The Theeve TiAX V2 axle diameter measurements fell below 1 standard deviation from the mean. That's enough to notice a difference. The skater commented that the wheels rattle excessively on Theeve trucks but not Thunder or Venture trucks. These measurements show that the skater wasn't imagining it.
Theeve seemed to have fixed it with the V3, though. Theeve TiAX V3 axles fell above 1 standard deviation, but they're not alone, sharing the upper range with Bear Polar Bear trucks and Surf Rodz TKP trucks - good company. The absolute upper control limit is the inner diameter of skateboard bearings - about 8 mm - and none of the trucks were above that. Another interesting observation from the data is the wide dispersion of measurements for the old school Gullwing trucks.
Part 5. Theeve trucks are awesome trucks, but they suffer from a bushing problem with the stock Bones medium bushings. The bottom bushing bulges and eventually pops out. The bulging isn't so bad, but the popping out part is what makes your trucks suddenly squirrely. Imagine going for that 12 foot high tile carve in your local pool and suddenly your bushings blow and your board gets all wobbly under your feet. Not a good scenario. Many skaters have tried many things to resolve this problem: adding a bottom washer, reversing the bushings, replacing the bushings with Indy bushings, rotating the bushings.
|I tried a flat bottom washer.|
|I tried a cupped bottom washer. Bottom washers with Bones Bushings actually made the problem worse, hastening the popping out. Not to mention they ruined the turning.|
I tried all of those resolutions, too. My interim finding was that I was having great success with Independent Genuine Parts standard red 90a bushings and no bottom washer. But I talked to Theeve a bit about the problem, found out the background (sorry, it's classified) for the problem, and I agreed to try some scenarios to see if I could get the trucks to work with the stock Bones bushings. (Theeve, by the way, has been very supportive to me and their other customers with regards to quality control and handling warranty claims on their trucks. Bravo, Theeve.)
So, I grabbed a few sets of new Bones hardcore medium bushings and went to work. Just to be sure, I mixed up the black versus white Bones bushings (the material color, not the cores) - results were identical regardless of material color. First, I baselined my 5.85 Theeve TiKING trucks with new Bones hardcore bushings. Sure enough, after a week of skating, the bushings popped out while I was riding. I decided that instead of trying to resolve the bushing problem, I would look at other parts of the trucks. I replaced the top cupped washer with a flat washer, mounted new Bones bushings, but the problem remained. Plus the turning wasn't that great with that set up. With the 3rd new set of Bones bushings mounted, I replaced the stock pivot cup with a Khiro soft small pivot cup. These pivot cups are different than the Theeve pivot cups. Khiro calls pivot cups "pivot bushings", but to avoid confusion in this post between pivot bushings and kingpin bushings, I will call them "pivot cups".
|On top, the Theeve stock pivot cup, slightly mauled from removal. On the bottom, a Khiro soft small pivot cup. Notice the squared off inside of the Theeve pivot cup and compare it to the smooth, rounded off inside of the Khiro pivot cup.|
|Theeve truck with stock Theeve pivot cup. Note how the kingpin sits toward the front of the yoke, like the hanger sits too deep in the pivot cup. Easy to see how the bottom bushing pops out.|
This 1.2 mm difference was just enough, though.
|Theeve truck with Khiro soft small pivot cup. This time, notice how the kingpin sits more toward the back of the yoke, giving more yoke to rein in the bottom bushing.|
Let's go skating.
|Theeve trucks with stock Bones bushings and Khiro hard small pivot cups. Bulging, but no popping.|
|Theeve trucks with stock Bones bushings and Khiro hard small pivot cups. Bulging, but no popping. This is the rear truck, which takes far more abuse.|
After a week of use, the new Bones bushings had bulged on both trucks, but hadn't popped. After 3 weeks of skating, the bushings, with no rotation or other maintenance, were still bulged but hadn't popped. Big drops, deep carves, pools, powerslides, I did it all. No bushing popping. Bulging, yes, but the Bones bushings on my Ventures bulge, too, toward the back, but they don't pop.
|For comparison, Venture V5 5.2 low trucks with Bones medium bushings. Bulging, but no popping. Awesome turning, well, for Ventures, anyway. Rear truck.|
|For comparison, Venture V5 5.2 low trucks with Bones medium bushings. Bulging, but no popping. This is my front truck.|
|Theeve trucks with stock bushings and Khiro hard small pivot cups. After 2 weeks of skating, the kingpins are now centered in the yokes, like they're supposed to be.|
So, that's it. Theeve, take note: you need a new pivot cup design. I would go even shallower than 10mm, like 9.5mm, and I would make sure it was a hard durometer. When you get around to the V3 mid, I recommend a thicker yoke toward the front with a larger lip over the bottom washer. If you want to completely redesign the geometry, increase the distance on the hanger between the pivot point and the center of the yoke. Or, for a quick win, you can drill the pivot cup cavity about 1-1.5mm closer to the center of the baseplate. Get to work!
In the meantime, Khiro bushings are available at many fine skateshops as well as Amazon.
Readers, thanks for your patience. I still have more Theeve reviews coming up: the TiH and the new Theeve Lows are on the way for testing. Also, I'll be looking at some of Antics, Intls' (Theeve's parent company) other products as well.