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I had the pleasure of trying out a pair of EagleHawk Dash 30 low profile frames on my Bont Hustler boots. These frames were high profile and 13.2 inches long. I used them with 80 mm Kryptonics 82A wheels and Bones Swiss Precision bearings.

I wore them for two weeks of my typical skating and I can honestly say that these are great frames. I can't think of a single defect or problem with them. Let me tell you a little about how I used them...

9/17/96 -- (Tuesday) Skated around Alameda
I installed the frames on my skates and took a leisurely skate around Alameda (where I live). I just wanted to see how they felt and get used to the slightly higher profile (about 1/8 inch). I otherwise skate on low-profile Mogema 13.2 inch frames.

9/20/96 -- Friday Night Skate
My first serious encounter skating on the EagleHawk frames was the Friday Night Skate (FNS). It's a 12.5 mile night skate through San Francisco. During the FNS I go off curbs, cross cable car tracks, bounce over broken pavement and gravel, and generally pound the roadways. It's the kind of evening that takes equipment to its limits. The frames were very rigid and stable no matter what I did with them (that I was willing to do anyway).

9/22/96 -- Sunday in Golden Gate Park
Sunday in Golden Gate Park started with some hills and flats. You'd expect the frames to do well and of course they did. Then I did an hour or so of slalom. Slalom on speedskates is kind of a trick -- you have to skate on your heels to turn fast enough. That means the frames have to be really rigid because all your weight is on one wheel per skate for most of the run. These performed flawlessly. Then came the 17 mile Lake Merced Loop. Like the Friday Night Skate, the loop follows many city roads and crosses Muni tracks and rough pavement. Again the frames were excellent. Back to the park for some more slalom before calling it a day.

9/24/96 -- (Tuesday) Rotate the Wheels
Rotating the wheels on the EagleHawk frames is a really easy task. Only a single, standard 5/32 allen wrench is needed. I found the EagleHawk frames to be slightly easier to deal with than the Mogema frames I usually use because the axle heads are symmetrical.

9/26/96 -- (Thursday) Training with Anna Stubbs
Anna Stubbs was training hard for the Athens to Atlanta race and I joined her for a skate in Marin. Even down hills where my speed exceeded 35 miles per hour I felt totally in control on the EagleHawk frames -- like riding on rails. But even with the excellent frames I still couldn't keep up with her (not that I ever could). Anna finished this year's 100K Athens to Atlanta course in 5:37:56 -- good enough for seventh place!

9/27/96 -- Friday Night Skate
Another pounding on the streets of San Francisco.

Interesting Technical Tidbits

  • The Eagle Hawk low-profile frame is about 1/8 inch hight than the Mogema low-profile frame. But that 1/8 inch makes a big difference. The Mogema is so low that if you want to use 80 mm wheels you have to grind away the bottom of the boot where the front wheel would otherwise rub. You have to take off a little less than 1/8 inch. So I surmise that the EagleHawk is effectively as low as you can get on a Bont Skate without grinding the bottom of the skate for wheel clearance. The extra frame height means the skate is faster. Higher frames are faster, but lower frames are better for longer distances (I think at least -- my ankles are only just so strong). The difference was subtle but noticeable.

  • Each EagleHawk frame is machined from a single piece of hard aluminum. That means they can create shapes which cannot be created by extrusion (pressing hot metal through a shaped hole), which is how most other frames are made. This means that EagleHawk frames can be engineered to be more rigid and the metal doesn't undergo a severe heating (which can create unexpected and invisible weak spots).

  • The frames were slightly heavier than the Mogema frames (same length, just 1/8 inch higher). But the extra weight was one reason they felt so solid on the ground. They weren't that much heavier -- I didn't get more tired pushing them. They react better to road debris because there is a little more momentum right at the level of the wheels. This is useful for street skating and outdoor racing events.

  • The pad where the frame rests against the skate has sharp grooves which help it bite into the bottom of the boot and not slide. This adds to the solid feel of the frames.

  • The axle heads are symmetrical which makes them easier to fit in place.

  • The axle heads fit flush with the side of the frame for less wind resistance, although shaving one's mustache is probably a larger effect.

Reaching EagleHawk

For more information about EagleHawk Frames:

EagleHawk Inc.
16517 Issaquah Hobart Road SE
Issaquah WA 98027

Phone: 206-767-6023
Fax: 206-762-2380

Problems? Contact the webmaster: hoco@timefold.com
Copyright 1998-2007 Howard Cohen, all rights reserved worldwide.