Longboard trucks and their adjustability are the topic of discussion today. Your longboard’s trucks play a significant role in its overall setup. When it comes to choosing the ideal trucks, you’ll have to make that decision on your own even though you can obtain tips and recommendations online. That’s because picking a truck is entirely up to your own personal taste. In any case, the performance of your longboard will be impacted by the variances in the trucks you choose.
Changing the setup and performance of your trucks is as simple as selecting each individual component. It’s not an easy feat, but it’s a must-do for every aspiring longboarder worth their salt. If you’d want to learn more about how trucks operate and how they can be modified to enhance and improve your longboard’s ride experience, we’ve put up a list of the best ways to accomplish just that.
When it comes to choosing and building a board, it’s important that you know how to do it yourself or hire an expert to assist you in the process. Keeping this in mind, you should also bear in mind that different riding styles necessitate different truck setups.
Begin by going over the truck’s performance-related components.
A truck’s ability to turn is greatly affected by its bushings, so they deserve more than a cursory glance. Changing the bushings on the same truck can give it an entirely different feel, so it’s critical to select the one that best suits your driving preferences. A bushing’s properties include hardness, urethane type, shape, kingpin tightness, washer configuration, and placement, which can be either at the top or bottom of the bushing. To better understand how your longboard’s trucks are affected by each of these qualities, we’ll dig deeper.
Bushings are produced from a variety of urethanes, and are often found in the 78a-96a range on the durometer hardness scale. You should take into account the rider’s weight when choosing a truck with softer bushings, which will allow it to spin more easily. The truth is that, despite all of the knowledge and hardness scales available, you will set up your bushings and trucks in a manner that works for you. With all of that stated, doing your homework and finding scales and other resources might provide the knowledge you need to test out your new truck set-up before you even start driving around on it.
Different manufacturers use different urethane formulas, which have different effects on the bushing. It’s possible to acquire trucks of the same sturdiness, but with an entirely different feel, because to the differing urethane compositions. Various companies’ formulas will all have their own unique flavor. It’s hard to go wrong with Venom’s bushings.
Bushing rebound is an important factor in how urethane feels. If there’s a lot of rebound, the vehicle will spin and pump, which will give you a more dynamic ride. When it comes to turn feel, a low rebound will reduce it. Rider preferences dictate whether or not rebound is favorable or negative.
There are three common bushing shapes, although more and more varieties are appearing. The three major shapes are Eliminators, Cones, and Barrels. Barrels are the most popular bushing shape for a reason. With barrel bushing, your vehicles’ lean ratios remains constant during the turn. Barrels will also have a considerable degree of rebound.
Cone bushings dip a much, thus they don’t rebound well. This is why they aren’t great for quick riding. They enable for quick motions, which is perfect for freestyle or carving.
Eliminators are the broadest bushings, limiting turning ability the most. However, this restriction only applies to bushing shapes of the same toughness. Example: 90a eliminators are more restrictive than 90a cones or barrels, while 95a barrels are more restrictive. The original intent of eliminators was to enhance your turning rather than restrict it. If you’ve never used eliminators before, start with a lower hardiness level. However, they were designed for downhill riding at fast speeds, so leave them for later.
Boardside and roadside bushings
Roadside and boardside bushings play equal but distinct roles in your trucks’ overall performance. The boardside bushing is the direct pivot point and so has a greater impact on longboard turning. The roadside bushing counteracts the boardside bushing. It controls the truck’s ability to bounce back or give in. The roadside and boardside bushings are usually the same durometer. However, combining bushings with different qualities allows for many variants. http://www.bushingpicker.com/ determines bushing durometer based on weight. I’ve used it before and it’s very accurate. If you ride cruiser or freestyle, go with the gentler suggestion; if you go downhill, go with the tougher.
There are two types of bushing washers, flat and cupped, that play a part in the proper setup of your trucks. Washers are one of the few household appliances with a straightforward design. Flat washers have a lower rebound and are less restricted to turn than round washers. Restrictive cupped washers provide better rebound and control wheelbite while restricting movement. Cupped washers, on the other hand, will limit your capacity to turn. It’s possible to further customize your trucks and longboard by using washers of various sizes. Using little washers will allow you to have a more liberated turn.
Rubber or plastic risers can be inserted between your truck’s baseplate and the deck to provide a more stable ride. Even while they aren’t always necessary, they can be extremely helpful when it comes to fine tuning your setup. To reduce wheelbite, they can be flat, but if you also want to alter the angle of your baseplate, they can be inclined as well (see the next paragraph about the angles). When using a deck that does not have cutouts for the wheels, risers are frequently required, especially if the baseplate angle is low (very common in downhill setups). Wheelbite is avoided when your deck is elevated above the ground, thanks to risers. It’s a tiny price to pay for greater safety in the corners.
The baseplate angle is the angle between the baseplate and the pivot point, which is measured in degrees. The performance of a truck is heavily influenced by this. While a 40-degree deck is more stable (due to its lower height above the ground), it also has a bigger turning radius. Instead, a reduced turning radius of 50 degrees would allow you to turn more rapidly and sharply, but at the cost of some stability. As a result, if you ride downhill at high speeds, you’ll require trucks with a low baseplate angle.
How loose or tight should trucks be?
Longboarders have been debating whether or not to adjust the tightness of their trucks for a long time. In a nutshell, if you can’t claim to be a longboard expert while maintaining objectivity, don’t play with your trucks’ tightness. Changing the tightness of your tricks works, but it is not encouraged. Other proven techniques to personalize your ride’s pickups are explored and explained in the text below.
Customizing the truck tightness is inevitable, but it should be done with caution. Too loose trucks generate slop and raise the risk of speed wobble. Tightening the trucks too much will distort the bushings and finally break them. To avoid this, you must be cautious when customizing the tightness of your vehicles. ‘Loose trucks save lives’, goes the saying. To avoid speed wobbles, many new riders overtighten their bushings. Overtightened bushings reduce maneuverability, which is critical in dangerous situations (e.g. avoiding obstacles). With practice, a solid posture will allow you to prevent speed wobbles more efficiently without sacrificing maneuverability.
Generally, you should attempt to tighten your trucks shortly after removing the loose slop. To test if you’ve done it correctly, stand next to your longboard and weight one of the rails. This will direct your trucks. After removing the weight from the rail, the board should center itself. Another rule of thumb is to tighten the kingpin screw until the bushing washer cannot be turned by hand.
How tight should longboard trucks be for downhill?
Downhill riders are more prone to speed wobbles since they ride faster. As for truck maneuverability, you mainly ride straight or slide at sharp corners. So utilize tight bushings. They are more stable but more restrictive than barrels. The kingpin screw should be so tight that you can’t turn the bottom washer by hand.
How tight should longboard trucks be for cruising?
Well, cruising is the polar opposite of that. Unless you commute or just want to be crazy, you probably don’t ride that fast. Because of this, you want your trucks to be nimble and quick to respond. In this case, softer bushings and consideration of cone form are the best course of action. The best results will be achieved with double cones, however this may be too unsteady for certain people’s tastes. As an alternative, you can use cones on the road side and barrels on the board side to achieve a “turning terrific and almost-stable” set-up.
The Bottom Line
Customizing your longboard trucks seems awesome, but you should probably learn more about how they function before you do so. Your longboard’s trucks require special attention when making specific adjustments. Extreme wobbling and eventual fall might result from vehicles that are excessively loose. If you tighten up your trucks too much, you may end up with a broken bushing, which could happen while you’re riding. This could be much more dangerous.
It’s fortunate that there are a variety of ways to personalize your trucks and create a unique longboard set-up. The shape, size, and substance of your bushings will have a significant impact on the performance of your trucks and, by extension, your longboard. Take your time and get to know how your trucks and longboard are responding on a ride before rushing to see the outcomes of your new longboard setup.