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Saturday, February 18, 2012

149 Truck Comparison Test, Part 2

In the previews here and here, I introduced this comparison among trucks in the 149 size.
Each of the trucks were tested enough to put them in order for follow-on testing. I was able to make a lot of distinctions by testing the trucks on Surfland, Flatland, Rock and Roll, and Rail Slide. In most cases, these tests were enough to place the trucks in order. (I did the Grind Box, too, but for reasons stated below, the Grind Box didn’t help distinguish among the trucks.)
The follow-on testing will consist of spending a week with each of the trucks at my local parks: first the indoor park to hit the mini ramp, then the outdoor park to try them out in the bowl.

First, the results:

Results (Reverse Order, from 5 to 1)
5. Destructo D2 5.75
4. Independent 149 Forged Hollow Stage X Mark II
3. Independent 149 Standard Stage X Mark II
1. (tie) Ace 44
1. (tie) Venture 5.8

Detailed Findings
Independent 149 Standard vs. Ace 44
Surfland: Having already tried to skate the wack stock bushings, I started out the Independents with black Genuine Parts bushings in back and yellow in front. With this setup, the Indys felt like Theeves with good bushings. Predictable, stable, carvy, quick. Next I rode the Aces. I was suddenly mad that I hadn’t known about Aces before now: the Aces were more stable than the Indys, quicker on the turn, deeper on the carve, surfy when wanted and stable when needed. This is with the stock bushings. I didn't even tighten the Aces: I rode them exactly as the factory had tightened them. They were amazing. They felt better than Theeves. They had the best, tightest, quickest carve and turn of any truck I'd ridden since Gullwing Grinders. The Ace 44s felt tall and leany but imminently controllable. With the Aces, I felt control and fluidity like I'd never felt before. The Aces had stability in the center, and two kind of "settings" on the lean: surfy and smooth through the center on slight leans back and forth, smooth and stable on the deep lean with only a little apprehension about wheelbite. I kind of went through a "click" between the slight lean and deep lean. Not a big deal, and easy to get used to. Advantage: Ace 44

Left, Independent Standard 149. Right, Ace 44
Flatland: Flatland shouldn’t be taxing on trucks. The characteristics of trucks that make a difference in flatland are: ability to quickly and predictably adjust a line, ability to roll out of tricks, ability to land without wheelbite bucking you, ollies/nollies/flips/varials that pivot and react the way the skater prefers, and ability to get the correct tightness for a skater's preference. The Indys were extremely quick on the pivot for ollies and nollies, good on varial rotations, not susceptible to wheelbite, behaved well when paid close attention to, but behaved badly when you didn't pay attention. The Ace 44s were also extremely quick on the pivot, excellent to near perfect on varial rotations, only slightly susceptible to wheelbite, and behaved well at all times. I ghost tapped the Aces and the Indys when I started to get tired, but quickly adjusted my feet and overcame my weariness on the Aces. The Indys punished me for being tired, forcing me to tic tac to adjust lines, and also causing me to stop and rest to overcome weariness so I could get my pop back. The Aces only punished me slightly for being tired - the ghost taps. Neither of these trucks really excels at flatland, but the Aces do better than the Indys. Advantage: Ace 44

Rock and Roll: Both trucks performed well and admirably on my rock and roll device. For reentry, the slight edge was to the Ace, which felt more stable. However, the Ace yoke hung up very easily on the coping, though.The Indy's yoke is designed to resist hanging up on coping, and the design works very well, giving Indy the clear edge in this part of the test. Advantage: Indy 149 Std.

Rail Slide: Boardslides on a rail test the ability of a truck to pop a stable ollie at an angle with great precision as well as the ability to pop off the end of the rail and turn quickly enough to be able to roll out of the trick. The Indys were stable on the ollie and quick on the landing, but required concentration to keep my line rolling when I popped off. The Aces were a little unstable on the ollie until I got used to their quickness, but eventually I was mounting the rail easily. The pop off the end of the rail with the Aces was extremely easy: I rolled out of each boardslide with confidence and lots of rolling speed. After a few dozen boardslides with the Aces, I was confidently and strongly sliding the entire 8’ rail with easy precision and always, always rolling out. Advantage: Ace 44

Grind Box: All trucks grind the same. Seriously. Some grind down faster than others, but nowadays if the grind isn't right, you just wax or dewax until it does. Therefore, I decided that I’m not going to test this. Both of these trucks grinded fine.

Independent 149 Standard vs Independent 149 Forged Hollow:
Surfland: I did not expect to experience any difference between the standard Indys and the forged hollow Indys. I was wrong. The FH trucks were more turny than the standard Indys. The kingpins are longer, but the baseplate is also slightly thinner, resulting in a lower overall truck height. The FH felt good on the carve, quick on the turn, they felt a lot like the standards, just slightly quicker. Wheelbite on deep leans did affect the FH, but it didn't buck me off my board. If I placed my feet wrong and got wheelbite, though, the FH did throw me. But in carving, surfing, and turning, the FH performed better than the standard Indys. Advantage: Indy 149 FH

Flatland: Though they performed better, the FH Indys were less forgiving than standard Indys on flatland. The lower height and lesser weight helped on varials and flips. The FH felt stable on landing, kind of like low trucks. But they punished me for being tired by being twitchy and requiring tic tacs to adjust my line, just like the standard Indys. The lower height of the Indys felt different: the pop wasn't as solid nor as confident as the standard Indys. I couldn't get good ollie height like I could with the standards. Nollies were fine. When I wasn't tired, though, the FH performed better on flatland than the standard Indys. Advantage: Indy 149 FH

Rock and Roll: The FH Indys required a lot of concentration on rock and rolls. They didn't hang up, but the reentry required careful balance and foot placement. The FH Indys are not very forgiving trucks. Advantage: Indy 149 Standard

Rail Slide: The FH Indys were unforgiving on the rail. Getting on the rail required a well-timed ollie and a bit of a shove with the back foot to keep the rear of the board from hanging low. The lower height was part of this, but it was also a factor of the precision required by these trucks. Rolling out of the dismount required more concentration than with the standard Indys. My rail session with the FH Indys was frustrating. Jumping back on the board with the standard Indys, I immediately felt more confident on the rail. Advantage: Indy 149 Standard

Independent 149 Standard vs. Venture 5.8
Surfland: I did not know what to expect from the Venture 5.8s. I left them with their stock bushings and at factory tightness. When I first pushed off with them, I was expecting the nasty stock Venture bushings I'd come to expect over the years from Venture. But, surprise, surprise! The 5.8s' stock bushings were wonderfully compliant, utterly responsive, completely predictable. The trucks were perfect right as they were from the factory. DLX has certainly improved Venture trucks! The second surprise about the 5.8s was that they were very, very surfy! Wheelbite was nonexistent, the turns were deep and confident, the carves were stable. The lean was confident from end to end with no apprehension about wheelbite. There were no notches, no "settings", no sticking, just smooth, surfy, stable, and confident turning. The 5.8s felt a lot like the Aces, and carved lines through my slalom course as tight as the Aces. The 5.8s put the Indys to shame; I was immediately thinking about comparing the 5.8s to the Aces. I rode the Indys and the 5.8s side by side, just like all the truck comparisons, but the confidence I felt with the 5.8s was too hard to ignore. They were excellent trucks on Surfland. Advantage: Venture 5.8

Venture 5.8
Flatland: The Ventures felt great on flatland. Lines were easy to adjust, varials were predictable and fast, and rolling out of tricks was easy with no fear of wheelbite. Ollies and nollies were fast and stable, feeling a lot like Venture lows. Height on ollies was easy and predictable. The Ventures didn't punish me at all for being tired. The Ventures gave a long wheelbase feel that inspired a lot of confidence on landings. Advantage: Venture 5.8

Rock and Roll: The rock and roll obstacle should be a GO/NOGO station. Either the trucks perform well without hanging up and giving good reentry, or they don't. The Ventures actually made rock and rolls easier than with the other trucks. I could mess up the rock and roll in many ways and recover from every mistake. The Ventures had extremely high stability when compared with the other trucks. Advantage: Venture 5.8

Rail Slide: The Ventures are the first trucks that required no getting used to to ride the rail. The confidence and stability and forgiving nature of the Ventures made the rail a trivial obstacle. Roll up, mount, slide, dismount, roll out: everything went predictably and confidently with the 5.8s. Advantage: Venture 5.8

Independent 149 Forged Hollow vs. Destructo D2 5.75
Surfland: The FH Indys were turny trucks. The Destructos were stiff and unresponsive with not as much lean as the FH Indys. I didn’t get any wheelbite with the Destructos, but Indy upped their game and the FH Indys easily bested the Destructos. Advantage: Indy 149 FH

Destructo D2 5.75
Flatland: The Destructos performed very well at flatland tricks. Their low height was part of it, but the Destructos were also good at flatland because  they were responsive when adjusting lines and also forgiving on the landings. The Destructos were wide enough for an 8.5" board, but they felt like smaller trucks on flatland than the Indys, even though the Indys were lighter by 5 grams per truck. The Destructos didn't punish me when I got tired like the Indys did. Even though the Destructos were mid height like the FH Indys, the pop was crisper and ollies higher with the Destructos. Advantage: Destructo D2 5.75

Rock and Roll: Both trucks performed very well on the rock and roll obstacle. The FH Indys, though, had less of a propensity to hang up. Advantage: Indy 149 FH.

Rail Slide: Neither of these trucks performed extremely well on the rail slide. Both trucks were unstable heading up to the obstacle and iffy on landing. It was almost a draw, but the Indys did feel better on rolling out than the Destructos. Advantage: Indy 149 FH

Ace 44 vs. Venture 5.8
Surfland: This was an extremely tough comparison. Both of these trucks are surfy, carvy, stable, predictable. I can carve tighter lines with the Aces, giving me more time to think and plan between slalom points. With the Ventures, I could carve through the slalom just as tightly as I could with the Aces, but with less time to think. The Aces have 3 set points: 1. stable on-center feel, 2. smooth, easy surfing on shallow lean turns, and 3. tight turns on deep lean turns. There is no hesitation on the Aces when surfing through the center point on turns. The Ventures were smooth, too, they glided from coast to wheelbite-free coast with no hesitation, no clicks, and any set point you want. Ventures felt more stable on manuals. It is really a draw between the two trucks on surfland. Advantage: DRAW

Left, Ace 44. Right, Venture 5.8
Flatland: No comparison here. The Ventures easily bested the Aces in flatland. The Aces do make landings easy for flatland, and the Aces definitely do better at flatland than the other trucks in this test. But the Ventures have a long wheelbase feel and short wheelbase responsiveness that imparts a lot of confidence in flatland tricks. The Aces wheelbite when landing sometimes. The Ventures never wheelbite; if the wheels touched the deck, I didn't feel it. The Aces punished me a little when I got tired, demanding more concentration and endurance to keep them performing with confidence. I often ghost tapped with the Aces on ollies or nollies, even though the Aces were lower than the Ventures and the angle of the board was lower (hence a quicker tap). The Ventures just kept on giving no matter how tired I got, always confident and always responsive and smooth. Advantage: Venture 5.8

Rock and Roll: The Ventures forgive all mistakes on my rock and roll punishment obstacle. The Aces' flat yoke and prominent lower washer definitely hung up on the coping, it stopped me right in the middle of my rock and roll. Both trucks performed well on reentry. Advantage: Venture 5.8

Left, Ace 44. Right, Venture 5.8
Rail Slide: Both of these trucks turn quickly and responsively, making fast maneuvers seem easy. The Ventures are slightly more stable going into the rail slide than the Aces. I veered away at the last minute more often with the Aces than with the Ventures. Both trucks make it easy to roll out of landings even when my feet weren't exactly positioned. But they both did so well that I can’t pick a victor. Advantage: DRAW

Mini Ramp: I needed something more to distinguish between these two fine trucks. The Aces dominate on transition. There's a sureness and confidence with the Aces. Both of these trucks performs extremely well on the ramp, but the Aces just feel completely natural. I feel like I can do tricks that I'm usually not as confident enough to try. The Ventures perform very well, too, giving me lots of confidence that I will neither wheelbite nor hang up on the coping. In the end, I still can’t confidently decide between one or the other when I’m heading out to the mini ramp. Advantage: DRAW

So, for now, the Ace 44s and the Venture 5.8s are tied for first. Flatland and Rock and Roll aren’t enough to declare an overall “versatility” winner. I’d take either of them anywhere. I’ll have to see if spending more time with each truck set for a week in follow-on testing will help me break the tie for first.


  1. nice review, bro.

    Thanks for your time and details- awesome!

    wish I've got currently money to test these trucks on my own- just to get a feeling of these trucks... sad that Theeve kicks themself out of the race (infect of their bushings probs.)- otherwise I would think they would make one of the first places...
    For this year, I'm excited if they could handle the bushing prob in V3 ;D

    1. Yeah, it's really sad that the bushing problem is plaguing the Theeves so much. Their temporary fix of adding a bottom washer will only help for a little while. Theeve needs to fix the bushing problem once and for all.

    2. Do you know how I found out about your blog? I googled problems with Theeve's bushings. I just bought some new Theeve's and had to replace the bushings twice in one month. What should I do?

    3. Ben, thanks for writing in. I know that buying yet another set of bushings is probably the last thing on your mind, but I highly, highly recommend using Independent aftermarket bushings, Genuine Parts Standard. The red (soft, 90a) feel absolutely amazing in Theeves and the set I've had in my Theeves I put in last summer and haven't changed them out yet. I also use the Indy red aftermarket bushings in other trucks, like Ventures and Independents, and they last about a year on average. If you like your Theeves tighter, get the orange (medium 92a) or black (hard 94a) Independent Genuine Parts bushings.

      Alternatively, visit the facebook page and PM your address and what firmness of bushings you want and I'll have a set of Indy GP bushings sent your way, free of charge.

    4. Thanks, but I think I'm gonna buy another pair of Indy's today. I have e-mailed Theeve and will try to get my money back. I know it's a long shot but they obviously sent me a defective product. I have been reading that this has been a problem for a few years now. The fact that they knew about this defect and still sell the trucks anyway is evil. I knew something was up when my trucks came with a bottom bushing and the photos on their website the trucks don't have one. Also my top washer has been grinding into the hanger and the trucks are loud as hell. I really dig your blog though and will be back.

    5. I also have been having issues with my Bones Swiss bearings. They have been locking up only after a few weeks. I swear when I was younger they lasted forever. Should I just use Bones Reds and throw them away after a few months? What bearings do you buy from VXB? They have a lot to choose from and I'm a little overwhelmed.
      On a positive note, I called Skate Warehouse were I bought my Theeve's and they gave me some phone numbers to Antics Dist. They also gave me a good discount on some new Indy's too.

    6. I feel for you, Ben, I really do. I wish you luck with Theeve. All manufacturers consider bushings a "wear item" and typically not subject to warranty. I advised Theeve against adding a bottom washer with the Bones bushings. Most top washers grind into the hanger - it is, believe it or not, a design feature that minimizes the effects of wheelbite for a lot of trucks out there. With normal bushings, the cupped washers provide a dual-stage action. Bones bushings are already dual stage, so it isn't necessary to have a cupped washer. Flat washers do better with Bones bushings.
      But nothing works as finely in Theeves as the Indy bushings. Bottom washer or not, the Indy aftermarket bushings just work great. This isn't what Theeve wants to hear, but it is the best finding I can provide skaters in the mean time until Theeve makes a change in their manufacturing specifications.

    7. I wasn't impressed at all with Bones Swiss bearings. The Rush Swiss bearings are much, much better.
      The bearings I buy from VXB are the 7602 for cheapie bearings and 7809 for my ceramics that I use when I want speed.

      Yeah, Skate Warehouse is an awesome place. SW always looks out for skaters.

      Please keep me informed about how it goes with Antics, Intl, and don't be afraid to ask me for help communicating with them.

    8. I'm having a hard time finding the bearings you mention on their website. Can you give me a link to the ceramics. Also if you had a choice you would you buy Bones Reds or Nitro Abec 7's?

    9. Here is an update at where I stand with Theeve right now. This is a response to the email I sent them about the defect in their trucks. You are right they do know there is a problem with their trucks. Also, I have tried their solutions before contacting them and it does not work for me.

      Hello Ben,

      First off, sorry to hear about your troubles. Having to rotate bushings out on a regular basis is a bummer.

      I have heard of the same issues of bushings popping out and we are working to correct it. In the meantime I would like to offer a few suggestions that might help.

      1. Try using the bones hard bushings and riding the trucks with the nut a little looser than what you would consider normal. I’ll send you a few sets.

      2. Stay with the medium bushings and use a bottom washer.

      Please let me know how this works.



      Jesse Prim (Production/Product Development)

    10. Ben,
      For VXB bearings, there are two levels of Ceramics:

      They're both really good.

      Between NITRO 7 and Bones Reds, I would choose Bones Reds for regular skateboarding and NITRO 7 for longboarding. But I would only make those choices if those were my only choices. The Shake Junt 7s are as good as the Reds at first and get better and better, faster and faster, over time. The Bones Reds kind of slow down and it's really easy to develop pits and flatspots on the bearing balls inside.
      The best Swiss bearing is the Rush Swiss.

    11. About Theeve's reply:
      Bones Hard bushings do better than the mediums, but I've decored those bushings too in Theeves. A nice fix is to put the hard bushing on the bottom (baseplate side) and the medium bushings on the top (kingpin nut side). They'll still wear out, but at least you'll be able to turn better.
      The bottom washer fix is the Theeve-recommended fix right now. I've found that adding a bottom washer hastens the demise of the Bones bushings.
      I and many others highly, highly recommend Independent aftermarket bushings for Theeve trucks. Mount the Indy bushings and go skate. 6-7 months later, maybe you'll have to change the Indy bushings, maybe they'll still be going. It's that simple.

    12. Thanks for your reply. I really enjoy your blog. A little knowledge can save me a lot time and money. Right now I'm riding a Blind resin 8 and I'm loving it. I haven't rode a Blind since 1991(Jason Lee ever slick).

  2. Hey, in your past review you tested the Venture super lite and the venture v5... am I right that the Venture 5.8 are the "normal" high Ventures in fact of weight etc.? Do you know, if these 8.5" version are similar to the Venture 8" high (normal) version -or is it a redevelopment?

    Thanks & Cheers

    1. The ones I tested were the normal superlights, not the hollow or hollow light. Venture makes a 5.8 with the forged baseplate and hollow kingpin.
      The 5.8 is really different from the 5.2 high. The 5.8s feel like really surfy low Ventures. The 5.2 highs feel, well, they feel terrible, not like Ventures at all.

    2. ah ok, thanks for the feedback. Otherwise I would setup my old 8" deck, old wheels etc. with some ventures 5.2 - but when there is a day and night between the 5.8 and 5.2 I'll drop my idea ;)

    3. Actually, you can set up your old 8" deck with Venture 5.2 Low trucks with some 1/8" risers. I know it sounds silly to put risers on low trucks, but quite a few of the Venture team riders do exactly that. I've ridden my Venture lows with 1/8" risers and it feels pretty awesome. The Lucky risers work best - Venture baseplates are long. But any riser should do you if you don't mind overhang.

  3. thanks again :)

    btw, more an off-topic QUESTION:
    You seems to have a lot of aknowlege in trucks and skateboarding- can you tell me the different between Thunder Hi Strike and Thunder Hi "normal" trucks? Is there a different- or are both the same trucks? Cause in one shop you'll find "normal" Hi and in other shops they are called Thunder Hi ... Strike?

    1. I'm not sure.
      I do know there is a "Strike 2" Thunder truck that has some improvements to the design. Here is a link to the advertisement for that truck variant:

    2. yeah that's the new "II" version (but I can't see strike in the content).
      Maybe it's like "Stage" in compare to Independent trucks but some post the name and some not... cause I can't see any different between "Strike" and "non strike" trucks on the pictures in different shops. I only found out that there are "normal" thunders in raw/ silvers and "normal" thunders in raw/ silvers with "team" print on it. But don't know what's special with these version. But thanks for your time :)

    3. I talked with the guys and the name "Strike" stands for the normal Thunder Trucks (like the normal Independent Stage 10 Trucks) without forged, hollow, etc. Some shops print the name out- other didn't print it- but same trucks.

    4. That's great information, Chris. Thanks!

    5. you're welcome :)

      I ordered a pair of these trucks (got a great price for them).... just want to try them -never rode Thunder Trucks. I'm excited to compare them to the (normal) Independent Stage 10 trucks.

      I'm riding bowl-/ pool the most time.

    6. the first post was from a skate store... now I talked with DLXSF and they said
      "some of thunders old part descriptions had the word strike in them, so its possible youre looking at an older version of the Hi 147. Here's an easy way to tell if it's the newer version- turn the truck upside down and look at the shape of the bushing seat on the bottom of the hanger(the part in contact with the bottom bushing). There's a little lip that prevents the bushing from sliding out of place. If that lip is in the shape of a complete circle, it's the new Hi 147. That's the truck you want. If the lip is more of a large open teardrop, that's the older version- which is still good, but better for those not paying as much attention to detail.. "

  4. What color were the stock bushings on the Venture 5.8" tested?

    1. They were black. The 5.8s I got were all blacked out except the bottom washer.
      The silver 5.8s have purple bushings - nice. I don't know what color bushings the other two colors have. I think the red ones have purple, too.

  5. Adding to the previous comments, would an 1/8 soft riser on a forged baseplate Venture Wide 5.8 match the height of a standard truck's overall height or be lower/taller?

    In addition to raising the truck and securing bolts "snugger", do risers affect any other aspect of truck performance (aside from leverage)?

    1. The forged baseplate is 4mm thick, while the standard cast baseplate is 5.5mm thick. The difference of 1.5mm amounts to 1/16". So, a forged baseplate 5.8 with a 1/8" riser would be 1.5mm (1/16") higher than the standard baseplate 5.8.

      Risers reduce bolt loosening by reducing overall vibrations. The softer the riser, the greater the reduction in vibrations. However, when I ride risers my bolts seem to loosen up just as much as they do without risers.

      Now for your third question. Risers do increase turning leverage, so your trucks will turn a little differently. Risers are supposed to reduce wheelbite, but with many trucks the increased leverage you have over the truck's turn keeps wheelbite occurrence at the same frequency. Here are my other observations about risers and truck performance:
      - risers make the board sound quieter, which may affect your perception of how well you're popping your tricks.
      - risers allow you to run harder bushings than you would normally run and still get the turning you would normally have had.
      - risers raise the effort needed to get your tail and nose to pop. You'll have to adjust to the higher angles required of ollies and nollies.
      - I've felt that boards with risers don't flip as quickly as boards without.
      - when risers protrude from under the baseplate, they hang up on nose and tail slides.
      - risers will warp and they might crack. You'll have to replace them about every 1-2 months if you do a lot of truck-based tricks (grinds, nose/tail/board slides, etc.)

      One more thing. Some trucks benefit from risers. I always thought Theeve trucks felt better with risers. And Venture lows behave differently but still very nice when they have risers. The behavior of Venture Lows with risers is how the Venture 5.2 highs SHOULD behave. But for street skating, a lot of trucks feel worse with risers. I would never rise a Thunder truck, nor an Ace, nor a Destructo. It just ruins the feel of the truck.

    2. am I right, that the Ventures low got a smaller distance between axle nut (top) and hanger (top) like the high version?
      So in compare to the hi version, the kingpin (nut) has contact with the coping while grinding, right? :/

      BUT, can you also use Bones HC Bushings with the "low" venture version? :/

    3. You are correct. The Venture lows have kingpins that make contact with the coping while grinding. You can use any standard bushings in Venture low trucks.
      But it goes further than that. All Ventures, low or high, use the same baseplate and kingpin specifications. So, you can put a Venture 5.8 hi hanger on a V5 forged baseplate from a set of 5.2 lows and everything will be fine. All Venture hangers fit all Venture baseplates.

  6. ah ok... first I thought - when you said, that the 5.25 ain't turn well etc. in the "Hi" version and the 5.25 "low" version with risers is perfect for turns etc - that the less distance between Kingpin top and hanger top is the reason for better turning... but meanwhile I think that my toughts doesn't make sense infact that the 5.8 are also "Hi" (?) and they turns (like you said) damn fine...

    man... "trucks" a complicated topic ;)

    1. I should clarify. The Venture 5.2 highs do not turn as well as the 5.8 highs. They turn a lot like the Tracker Six Tracks from the 1980s: terribly. The hanger design between 5.2 high and 5.8 high is different enough to make a difference. The Venture 5.2 lows turn really nicely with or without risers but not as nicely as 5.8 high. I think side-side leverage has a lot to do with it.
      Something very strange about the 5.8 Highs is that, with the 54 mm wheels I have mounted right now, I get absolutely no wheelbite. It is eerie. I can lean all the way over and the Venture 5.8s just turn and turn with never a bit of wheelbite. At a ridiculously far lean, they finally hit a stop point that is still far away from wheelbite. I could probably run 56mm wheels and still have room. The 5.2 lows will wheelbite with 50mm wheels, the 5.2 highs will wheelbite with 51mm wheels. These are both narrower trucks, but the 5.8 has been designed in such a way to prevent that altogether.


      Maybe I'll pick up a set of 5.2 Highs that were made under DLXSF's watchful eye. I think it would be fair, given that I tested the Street Corner Distribution's Venture 5.2 Highs back in July 2011.

  7. ah ok... a skatestore got good side pictures of both trucks... like you told, it seems that the Venture 5.8 Hi hanger is (improved) different than the 5.2 Hi hanger (take some seconds to see the difference):

    5.8 Hi :

    5.2 Hi :

    Also the "back-view" of the ventures are a little bit different:

    5.8 Hi:

    5.2 Hi:

    On the "front-view" it seems that the hanger of the 5.8 isn't that "sharp cut-out" like the 5.2:

    5.8 Hi:

    5.2 Hi:

    1. Wow, those are great photos. They really show the difference in the hanger designs from Street Corner Distribution versus Deluxe Distribution. Thanks!

  8. A question for you - from your experience, which trucks do you think would work best on 12ft-plus vert ramps. I'm looking for stability and reliability and the absence of speed-wobbles, rather than the ability to do street tricks or to turn sharply. I currently have 2 sets of Theeve TiH 5.85s, which I bought because Hawk and a lot of top vert skaters seem to be using them, and 2 sets of Independent Hollow Forged 149s, which I had before I got the Theeves. I have Bones firm bushings in all of them. Thanks

    1. I agree with Chris27. Tight trucks and long wheelbases are the preferences of the vert ramp skaters. Many of the vert skaters in my area roll on 149 or 169 Independent standards with boards with 14.75"+ wheelbases. They use either Independent yellow or black bushings or they use Bones hardcore hard bushings. Those who don't ride Indys really show no collective preferences. Non Indy vert riders have Aces, Theeves, Thunders. Bowl rollers use Indys mostly, a few use Trackers and Theeves.
      I actually think the Theeves with Bones hard bushings or Independent yellow (medium) bushings would do really great on big transitions, but I don't skate a lot of that type of vert, and I certainly don't skate 12'+ ramps (although watching Pierre Luc Gagnon or Alex Perelson, I sometimes wish I did skate big vert). I carve bowls to get my vertical fix, so I like my trucks turny. But PLG and Perelson both skate Thunders, and they're known for incorporating street tricks (kickflips, heelflips, 360 flips, for example) into their vert skating.
      Also, vert skaters use bigger wheels, like 56-61mm. Assuming a static wheel, big or small shouldn't make a difference in overall speed, and smaller wheels should theoretically accelerate faster. But skateboard wheels are dynamic, they squash and deform like marshmallows when we ride them. The deformation of bigger wheels has less of an impact on overall integrity of the wheel, kind of like you can't bend a thick piece of styrofoam as easily as a thin piece. So that makes bigger wheels faster.
      So, I don't know authoritatively from my own experiences. I would go with the consensus of those who are vert masters: Indy, Theeve, or Thunder. Long wheelbase. Hard bushings on tight trucks. Big wheels. And, of course, thickly padded up on your knees, elbows, and head.

    2. Looks like I'm doing it right then - I have 2 Revdeck vert boards: just measured the wheelbase and they come out at 18". Theeves on one, Indys on the other until I decide which trucks I prefer. Type-S Tony Hawk wheels: 60mm and quite a wide running-surface for a modern wheel. Planning to skate tomorrow (my 50th birthday!)

    3. The carbon fiber skateboards? I would really like to hear about your experiences with those decks.
      Are you using risers on your trucks?

    4. Yes, I've had several. The first one was the 'first generation': all black, no logo and with the plastic top and bottom sheets joined by a seam that ran round the rail of the deck. The best way to describe a Revdeck is as a very thin, very stiff deck - about as thick as a sheet of cardboard - with a thicker 'skeleton' of rails underneath. The first deck eventually delaminated after about a year - it didn't like direct impacts on concrete after bailing from any height on a ramp. They then changed the design of subsequent decks to incorporate a black plastic 'bumper' at nose and tail that effectively did away with most of the delam problems and extended the life of the board. They also introduced coloured bases and bold logos on the underneath that made them look much better. I currently have a green one and a blue one. They come in different sizes and flex patterns: I have the vert model, which is stiffer, longer and wider (8.25") compared to the rest of the range. I love the way they ride. However, their marketing is poor.
      Their website looks like it's been designed by non-skaters, the graphics are tiny, there are no big images of the decks or the construction methods, the Facebook link they mention doesn't exist, and to top all that off they've decided that making different colours is too much trouble and expense so they're going back to black only, with a white logo. Black is not a good choice: it means the carbon weave 'pockets' don't stand out against the board's 'skeleton' and the whole thing looks like a lump of black plastic.
      I'm using 1/8" risers on my trucks, as much out of habit as anything: I've always used risers, I suppose.

    5. Just realised I measured the wheelbase wrong - I measured from axle to axle rather than from truck bolt to truck bolt. So the wheelbase is 15", not 18"

    6. 15" is still plenty big! I wasn't surprised when you reported an 18" wheelbase, two of the bowl rollers in my area ride 36" long decks with really long wheelbases. They both are big surfy skaters, loads of smooth style. Everything looks like it's in slow motion when one of those skaters are in the bowl.

      Yeah, the Revdecks sound like they'd be interesting to skate, but I agree with you that without the colors they kind of look... industrial. If they exposed the carbon fiber weave, the boards would look pretty awesome.

      Does the black plastic bumper affect the pop of the board?

    7. No - it's quite slim and small and mostly hidden between the top and bottom sheets of the deck: you wouldn't even notice it unless you were looking for it. I've had LibTech decks with built-in bumpers too, and they don't seem to make any difference to the pop either

  9. Warwick Cairns: I would say Independent with Bones in fact of the bushing problem with the Theeve. But: not only a question about "trucks" is important- also about the size of the wheelbase to give you a stable stand. I recommend 15" WB.


    1. Agreed. Chris, kind of off topic, where in Germany do you live? My parents still live in Germany, down in Ulm, and I lived in Bad Vilbel (Vorort von Frankfurt Am Main), and, later, after college (I went to college in New York, USA), I lived in Heidelberg. My wife is Austrian/Spanish and lived in Switzerland as a child. Zu Hause sprechen wir Deutsch, Englisch, und Spanisch.

  10. Hey Bertrand,

    I currently live in Dortmund (Nordrhein Westfalen)... I know Ulm and Frankfurt Am Main - but never wasn't been there before... but in 2005/ 2006 a good friend of mine studied in Heidelberg and I was often there (in Dossenheim). I wish I could take some month, after my study in USA (for vacation). How is it going in USA? Do you miss Germany some days? I'm not sure if I would ;)

    Btw, today I tested the Thunder 147 Hi (1st version) in vert (halfpipe) - weather ain't that good to travel to bowl-/ pool- skatepark. Btw, do you know Berg Fidel in Münster? There are every year a big bowl contest (with some guys from the Staats like Duane Peters) - that's my fav. location ;) The trucks are fine... damn stable, good/ but different in turn than Independent trucks but also lighter... am man, my new Anti hero deck cracked after 1st session - a quadrat 2cm width and 3cm from nose to middle has been broken out :(

    1. I've never been to Dortmund except driving through it once to go to Amsterdam. Like most cities there, it seemed like a nice place.
      I miss Frankfurt a lot. Frankfurt is a nice, modern big city. I could get anywhere I needed on the U Bahn, S Bahn, and busses. And it was easy to catch Fernzuege when I needed to travel. Plus the skating scene in Frankfurt was so chill and supportive. We were all friends. I remember I pushed mongo as a kid and nobody in Frankfurt cared which foot you pushed with. I didn't even know that pushing mongo was frowned upon until just a few years ago when I picked up skateboarding again. I learned to push regular but there are times when I push mongo because it is just easier to take my front foot off at that moment instead of my back foot. Also, on distance skating or travel skating I switch legs all the time. I think the mongo thing is a bunch of bunk - fashion over function - it's bullshit.

      Heidelberg was okay but it was kind of too small and cozy. The Bahn and Bus systems in Heidelberg were not that good. I had a share in a car and was able to borrow a bicycle when needed to get around. And even if I were skating while I lived in Heidelberg, there aren't many spots. Maybe the area around the Hauptbahnhof, but you'd have to contend with all the bicyclists.

      That sucks about your Antihero deck. Deluxe decks are usually pretty strong. I have an 8.125" Zoo York photo incentive deck that I've only skated once. Do you want it?

  11. Well, but I think the skate scene in USA is really big - isn't it? It seems that in the states are an equal mix between older and younger skaters? Here in Germany, I've got the feeling that there are more younger guys than older ones (that passed skateboarding when they get older)?

    When I skated years ago and don't got a plan about it... I also pushed mongo... after I restarted skateboarding I noticed that I did it wrong and switch to "normal" pushing... but it takes some days to feel safe while pushing ;)

    I mailed the guys from DLX, cause it can't be that it is a clear split between the first two and the rest of the wood layers... it's a real damn even "quadrat"... so it must be a productional defect.... Maybe they'll sent me a new one...
    Meantime I ordered a new, sweet Dogtown deck (8") called pig skull... I like the decks- very strong and good quality... so I don't need the Zoo York ones but thanks a lot for your deal.

    Btw, I tested in first run on vert (halfpipe) the "normal" Thunder 147 Hi (silverpolished/ raw) with bones hardcore bushings (left the bottom washer). It's kind of crazy... I took some runds while cruising in the skatepark and first I didn't like them but after some deep turns it seems that they are turning quick like independent - maybe a little less fast - but damn deep like tracker trucks. I loosed the kingpin nut - that it is on one line the top of the hanger. Also I wouldn't say that the distance between Independent Hi and Thunder Hi is different. On Vert it was kind of crazy... I think I never felt so damn stable while dropping in like with the Thunders. After some runds I try to stress the trucks and take a wrong stand on dropping in (foot more on front left etc.) but nothing changed... they let me drop in stable (just causes little wheel bites in fact of it). Also short grinds on the coping on the halfripe worked very well... it was like "did I grind yet?" cause I didn't notice it (just the sound) and it goes such fast...
    Also I tested my new Spitfire Park Burners 58mm wheels - before I rode 62mm SPF bones. For me.. 58mm wheels are the deal. On halfpipe it was so easy to get speed and reach the top of the other side of the halfpipe.. also they are damn stable and just slide if you want it to.

  12. Hey, it's me again! haha
    Can you do a small test for me?

    I bought some Indy Kostons (Hollow Forged), and I compared them back-to-back with my Destructo D2 trucks.. Both brand new trucks when I tested them! Anyways, I was grinding a cement ledge (waxed) and curbs (painted) and for some reason I had to go twice the speed with the Indy trucks to even get to the end of the ledges, and I kept sticking with them; while the Destructo D2 trucks would grind the whole ledge at half the speed all the way to the end, no problems with sticking. I'm wondering if I got a shitty pair of indy's, or if that's just how Indy trucks grind?

    Can you do a curb/cement ledge test for me? I have a grind box and metal rail too, and I notice the stickiness with indy trucks there too, but it's not AS bad on metal.

    1. Brad, I'll do this test soon. Destructo D2 trucks grind so smoothly on pretty much anything. But I'm interested to see how they compare to Indys on cement, too.

  13. Hi Bertrand,

    How about adding Tracker Dart 149s to this comparison; I currently skate Indys but I've always had a soft spot for Trackers. A lot of skaters seem to have some pretty harsh views on Trackers, especially the Indy riders so I'd love to read a detailed comparison.

    I love the blog; keep it up!

    1. They are on the way! Look for pictures and introduction this Saturday (10 March) and watch for the review next Saturday (17 March).

  14. Interesting stuff, good work!

    Last summer I got the idea in my head that I wanted to move to an 8.5" from an 8" which didn't turn out so hot. I set up an new complete with Thunder 149s and admittedly big (but free) Bones 58mm wheels. Tooling around the parking lot felt good, turns felt nice, ollies ok, until I caught the worst wheelbite I've ever experienced and went straight down. I ride my trucks loose and I've always seen wheelbite marks on my decks but have never actually been pitched while riding other trucks. I even had the same wheels on some Venture 5.2 Highs (more on those later) and never had a pinch problem at all. I went and got some risers but they didn't help all. Super bummed to spend that $ and not have a rideable board. Those Thunders now live in my basement waiting for tiny wheels or ebay.

    I then bought some standard Indy 149s. No wheel bite but now it feels like I'm skating an oil tanker. Even with the kingpin nut almost falling off they weren't loose enough. Ollies feel sluggish, I can barely nollie, and kickflips are about as easy as they were on my 80's boards (that is to say I can barely manage them, if at all). Can't say whether this is solely the Indy's fault or the combined weight+size of the trucks and the dinosaur tires I'm riding but I hate this setup. It feels slow and unresponsive. BS and FS rocks are a chore. Last time I skated I took out the lower washer and the trucks felt a lot better turning-wise but I'm still not hyped on the setup. I like it for smith grinds and that's about it. Not sure if it's simply the width or the trucks but now that I'm out $100 I'm not sure how more wide truck experimentation I want to do. The ACEs and big Ventures do look nice...

    Right now I'm back to an 8" board with worn out Venture 5.2 Highs. BTW, are you certain the geometry is different between the older "raw" models and the new ones you reviewed? I've always thought they turned great but could be a bit squirrely - which helps on iffy landings but sometimes screws me up on takeoffs. I also get the ghost tap a lot, esp. on trannies and hips. Not my favorite truck for flips either which I think has something to the high kick and the weight being off the rotational axis (or maybe I suck). Still, I do really like the turning and responsiveness.

    I'll need new 8" trucks soon and I've been tempted to try Thunder Hi 147s or Forged Indy 139s but I may stick with the devil I know in the High Ventures. I'll still be riding wheels somewhere in the 54-55mm range on account of my rough ass park so I worry the slightly lower axles on those trucks might not work for me.

    Anyway, rambling over. Thanks for the reviews!

    1. Hi William! Thanks for your comment. Your experiences are very interesting. Indys do feel like an oil tanker.
      I think you should try an 8.2" or 8.25" deck. If you're getting ghost taps with your Ventures, you'll surely get them with the Thunder Hi 147s. The forged hollow Indy 139s might do you well, but if you didn't like the 149 standard, you won't like the 139 FH.
      I also highly recommend Destructo D2 5.85 or 5.5. They're perfect trucks if you want to go wider but still be able to kickflip; and also they're perfect if you're coming from Ventures. The setup of mine that gets the most love from me is an 8.25" with Destructo D2 5.85s and Kontrol Wheels 52mm thin. I get big grinding surface, mini ramp and park versatility, and I can still flip it reliably.
      I can help you with your wheel problem. Email me your name and street address and I'll send you a set of Kontrol wheels in your choice of size (50, 52, 53Thin, 54, 56) and whether you want Thin or Wide wheels. No charge to you, of course. I recommend the 52mm Thin or 53mm Thin if you want to go wide and do flip tricks. Read more about Kontrol wheels here:

    2. Email for those wheels.

  15. I dont get why people discount Theeve trucks just for the (stock bushings). Theeve banks and concentrates on the Hangers performance and strength through the use of their titanium technology. They didnt form a truck company based around Bones Bushings. They are 'stock'. The trucks are priced a 'few' dollars higher for the titanium in the trucks not the bushings. Nobody sends Indys or thunders back to get a refund because of their terrible stock bushings..they just add their own bushings, which is what theeve buyers need to do instead. So sick of the complaining about the bushings in theeve...go complain to BONES, and enjoy the strength and awesome grinding and other possiblilities with these awesome trucks.. I skate the TiH and Tikings and i can literally grind anything and ollie over anything.

    1. Customers have every right to advise Theeve that the trucks ruin the bushings faster than normal. People don't send Indys or Thunders back for refund because of the crap stock bushings? Well, Theeve has not and will not honor a warranty claim on the bushings, so nobody is sending Theeve trucks back for a refund for the bushings, either. (Besides, both Independent and Thunder advise skating their trucks extremely loose until the bushings break in, about 2-3 days of cruising around on them, then tightening the trucks down to where you like them. This both prevents split bushings and conditions the bushings to be more responsive and last longer. I do this with all my trucks, and it totally works on most trucks.)
      But a refund for the bushings isn't the point. Theeve highlights the fact that they use Bones Bushings stock in their trucks. Theeve admits that the original design was not built for the Bones Bushings. Theeve acknowledged that the bushing issue was a "nightmare" for them, and it was their top priority to fix it. Theeve asked many skaters for help in fixing the problem. With our input, Theeve modified the mold and cast a more prominent bushing seat. The problem is solved.

      If skaters hadn't complained, then the "World's Best Bushings" would have been the best bushings in every truck except "Probably the best trucks ever". Good companies listen to their customers. Crap companies tell customers to just "suck it up" as you suggested. Ever heard of Gordon and Smith skateboard trucks? Probably not, because G&S told their customers to "stick it" when the trucks started falling apart and suffering bent axles. Even Independent Trucks, arguably the most "you just gotta grind it out, it will get better" company out there, listens to their customers and makes changes with the current direction in skateboarding in mind.

    2. welp, i bought the tih when they first came out and guess what. never had an issue with the stock bushing. their still in my trucks, have they bulged a bit after a year - yeah its a bushing they all buldge.. its not dripping off the trucks like melted cheese or anything, its changing shape they all do its a bushing. so ive had my bushings in for a year now way before people started complaining - i think the problem is people who skate tight trucks are what destroy the bushings, i skate with people who have bones bushings in their thunders and they tighten those down tremendously as well, and guess what ??!! they buldge out on the thunder trucks as well. Whatever the case a small little pregnant bottom bushing doesnt affect skating. Do you realize how many pros skating theeve trucks before selling them to amature skaters? LOTS OF PROS. They werent crying about the bushings. So theyre off to the kids and amatures now everywhere - and all a sudden theres a problem. The problem is people are riding their trucks way too dam tight. Loosen your pants up a bit kids, quit wearing your skinny jeans and then crying about your penis buldging out of your pants.

    3. You should know that the audience for this blog is primarily lifelong skaters. Many of us are in our 30s, 40s, and 50s. No skinny pants here, fella. Besides, it is not cool to hate on other skaters. Please show some respect, or I'll just delete your comments.

      Most of us skate our trucks pretty loose. The pros complained about the bottom bushing, too.

      By bulging, I mean that the bottom bushing pops out from the bushing seat.

  16. Thanks for this info i'm 18 been skating for a while and trying to find my trucks.. i've skated ace, indys and venture and you perfectly explained all the trucks. i love ace but hopefully they make the landings more stable when they do "stage II" or whatever they choose to call it. i love indy's more overall i think. i'll always skate indys and aces. but for me, ventures are too stable to enjoy skating slow. i love curb skating and bombing hills but i have to change from ace to venture if i wanted to bomb and i don't like that so indy's keep it medium. hence "a happy medium 4" video coming soon ;)