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Bushings Revisited

written by Team Rider August 29, 2010

Upon going over my last post on bushings, I noticed a few important things that I missed, and I also wanted to show our blog readers some size comparisons between some of our stock bushings and some of the bushings we sell here in the shop, because SIZE MATTERS. As I said in my latest post, using a larger boardside bushing will result in a greater turning angle in the truck, thereby making it naturally more turny, all other things being equal. Putting a fatter or smaller bushing in the truck may be the difference between you getting wheelbite and avoiding it completely. For example, when you put a reflex bushing into a Randall 180 on our Maestro deck, the turning angle is increased in the truck and, assuming you are using a bushing of equal or greater durometer than the stock Randall bushing, wheelbite is now avoided. So the first thing I’m going to do is show you the difference in size between our bushings.

So, in order from left to right, the bushings above are:

1. Black/blue soft Bones Hardcore bushing

2. Red Reflex short cone

3. Green Reflex Tall Cone

4. Lime Reflex Barrel

5. Purple Venom Barrel

6. Orange Venom Tall Cone

7. Red Venom Short Cone

8. Orange Khiro Barrel

9. Stock Green Bear Barrel

10. Stock Red Randall Tall Cone

11. Stock Red Randall Short Cone

12. Stock White Gullwing Tall Cone

13. Stock White Gullwing Short Cone

14. Stock Orange Independent Tall Cone

15. Stock Orange Independent Short Cone

There are a few more that I might’ve missed. For instance, the Gullwing M1 boardside barrel bushings are about the same size as a Khiro barrel bushing. We do not currently stock Khiro bushings, but send some emails to skate@bustinboards.com requesting them, and I’m sure all of our prayers will eventually be answered 🙂 I, personally, love Khiro bushings because of their large variety of shapes and durometers, but they don’t last as long for me as some other types of bushings, like the Reflex or Venom SHR.

The important thing to remember when looking at the above pictures is that size is relative. Randall stock bushings are designed to allow the Randall truck to turn at the exact angle the baseplate is set at (50, 42, or 35 degrees); Bear’s stock bushings allow the 52 degree truck to turn at 52 degrees, so if you put a slightly larger bushing in the boardside position of the truck, you might be running the truck at 55 degrees instead of the stock 52, which will be more turny.

Washers

I realized after I posted the other blog and people started coming in asking about bushings that I missed an important part of the whole setting up process, and that is the use of washers. I consider washers absolutely necessary only for the roadside bushing. The baseplate usually has enough mass for the boardside bushing to be comfortably supported for a super carvy setup; however, there are still plenty of situations in which you would want to use washers for both sides (by strickland). There are approximately 4 types of washers you be using for longboard setups. These are:

1. Large cupped washers (to fit around barrel bushings)

2. Small cupped washers (to fit around coned bushings)

3. Small flat washers (to fit around barrel or coned bushings)

4. No washers (to free up space to fit everything on the kingpin, to allow minimum resistance against the bushing)

Cupped washers will usually provide a little bit more resistance against the turn and allow the bushing to move less in the bushing seat. Some cupped washers are deeper than others, and generally, the deeper the cup, the better it will hold the bushing and the more resistance it will provide. Flat washers will provide little resistance against the turn and are a good choice when you’re looking to get the maximum carve out of your bushings, but if you’re battling wheelbite with a particular setup, the first remedy to try is moving to a cupped washer. If that doesn’t work, try a harder bushing.

Lastly, sometimes, when battling with bushings and trying to find the right setup, you will fight and fight to get your bushings and washers on the kingpin and still be able to lock the nut down. On some trucks, you can easily replace the kingpin, and moving to a longer kingpin will easily solve this problem. Pull your kingpin out and get the same size at the hardware store or you can order online. Make sure to get a Grade 8 kingpin, as they are the strongest and will resist breaking over the long haul. Breaking a kingpin is one of the most temporarily confusing and dangerous things that can happen while skating, so take the right precautions, and you should be fine.

Trucks or wheels next post? You choose; leave a comment. ‘Til next time.

-Wiggler

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14 comments

Will O'Meara August 29, 2010 at 10:45 pm

do both but trucks first

Mike D August 29, 2010 at 11:15 pm

teach us about trucks kid!

Pual August 30, 2010 at 9:50 am

Note regarding kingpins, are all kingpins replaceable, I thought that there are some that are permanent to the baseplate.

Jeff August 30, 2010 at 4:48 pm

There are definitely some kingpins which are pretty permanent and won’t be able to be replaced. Randall kingpins are very replaceable. Some others may only be seemingly permanent. Bennett trucks, for example, use loctite to hold the kingpin in, so if you throw the truck over a flame for a little bit, it’ll heat up the loctite enough to knock the kingpin out and replace it with a new grade 8 kingpin.

Leopoldo Finol September 1, 2010 at 8:21 am

I feel so stupid. This is why when you come from another culture and language, no matter how well you speak english, you are bound to remain on a cloud when you do not know exactly what people is talking about. Now that I see these pictures, the previous article makes all sense to me. I thought you referred to the bushings of the wheels that are also mount in the truck !!!!
I did not understand how those things could have cone-like shape and different grades of hardness.
Did not know that rubber thing was called bushing as well.
See guys, you have a globalized crowd reading you.
My bad.

Brian D September 8, 2010 at 9:59 am

Thanks a lot Jeff!! how important are pivot cups? are there different styles, options, durometers? Just though i’d point out another bit of urethane before you move on to other things.
And can someone please take down this stupid babling in the comment before mine, it’s a waste of precious space…

Bushing Workshop from Jeff Vyain over at Bustin | This Is Push Culture September 8, 2010 at 12:26 pm

[…] out the full write up on the Bustin Blog. Part 1: Longboard Setup Help: Bushings Part 2: Bushings Revisited This entry was posted in Bustin Blog and tagged bushings longboarding longboard jeff vyain bustin […]

Danny Cruz September 10, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Do trucks first 🙂

antonio September 13, 2010 at 8:48 am

Trucks first! Do not forget pivot cup!

ashkelon September 15, 2010 at 7:25 am

Trucks, please! LOL I’ve returned to boarding after 15 yrs of my feet on the street. Chose a longboard for commuting. The science & setup have advanced a LOT. Thx for a great article. Seeing is understanding.

Leopoldo September 19, 2010 at 8:16 pm

“Did not know that rubber thing was called bushing as well.”

Leo, they are called different. Bushings and bearings.

Please do not write again silly things.

Arnaud September 21, 2010 at 2:59 pm

I dropped by the shop last night to have more info about bushings and try a new setup, and Jeff was there polishing his board and showing off his lightning fast Biltin Bearings (definitely my next purchase).

He helped me pick up some new rubber and now I feel like I’m riding a brand new board.
I choose to go for a stiff back (i’m riding a Maestro, mostly forward so having something directional is not an issue) and a softer front. The stiff back greatly reduce wobbling at high speed (which is kind of scary because now you don’t have anything to remind you that you are actually going very fast), while the softer front still allows for plenty of steering. The overall board is now more carvy than with the original setup (stock Randal bushings), and a lot more stable while going downhill. It’s now a bit more difficult to cut the speed with sharp turns as the back wheels grip better but with the time I also got more confident with carrying speed so it’s less of an issue, and it feels more safe too (you’re not afraid of loosing the back anymore).

Anyway, thanks a lot Jeff and the Bustin crew for making each trip to the shop such a pleasant experience.

Top 10 Longboard Tips from the Bustin Crew – Bustin Longboards NYC | Bustin Longboards NYC - Longboarding News for the Evolving Skater June 11, 2012 at 4:51 pm

[…] 8. Read these blog posts on bushings. They’re super dorky but being a dork pays off when your ride is smooth like butta. Longboard Setup Help: Bushings Bushings Revisited […]

drew haley December 19, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Arnaud i had the same issue with the randal bushings. The long and short of it is that they suck because they are “one size fits all” so theyll be too firm someone who is 130 lbs but too soft for someone who is 200 pounds. and besides custom bushings are one of the cheapest ways to change your board btw what brand did you get

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