Tracker claims the Dart "has been described as more of a surf feel". I'd read about Tracker's Superball bushings and thought they sounded good. So, I picked up a pair of Tracker Dart 149 trucks.
The quality of the Tracker trucks is on par with the Aces and the Gullwings. I've made an interesting observation between the quality of the trucks in this comparison. There's an "old school" quality standard, typified by the Ace, Gullwing, and Tracker trucks. And then there's a "new school" quality standard, typified by Independent, Thunder, Venture, Destructo, and, as of late, Tensor trucks. One quality standard is not better or worse than the other, it just depends on what you as a skater value in your trucks as far as quality.
"Old school" quality is marked by the following characteristics:
- Lateral alignment of axles in hangers not always perfect; one side longer than other or both sides longer than needed. The nut will barely fit on one side, meaning you can't use the speed washers, and on the other side, the axle will be so long that many threads will show when the nut is snugged down to allow just a little lateral movement of the wheel.
- Kingpins are hex head and often longer than needed.
- Hangers are thick and heavy.
- When polished, the trucks are highly polished with few to no imperfections.
- When painted, the paint is smooth with no drips or discolorations.
"New school" quality is marked by the following characteristics:
- Axles have close tolerances; they're well-centered laterally and both sides are perfectly long enough to snug the axle nuts down and not expose any threads.
- Kingpins are button head and the length is just right for snugging the kingpin nut down and not expose any threads.
- Hangers are hollow body and light weight.
- When polished, the trucks are lightly polished, and some imperfections are noticeable.
- When painted, the paint is sometimes globby and overpainted on the axles.
So, the Tracker Darts are definitely "old school" in their quality. The axles on one side of each truck are so short that the nut doesn't snug down all the way; the loctite is only half on the threads. I took off the speed washers and put one thin washer on the hanger side: now the wheels fit well. Then, on the other side of the axles, there are 2-3 threads showing past the axle nut when they're snugged down. Oh well, the trucks still work.
The vital specifications for the Tracker Dart 149 trucks are:
- Weight: 365 grams
- Height: 52.5 mm
- Axle length: 8.4375 inches
- Hanger width: 5.875 inches
On an initial ride around the neighborhood and on my quarterpipe in my driveway, I have some initial impressions of the Tracker Darts. The bushings are stiff. Tracker claims the bushings are 88a, but they feel like about 93a-95a. There is no surfing to be had with these stock bushings. Ollies feel pretty good on these trucks. No ghost tapping and a stable pop. On the quarter pipe, the trucks are sticky on the coping. Truck grinds were difficult. Stalls didn't "slide" a little, causing me to really pay attention to my balance. Kick turns and pivots felt nice. Rock and roll was fine, no hangup. I'm a little disappointed, I really expected the Darts to feel surfy, and they most decidedly do not. I'll try to break the bushings in and see if they soften up, but I have some soft bushings ready just in case.
So, enjoy the high res photos below, and stay tuned for a longer term test of these Darts.
|Tracker Dart 149.|
|Tracker Dart 149. Note the hex head kingpin and strange cutout under the pivot cup.|
|Tracker Dart 149. The pivot point is really steep and greatly recessed toward the center of the truck.|
|Tracker Dart 149. The black dot in the middle of the underside of the pivot cup is the pivot cup bushing showing through the hanger. This should make it easier to replace the pivot cup bushings.|
|Tracker Dart 149|
|Tracker Dart 149. The "T" shape on the hanger looks kind of like the Ventures and Tensors, except the Tracker's "T" is recessed, not raised.|
|Tracker Dart 149.|