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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Review: Venture Trucks, Thunder Trucks

In this review, I'm going to discuss my experiences with the following skateboard trucks:

Venture V5 5.2 lows - 326.33 grams
Venture 5.2 lows - 355 grams
Venture 5.2 highs - 355 grams

Thunder 149 Light - didn't weigh
Thunder 147 Hollow Light - didn't weigh


Build Quality
Ventures and Thunders have a good build quality, on par with Independents, better than Tensor or Royal, not as good as Theeve or Destructo. This is actually no surprise, as Ventures, Thunders, and Independents are all cast in the same factory. 




Venture Trucks http://venturetrucks.net
I rode the Venture trucks in three configurations. The standard Venture Superlight in 5.2 low, the Superlight in 5.2 high, and the V5 in 5.2 low. The Venture superlights in both high and low weigh 355 grams. It is common for low and high versions of the same truck to weigh the same. When I weigh the trucks, I weigh them with all their hardware and bushings. 20-30 grams of any truck is taken up with the hardware and bushings. 
Venture V5 5.2 low

Venture V5 5.2 low


Venture Superlight Low 5.2
Venture Superlight High 5.2



The two variants of Superlights performed remarkably differently. The low Superlights felt like, well, like Ventures. They are highly stable thanks to the geometry that puts the axle almost directly over the truck bolts nearest the ends of the board. This gives a long wheelbase to the board and also increases the force necessary to lift the nose or tail of the board. The board generally feels "stiff" when you're doing ollies or nollies. This is comforting when learning tricks, because if you duckfoot the landing or land with only one foot on the board, the board is much less likely to shoot out from underneath you. If you already know the trick, though, the Ventures make your board feel slow to respond.  The Venture lows with the stock bushings are, once again, stable and slow. Perfect for learning tricks. Frustrating when you actually want to turn. Replacing the stock bushings with Bones Bushings and flat washers on the top make Ventures really turny and predictable. 
The Venture V5 low trucks felt a lot like the Superlight lows, just a lot lighter and slightly lower. The forged baseplate is thinner and lowers the truck ever so slightly. I also think the forged baseplate doesn't flex as much as the cast baseplate, because the V5 trucks felt more secure and responsive against the deck. I skated better with the V5 trucks than with the Superlights, as the V5s were more predictable. With Bones Bushings mounted, the V5s become the perfect Ventures.


The Venture Superlight High trucks, on the other hand, felt like they were made by a completely different truck company. They were nice on the grind, like normal Ventures, yet with no kingpin interference. However, the highs had none of the stability of the Venture lows. The tail and nose snapped quickly and erratically, it was difficult to balance on the strange pivot angle. I went and skated some Independent highs for a few weeks and returned to the Venture highs and still found the same observation. I got a second set of Venture highs, identical in every aspect, and still found them to be twitchy, unstable trucks. With Bones Bushings, they turned nicely and became more stable when cruising. But the shortened wheelbase imparted by the highs still made the board feel unstable when having anything but all four wheels on the ground. I didn't like the Venture highs one bit. They don't feel at all like Ventures.
All Ventures grind really nicely. You can form your locks really quickly, and on the low Ventures, the kingpin juts up a little bit. This is a good thing, because then you know where the center of your truck is on hand rails and grind rails. In the 80's, I skated nearly every type of truck, and I generally liked best the trucks that had a prominent kingpin. It just felt more stable to have that point of reference. 
I liked the Ventures enough to get a pair for myself. I got a set of V5 5.2 lows and some medium Bones Bushings. Nice trucks for skating in the garage in the winter.


Thunder Trucks http://www.thundertrucks.com
I skated 2 variants of the Thunder Trucks, the 149 Light and the 147 Hollow Light.
Thunder 149 Light
Thunder 147 Hollow Light


Thunder trucks are interesting. Whereas Ventures push out the wheelbase by placing the axle nearly over the truck bolts nearest the ends of the board, and Independents pull in the wheelbase by placing the axle nearly in the center of the baseplate, Thunders fall somewhere in between. They're stable, like Ventures but not requiring as much force to pop a nollie or ollie, and turny, like Independents though not quite as responsive. The two sizes of trucks had different handling characteristics.
A note first about Thunder trucks: there is no improving on the stock bushings. They're perfectly designed and shaped for Thunder trucks, and you will really find no aftermarket bushing that performs as perfectly as the stock bushings. When they wear out, buy a Thunder Bushing Rebuild Kit and keep going. Now on to the review.
The Thunder 147 Hollow Light trucks felt like modern trucks. They were extremely light - too bad I didn't weigh them, I hadn't gotten my scale yet. They felt on par with the weight of the Venture V5 lows. Although the 147s were nominally high trucks, I found them to be much more like low trucks. They were as low as Independent lows, not quite as low as Venture lows. They turned fairly responsively, but not smoothly. They felt a bit "notched" in their turning, even after the wonderful stock bushings broke in. I became accustomed to the notchy turning after the first day of skating them, so it wasn't too big a deal. I just had to accept that I couldn't go deep carving with these trucks. The trucks felt stable in flip tricks. I learned heelflips with these trucks, landing my first one at age 36 with these trucks. So they were good in that respect. It was really easy to get wheelbite with these trucks. I was skating 50mm wheels that wore quickly down to 47mm, and they were still wheelbiting hard enough with these trucks to cause me to bail. I tightened the trucks up to compensate, and they were so tight they felt like freestyle trucks, which pretty much made the trucks useless to my style of skating. And, in hindsight, probably helped me learn those heelflips, as that was after I tightened them up. They ground like Ventures, smooth and predictable, but with no kingpin touching. 
The Thunder 149 Light trucks were completely different than the 147s. I skated a set of Thunder trucks in 1989, and these 149s felt almost exactly like those trucks, only lighter. Firstly, the 149s turned well. Unlike the 147s, I didn't have to tighten them up to prevent wheelbite. I still had wheelbite, but it didn't seem to affect my riding much. I still had to be careful if I landed with too much front foot heel on nollies, but that was the only time they would throw me on wheelbite (Theeves do this too, as well as most other trucks except Destructo). They weren't super carvy like Indys or Theeves, but had a different kind of tight, responsive turning that came in extremely handy on street courses and miniramps. They were a little twitchy until the bushings broke in, which took about 2 hours of hard skating. The trucks were lighter than the Thunders from 1989, and they were lighter than 149 Independents, but they weren't as light as a lot of modern 149s, like Theeve or Destructo. But they handled extremely buttery and predictably, which made up for their middling weight. They were good on the grind, feeling more like older Independents and classic Thunders, yet not as smooth as other trucks like Destructo or modern Independents. The kingpins did not touch the grinding surface on normal 50-50s. The trucks took a bit of force to pop the nose or tail. It was a long trip down to the tap, and I often ghost tapped an ollie or nollie with these trucks. I remember this very same phenomenon with the Thunders in 1989. 


Which should you ride? 
Out of the trucks in this review, I would recommend the Venture lows to beginning skaters or skaters seeking ultimate stability for learning new tricks. The V5 is the better variant of Venture low. I wouldn't recommend the Venture highs to any skater, I can't think of a style where that kind of instability would come in handy. Skaters who do technical flip tricks and don't mind tight trucks should try the Thunder 147s. Skaters who want a classic street skating truck feel should try the Thunder 149s. 

40 comments:

  1. Took your info and fixed a 14" WB by adding Thunder 149s to stretch out the wheelbase. Originally set up with Indy 149s and 59mm Spitfire Trippers it was too squirrely.

    The forged baseplate dropped the ride height and smaller wheels too (54mm Autobahn Filmers).

    It made a sketchy setup into a fun ride. Useful help. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello,

    I found your Blog over Google, when I was searching a review about Theeve Trucks.
    Also found these review about Thunder Trucks.
    Are reviews are very detailed and also very helpful! Cause I rode all the time Independent trucks but want to try something new (for bowl/ vert and pool)...

    Keep on skating bro.

    Chris
    ( http://oldschoolskater.tumblr.com/ )

    ReplyDelete
  3. Any interest in reviwing Venture 5.8's. They are in Mid Height. The guy posted at SLAP that all new Ventures are reinforced. So not as easy to break.

    Btw: time permitting, do post more reviews. Decks especially. Black Label has some new 8.5, 8.88, and 9.0 pressings. And the Polar Pontus Alv P2 is in two sizes (8.2 and 8.6). Both have 14.5" wb's and big squared noses.

    Also an update: the Bullet 137 (8" hangars) are holding up well. They turn smoothly and stock bushings work great. Best $15 pair of trucks I've ever owned. They are used on a 8.3" pointed cruzer. The Foundation Duffel Shovel Digger. It is light and super fun to speed and carve on. If you ever set up a light tranpo deck, highly recommended as a truck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have in my possession a set of Venture 5.8s that I am testing. I'm comparing the 5.8s in a comparison test with Ace 44 trucks and the new Independent Stage X Mark II 149 trucks. It is coming soon!

      That is great to know about the Bullets. Especially about the stock bushings! Funny how NHS gets the stock bushings so right on Krux and Bullet truck but then gives Independent such wacky bushings...

      Delete
  4. Yes! Why do Bullets (the price point offering) have "better" (harder at 92a and squared bottom ...as newer Stage X Indys?? Maybe because used on completes, and if too soft, new skaters and heavier non-skaters just getting an interesting complete (Simpsons, Beer Company, Shark Cruzer) would be turned off. I know with stock Stage 10 Mark II 149's I can truckbite on carpet. Just before installing wheels. Tons of space but right down they go. Way too soft.

    Compared to Thunder 149's, The Indys are more carveable, as expected. Really good in bowls. But I prefer Thunders and Bullets for street as they are less likely to wheelbite. They seem to turn 90%, then tilt. No more turn = no bite. Some hate that. I don't mind as I just shifty slide if needed fast directional changes.

    I have heard from two other experienced skaters how much they like Theeves. They swear by them. I passed along your site info in the case they ever have bushing or pivot cup issues.

    So Theeves will be my next trucks. After wearing out the Thunder, Indy, or Bullets. Whichever comes first.

    I spotted Royal 4 5.5" at their new site. Mid height. Probably totals 8.25" hangarwise That may make a good comparison to the two new brands being reviewed (Venture 5.8" and Stage X 149's.

    Also, forged hollow Indys claim 51.5mm in height compared to 53 for Standards. I wonder how much the lower ride heigh affects feel. And they come with harder stock bushings. I read they are 92a and similar to Indy Aftermarket GP mediums.

    Again, this site is unique. And I antIcipate your upcoming reviews. If they review solid, Venture 5.8" will be tried after Theeve. But I have a few months of skating before the need arrives. Until then, reading up and geeking out on all things skate is seemingly my "sickness". And catching up here feeds the treats the sickness well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a set of 149 forged hollow Indys now for my comparison test. The height is 51.5mm, as you stated. But the bushings, although they are red, are 88a, just like all the stock bushings. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. I rode them around a bit with some aftermarket Indy bushings, and they don't feel like normal Indy 149s. They feel somehow less sure of themselves. You'll know more when the tests are completed.

      The Stage 9 Indys had a "stop" in the turning, too, right before wheelbite. That went away somewhat with Stage 10, and with Mark II it is completely gone. You're right, they'll wheelbite without wheels on them if you let them stay as loose as they are when you buy them. The stock bushings take a long time to break in and the conical bottom bushings do nothing to prevent wheelbite. Ugh.

      How is that the Destructo D2 trucks, which are somewhere between low- and mid-height, don't wheelbite even with 56mm wheels? I'll try to find out when I do the comparison test.

      Delete
    2. Oh, and don't be too eager to move to Theeve. I've seen a lot of skaters going back to their previous trucks after using Theeves for 6-12 months or so. My favorite street truck is Venture Low standard 5.2. My favorite park truck is Destructo D2 8.25. My favorite bowl truck WAS the Theeve 8.6, but now the Indy 149 Stage X Mark II turns just as well as the Theeve but grinds a lot better and feels more stable. It's complicated, but I'll cover it more in the upcoming comparison test.

      Delete
  5. This is great. Even more info. The curiosity quest ensues:

    1) the D2's may be the next choice for me. All updates considered. I skate 56mm softies from time to time and being wheelbite free is a huge plus. And the D2's are light so the extra mm of urethane wont tank weight the setup.

    2) you have both kinds of Indy Stage 10 Mark II's (hollow forged and Standard)? If so, which set are you prefering in bowls. And what bushings are working out? (I weigh 183# and like medium tight. I think you go a bit looser. I would go looser if no wheelbite, so the D2's may enable the change. I have two decks with Standard 149 Stage 10 Mark II. One set with GP medium oranges, another with Hard Square lowers and the stock 88a uppers. The Hard bottoms limited the thread clearance so the stock 88a squishes in and the nut threads flush. The ride is better for me than straight matching 92a. They turn if pushed but are extremely stable when going fast. And give good resistance to pop ollies. This is my first effort at mixed bushings bottom/top. And it really works. Transformed the loosey goosey stock ride into a secure, high rebound (re-centering) board. Huge confidence boost.

    I seriously dig your site. I can't say enough. Nobody does this. Yet it is super helpful. Even educational as real world physics applied to skating. Must be very intersesting working in the engineering field. Skate gear is way lower in tech, but even simple geometrical changes can have a huge impact on fun, safety, and durability.

    Coming from a motorcycle background, many engineering adjustments/applications are discussed refarding new products. But this is almost never covered by skate media. Some Tranworlds Buyer's Guides offer a smidgen of the applied technology. But I can see why as most skaters seem to scoff at anything new or tech. Like blissful ignorance.

    I like to keep an open mind. And do feel tech can help skating more enjoyable. Even if standard manufacturing but with thoughtful shaping and evolved practices (example: the Theeve pivot bushing cups and also yolk space to kingpin relationship).

    Forged baseplates are way stronger. And wheels that resist flat spots more durable (but better if not so waxy feeling). Just waiting for a soft filmer that does not de-core so easily. Bones ATF are wicked fast, but IMHO and experience too dangerous as seperation is not if, but when. And "when" always seems to be at a bad time, intersections, nearby traffic. I hope they fix that.

    So do keep up the interesting research. Truly appreciated as well as the ultra fast replies.

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  6. Sorry for all the grammar/spelling errors. Ironic promoting precision while looking so sloppy. Typing at length into the comment window on an iPod touch makes editing awkward.

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  7. 1) The D2s are awesome trucks. Some people are moaning about the D2s with the normal (i.e. not reversed) kingpin, but there really is no difference in geometry and feel between the two kingpins. I go pretty loose with my Destructos, and they are stable at speed and with 56mm wheels I get no disruptive wheelbite.

    2) I prefer the standard Independent in the bowls. I put hard GP conical bushings in the back, medium GP conical bushings in the front. It is kind of tight, but keeps the wheelbite down. The forged hollow Independents are lighter, with a stronger baseplate, but the kingpin is longer than the standard, exposing the threads on the kingpin when no-wheelbite-tightness is attained. The threads catch on squared coping.

    I'm really interested in your setup in that you found a way to make the rear truck more stable for ollies. That's the one thing I miss about my setup from the late 80s / early 90s. I think I'll try a squared off bottom bushing in the rear to see how that works. I'll add bushing configurations into my upcoming 8.5" comparison test. I always seem to get the most injured when riding Independent trucks, and a large part of that is the instability of the rear truck. I'll be sure to pay attention to that when I'm testing the 149s this winter.

    My favorite softie wheel so far is the Spitfire 80d. Have you tried it? The Bones ATFs were nice but too springy and, as you found out, decored at inopportune times. My ATFs decored on a downhill run powerslide. Sucked, but I didn't eat asphalt.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Appreciate the replies. A nice diversion from my current mystery auto overheating issues (changed thermo, changed temp sensor, still ongoing). Haha. It will be solved!

    Autobahn 80s are very durable, fairly fast. Even wearing. No core popping.

    OJ Keyframes very similar. A bit harder, but smooth enough, and speedy.

    Planned to try Ricta Clouds before hearing of Spitfire 80HD.

    I absolutely HATE slow soft wheels. Girl Big Dogs 59mm are horrible, drag like a 30-mph headwind. Stupid me. Discount buy. They were in 90a so maybe too hard to qualify as filmer. I was trying to match the Keyframes 87a on the cheap. But urethanes really react different. Those wheels (Big Dogs) felt dead. Dead and BORING.

    Surely will try the Spitfires. The 80HD advertised no mushing out. And that might lead to core breakage. I have heard stories of guys riding soft Kryptonites getting thrashed as the wheels buckled in bowls.

    It looks like a 56mm in 80HD will be a super match with D2's. I have skated 60mm (hard and soft) before. But 56 feel just as fast and seem to offer much more control. Less weight. Lower ride height. Little things do seem to make a large difference in feel. And when the 56 wears to 54mm, they have that broken in coning thats helps sure footedness.

    I mount risers (1/8") on all setups. So to losing them will be new. For both clearance and to secure bolts. Rattling bolts are a no go. 100% Despise rickity clunkers!!! On soft wheels not a concern.

    It seems that squared bottom bushings do add a stability factor greater than conical. There is a guide at the Khiro site that has all kinds of combinations (and what they should do). I just found out by tuning Mid Royals in 5.25". The stock busings were as soft as a bicycle innertube. Even worse than Stock Indy. They rode great after that. It was a blue bushing. No brand listed. Medium hard. Rock solid manuals and ollies after the swap.

    Now On Indy I prefer hard Bottom squares on both rear and front trucks. And the original squishy orange just fits in. It seems that the softness recorrects the axel better. It doesn't get stuck halfway tilted. And gives good progressive resistance that feels lively. A much different feeel than "loose and lively". More like a predictable and smooth turn, in and out.

    And as you have experienced, Indy trucks offer great turning when "on" and heavy injuries if "off". They seem to demand more attention. Like a two-stroke motorcycle. Stellar performance if you pay attention, but they really seem to punish lazy skating. I have crashed less on Thunder 149ers than Indy 149's. Both bought at the same time.

    The Thunders just do not lock up on aggressive turn forces. The 90% turn-then-tilt characteristic is like a built in saftety net. Limits the turning circle, but adds to a stable locked in angle at speed at park on on hills.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What kind of car? I'm pretty handy with Japanese 4 cylinders...

      Delete
    2. NHS will distribute barrel bottom bushings in all new trucks starting soon and will distribute barrels in all Genuine Parts aftermarket bushings when the current conical supply runs out.

      My current line up for the 149 truck comparison is:
      Venture 5.8
      Indy Stage X Mark II 149
      Indy Stage X Mark II 149 Hollow Forged
      Ace 44
      Destructo D2 5.75

      I bought 8.25" Fury trucks, but they sent me 7.75". I don't think I'll be able to exchange them in time for the comparison.
      I'm thinking about adding Tracker Darts, they're a popular bowl truck. If Thunder did a 2nd Strikes in 149 size, I would pick up a set of those, too. Theeve said they'd send me some 5.85 TiH trucks gratis in exchange for more reviews, but I've received nothing from them, so those won't be in this comparison. If they come out with a V3 5.85, then I'll spend some money on them for comparison.

      Anything else I should add?

      Delete
  9. Just found out about these washers. No play between washer and kingpin. Two types made. One for barrel. One for conical. Crafted for downhill but claimed to fit in all trucks. He has a video on Youtube. And at his site Axcelspring. Griffin Skateboarding.

    Google Axcelspring Washers for details.

    Looks promising. No more cut bushings. Tensor tried the lip design on the bushing, but these have the lip on the washer. So the collar pressure is on bushing, not hanger/basepate. And the holes are drilled to just sleeve over the kingpin. Less play may prevent kingpin breakage.

    Hope this is of interest. No a weak ass spam effort. Just in search of the Ultimate Truck Setup.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the tip! I'll check it out. I've been using plumbing washers for my flats; they're a little thin and deform easily.

      Delete
  10. Wow! Lucky me, no joke ....The car is an 87 Acura Integra.

    Turned out that the guy who installed the thermostat (that was the solution) stripped out the threading in the inside of the block where the housing plate mounT bolts on. So it leaks there now and the thermostat can't open to work properly. And he ran it to 12 O'clock three times for over 10 minutes claiming it was my gauge that was errant (even though I said it was never a problem). Saying it was "totally okay, the thermo will open".

    So now I have to tap out the mount hole.
    And have about 30 minutes of accumulated extra wear from running it so hot (3 pm is normal operating temperature). I questiined this five times "are you sure??? Are you sure???" he claimed 30 years experience so I regrettably gave in. I feel super stupid for not putting my foot down in protest. Paid $100 to have my car worse than originally was. Totally bummed.

    Bertrand, do you know how much tapping or rethreading generally costs for one bolt? I will research on Monday.

    Btw: i know this isn't skate related. So if any ideas, my email is Boom.mala@gmail.com.
    Just in case to keep your blog neat and to the point. But anybody learning from my mistakes is okay. So angry at damaging (potentially) an engine I never ran hot previously that never leaked or burned oil (and got 28 mpg always). Super tight motor built in Japan. Possibly trashed my a dude claiming $500 K in SnapOns and 30 years experience. Don't mean to vome across a a whiner or victim. I just respect solid engineering and despite carelessness and recklessness. And ego based know-it-all wrenchers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Usually claims of 30 years experience mean that their engineering knowledge is 30 years old. What good is experience if you don't stay current with technology? Good engineers take courses every year in the new technologies and techniques that come out. Why would he run it hot just to see if the thermo opened when he could have just let it idle for 10-15 minutes? Seems unnecessary.

      I had an 87 Honda Accord that was equally tight and fuel efficient. Not as powerful as the Acura version, but such a nice car. My old Honda was totaled when a semi truck ran me off the road. :(

      I had a Mazda Miata for a while, too. LOTS of maintenance on that little car. A big disappointment, that Miata. Anyway, I used to tap out and die my own stuff. But an engine block tap and die should be left to a metal worker. I imagine it'll cost around $100 at most. If you're just rethreading the bolt, then you can probably do that yourself if you have the right die. Assuming the bolt is portable, you can take it to a metal worker who could rethread it for about $25-40.

      Also, I don't know where you are, but around here in Maryland we use Angie's List to find good service providers. It really helps. We found a really great mechanic shop through Angie's list. http://www.angieslist.com

      Best of luck!

      Delete
  11. The proposed truck testing looks solid. Enough of a mix to be thorough. Only Royal 4 at 5.5 Raw would be a good addition. I have had good luck with Mids after bushing swaps. Royal og and evo are awful. As in A lo Tensor feel. But Royal 4 High could be interesting.

    The Griffin Axelsprings look legit and claim 25% more performance. The owner Thane says that the 25% claim is open for interpretation, but there are two links to reviews at the site that are positive.

    After solid geometry, quality casting/forging, good bushing rates, the actual washers seem to be the final area to seek improvement in skateboard handling.

    If you are interested in trying a set (or one of each: conical and barrel) I will buy and forward to you as "donation appreciation" for all the work you put into your site. As mentioned before, what you do and how it's revealed is unique. Most skate info is just press releases or "rad, dude" generic preference. But listing the specs and the how/whys of a specific designs characteristics adds value. Just email info to Boom.mala@gmail.com. Btw, my name us Marc.

    Check at the Axelspring site and note what looks useful. And forward the info. Hopefully the customized washers show measurable improvements on your preferred trucks. And all skate time can be spent on enjoying the ride, not working around inherently flawed hardware. Plus, seeking perfection is fun. Simple ideas to tranform a 7/10 or 8/10 to 10/10.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Marc.
      The Axcelsprings look interesting. I suppose I'd want to test the flats and the cupped, both top and bottom, to see how they perform. Washer movement is bothersome, to be sure. And so far, I haven't seen any inner-cored bushings that don't separate or otherwise compromise the setup.

      I looked far and wide for Royal Fours in 5.5. No luck. Do you have a set you want to donate for the test? You'd get them back, plus other goodies, at the end of the testing. I'll email you.

      Delete
    2. I finally found a set of Royal Fours in 5.5. I'll post my findings about them soon. I've been skating some low and mid Tensors right now and neither of them turn at all. Plus they wheelbite even when they're really tight. I'm not sure how people skate Tensors. I find them unskateable.
      On my favored board, I had been riding Destructo 5.75s, but they get kind of unpredictable at times. I still have a board set up with Venture 5.8 light trucks. I put the soft stock bushings from the Tensor mids in the Ventures and the Ventures feel pretty good now. Stable, yet turny, surfy, and really responsive. Ollie effort is still high, though, and I'm skating the really sweet mellow concave Dopamine Skateboard 8.5 deck right now. Mellow deck usually means low ollie effort, but the Ventures have the axle so far back that the deck feels like a normal steep deck.
      I'm really hoping I can find a truck I can skate more regularly without all the tradeoffs. Let's see how the Royal 4 trucks do...

      Delete
  12. I weight the Thunder 147 Hollow Lights with stock bushings: 306g ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! Those are lighter than the Krux Mahollow! I'll update my weight chart and credit you, Christopher, for the contribution to the database.

      Delete
  13. you're welcome! :)

    -I'm not sure if I already comments this but- in my blog I put the Thunder Hollow Lights Hi and the Indy Koston Forged Hollow in opposit to each other. I was a little bit confused that the thunders Hi are very low in opposit to the Forged Hollow that are Mid (2mm less than "normal" Indys): Here are the pics:

    http://oldschoolskater.tumblr.com/post/18498023579/thunder-hollow-lights-147-hi-vs-independent-139

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great pictures!
      I found the 147 hi trucks to be lower than some low trucks. They were about 50mm in height, about the same as the Krux 4.0 Downlow.

      Delete
  14. HI

    The venture V5 low are good for street? Do you recommend for beginners?

    Tanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Venture V5 Low are very good for street skating. Also perfect for beginners. They are very forgiving trucks and are stable when learning tricks.

      Delete
  15. Hey

    What size of trucks should I choose for my deck 7.87 ? 5.0 or 5.2 venture?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shaggy,
      If you're going to be doing a lot of flip tricks, then go for the 5.0s. If you're going to be doing grinding, go for the 5.2. If you're going to do flip tricks AND grinding, go for the 5.2 and put both of the speed washers on the axle nut side of each of the wheels. This brings the center of gravity in a little bit and helps flip tricks, but you still get a lot of grinding surface. This works best with thin wheels, and is the setup I use on my 7.75 deck.

      Delete
  16. Quick question,

    Beginner skater interested in Venture lows, but also indy lows (much cheaper right now). If I go indy will there be a huge difference between the two for ground tricks?

    -skating street

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good question. Ultimately, it all comes down to preference. Ventures are best for beginners because they're stable and forgiving, yet beginners can learn on Indys, too, they'll just slam more often.
      Here's a rundown of the different characteristics of Indy lows and Venture lows:
      Independent low:
      - extremely quick response, you have to be careful when you pop because the tail/nose will tap quickly.
      - very low kingpin that won't snag on grinds
      - the only bushings that fit are Independent Low bushings
      - demand precision and punish bad foot placement. You WILL slam a lot with Indy trucks.
      - turn well, but wheelbite is common

      Venture low:
      - stable response. Not slow, but more effort is required to pop. This is good when learning new tricks.
      - turn extremely quickly and tightly - yet smoothly and predictably - when you use Bones Bushings or any conical bushings in them. Assuming proper wheel size (52mm or less) , wheelbite is rare.
      - kingpin is even with or just above hanger, depending on how you tighten them. However, the kingpins don't snag that often and this will teach you how to grind on the kingpin - an important skill to have.
      - extremely forgiving trucks. Even with bad foot placement you won't shoot out or slam. It is harder overall to slam with Venture trucks. On the one hand, this is good because you build confidence. On the other hand, you don't learn to fall correctly.

      The similarities:
      - both trucks grind pretty well. If you get raw, you'll have no problems. Painted trucks take longer to break in so they grind well.
      - both trucks are high quality. The axles will be centered, the mounting holes will be accurate.

      Delete
  17. Dude, best blog ever!!! Going with the Ventures, also following this site as it is the best resource for skateboarding gear on the internet.

    -skating street

    ReplyDelete
  18. I've pretty much only ever used standard indy 139s with bones bushings. I'm not a very advanced skater so I decided to try something a little more modern and light so I recently got the thunder hollow light 147 Hi. I haven't received them yet but your review is very helpful although has me a little worried that I'll find them vastly different than my Indys and therefore not as enjoyable. I like to ride somewhat loose with bones medium. Any suggestions or modifications I can make to these trucks to improve their performance? I was unaware they were 3mm lower than my Indy so perhaps I should get risers.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I love your blog btw. I have read through a lot of your postings and they are so informative. Almost like a truck bible.

    I just started skating again after a 10 year break (university, marriage,kid). I used to use Thunders back then and that's what I bought this time around. How do the Thunders compare to the Tensor Ten Magnesium?

    Thanks

    -Josh

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    Replies
    1. Hey Josh, thanks for reading! Thunders and Tensors compare favorably. Both are quick turning trucks, which is useful for street skating and tight transition skating. Both are fairly low trucks, so they both flip very well. Both trucks ride best when they are adjusted medium-tight to tight.

      There are differences between the two trucks, though. The Tensors are much lighter than the Thunders. The Thunders have better stock bushings than the Tensors. The Tensor Magnesiums grind significantly better than the Thunders or, indeed, any truck out there.

      I once said that you can't really carve on Tensors. I have just completed testing with a new bushing configuration in a set of Tensor Tens 5.75 Magnesium and can now say that Tensors carve really, really nicely when you use a tall barrel bottom bushing. It is a tight, controlled, confident carve.

      Delete
  20. Thanks for the info! I think I'm going to try them out in a few weeks. I love thunders but I've heard and read that the Mag's feel so much more solid.

    When I started skating again and I ordered the Thunders, I actually ordered the Bones Hard Bushings without even trying the stock bushings. I never liked the old thunder bushings as they always felt too mushy (back in 99'-03.

    I really like hard bushings on loose to medium tight trucks. I hate the mushy feeling. What bushings did you replace them with? What hardness?

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    Replies
    1. I like hard bushings, too. I replaced the bottom bushings on my Tensor 5.75 lows with Venom Downhill (tall barrel) bushings in 94a.

      Delete
  21. So over the weekend, I picked up the Tensor Mag (5.0). I haven't installed them yet. But I did take off my Thunders to see what the weight difference was. I actually have Theeve Titanium kingpins on my Thunders. I don't have a digital scale but I'll post pics below.

    The Thunders were 300 grams on the dot. The Tensor Mag 10 were 200. Insane!

    Thunder
    http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/joshrivera/Sk8ing/20121125_224259.jpg
    http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/joshrivera/Sk8ing/20121125_224452.jpg

    Tensor
    http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/joshrivera/Sk8ing/20121125_224502.jpg
    http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a138/joshrivera/Sk8ing/20121125_224516.jpg

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  22. Nice reviews. The venture trucks that i ordered are very good. they last along time and are not too heavy ive skated with the ones i have now for 1 year which have out ran all of my other thunder and tensor trucks nice job venture:)

    ReplyDelete
  23. This is very effective article for me. Thank your for sharing for this good information & your idea. I can know many things about Venture Trucks & Thunder Trucks.

    ReplyDelete