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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.