The Importance of Rolling Resistance

The Importance of Rolling Resistance

August 10, 2023

Going through some information from our original website, I was reminded of this experiment.

About 25 years ago John Bauer, who finished 11th at the 2002 Olympics, called me and asked if I could explain why he was able to ski faster on the slow 910 Classic Skis than on the much faster 930 Classic Skis.  He was doing high intensity interval sessions up a slight slope and claimed his time was better on the slower 910’s.

I had no idea why he was faster on the 910’s.  However, I had the perfect place to evaluate the difference between the the slow and faster skis, as my driveway is 750 feet long with a slight uphill all the way…about a 25 foot elevation difference from bottom to top.  Sure enough, when I tried the two different ski models I was faster on the slower skis.  I called Dick Taylor, a former Olympian and an expert on XC ski technique, and told him about the experiment.  After some thought, Dick decided it was because the additional resistance of the slow skis resulted in a longer, more powerful stride.

I decided to do more testing. Down and up the driveway ten times is almost 4.5K. One day I would record my total time for 4.5k on the V2930’s, the next day on the V2910’s. Even though the 930’s were much faster on the downhills, the total time for the 4.5k was always faster on the 910’s.  I did this almost every day for several months.  My average time was 14 minutes on the slow skis, 15 minutes on the faster skis.  Video analysis showed that the fast skis did not allow me to stride as well as on the slow skis.  -Len