follows is for your information. The first photo is of a portion of the back cover of the manual that came with my machine. It shows a cutaway image of the drive roller. The black printing is mine. Notice the three cylinders inside the drive roller. The outer two are bronze sleeve bearings. The center one looks like a roller bearing, but is a one-way needle bearing. A one-way needle bearing is essentially a roller bearing, but the rollers are able to move forward and backward a little in their cage. There is a wedge shape for the axle of each roller that causes the rollers to bind between the bearing cage and the shaft when the rotation is in one direction, but they are free in the other direction. Here is a description of how they work with graphics. This link is for an Instructable about a number of modifications I made to our NordicTrack ski machine, including how it can be stored vertically in a closet. If you do not have a digital monitor for your skier, or need to replace one, here is an Instructable on how to make your own from a digital bicycle speedometer.  Check NordicParts for any parts you need, also Nordic Fitness Ski Machines. Danny at Nordic Fitness Ski Machines has some very nice new rollers for sale.

Posted by Phil B 6 years ago


How to Ski in the Summer

I was pretty impressed with the ingenuity and creative thinking that went into developing plastic sheets on ski hills for skiers to continue practicing through the summer. Maybe someone could make an Instructable on how to do one of these on the cheap for anyone who isn't fortunate enough to live near a ski club outfitted with these plastic chutes? I'm not a skier myself; grew up in Florida and live in SoCal so I'm more of a summer critter, but I love the Winter Olympics. 

Posted by PlasticPanama 2 years ago


Small PV Solar Cell Charger Questions

I volunteer as a ski patroller at a ski resort in northern Vermont.  Like many other ski resorts, we monitor Family Radio Service (FRS) Channel 9-11 for skiers who might get lost or hurt within our resort's boundary or sometimes outside the resort boundaries.  Due to the FCC restriction that FRS channels are limited to only a half watt (0.5w) they have very limited range.  So in order to monitor channel 9-11 effectively, we keep FRS radios plugged in all over the mountain in all of our ski patrol huts where there are always patrollers on standby in case of injuries or lost skiers.  One of our huts does not have any electrical power, so we are constantly cycling freshly charged radios to and from that hut, almost every day.  It would be a lot less of a nuisance if we could charge that radio with solar power.   On the wall outlet plug for charging station for the radios we use, the label says the power output from the ac/dc adapter says it outputs 9VAC 200mA.  I assume this means 9 volts alternating current at 200 milliAmps.  Could I simply find a PV solar cell that outputs 9 volts a/c and connect it to the wire that runs into the radio charger?  Most of the PV cells I found online have a watt rating, but I'm not sure if that matters or not.  Where is a good place to find a specific PV cell for this purpose, for reasonable price? If anyone person in the Northeast is able to offer significant help for this, I could probably take care of one free lift ticket for your time and help.  I'm also posting an image of the wall outlet plug label and charging station. Thanks, David

Posted by dtepper 6 years ago


Sound amp circuit needed for backpack boom box

Hi I need an audio amp for an mp3 player that jacks it with enough power to run some decent size speakers (i.e. really loud) while still keeping the sound clear. I'm an avid skier and I'm working on creating a backpack boom box with more kick than your normal off the shelf version. The amp I'm using now if fine with some 3" speakers and can kick out some nice sound but once you get about 50mph the wind noise drowns it out. If possible I'd like it to have bass & treble channels but not needed (should prolly only have one speaker in my backpack anyway). I would like to build it from scratch put if there's a ready built version somewhere I'd be interested. Thanks :)

Asked by pcacesam 8 years ago


Grippy stuff for sports clothes

Hi hi, i have an old pair of cyclist's leg warmers. they have lost some of their elastic action, and they fall down almost straight away. I went and bought some new elastic to sew onto them, but also wanted to stick some gripper stuff on the inside. The gripper stuff is found on most knicks and cycle shorts now; it's some sort of silicone or rubber that grips to your leg. I don't know what exactly it is, so didn't want to go out to the hardware store and just buy some tube of silicone, only to find out it irritates the hell out of my skin or just doesn't do the job. I tried a (big) sewing supplies store, but they had no idea what it could be. Can anyone help? I'm in Australia. I saw that in the states you can buy elastic with the gripper already on it, which is a bit of a pain. The gripper stuff is used by skiers and canoeists too... Cheers, Ben

Posted by bluenevus 10 years ago