View Full Version : New Tour Skates & Hum'er Chassis
05-10-2004, 12:10 PM
OK...Tour just cannot seem to get the entire skate right, I just do not understand this company at all!
I LOVE my 902 & 962's, but they are now starting to wear out after almost 5 years of use! I need some new skates!
I tried the miserable G-Series...EERRGGHH!
I then decided to try these new ones and here is what I found out:
Fit - Great! They did return to the old 962 boot style of fit! - GOOD!
Tongue - Bad! Wafer thin and the rim of the tongue is like a solid piece of wire that will dig into your ankle when you lace them down! - BAD!
The RedMax Boot - Nominal! Too weak for any player over 185-190 lbs.
Now the part that everyone has been waiting for...the Chassis!!
The Hum'er is Great! I took the time to really study what they had done and once I figured it out, it made a lot of sense!
Basically they flipped the Hi-Lo over. They put the difference in height on the boot, instead of on the wheels!
Make no mistake, the chassis is a Hi-Lo, when you place it on a smooth surface and just rest your hand on the front of the boot, only the first 3 wheels from the front are touching and vice versa when you apply the pressure to the heel of the boot, the front wheel does not spin. This Hi-Lo is right inline (no pun intended) with the Tours of the past. That is the mild Hi-Lo effect. Most other brands were much more radical in their Hi-Lo designs and that caused a much bigger difference from the Tours! I thought they were almost flat compared to my Missions when I first got the 902's.
The height of the skate is no higher than a 72/80 or 68/76 setup, so the recessed boot does work and it is not recessed that much, meaning you could use the Hum'er on a different boot with minimal customization!
You can put a 76mm or 72mm setup on the chassis, but it makes the wheels real spread out, the chassis is designed for the 80mm wheels.
Labeda should make one for all three sizes, 72/76 & 80. I would buy it in a minute for the 76, the 80's still seemed a bit too tall for my taste, I am a defensemen and the taller wheels do not help me altogether in that task!
First thing you notice is the Speed and it is there Big Time!
Only one negative though, with the lack of support in the RedMax boot, and the lack of upper ankle support in the boot due to only 9 eyelets instead of 10, it cancels out the speed, because it is too unstable to support the style of skating necessary for Hockey! All three boots are identical in this capacity, only 9 eyelets and about half and inch less boot on the top of the boot around the ankle!
Everyone is different, but I am a very aggressive player and over 200 lbs. I like the extra support of the 902/962's for that reason!
Comfort - the boot is comfortable, except for the before mentioned wafer thin Tongue!
Turning - I found no noticeable difference in turning with the Hum'er!
Stopping - Great!
Transitions - no problem!
Backwards skating - even easier, very fast!
Advice: if you are a lighter player, 185 or less, the RedMax will probably work for you!
Except for the before mentioned tongue issue I experienced!
If over 185, I would go with the BlueMax or Beemer, they claim those skates are much stiffer!
Tour needs to stick with what has worked in the past (902/962) and just make subtle changes, like putting a different color or design on the same product, instead of trying to reinvent the wheel every year!
I have converted a pair of GRAF 703 boots to inline, using a RED STAR chassis and so far so good, but these boots are going to take a bit of time to break in though!
I have given some thought to getting a pair of Beemers or BlueMaxes and having the tongue augmented to make them wearable for me, but not sure I want to go to all that trouble, depends on how these GRAFS turn out once I get them broken in!
Hope this helped everyone out!
05-11-2004, 11:52 PM
thank you so much for the sort of review we have all been waiting for.
05-12-2004, 06:59 PM
No problem, I checked out the NIKE HiHo and the Quest 1 and they are very comfortable! I wish Tour would pull their head out and make a complete skate again!! EERRGGHH!!
Have a Good one!
05-23-2004, 06:30 PM
tour does make a frame that will only take 76's or lower, but you have to have a small foot i.e. it only comes on smaller skate sizes.
05-23-2004, 10:37 PM
This was a great informative post. I know we all appreciate you taking the time. Now, a specific question. From your post, I gathered the hum'er chassis is naturally "rockered". I have never known any HI LO setup to be rockered, which is why I never skated on HI LO. I have always favored the Tuuk Rocker Chassis - I set it up to match my Ice radius and it works very well - no transitional adjustment when going from ice to roller and back - and I really like the Rocker chassis - 3 wheels on the surface all the time. Hi Lo just seemed too flat for me. Is the hum'er different?
Is the hum'er frame "rockered" enough for someone like me? From what I read, we will soon be able to buy these frames stand alone. I can mount a set on some Nike boots and be set. Thanks again.
You refer to this chassis as a "HiLo" which by definition and patent it cannot be. A Hi Lo chassis or "split frame" by definition has two different planes for each of two sets of axles. The theory behind this was to have smaller wheels in front for increased agility, while maintaining an average wheel diameter of 76 mm for a better(lower) overall rolling resistance compared to the old straight 72 mm set ups.
Two axle holes are drilled in the rear of the chassis typically half of the difference in diameter between the front and rear wheels "higher" than the two axles in the front. This is so the bottom of the wheels all contact the floor simulataneously. eg if the difference between the wheels is 8mm a la the 72/80 set up, the rear axle holes are positioned 4 mm higher(than the front holes)in the rear of the chassis.
The bottom of the wheels are all inline and all touch the floor evenly...or as close to evenly as machining and wheel manufacturing tolerances will allow. I have seen what you describe where the front or rear wheels may spin when you set the chassis on a flat surface, but the amount of free space is minimal and nominal....like maybe .005". I do not believe this is intentional.
The Hummer chassis(actually manufactured by Labeda) cannot be a "Hi Lo" or "split frame" because the patent is held by another company(Mission) who now refuses to licence this design....apparently..... to Labeda, so they developed a different chassis. The idea of recessing the front wheels into the boot, was so the height profile of the skate could remain similar to the HI LO design which people were familiar with. If you put your weight on the boot..do all wheels touch the floor?..if so this is not a true rockered design. I know one person using these skates who has the smaller version...with 76mm wheels, and they put 72 mm wheels in the front and rear to maintain a true "rocker" effect.
05-24-2004, 07:30 PM
I would say it is somewhere in between, it is there, but not as prominent probably as your Bauer. Enough to notice and be helpful in your skating though.
05-24-2004, 07:36 PM
You missed my ENTIRE POINT. All I was saying was that the chassis has a Hi-Lo feel too it and that as Tour chassis's in the past have been, it is basically the same...meaning almost flat, but with enough rocker to help your skating, but not over the top like some other Hi-Lo's I have had.
They have the same feel to me and Tour is all I have skated on for the past five years. They simply engineered the Hum'er to have the same feel and performance as their previous Hi-Lo chassis's. but without actually calling it a Hi-Lo. :-)
I agree that those who have used the skate seem to really love it, and that they do not feel any loss of manouverability as has been suggested by some of the competitors..and in that context..it "feels" similar to a Hi Lo chassis. However the whole theory behind the Hi Lo chassis was based on having the wheel size differential to have better "weight on skate" manouverability, while not losing the reduced rolling resistance of having all four 76 mm wheels on a straight chassis(the arrangement of choice prior to the coming of the HiLo chassis). Having four inline 80 mm wheels is a far cry from a "Hi Lo" chassis. The theory with the Hum'er chassis is that the height above the floor and boot pitch was more important than the wheel size differential for purposes of manouverability, especially when combined with increased push from a longer chassis with more contact patch.
There is no intentional rockering of the Hum'er chassis according to Labeda..so representing it to have a "rocker effect" is not accurate(to confirm..go look at the picture of the chassis on Tours website).
As I asked previously....what is the space under the wheel which spins free when you place the chassis on a flat surface? The free space is probably not more than .005" - .010" basically the design tolerance of the construction. The new Nike HI HO's equipped with a HoLo chassis did the same thing, but add a minute amount of down pressure to the boot, and all 4 wheels are touching.
As I also said, one of the Tour Pro's I know using the Beemer..but in a size 6.5...so he has the all 76 mm version...puts 72 mm wheels front and rear on his new Beemers, just to create the "rocker effect"..if it was already rockered..why bother?
05-25-2004, 03:07 AM
Im pretty sure urukhai74 is right here - Tour does use a slight rocker on their skates. I think it might be called a 'natural rocker', not sure. My G90s do the same thing. I dont think its a 'tolerated' manufacturing error.
Trust me when I tell you this....the Hum'er chassis does not have a "natural" rocker effect. Any wheel spin will simply be due to the difference in wheel tolerance. This is right from the "horses mouth".
Originally some of the Labeda Hi Lo's and all the Mission skates until this year did have a .00025"(yes I do mean one 40,000th of an inch) of designed rocker on the front wheel, and some had .0005(one 20,000th of an inch)" of designed rocker...which is virtually meaningless because it can be less than the machining tolerance when used on a lower end frame which have the axle holes "punched" instead of CNC machined as with the higher end skate chassis. Because some of the chassis on the older Tours were sourced from the same manufacturing source...those chassis also had this minimal type of rockering.
But the Hum'er does not have this. What is being seen is due simply to the difference in wheel diameter tolerance. My source on this is involved in the design of these skates and chassis development.
05-25-2004, 03:31 PM
Again, you missed what I was saying. The Hi-Lo is a combination of a few things, axle position on the frame, the frames position from front to back on the boot combined with different size wheels. All I meant was that there was just enough rocker in the Hum'er to make it skate and react like a Hi-Lo. Thats all I meant. Placing 72/76 on the 76 version will obviously rocker the skate, but you could do that to the 80 as well. However...the amount of that rocker may be too much or just akward, since I have never tried it yet, I can't comment on the amount of rocker, but with skates in general as with all skaters, to each his own.
Labeda will never admit that there is any rocker in the chassis, Mission would be all over them like a cheap suit! If you look at the chassis on the boot, you can easily see why the skate has a slight Hi-Lo effect. It's all good, I just spent the better part of 2 days skating on them and really looking at how they designed them. It's all for not anyway...LOL! I cannot wear the new boots! The stupid Tongue of the skate kills my ankle, so the Tour skates are again, not comfortable for me to wear! My 902/962's are worn out, so I am buying a pair of Nike HiHo's and moving on. :-)
05-25-2004, 03:37 PM
Hey...if thats the case then thats the case, no big deal. I just was trying to describe what I had observed for the 2 days I was skating on the RedMax model. I liked the speed, turning was no problem, nor stopping or backwards skating. I just wish the boot would have been better on comfort for me! :-)
Actually the "Hi Lo" is very specific and is part of a larger patent which was owned by an individual(not Labeda or Kuzak) who sold it to Mission...however to be technical the first "HiLo skate was actually made in the mid seventies for marathon racing where the rear wheel was much larger and centered on a different plane...I believe this design came out of Holland.
The Hi/Lo or "split frame" patent refers specifically to axle holes which are on a different plane when a line parellel to the floor is drawn through the center of the axle. The rocker effect that your refer to of 1/40,000 of an inch, or in some cases 1/20,000 of an inch, such as was on the older series of Tours and Missions, and is within the allowable runout of wheel size and axle hole drilling tolerances, and so cannot be challenged in court as a "HiLo" different plane. The proclaimed purpose of the HiLo frame was threefold, but not the patent description which covers the construction not the effect.
The HiLo was intended to use the maximum wheel size possible for reduced rolling resistance, to keep the skate closer to the floor for better energy transmittal, and the theory that a smaller wheel in front makes the skate more manouverable with weight on the skate(which may be more marketing than fact).
As you have stated the new Hum'er design accomplishes the same thing as the first two, while adding more contact patch and allowing the skater to accomplish more push. The lack of complaints on manouverability seems to belie the claimed advantages of having smaller front wheels.
I do not believe the patent covering the "rocker" concept where wheels can move vertically in relationship to each other to describe a "radius of contact", is owned by Mission, and I believe it is common domain(not positive about this).
Tour has nothing to hide when it comes to the design of the Hum'er, and was even offered the option to include the 1/40,000" "rocker" on the chassis, but declined. Even Mission has gone away from this minor rockering in this year's models I am told. However this rockering is so slight as to be almost unnoticeable in use, as the slightest down pressure on the skate will bring the "upper wheel" in contact with the floor in any case. Tour's belief in having the new chassis all "inline" was.."why bother" as the 1/40,000" or even 1/20,000 inch effect was basically meaningless. However Labeda did promote the idea to Tour, and did build a lot of their HiLo chassis' that way..maybe a few slipped by qc at Tour. Pretty hard to notice .00025" by eye.
Actually the new series is built on the same last as the old 962 series. Call Tour and see if they will do anything. They are pretty excited about their new product, so I am sure they will at least give you a good listen.
05-25-2004, 05:35 PM
Yeah, it's not much, but it is there and I am just accustomed to skating on the Tour versions of a Hi-Lo, they have always been very subtle, giving the feel of an almost flat design, but not all the way flat. I wish I could wear the new boot, but it's not possible.
What do you know about the quality of the frames on the HiHo's? Just curious, because the boots are very comfortable, but the chassis seems almost generic in appearence! I wonder who makes the chassis for Nike & Bauer?
05-25-2004, 05:43 PM
Yeah, thats what I like about Tour, they will speak with you directly about their products. I spoke with a few of the Tour guys and like I have said, it's not the boot design, but my ankle! ;-) For some reason, they bite into my right ankle, I cannot figure it out! I tried everything I could think of, but no dice...it hurt like @#$%! :-O
I tried on the Nike HiHo's and they felt Great! I am going to give them a try, but I might still buy a pair of Beemers or BlueMax and have the tongue altered for a more comfortable fit! :-)
The rest of the boot was identical to my 902/962's, but the tongue on those skates, is a lot more high quality than the one that is on these new ones!
Well as Mission has the exclusive rights to the design..it may be their manufacturing facilities. So far we have had no problems with it, although I believe I may mount a Hum'er chassis(if it isn't rockered /wtimages/icons/wink.gif)
Probably as a weight savings....amazing what a little marketing can do../wtimages/icons/smile.gif
My son has always had a fairly long break-in period on his skates, and simply lived with the scars as a fact of life...not so with the HiHo's..never had a skate fit like that right out of the box. So many times the brand, the look( I shudder to admit), or availability of a particular skate was the governing factor in his approval or disaproval of a particular make and model as he grew up. Fit was something you lived with..even though I was carefull about getting him the right length...that's of course a minimal appraisal.
I could always tell within the first 5 minutes if I was going to have problems..so my misfits rarely made it out of the retail shop. The only real problems I had was if the arch radius was too sharp, or if the sole was too soft when warm....the latter is no longer much of a problem on today's composite outsoles. I did make the mistake of buying a pair of Bauer 5000's which were far to narrow for my foot....I was buoyed by the days when I had previously worn Bauers (which are now shrouded in antiquity)..and the fit on those old ones never bothered me at the time.
05-27-2004, 08:00 AM
OK well, you guys clearly know far more about all this than I do, and this is very helpful information. I cannot skate on a non radius (flat) skate. Ok, I can rocker the hum'er frame on my own with a 76-80-80-76 or 72-76-76-72 set up (not sure which I would have, I have a size 7 NIke boot - small feet). Either way, do you think there is a benefit to even having the hum'er frame at this point?
Am I still going to gain a benefit from the technology by switching to this frame? The wheels are closer together which helps, the profile is closer to the boot, and I will possibly get the benefit of larger wheels (if I use 80s). But this frame is likely going to be pricey, so it needs to be worth it. What do you think? Thanks.
Well I just mounted a new Hum'er chassis on a Nike HiHo boot...bit of an exercise though. It was a size 9.3" Hum'er chassis, the smallest made with the 80 mm wheels, and the profile of the foot plates was a lot different from the outsole of the HiHo's(size 8's).
So as not to change the shape of the boot, I had shims made for the chassis to exactly match the profile of the Nike Boot, so when it was mounted, the pitch of the boot was identical, as well as not putting any extra stress on the carbon fiber outsole. This entailed making a shim about .120" to go on the heel plate, and a tapered shim (actually 2 shims) to go on the front plate. The front shim went from .140" at the front to .000" at the rear, with a radius to match the boot shape. The boot sat almost perfectly on the modified chassis. However to get the wheel alignment centered on the boot required that the rear plate be mounted quite a bit inside the center of the heel. This meant that the rivets on the inside were almost outside the boot sole, and the heads of the rivets actually pushed out the sidewall of the boot slightly....not sure if this will cause a failure later on, of the bond between the sole and the boot itself.
With the shims elevating the toe of the boot, no counter-sinking was needed for the first wheel, but the second wheel required that I miter a space that went all the way through the carbon fiber outsole in order for it to spin freely. Again I am not sure what the long term effect of this cutting will be on the integrity of the boot.....
I would suggest for those interested, it may be easier and less expensive to simply aquire the whole skate from Tour. A little (but extremely well informed) bird has indicated that the Blue Max, may in fact be their best skate......
06-23-2004, 09:28 PM
huh? bluemax better than the beemer?
What are the differences and why is the beemer more expensive?
The reasons were essentially, more comfortable, more flexible for greater ankle pronation, but with better lower foot support, and more durable...That is why CJ Yoder has switched to the "Blue Max" from the "Beemer"...and it's not a "money" conversion either.
Basically the "premier" skate...the "Beemer", has a lot of the "glitz" and some weight savings, to appeal to those buyers who want to be able to say they have the "coolest" and the "lightest"....basically it's a marketing tool.
However being "the lightest" results in some material compromises that affect the optimum performance/durability of the skate.....something which tends to be true for all skate manufacturers. Hence the "best skate" turns out to be the "Blue Max".
Obviously this is not the public position of the company, but I would tend to believe this "source".
06-24-2004, 03:21 PM
Wow - great information in detail. I was very interested in doing what you did, so this helps alot. You are right though, might not be worth the time and effort. Even so, do know where can I buy the Hum'er Chassis standalone?
Possibly direct from Labeda?..try them at their website. Through happenstance I was fortunate to have acquired one from a different source, but I am afraid it was one of those one time circumstances.
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