Sports Engineering

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 115–122 | Cite as

An experimental study to compare the grip of classical style roller skis with on-snow skiing

  • M. AinegrenEmail author
  • P. Carlsson
  • M. Tinnsten
Original Article


Cross-country skiers use roller skis for their snow-free training with the aim of imitating skiing on snow. Also, exercise laboratories evaluate the biomechanics and physiology of cross-country skiing using roller skis on a treadmill. The roller skis on the market that are constructed for use in the classical style are equipped with a front and a back wheel, one of which has a ratchet to enable it to grip the surface when diagonal striding and kick double poling (static friction). The aim of this study was to investigate static friction coefficients (μS) of ratcheted wheel roller skis, and compare the results to the μS reported from skiing on snow with grip-waxed cross-country skis. Also, a new type of roller ski with a camber and adjustable grip function was evaluated. The results showed that ratcheted wheel roller skis, on a treadmill rubber mat and on dry and wet asphalt surfaces, reached μS values that were five to eight times greater than the values reported from on-snow skiing with grip-waxed cross-country skis. For the roller skis with a camber and adjustable grip function, the μs could be varied from no grip at all up to the level of the tested ratcheted wheel roller skis.


Asphalt Adjustable grip Camber Ratcheted wheel Static friction coefficient Treadmill rubber mat 

List of symbols


Vertical load on roller ski (N)


Mass (kg)


Acceleration due to gravity (ms−2)


Static friction coefficient

S′, S

Forces registered in the load cell (N)


Resisting force of the load wheel (N)


Resisting force of the forward wheel (N)


Resisting force of the rear wheel (N)


Ratcheted spool


Vertical distance between the surface and the load cell traction point (m)


Distance between the axis of the forward and rear wheel (m)


Distance between the axis of the forward wheel and the vertical load (m)


Distance between the axis of the forward wheel and the centre of mass (m)



Thanks are due to the European Union’s regional development fund, which provided financial support for the study.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© International Sports Engineering Association 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Engineering and Sustainable DevelopmentMid Sweden UniversityÖstersundSweden

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