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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Theeve Trucks Review


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.
Enjoy the high-res photos, and I'll post more impressions after I've had the Theeves for a while.














16 comments:

  1. Good review, hows about an update? I just got a set of tiax which Im going put on instead of my indys. I wanted indys with bones hard bushings but after a few weeks riding the bones bushings popped out of their place on the indys leading to danger. Im crap enough as it is nevermind bushings falling out. Anyway I saw these new Tiax and I thought just maybe these are the start of something new. I have experience with titanium in the cycle trade and overall it is damn good stuff, lighter and stronger than steel with good flex. Im looking foward to a shred with these puppys on the board anyhow.

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  2. I found that Indys squeeze the Bones bushings in a strange way, and I've had hard Bones bushings pop out, too, making my truck go all loose on me all of the sudden. The Theeves don't have that problem: the geometry is such that the bushings sit flat in their place. The trucks are still doing well. They still feel predictable and smooth, and grinding on them feels normal but they aren't wearing down as fast. It is taking forever to grind my "locks" into the trucks - when you grind grooves in the hanger and then it is easier to pop into and out of grinds. I also skate Ventures for street stuff (Theeve doesn't make a low truck yet) and it only takes a day to grind good locks into new Ventures.
    I saw that Theeve changed their hanger design to make it look less spindly. I think it's a major improvement. Did you get the new design or the original?

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  3. Im not sure what edition my theeves are, I would need to see photos of old and new. today was a bad day regarding the trucks, the bottom bushing has started to spill out as it did with the indys. I thought I had finally found the perfect trucks as they performed very well in every other aspect. I left the trucks as tightened to factory setting so I am suprised that the bushings are starting to move. Hopefully the bushings will stop where they are but I fear the worst.

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  4. The bottom bushing on mine popped out, too. I think it is a matter of the pivot cup compressing. I actually found the factory setting of the truck to be too tight in the front, so I loosened it. Bones bushings pop out in my other trucks, too, but they lasted longer in the Theeves than in any other truck. Check out my follow-up review: http://oldmanskater.blogspot.com/2010/08/theeve-trucks-review-part-2.html

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  5. I just bought my second pair of Theeve Tiax to replace the Indies I ride on street. I was amazed at how tight the trucks felt, and I normally dig my trucks tight. It was especially confusing because the larger Theeves I've got on my ramp/bowl board feel way too loose at high speed, no matter how I tighten them down.

    So I'm going to trust that these new Bones bushings will break in, and I've just swapped out the meds in my 8.5"s for hards. Already that feels better, but I wonder if they, too, will break in.

    If this doesn't work, I'm switching to Khiro, which I hear are fab.

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  6. Jared, turn the bushings like Anonymous did and they'll break in right. I think the angle between the yoke and the baseplate is off, like not parallel. A standard washer on the bottom might remedy it, but it will change the height of the trucks.

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  7. what do you say the height differnce is compared to thunder highs or indy lows

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    Replies
    1. Theeves are the same height as Indy standards: about 52.25 millimeters at the axle.

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  8. just ordered my firts set of Theeve Tiax 5.85's to replace my indy 149's. i'll let you know what i think after skating them for a while!

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  9. I'm sorry if you have covered this already but could you clarify the actual profile height. You say that 'They are lower than Independent 149 standards. The Indys are 2.5" high, the Theeves are 2.375". and later you say that 'Theeves are the same height as Indy standards'. What part of the trucks are you measuring from when you said this? Also, are these trucks that you're reviewing classified as being 'standard' height trucks even though you say 'Theeve trucks are like a "mid" height'. And if they are actually 'standard' trucks, do you know if Theeve also make actual 'mids', or do they only make the one size in 5.85s'. If you could clarify this, it would be appreciated, thanks.

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  10. I found that I had the same problem with my Theeve TIAX trucks. I ordered the new small hard khiro pivot bushings, and a new set of bones medium bushings. After replacement of the pivot cups, I am finding it very hard to install the new bushings. The yoke doesn't seem to line up in the middle, and I can't seem to get the top bushing on far enough to put the nut and washer back on.

    Am I forgetting/missing something really obvious?

    Thanks in advance.

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    Replies
    1. No, no, you're not missing anything obvious.
      New bushings are often hard to get on the first time. Put the bushings on without the top washer, go cruising around for about 5-10 minutes, then the bushings should have compressed enough to be able to fit the washer on, too.
      Are yours standard height TiAX trucks or low?

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  11. Hey Bertrand would you please write a review about best Sector 9 Longboards. trucks. Actually I am a starter so i can't fixed which one will be best for me.

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  12. I recently got myself a set of replacement Bones bushes and in reading the instructions on the inside of the box i found that they dont recommend using top or bottom washers. Obviously using washers is gonna impact on kingpin nut clearance, the lineup of hanger and bushing (thus creating bush "popping") and ultimately the tightness and elasticisity of the bushing. Im at a loss as to why Theeve wouldnt know this. Take out the top and bottom washers and feel the true Theeve thing :-))

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  13. P.S. Properly popped into a set of Indys transforms that experience too ;) No more Indy bushings mush!

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