Sunday, March 20, 2011

Backspin Revenge Wheels, Gumball Toestops

So being me, I was physically unable to attend Nationals without buying SOMETHING. I found a vendor who stocked Backspin wheels and had to have them, as none of our local shops carried them and I knew they came with a lifetime guarantee against hub popping and urethane chunking. As someone who has had issues with both, I was game. I bought a full set of red (93ish) .
Now well all know that the reason we buy things with lifetime guarantees is because we don't think we'll ever need it. I liked the wheels pretty well at first, they were lightweight and fairly grippy, although I did end up using narrow Poison pushers for more grip when our floor got polished.
My real issue came when I gave a Poison/Backspin set to a new girl when she bought a pair of used skates from me and the hub literally popped off of her Backspin wheel within a week. While she was skating. I immediately took mine off and two of my hubs were completely snapped off the wheel as well. Not cool.
Did I call the company? No. Because once a wheel becomes a safety liability I'm not interested in a new set of the same wheel. I threw them away and am telling peeps not to buy them. Passive aggressive, maybe, but that's me.

When the gumball toestops came out, I was skeptical. I've tried the doorknob sized Roll Line toestops, I've tried (and trashed) three different sets of Snyders (the toe stop completely popped off the metal stem for the medium and small, the large size rubbed my wheels), and my rink requires non-marking toe stops, so normal black ones don't cut it. I was ready for something that would actually work. The Gumballs come in short and standard stem length, and I went for the standard, as I like my toe stops pretty low. I found them to be almost too grippy the first practice, but as I broke them in I had a nice amount of controlled slide, so I stopped face planting and skidding during turn stops. A few girls who had purchased the short stems had issues with their Gumballs popping out (from being extended almost to the end of the thread), so if you like your toe stops low I'd get the standard length. Overall though, I'd say these are the best toe stops I've ever used, and they don't catch on the asymetrical toe stop holes in my plates.