Please take a moment to follow this link to complete a survey about skateboard sizes.

Alternatively, you can navigate to the survey by copying and pasting the following URL to your browser's address bar:

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Theeve Trucks Review: Part 4

Okay, Theeve heads. This is part 4 of my ongoing Theeve Trucks review. Part 1 here. Part 2 here. Part 3 here. This time, I'm skating some TiKING 5.85 Theeve trucks. I don't notice much difference with the TiKINGs. In this part, I'll discuss truck weights and the infamous bushing bulge and how I solved it.

First off, I've been using my postage scale to weigh all the trucks that I have been reviewing. I'll post the full table in a future post. For now, here are the weights of the various Theeve trucks I've ridden.

TiAX 5.25 - 335 grams
TiAX 5.5 - 345 grams
TiAX 5.85 - 355 grams
TiAX hanger 5.25 - 200 grams
TiAX hanger 5.5 - 210 grams
TiAX hanger 5.85 - 225 grams
TiAX baseplate - 115 grams

TiKING 5.85 - 348 grams
TiKING baseplate - 105 grams

CSX 5.5 - 377.5 grams
CSX hanger 5.5 - 242.5 grams
CSX baseplate - 115 grams

The only significant difference in weight is in the CSX hanger. The Bones Bushings and top washer and kingpin nut collectively weigh 20 grams. Normal bushings weigh 5 grams, Bones Bushings weigh 10 grams.

Now on to discussing the bushing bulge. As I and many others have found out, the bottom Bones Bushings - stock or aftermarket - on Theeve trucks bulge easily and separate from their cores. Some have solved it by putting a bottom washer on. Many have solved it by just rotating the bushings as they bulge to at least even them out.  You can read more about this ongoing saga here and here.

The bushing bulge happened with the CSX, too. I've read reports that the bushing bulge also happens with the TiH hangers. Rotating the bushings helps, but they still separate from their cores. I got really irritated with skating the Theeves for a week, rotating the bushings every night, and they ended up looking like this:
Theeve Truck bushing bulge, bottom bushings after 1 week of use with nightly rotation. Note separated core on the bushing on the left.
Side view of Bones bushings after a week of riding. The bushing on the left is utterly destroyed. I was riding it when it popped out, and suddenly my board was all squirrely underneath me. $10 in bushings a week? No way.
I don't want to buy any bushing every week, much less $10 sets like Bones Bushings. I set about to solve this issue, and I'm happy to report that I think I have solved it. I tried Khiro aluminum insert bushings in yellow, and those didn't bulge but they completely ruined the smooth turns of the Theeves. The Khiro bushings also crushed all the way down and lost all springiness after only a few days of riding. And I ride my trucks pretty damn loose.
Next, I tried the Bones-licensed bushings that come stock on Destructo trucks. Same issue as with Bones bushings. Moving on.

I remember seeing somebody riding Theeves with Independent bushings in them. He had the orange medium Indy bushings and top and bottom washers on them. He said he'd been riding them for some time with no problems. Knowing that I find the orange Indy bushings too stiff for my liking, I put a set of brand-new Indy red soft bushings on my 5.85 Theeves. At first I had the bottom washer mounted, and couldn't easily put the kingpin nut on. When I rode Independents, I often put flat washers on the bottom because the cone bushings turned so much better that way. I took the bottom washer off and mounted the Indy bushings with only the top washer:

Success! The pictures above were taken after 3 days of skating the Independent soft bushings. When I rode Indys, the red bushings - always aftermarket, just throw the bushings that come with Independents away - would last me about 6-7 months on average.
Okay, so, no bulging with the Indy bushings, no other problems, but how did they ride? Freaking fantastic. Way, way smoother than the Bones bushings. True, I had to ride them for an hour to break them in, but big deal! They're far smoother than the Bones bushings. Turns are utterly predictable, moreso. Once they broke in, I wasn't getting wheelbite. They're far more quick to respond to tiny movements. Far more predictable at low speeds and at high speeds. My trucks feel telepathic now. Since I mounted them, I haven't had to make any adjustments to the trucks, I just ride and have fun - no more equipment worries. By day 3, I wasn't even checking my bushings before I rode to make sure they hadn't popped out like the Bones Bushings did. I had utter confidence that all was well beneath my feet. And it was, better than well. My Theeve trucks are now perfect.
So, that's it. You want to solve your Theeve truck problem with Bones Bushings bulging and popping out? Go get yourself some Indy bushings, toss the bottom washer, mount them up, flush up the kingpin nut, and go skate!


  1. Hey would this solution work with doh doh bushings? because I heard that the stock indy bushings are bad.

  2. Probably wouldn't work so well with Doh Doh bushings. Couple of problems: Doh Doh bottom bushings are barrel bushings, not cone, and the geometry on Doh Dohs is better suited to trucks that come stock with barrel bushings, like Tensor and Venture trucks. If you did do Doh Dohs, you'd have to put a bottom washer in, and your Theeves would be pretty high trucks at that point.
    The stock Independent bushings are pretty nasty. I don't know why that is, they're just greasy, shiny urethane that takes months to break in and even then isn't that great. Stock Independent bushings have been like that since the mid-1980's. The aftermarket Independent bushings, on the other hand, are excellent bushings. Especially the red bushings, the soft ones. Chris Haslam talks about the red bushings here:

  3. Hey Bertrand hit me up at would love to chat more about this. Love your product reviews they always help. Look forward to your email.

  4. If I put the bottom washers on, would it make the bushing last longer? Does the bottom washer really affect the turning that much on theeves?

  5. Would putting the bottom washer on with indy bushings make the bushings last longer? Does the bottom washer really affect the turning that much?

  6. That's precisely what I intend to find out. Stay tuned.

  7. Hey I have the exact same indy red bushings and theeve tiax 5.5s, i dont use the bottom washer either. But I noticed that the top washer scrapes the sides of the bushing seats when i turn sometimes, My kingpin nut is about flush with the kingpin, its about medium loose. Do you have this problem, do you know how to solve this problem? thank you.

  8. RE: top washer contacting the hanger. That's another very good question. I will publish a full test of bushing issues in a couple of weeks. Here's a preview, though: photos of different bushings (Indy, Thunder, Bones, and more) and how they fared in Theeve V2s, washer configurations (bottom washers, top washers, cupped versus flat versus shallow cupped), and, last but not least, comparison of V2 bushing seat to the claimed improved design on the new Theeve Low. Stay Tuned!

  9. Dear The Bertrand,
    Which trucks do you think are better:

    TiAX V2

    What I've read is, is the V2's remedy the bulging issue. I wonder is there's a bulging issue with the TiKing as well ?

  10. Well, the TiKING and the TiAX V2 are the same trucks except for the kingpin. The TiKING is a TiAX V2 with a TiKING titanium hollow Kingpin. They feel demonstrably the same in turning. The TiKING is 7 grams lighter than the TiAX - about the weight of a AAA battery - and the weight does make everything feel a little lighter. The titanium kingpin doesn't flex as much as the steel kingpin, but the difference is so slight you won't notice this at all.
    Both trucks will bulge the bottom bushing.
    The new Theeve Low is supposed to have a better bushing seat, we'll see when I put some to the test pretty soon here.

  11. Great review. I'm still riding my v1 Theeve TIAX from Jan 2010. Regarding the bushing buldge, I've had success using bones hard on the bottom and bones medium (yellow) on top. No bulge since ~ June or so this year. If they bulge I'll try out the red indy bushings.

  12. I've just swapped the bottom bushings for Bones top ones so I have two top bushings in each truck. I'll report back on that that goes soon.

  13. hey dude, this blog is my go to every time im on the truck hunt... and its come to that time again! much like you were, i am an adamant independent user... however after much arduous research ive decided i want to atleast try out theeves... i was wondering if you could give me a measurement of the difference between the independent mid's and the theeve TiH.. a photo illustrating the height difference would amazing but i wont push my luck haha...
    any help would be AMAZING cause theeve have no info on their truck height..

  14. Sure, I'll measure some trucks for you. What width are you going to get?

  15. Sneak preview of the upcoming full report. I tried putting a bottom washer on to change the geometry. The kingpin nut wouldn't fit with the Bones Bushing, it barely fit with a single action bushing. Long story short: the bottom washer actually made the bulging worse. I'm starting to think that the problem lies not in the bushings but in the pivot bushing - I think the pivot bushing is too deep.

    So, in an upcoming review, I'll be sharing my experiences with various bushing configurations as well as some experiments with pushing the pivot bushing out a bit.
    Stay tuned!

  16. great blog!! love the theeve info uve got!!

  17. props! great reviews!

  18. hey i was just wondering the height of the theeve TiH vs the indy mids not really any other measurements

  19. I noticed your Genuine Parts Indy bushings are cone shaped.. The stock bushings in my Indy Stage 10 Forged trucks have a straight/cylinder bottom bushing. Is it like that for all stock bushings, and do all Genuine Parts versions come cone shaped?

    My friends and I all tried out many versions of Theeve trucks and we all had the bulging problem. The problem is so bad that the trucks are pointless to even ride, but this post is going to have me trying some Indy bushings in my Theeves. :)

    I really wish Theeve would just fix the issue of the bulging. I tried to figure out why it does that, but all I can think of is the angle at which the hanger sits and pivots over the baseplate and pushes down on the bushings when weight is applied to them..

    It's no biggie though, cos I have Destructo D2s!

    I've been trying to find a truck better than my D2 trucks, and the only close contender is Indy trucks with Bones Bushings. The one thing I dislike about Indys are that they grind EXTREMELY rough on cement ledges, and even many rails, at least when compared to Destructo trucks. They also turn quite sharp; while D2 trucks turn really smooooth, or more natural.

    Theeves seemed to grind well, but they're not worth skating with the bushing issue. In order to get Theeves to turn as smooth/natural as my D2 trucks (which use Bones Medium Bushings) I had to use Soft Bones Bushings. I think the turning issue might have something to do with the lack of space around the top bushing when turning. The bushing tries to bulge up and out the sides a little when turning, but the walls around the top bushing adds more resistance and doesn't allow it to bulge, making the turn much harder/stiffer.

  20. Brad,
    I'm currently drafting a post wherein I've solved the Theeve bushing bulge problem once and for all. Hint: it ain't the bushings! I wrote to Theeve about it, but it fell on deaf ears, apparently.
    I'm with you on the Destructos. They've become my new go-to truck. I like Theeves in the bowl, where sharp turning is handy, but everything else I unapologetically use Destructos for.

  21. The new Indy Stage 10s use barrel bottom bushings, the old use cone bottom bushings. They don't have Genuine Parts bushings with barrels on the bottom yet.

  22. So I tried the Indy bushings in my TiAX Theeves... WOW! I think I might actually like them more than the D2s; which is insane news.. The first day I tried it I learned frontside smithgrinds on my grindbox at home! I was also doing backside crooks like it was nothing!

    After a good session with the Theeves using Indy bushings I decided to compare my D2s, and they just didn't grind as smooth or quick, though not far behind. I'm not yet sure if it's the fact that they're old and grinded down a lot, and the Theeves are new and still round, or if the Theeves are just a softer(?) metal that grinds more smooth.. Grinds on the mini were super quick, far, and smooth too! :)

    I'll try to compare the new D2s to the new Theeves tomorrow to find out the real differences.

    Hopefully they grind the same because I still don't trust Theeve trux all that much. My friend had the v1 of the TiAX and not only did he have the bushing bulge problem, but the baseplate shattered under his pivot cup, and the bushing lip on the hanger bent, and I believe also broke; although Theeve sent him a new truck when he told them.. He just up and stopped using his Theeves cos of so many problems with the stock set.

  23. On the Indy site, only a few types use the new barrel bottom bushing.

    What is interesting is the Bullet Trucks use a barrel shape (92a, same duro as the aftermarket Indy medium bushing for Standard trucks) and are 51 mm in height (likE an Indy low or Forged (51.5mm).

    I wonder if they ride stable (like Thunder) or InDy Low?

    Right now the 8" Raw (code nname 137, lol) is $14.99 for a set if two. Your site is so interesting I almost want to order them for you to try, as a budget truck option.

    Looks like a good truck on paper. Indy-like build quality, lifetime guarantee, 92a bushings (stock Indy Standard is 88a) and barrel shape.

    Anyways, great job getting into shape, hopefully quitting smoking, and starting a cool blog (no homo)! Haha. Youtube inspired nonsense tagline.

  24. Wheres the review for the theeve fix!

  25. I'm drafting the Theeve bushing bulge fix right now. I've run into a lot of problems with my hypothesis, and I want to be thorough. I take back the "it ain't the bushings" comment. To speed it up, I will post it in two parts: 1. hypotheses and approach to evaluation, plus initial findings; 2. final findings, recommendations.
    So sorry it is taking so long. Theeve is waiting on the results, too.

  26. I've posted Part 5. Go to the home page to see it. Theeve has been notified, too, with a more detailed report about the engineering findings.

  27. Anonymous 10/17 7:34 AM,
    The Bullet trucks do indeed look interesting. The whites look fucking snazzy:
    Maybe a budget truck shootout is in order? What other trucks should be on that list?

  28. why do theeves have an oval hole where the hanger holds the bushings? because it makes me blow out bushings very often!

  29. you say "normal" bushings weight five grams. Do the indy bushings weight less then the bones?

    1. Yes. The bones bushings weigh 10g, the Indys weigh 5g.

    2. indy weight is 5g without the washers i guess?

    3. That is correct. Independent bushings weigh 5 grams without the washers.

  30. Hi. Awesome review and testig. Friend of mine rides theeve. Now i can help him out.

    I have an issue concerning the Indy "solo cross" (Stage 10, hollow, forged). I guess the first "hollows" ever produced? They come with cone shape bushings while all other (newer) hollow forged trucks seem to have barrel shape bottom bushings. Now I ask myself: Why did they change the design? And why are there no original replacement barrel bushings for the new indys (stage 10 forged hollow ie. duane peters edition)? I am just curious.

    Is there a proper product history with all that data online? I also have a pair of stage 7 indys on my cruiser board. They work great with the red 90A indy replacement cushions. I used to put doh-dohs on but now they turn much better.

    Another thing is they say the indys are mid height 51.5mm. What bushings shall i use? Standard sized or low ones?

  31. I figured out its only the baseplate that is lower... so i need standard bushing.

    1. Yes, standard bushings for the Indy forged.

      Independent changed the bushing design when the Stage X Mark II came out. The upper yoke cavity on the SXMII was wider to allow for deeper turning before the top washer bottomed against the inside of the yoke. With this new design, and with the general trend of people skating wider trucks, there was more leverage on the bottom bushing. The bottom bushings on trucks became conical in the mid-90s, when truck sizes dropped from 9" and 8.75" to 8" and 7.75". These narrower trucks didn't turn as well with the barrel bottom bushings - the axles were too short to generate sufficient leverage, causing the narrower trucks to feel stiffer than the wider trucks, all else being equal. A conical lower bushing allowed the narrower trucks to turn like the wider trucks. Now, with the return to wider trucks, and the wider upper yoke cavities, the trucks need a stabler bottom bushing. Hence, the barrel bottom bushing.
      Independent plans to sell all of the current stock of aftermarket conical bushings before they start selling aftermarket cone-top/barrel-bottom bushings.

    2. That is very interesting.

      If i would realize this fact as a truck manufactorer. I would start putting conical bushings on small trucks and barrel on big trucks. But the latest 129 stage X FH come with barrel bushings again: History repeats.

      Its all pretty confusing.

      However i like that feel of the conical bushings on my 8 inch trucks. Lets see how long they will last. And indy bushings are cheap.

    3. Sorry for double posting... again. But i though about it again and i think the bottom bushing in combination with the larger cavity can maybe better the wheel bite problem. Because there will be more resitance from the barrel bushing causing the upper bushing to be busted more. Maybe this will lead to less wheelbite due to the higher center of entanglement. What do you think?

    4. You are correct. Independent kept the barrel bottom washer for all truck sizes because the yoke is wider, allowing the trucks to lean more, and the Indy team riders liked the barrel bottom because it prevented wheelbite.

    5. All right! So i will try the neon green doh-dohs on my 8" SXMII next. but i keep the red conicals on my 8" party cruiser stage 7 indys.

      Best regards!!!

  32. hey thanks for the Theeve info! I on old skater(48) and do LDP skating up in CT. I skate everyday that there isn't snow on pavement. I have had the idea for a weatherproof board for sometime. I just ordered a set of 5.85 TiKIngs and will put them on a flexdex slalom 30 front truck wedged 13-16 dergees and rear dewedged 8 dergees I haven't decided on wheels yet. Yr review inspired me.


  33. The Fledex Slalom 30 board is together and riding great! I am using 60mm NoSkoolz on it. 16 degrees of wedging front and 8 de-wedged rear. I replaced the bones bushings with Bitch white boardside and orange roadside in front and blue in back. I was also getting marks from the cup washers so I am running no washers boardside and I modified 11/16 nylon washers to fit around the kingpins it's been great so far. This is the most sgile carving/pumping boardI've had.

  34. Do you think that Independent soft bushings will work in Destructo trucks (they are Destructo D2 Lite)?