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henryb

Bauer Vapor RX:60

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Before I get into my review of the RX:60's, just a quick word about myself... I am 6'1", weigh about 175lbs, play competitive Roller Hockey... not bad for an old guy! :-) I have owned my RX:60's for 2.5 years. They have alot of miles on them, I play as much as 5 hours a week. I play year round in a variety of leagues, some recreational, some highly competitive.

I have clipped a few sections from an old post that I made when I first purchased the RX:60, I have taken some of those words and have added my 2+ years of experiences on top of those comments. I give me ratings on the original skate itself and then I have added a "Follow-up" section to comment on the upgrades that I have added to take the skate.

-- FIT --

I already knew that the Bauer Vapor line D width is a good fit for me... narrow heel pocket, low volume quarter, medium toe-box, all works for me. I was already skating on a pair of Bauer Vapor X:60LE ice skates size 10.5D and I was coming off a pair of RX:25's size 10.5R for Roller (which were too big). I have read online that there was some sizing differences between these skates. So, before I ordered my RX:60's back in March 2011, I had to use a bit of an educated guess on which size would fit best. Based on information that I could find, the RX:60's fit about a 1/4 size smaller then the X:60 ice skate. So I decided to go for size 10D. I was a bit worried that my toes would be crunched at the toe! Fortunately, they fit just about perfectly for length, toes just feathered the front of the toe-box. Even better when I put on a very thin pair of wicking sport socks!

However, to get the RX:60's to fit just right... I had to have them baked, and I had a couple of hot-spots punched out, and after only a few skates, they were absolutely perfect. Getting hot spots punched out is a fantastic technique to really improve the level of comfort on these skates, as they are very stiff. You may never break them in enough just by wearing them, to get "hot spots" out. I highly recommend getting this done if you are experiencing pain in small specific areas of your boot.

To provide a good comparison of boot length in the 3 skates mentioned above, here is what I found:

- X:60 10D - toes touch,

- RX:60 10D - toes feather the front,

- RX:20/25 10R - toes have space at the front.

Once I got the hot-spots worked out, they were the best feeling Roller Hockey boot I have ever had (and I have had quite a few). It almost felt like they were a part of my foot, they were so incredibly solid. The one thing that I noticed (which is the same for the X:60), is that you really have to crank up the laces to get that real solid feel. Most times, it requires a second tightening after a little warm-up skate. However, after about 4-6 months, they were broke in enough that I didn't have to do that any more. Now 2.5 years later and endless hours of use, the boot is still incredibly solid, completely comfortable, there is absolutely no signs of this boot starting to get soft, this is one tough cookie... truly the best boot on the market.

Rating: 9.9

Follow-up: After about a year of ownership, I upgraded the stock Bauer foot-bed which was quite thin and had very little arch support to a yellow Superfeet foot-bed. Considering I always felt they were very comfortable before, I was very surprised how much more comfortable they were with the new foot-bed in place. Well worth the upgrade!

-- CHASSIS --

Initially I used the Magnesium Vanguard chassis that came on the skate from Bauer. I thought they felt light and solid. I noted in my "first look" posting, that I thought they were much stronger and the fit and finish was considerably better then any aluminum chassis I had used prior. Where the chassis touch the bearings was an exact fit, and no matter how tight I put the axles on, it did not seem to slow the bearing down... solid! With aluminum chassis, I always had to find that "just tight enough" point where they didn't slow the bearings down.

Rating: 9

Follow-up: After about 6 months on the Mag chassis, I switched to a set of Sprung A7's. The Sprung's are a perfect match for someone who wants to get the "ice hockey" feel on your inline skates. Especially for someone who goes back and forth from ice hockey to roller hockey in the same week. There is never and issue of adjusting to the feel of the rocker on ice any more! So I won't go into a ton of detail about the Sprung's, simply that they are a fantastic product and if you play ice, do whatever you can to get a pair, they are just that good! My hopes are their production will start again soon.

-- WHEELS --

These came with a set of Labeda Addictions (red), first impressions are that they have excellent grip, I could hardly make them slip on quick starts or the hardest turns. The other thing that I noticed, was the sense that they were much faster then the Milleniums I had on the RX:25's. After about 6 months, I used them in combination with another set of Orange Additctions, I found that the Addictions had very good level of wear, I never chunked them out ever. After about a year of use, they still seemed to be in good condition, but they started to get a bit slippery, requiring replacement.

Rating: 9

Follow-up: I eventually went with a set of Revision Variants. I used a number of different combinations between Bronze, Gold, Platinum and even Steels. I tried an endless list setups... everything from all one durometer, to mixing them up softer on the front and back with harder in the middle. I ended up liking the combination of Gold on the front and back with Bronze in the middle. I have been using that setup for the last year now. I am very impressed with the quality of these wheels, after the first skate or two, they never seem to loose their grip. I am still skating on the same set that I used a nearly year ago!

-- BEARINGS --

The Mission Swiss bearings, seriously not impressed. Ok, when they were brand new, they felt good. But it didn't take long before they were vibrating and slowing down. Cleaning and relubing them didn't seem to help? Maybe I didn't get a good batch of bearings or something... but I was quite disappointed.

Rating: 5

Follow-up: I switched the Mission Swiss for the Bones Swiss that I was using in the RX:25's after about 2-3 weeks. These bearings might just be the best on the planet. Immediately the first moment that I stepped on the floor with the Bones Swiss in place, I could tell they rolled easier and smoother. If I remember correctly, I got them back in 2009, so now nearly 4 years later, they are spinning just like they did on day one. I keep them clean and well lubricated... they are very fast and liquid smooth... incredible!

-- WEIGHT / PROTECTION --

As I mentioned before, the weight seemed lighter then any other skate that I have ever used before. If you remove the wheels from the chassis, you can truly get a sense for how feather light this package really is. What is so incredible is how solid the boot and chassis is with such little mass. The main bulk of the weight is primarily in the wheels and bearings... which every skate has to carry!

Regarding protection, I have taken a great number of hard shots off the toe as well as the side of the quarter panel, and never once, have I had to break stride or go sit down in pain! These things are simply incredible the level protection that they provide.

Rating: 10

-- DURABILITY --

After 2.5 years of use, these skates still even appear to have that "new look", there is not one place on the skate that you can detect any severe wear or any signs of breakdown. The only place that seems to have any level of wear is the side bumpers up near the toe-box, which is designed for Roller skates to take scuff's away from the boot itself... it has done it's job admirably! One other small nit, is that the decorative felt on the top edge of the tongue is wore away from rubbing on my shin pad, as I wear my shins on the outside of the tongue, but note that the structure of the tongue is still 100%. The lace bite area is still in perfect condition.

Rating: 10

-- INTANGIBLES --

A few comments about things that I have noticed regarding the sense of confidence that these skates give. I aways feel 100% confident that I can take very hard corners and these skates will hang on. That goes the same for braking maneuvers, prior to skating on the RX:60's, I always had one side that I felt more confident hitting the brakes on then the other. Over the time that I have owned these skates I have noticed that I am confident in making braking maneuvers on both sides equally well. I'm not sure how to gauge that sense of confidence, but I have noticed it repeatedly over the last year that I have been using them. I attribute this to a combination of things: the great fit, incredible solid feel of the boot and high level of grip that the wheels provide and the stability that Sprung chassis provides. Note, that I did not have the quite the same sense of confidence prior to my upgrading to Sprungs and the Revision Variant wheels. Considering these facts, I won't give a rating for this section.

-- CONCLUSIONS --

Over-all, first impressions are "WOW, what a fantastic skate", fit and performance are at a level that I have never felt before in a Roller Hockey skate. After 2.5 years... my impressions have not changed... they might just be the best skate on the planet. The test of time has put its stamp on this classic model.

Rating: 9.5

Here are a few pictures.

RX:60 w Sprungs

RX:60 w X:60's

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