4 Truck Specs That Manufacturers Don't Bother Telling You
The Longboard Truck Showdown Part 2
September 06, 2015
For every truck on the market we basically know two things, the turning angle and hanger width. But what about the other details like weight, ride height and wheelbase offset? In our previous article How Precise Are Your Cast Trucks? we focused on aspects of the trucks that relate to their precision. Now we're going to dive into the other specs that affect your ride, and see how the most popular brands stack up. We also made some interactive resources to give you info about your own setup!
We will be measuring Atlas, Caliber , Charger II, Gunmetal, Bear, Paris V2 and Ronin Trucks
For these trucks we'll check out the:
- Ride Height
- Wheelbase Offset
- Truck Weight
- Hanger Width
The height of a truck plays a huge role in how it performs. A taller truck gives you more wheel clearance and also more leverage when turning which leads to a more responsive ride. But with a lower truck you can easily add risers, while lowering a truck requires specific board features like flush-mounts or drop-through cutouts.
Measuring to the center of the axle Bear Grizzley 52s were the tallest at 2.574" and Caliber 44s came in lowest at 2.365", while most trucks are around the 2.5" mark.
Ride Height Results
|Caliber 44º||Caliber 50º||Ronin 42.5º||Paris V2 43º||Gullwing Charger II 50º||Gunmetal 50º||Atlas 48º||Paris V2 50º||Bear Grizzly 52º|
|Ride Height (in)||2.37"||2.39"||2.46"||2.46"||2.47"||2.49"||2.50"||2.57"||2.57"|
While .2" isn't a huge difference between the highest and lowest trucks, it can definitely make a difference.
Calibers so so low that even on an 1/8" shockpad they're lower than stock Paris or Bears.
Paris trucks have always been known to be carvy, the height along with positive rake in the hanger are two key factors in establishing that reputation since they both give you more leverage.
Another trend that the results show is the relation between turning angles and ride height. Due to basic truck geometry, lower degree trucks generally ride lower, especially between trucks of the same brand. Since lower angled trucks lean more directly up towards the board, this makes potential wheelbite a bigger concern.
We also measured a variety of conventional trucks to see how they compare, on average TKPs were 2.14" tall, much lower than the RKP average of 2.49".
As you may or may not know, wheelbase measurements on all longboard specs are wrong (yes even on our boards). Listed wheelbase specs are really just the distance between the inner mounting holes on each side of the board. Even though it's technically inaccurate it's still the best way to easily compare different boards regardless of what trucks you use with them.
The true wheelbase is the distance between truck axles, it's always larger than the one listen on board specs.
|Caliber 44º||Caliber 50º||Paris V2 43º||Charger II 50º||Gunmetal 50º||Atlas 48º||Paris V2 50º||Ronin 42.5º||Bear Grizzly 52º|
|Total Wheelbase Offset (in)||+0.94"||+1.25"||+1.50"||+1.50"||+1.56"||+1.56"||+1.94"||+2.06"||+2.31" or +1.56"|
Caliber lived up to their reputation, both the 44s and 50s result in the shortest wheelbase of all the trucks we tested. While the order was no surprise, it was interesting to see how big of a difference there was. Bears have the largest offset, but with a second set of holes you have a choice.
With almost 1.5" of range among the tested trucks your choice of trucks can have a big effect on the wheelbase of your setup .
We also measured a variety of conventional trucks which averaged +3.05" offset a big jump over the RKP average of 1.63". If you've ever wondered why wheel-wells are so big, it's because they have to account for this range.
|Bear Grizzly 52º||Caliber 44º||Caliber 50º||Paris V2 50º||Gunmetal 50º||GulCharger II 50º||Ronin 42.5º||Atlas 48º|
|Weight Per Set||1.99lb||2.06lb||2.07lb||2.12lb||2.27lb||2.32lb||2.34lb||2.56lb|
The results of this test are no surprise, many of the fresher faces to the truck market like like Ronin, Atlas, and Charger IIs are sporting some seriously beefy hangers. With up to a 1/2lb of extra weight per set, that extra meat will not go unnoticed on your setup. While lighter is better in many situations, if you're getting gnarly and hitting big kickers the difference in strength can literally make or break your trucks.
Ok, so companies DO always list the hanger width, but that doesn't mean it's always correct. We wanted to check for ourselves.
|Paris V2||Atlas||Bear Grizzly||Ronin||Charger II||Caliber||Gunmetal|
180mm hanger width is the default standard for longboard trucks, though some go by a 10" axle measurement. Usually the goal is to match the outside lip of your wheels with the width of your deck. Between Gunmetal and Paris there is a 1/4" range in width, so while it's not a huge difference it does matter if you're really into fine tuning your setup in your setup.
Based on these measurements
- Atlas: Heaviest and Tall (note the new Atlas ultra lights are said to be 20% lighter)
- Bear Grizzly: Lightest Trucks, Longest WB offset and Tallest Ride Height
- Caliber: Lowest Ride Height, and Smallest WB Offset
- Charger II: Average in most specs but on the heavier side.
- Gunmetal: Widest Hanger Width, other specs are average
- Paris: Tall with a Large WB Offset
- Ronin: Low and Heavy with a Large WB Offset
From a half pound difference in weight to almost 1.5" change in wheelbase as a result of which brand you choose, these generally unlisted specs have a big effect on your ride. Hopefully companies will start listing more details so skaters will have more info to help choose what is best for their riding style.
Bonus Round: Forged Trucks
There are a lot of forged trucks starting to hit the market these days, so it would be interesting to see how they compare to the old standards, right? We thought so.
|Ride Height||Wheelbase Offset||Weight||Hanger width|
|Sabre Forged 48||2.613"||1.50" or .75"||1.79 lbs||182.56 mm|
|Bear Kodiak 45||2.516"||1.78" or 1.03"||1.88 lbs||177.40 mm|
|Cast Average||2.476"||1.63"||2.22 lbs||181.34 mm|
The main advantage of the forging process is that it aligns the grains in the metal making ti stronger than a similar cast truck, Bear and Sabre are both apparently taking advantage of this extra strength to make lighter trucks. Also, we're glad to see the trend of having multiple sets of mounting holes is carrying over from the precision world!