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Benefits of the DXS Disc Brake System

By Liz Miller

With just two hours of tests on a hill, I recognized that the four-wheel version of inventor Alex Bellehumeur's DXS disc brake technology is a superior innovation that the skate industry must adopt as soon as possible. Thoroughly satisfied by my comparison tests on July 27, 2007, I decided to outline its many benefits--one of the biggest potentials being overall growth of the sport.

Recreational skaters

  • Safe and very easy to use without raising the toe (cuff-activated)
  • Delivers smooth stops in half the distance of standard and ABT brakes
  • Inspires confidence and relaxation for first-time skaters
  • Provides silent, smooth and secure control on downhill descents
  • Expands choice of skating terrain
  • Offers friction adjustment to suit ability or slope pitch
  • No hindrance to normal wheel spin or existing skating expertise
  • No protruding rubber stopper because it's inside the wheel frame
  • No replaceable parts - designed to last the life of the skates
  • Equally effective stops with long frames/tall wheels as on short/short setups

Inline instructors

  • Decreased time and effort spent on braking instruction
  • More lesson time available for teaching other skills
  • Increased repeat lessons due to students' success
  • Increased new skaters taking up the sport once the word is out

Inline industry

  • Increased market growth due to next-generation braking technology
    resolving a critical weakness that has always limited participation
  • Increased skater motivation to stay with the sport
  • No wheel damage or flat spots incurred by the technology
  • Increased sales due to buyer confidence about safety and control
  • Curent skate owners likely to trade up to gain the benefits

If you have not already done so, read my impressions and test results.

Groundswell of support

Pie chart reponses

Budding Beginner: Reader response to my request for alternate name. Barb suggested calling it the lifesaver brake. "And here is why," she went on. "As my new friend (a self proclaimed street skater) headed off ahead of me, I had my doubts about the technique. As we came to the downward section of a steepish hill which ended in an intersection, my doubts became reality as this new friend zizzed down the hill out of control and into the middle of the intersection. BY SOME MIRACLE a butt stop was achieved along with a broken finger and only a very small dent in the front end of a late arriving vehicle. This new brake in my mind could save many lives........this friend no longer skates. THE END" -- Barb

Downhill Racer: While at the Inline Downhill World Championships in Germany and at another race in Austria in July I heard a lot of talk among the racers about the need for a better braking system. The kind of testing we would do...would be in the context of downhill racing ...very different from the testing [Liz was] doing. If it worked well, though, as it seems it might, your product could revolutionize our sport. Good luck with your product. It seems a very promising idea. -- George Merkert Inline Downhill Multi-Medalist

Inline Retailer: Query to the Inventor "Want more info and skate to test!!!" -- Jon Hoag, Skate designer, inline racer, park rat, and owner of Black Diamond Sports in Northern California.

Online Inline News: "Sounds very promising. I wish Rollerblade (or one of the players) would investigate." -- Robert Brunson, Publisher of Inline Planet news site

Skating with the Grandkids: "The DXS brake sounds so logical and obvious, and might be just the thing to re-ignite rollerblading back to where it was in the 1990's. The baby boomers and generation X-ers that didn't try it then would be the market. They like to have things packaged, they like to look good, they want to be safe, and they are happy to spend money on themselves, so think in terms of the whole outfit. DXS skates + all the protective gear + snazzy clothing:- from $1,000." -- Trevor Brown, retired executive

Inline Insider: Note to Rollerblade R&D on 8/1/07:" Liz is one of our guides, a long-time professional instructor, and a technical writer for her day job. She is qualified to judge this." --Allan Wright owner of Zephyr Adventures


Related Links

bulletred picture DXS Press Release - Formerly known as the 4Wheeler Disk Brake

bulletred picture Youth DXS (2-wheeler) - A 9-year-old nails stopping and speed control in a 90-minute beginner lesson.

bulletred picture Brake Test Results - Perspectives on 10 braking technologies tested since 1992.

bulletred picture The Brake of My Dreams First impressions of the DXS disc brake and stopping distance comparisons

bulletred picture Get Rolling Orbit - Archive of braking articles in the Orbit newsletter

bulletred picture Instructional - Links to other stopping advice

bulletred picture Braking FAQs

bulletred picture About Liz

Comments by an inline hockey expert tester who had never used a brake:

  • "This new style of brake is more effective and can stop much quicker than the original stopper [I tested]."
  • “This new system will cut down on injuries because of the control it gives you while you’re braking.”