I'm taking a break from reviewing the decks to write some first impressions of the new Theeve TiAX trucks I received today from Skate Warehouse. These are the 5.825 size, which is a 8.5" axle.
My first impression of them is that they are very lightweight. Much lighter than Independent trucks. They feel light like 5.25 Tensor Magnesiums or 5.25 Venture Superlights. They come with Bones Hardcore medium bushings, the yellow-capped ones.
The Theeve trucks are like a "mid" height. They are lower than Independent 149 standards. The Indys are 2.5" high, the Theeves are 2.375". It doesn't sound like much, but it is enough to give a board with 56mm wheels the same angle as the same board with Indys and 54mm wheels. Even so, the kingpin sits much lower than the hanger. It is nice to have lower trucks in an 8.5" size. I wouldn't want lows in this size, because of wheelbite, but mids like these are nice. They have the good, quick pop of low trucks but the stability and turn angles of high trucks. Nice.
The build quality is top notch. There are no casting marks visible, like the Gullwing trucks I've been running on my cruising board. The trucks are "raw", but they look just like silver Independents, not the off-gray raw Indys.
To make a fair comparison, I put the Theeve trucks on my Creature deck after I had been skating on the Alien Workshop with the Indys for an hour. I also put the same type of wheels on the Theeves as I had on the Indys (Spitfire 80Ds). I even put a new set of Independent orange (medium) bushings in the Indys and broke them in during the hour I skated them. I wanted the Indys to be as fresh as the Theeves so I wouldn't just be enjoying new trucks at the expense of old ones. The Independents received new pivot cups only 2 months ago, and I've been skating mostly flatland on my other boards since then, so those were new, too. This, then, is a comparison of two equally stock trucks. The decks are slightly different but I've skated each enough to know what is deck and what is truck.
So, how did the Theeves ride? At first the trucks were too tight. I loosened the kingpin nut up flush with the top of the kingpin bolt and went skating. The turns were still a bit tight, but I knew from experience how the Bones Bushings get looser when they break in. I skated around for about ten minutes with the Theeves, and it felt like the trucks were still tight. But when I jumped back on the Alien Workshop with the Indys on it, I could definitely feel that the Theeves were smoother turning trucks than the Independents. (I was actually a tiny bit sad, I've really come to love how Independent trucks turned - so responsive and stable.)
Jumping back on the Creature, I could feel that the bushings on the Theeves were starting to loosen up, and the more I rode them, the better they felt. I did a few curb stalls frontside and backside and the trucks felt better than the Independents. The Theeves impart more control over the board, especially in rotations like 180 ollies. The trucks felt good and stable in ollies, manuals, powerslides, carving, nollies, and at speed. Because of their lightness, I could ollie higher than before; there wasn't the heavy feeling. Also gone was the sensation that if I didn't get the ollie to pop just right, the board would fall away from my feet from the weight. With the Theeves, every ollie is just right.
The Theeves sound a little bit louder than normal trucks, like I lost a couple of bearing shields or something. No biggie. Like Indys, I can ride the Theeves pretty loose and they feel great. They're ultra-responsive, just like Indys, and course corrections are fast and confidence-inspiring. Unlike Indys, the Theeves have more progressive and smooth turning and they feel better and more stable at speed in spite of the loose setting I had them at. After riding the Theeves for an hour and jumping back on my Indys, the Indys felt - gasp - twitchy compared to the Theeves. (Young kids: twitchy = sketchy.) This was surprising, as I never felt that Independents were twitchy trucks. I've ridden Gullwings, Trackers, Thunders, Krux, Tensors, Ventures, and Royal trucks, and they've all felt twitchy compared to Independents. Until now. The Independents are twitchy compared to the Theeves. So far, I'm sold on Theeves.