Monday, September 15, 2008

A Chat with Rollerblade -- 104mm Hyper (Stripe and HyOctane) Wheels

Below is my conversation with Rollerblade regarding the their inability (along with Hyper's) to make available the Hyper Stripe (or HyOctane) 104mm/84A wheels that come with the new Speedmachine 10.0 in-line skates.
Note the time stamps of the corespondents.

Submitted via website:
08/30/2008 08:48 PM
Subject: Rollerblade - contacts


name: Micah
surname: Fonoroff
address: 12666 Patton St
city: Broomfield
country: Colorado
zip code: 80020
location: U.S.A.

msg: I bought a pair of Speedmachine 10.0 Skates about a month ago which I am very pleased with. I am, however, very displeased with the fact that the Hyper 104mm/84A wheels are not sold anywhere that sells the skates (online or in stores). I have been able to find select online stores that carry the 104mm wheel, but only in 89A and higher. I find these to be to hard for street skating. I have talked to a number of other people who are also having this problem. Is there anything you can do to assist.

Thank you

Micah Fonoroff

-------- REPLY --------

Date: Sun, Sep 14, 2008 at 2:16 PM
Subject: Re: Rollerblade - contacts
Dear Mr. Fonoroff, Thank you for your support of Rollerblade. Unfortunately, we do not carry the 104 mm wheels, we were only able to purchase them for production, not to be sold separately. This wheel size was made by Hyper under the names, Stripe and HyOctane as well. Here is one website that sells them: Please know that we provide you this information as a courtesy, they are in no way affiliated with Rollerblade. Sincerely, Rollerblade Technical Team

----- My Response -----

Sun, Sep 14, 2008 at 2:38PM
Subject: Re: Rollerblade - contacts Thank you for the information, but I had already found the site mentioned. And as stated in my original e-mail, they are too hard (91A & 93A). The wheels sold on the Speedmachine 10.0 are 84A. I am very disappointed that Rollerblade does not make these wheels available. If I would have known that these wheels would be this difficult to find, I would have thought otherwise about purchasing this skate. Is there anywhere that sells these wheels in 84A - 86A?


----- Rollerblade's Reply Once again -----

To: Micah Fonoroff
Date: Sun, Sep 14, 2008 at 5:15 PM
Re: Rollerblade - contacts
Dear Micah,
I certainly understand your disappointment, unfortunately the matter is not in our control. Hyper, the wheel manufacturer does not choose to make the wheels alone available to us for resale. You may have luck with them directly. I suspect with it being a newly available wheel they wish to protect their exclusivity.

Rollerblade Technical Services


I was both impressed to see their response time greatly improved from my original inquiry to their first reply, but this leads me to wonder why it took them so long in the first place. On another note, we see that they progressively provide less information and assistance (presumably to get me off their case).

I do see part of their argument... but completely disagree with them. What genius decided to package and sell a wheel that can't be replaced. These skates were more expensive than others that were comparable (except for the larger wheel capacity - 104 mm vs 100mm). If I (or anyone interested in these skates) knew that it would be virtually impossible to find wheels of the same size and derometer (the 'A' number rating of hardness), I may have spent the $100 less and gotten last years model (or even another brand).

I am not faulting Rollerblade for not carrying the wheel necessarily; I am faulting the fact that they sell the skate knowing that Hyper isn't making these wheels available to the public.

Now off to see what Hyper has to say....


Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you for posting this. I also have gotten the same runaround from Rollerblade regarding the 104mm wheels. I've been rolling on 100mm wheels on my SM10.0 skates for the last couple of months to save my 104mm wheels for A2A on Sunday. I am not happy with RB in their decision to market these skates without replacement wheels. As a side note, I also am upset with Rollerblade for not selling replacement boot liners for their skates. I haven't gotten a full season of wear from a Rollerblade skate since about 2002. The liners lose their padding ability, and get holes in them. I skate well over 1000 miles a year. I understand that skates don't last forever, but the boots and frames last, but wheels, bearings, and liners are replaceable items IMHO.

Friday, October 03, 2008 12:57:00 PM  

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