The first problem is that the back axle bent. I don't often bend axles, I've only ever severely bent Tensor Magnesiums and Tracker 6-Tracks (with hangers also of some kind of funky alloy). The axle was bent enough to make the truck height go from a Mid to a Low and the truck started turning a little strange. I contacted Hayley at Theeve, who said the original design of the 5.85s had some manufacturing defects here and there, and she promptly sent out a new pair of 5.85 TiAX trucks. This time, I had my choice of colors and requested black. The new trucks are the new hanger design: it is a lot beefier and the build quality is very much improved over the already high quality of the 1st version. Just from looking at and handling the trucks, I will say the build quality finally matches or surpasses Independent. I already think the performance bests Independent trucks, as I said in my March review. I was as surprised as anyone else, having ridden Indys for years.
In this next picture, the improved hanger design can be easily seen.
|5.85 Theeve TiAX Trucks, new design on left in black, old design on right in raw|
I think the new Theeves look more contemporary and look unique enough to be more easily identifiable just by shape. Judging by a makeshift pendulum I rigged up, the weight of the trucks is the same, and both being very light. I'll wrap up the 4-month update on the old Theeves and in my next post I'll get on to my preliminary review of the new Theeves.
The second fault was I noticed that the ride height of the old TiAX trucks was low not just from the bent axle but from some serious bushing and pivot cup compression. It looks like the pivot cup compressed first, then that caused a funny angle of pressure to be put on the bottom (deck-side) bushing. The front truck, with the original Bones medium bushings in it, fared the worst, as seen in the next picture.
|First version of 5.85 Theeve TiAX. Front truck. Note bulging bottom bushing.|
I put Bones hard bushings in the back truck only a month ago, and although the pivot cup is heavily compressed, the bushing hasn't yet popped from its cup. What's really amazing about these trucks is how little they've worn down despite 3 months of grinding. Metal coping, which is all I've skated with them, isn't that hard on trucks, true, but it is enough to cause deep V-shaped furrows to be ground into the Venture trucks I ride on my small board. I never even ground good locks into these Theeve trucks. They've worn well, and needing new bushings and pivot cups in trucks after 4 months is pretty good: I usually swapped out bushings and pivot cups in Independent trucks every 1-2 months. I tried Bones bushings in the Indys for a season and they only ever lasted 1 month because of the uneven pressure the truck geometry put on the bushings. In that respect, the Theeves start to put that same kind of pressure on the bottom bushing, eventually causing it to pop out, but only after the pivot cup has worn down. Despite the compressed bushings and pivot cups I actually didn't notice any difference in the ride of the trucks aside from how low they were and the strangely muted turning on the bent rear axle.
Aesthetically, I thought the first version of the Theeves looked a lot like Ace trucks or Indy 215s, a design I was never very fond of. The performance of the Theeves made me forget about their severely outdated look. The trucks just felt right. Street tricks were easier with them, everything felt more confident on ramps, and they really, truly are the best turning trucks I've ever ridden. And I've ridden nearly all the trucks and tried all of them tight and loose. My two favorite features of the 5.85 Theeve TiAX trucks are that 1) they're stable like tight trucks but turn like loose trucks - a feat of pure engineering magic, and 2) tricks are just easier, my favorite improvement is the consistently perfect 180 ollies I can pull with the Theeves - no other truck lends as much consistency to my tricks as the Theeves.
So, in review, a manufacturing defect caused one of the axles to bend, but the new design and improved quality should prevent that from happening again. My final verdict is that the 5.85 Theeve TiAX trucks were good, very good trucks. I'm officially a convert. Now, what to do with all those Independent stickers I've put on my gear, including my car? And does anybody want to buy a pair of used Indy 149s?
In my next post I'll review the second version of the 5.85 Theeve TiAX trucks.