CCM Ribcor 50K vs. Bauer Nexus 8000 Ice Skates
Currently, CCM and Bauer each offer a skate geared towards players that are looking for speed - called the Ribcor 50K and Nexus 8000 respectively. Ribcor skates are geared towards players with narrower feet due to the narrow heel area and toe box, whereas Nexus skates will better fit players with regular to wide feet because of the moderately wide toe box and full heat moldability.
In terms of weight, the Nexus 8000's win by a landslide. Using a size 8.0D skate, the Nexus skates weigh in at 764g compared to the 910g Ribcor 50K skates. The Nexus 8000 skates are significantly lighter due to the use of Bauer's LightSpeed Fusion runners. These combine the durability of steel with the light weight of aluminum. For skate weight, the point goes to Bauer.
One of the coolest features of the Ribcor skates is black stainless steel SpeedBlade runner. First, the SpeedBlade runner was designed to hold an edge longer than competitors' steel and they reduce friction on the ice, giving players more speed. Then, the 50K is currently the only skate on the market to offer black steel right out of the box. The black steel makes finding any burrs or chips much easier than those with a standard steel blade. Plus, it gives off an awesome look with the blacked out boot, white SpeedBlade 4.0 holder, and black runner. For design and ingenuity, the point goes to CCM.
On to the holders. The Nexus 8000 skates come with Tuuk LightSpeed Edge holders - the preferred holder of more than 80% of NHL players. These holders have a trigger near the heel that releases the steel, allowing players to quickly swap out the runner mid-game in the event of damage, loss of an edge, etc. The Ribcor skates also have removable runners, but they require a flat head screwdriver to remove and install. For convenience of swapping steel, the point goes to Bauer.
Bauer LightSpeed Edge holders also sit 3mm higher off the ice, making tight turns a little easier. The Ribcor skates have the SpeedBlade 4.0 holders, which sit 4mm higher off the ice for the same exact reason, and the difference is in fact noticeable. Tight turns in the Ribcor skates feel easier and more natural in the Ribcor 50K skates than the Nexus 8000 skates. For agility, the point goes to CCM.
Last, the quarter package. The CCM 50K skates offer the Ribcor Elite quarter package with the Advanced Pump® as compared to the 3D Anaform Curv® Composite upper of the Nexus 8000. The Advanced Pump® gives players full customization of how tight (or loose) the skates will fit in the ankle region by simply pressing on a small pump button near the tendon guard. However, the Anaform Curv® upper on the Nexus skates combines a good amount of stiffness with a lightweight feel. For quarter package design, the point goes to CCM.
In conclusion, I would say the CCM Ribcor 50K ice skates barely edge out the Nexus 8000 skates in terms of performance and design. But, since the Nexus skates are lighter, will fit more players' feet, and use Tuuk holders, they should not be overlooked! Both are amazing skates and in the end, proper fit and comfort should take greater priority over the "bells and whistles" on each skate.
Photo Credit: Greg M. Cooper, USA Today Sports.