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Monday, July 16, 2012

Introduction:Independent 169 Stage X Mark II

Last week, I introduced the Independent 159 Stage X Mark II. This week, it is the new Independent 169. The previous 169 kept the Stage IX look and geometry through most of the "Mark I" of the Stage X. The new Independent 159 and 169 trucks have geometry based on Stage V-VII Independents as well as the best features of the Independent 129-139-149 Stage X Mark II.

The 159s I've been skating for the last week are a definite step forward for Independent. The shortcomings of the Stage X design (mainly the binding of the top washer with the pivot cavity) were fixed with the Mark II for the 129-139-149 sizes. The 159 and 169 take it a step further by increasing the stability, turning feel, and responsiveness.

The Independent 169 Stage X Mark II is wider than the 159s, but are otherwise equally as good. However, the new 169s are very different than the last generation 169 Stage IX. Aside from the evolution of the
geometry, the largest difference in the new 169 is that the actual axle size is 9.125". The old 169 had a hanger width of 159mm with an axle length of 8.9". Another major change is that the baseplate has old school and new school drillings once again.

Here are the specifications of the new 169:

Hanger width: 166mm / 6.5"
Weight: 412.5 grams
Height: 54.5mm with stock bushings
Axle displacement: 36.5mm

Here are the pictures of the new 169:
Independent New 169.

Independent New 169. Made in the USA. 

Independent New 169. Same geometry as the new 159.

Independent New 169.

Independent New 169. Good kingpin clearance.

Independent New 169.

Independent New 169.

Independent New 169.

Independent New 169. New school and Old school mounting holes. Independent knows their customers!


Independent New 169.

Independent New 169. With Bones Bushings mounted. Looks good with  the hardware and bushings all blacked out.
I took the 169s on a heat cycling run with some new wheels. The new 169s are stable at speed, as expected. Their response isn't as quick as with the 159s, but they are still very responsive, especially considering that they're 9" trucks. On downhill runs, I carved long lines with high stability and quick responsiveness on transferring from frontside the backside. The longboard slider crowd will be very pleased with these new 169s. As will the bowl rider crowd. Like the 159s, manuals were easy to hold for long distances - this is a marked yet welcome change from previous Independent trucks. I concluded my heat cycle run with some street work. Ollies with the 169s on a big 9.4" Powell Peralta deck were hefty yet comfortable.

Enjoy the pictures!

31 comments:

  1. Great review as always. What brand do you recommend for someone that like to ride tight trucks?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! For tight trucks, I recommend Destructo, Gullwing, Tensor, or Thunder trucks. More information can be found here:
      https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Apox_SJ8CeMTdG1iODBrWV9HZTlMYmlFWXY4cE5sN3c#gid=1

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  2. Wow! Thanks. Maybe I'll give Tensors or try since I've never used them before. Thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When Tensors are very tight, they are amazing trucks for technical skating. They are not "carving" trucks, so don't go planning on dropping into bowls or bombing hills with your Tensors. They're pretty nice on mini-ramps, though!

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  3. The pivot angle looks steeper than the indys I have, is this the stage 5-7 geometry?
    Very interesting......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The angle is steeper. The new Indys are very turny. Elements of Stage 5-7 geometry, but the baseplate and pivot cavity are different.

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  4. Where did you purchase the 169 mark II s?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://socalskateshop.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=28226

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  5. any experience with the red indy bushings on these new trucks? might switch out the stock orange barrel ones to them

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The red Indy aftermarket bushings with the conical bottoms don't do so well in the new 169s. There is just not enough bushing to help control the trucks. I am currently experimenting with various barrel bottom bushings sets to figure out which ones work and which don't. Independent has said they will sell all the current aftermarket conical bushings sets before they start selling the barrel bottom sets. Kind of a bummer, since their whole lineup uses the barrel bottoms now. You could always just break in the stock bushings, but it takes a long time with Indy stock bushings.
      So far, the best bushings for the Indy 169s have been Bones bushings, but, since the kingpin is so long, and the leverage so high, I've been using two bottom Bones bushings in each truck to tame them. It is not at all an ideal solution.

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  6. I think independent might be keeping tabs on you, I just checked NHS fun factory and the new reynolds hollow trucks don't appear to have the forged baseplates...
    http://www.nhsfunfactory.com/item/33131494/independent/149-Reynolds-GC-Hollow-Baker-Limited-Black-Trucks
    Keep Shreddin'!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting find. I think the Boss probably had something to do with that, too.

      Delete
  7. I just put bones bushings in my 159s should I use both washers? Does the change in geometry make the truck better or worse?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The 159s feel a lot better when you leave the bottom washer off when using Bones Bushings. The geometry with the stock bushings is stilted and uncomfortable. The trucks feel more natural with the Bones.

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  8. Great review, awesome blog man
    My question not the point of this post, but I've got a question about the venture P-rod hollow (low) and Koston FORGED HOLLOW.They are great trucks and very lights, both have hollow kingpins and hollow axles, but which one will be lighter?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A forged baseplate on an Independent truck lowers weight by 12.5 grams. A hollow kingpin drops another 10 grams. Hollow axles lower the Independent's weight by another 17 grams. Total weight savings: 39.5 grams

      A forged baseplate on a Venture truck lowers weight by 16.17 grams. A hollow kingpin drops 10 grams. Hollow axle drops 17 grams. Total weight savings: 43.17 grams

      The Venture P-Rod 5.2 low Hollow would theoretically weigh about 312 grams.
      The Koston Forged Hollow 139 weighs 326 grams.

      As an aside: the two trucks will feel remarkably different due to their geometry and intended use.
      Hope this helps!

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  9. Thanks man
    you helped a lot
    I use for skate street

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Bertrand,

    Do you think these new Indys are better than Aces?

    I really love my Ace 44s on my 8.5 deck but I just picked up a Black Label Emergency deck and I think I prefer the extra Width(9.25) and WB(15.5). I'm Currently using some Tracker Sixtracks which a like but not as much as the Aces.

    Thanks,
    Han

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Ace trucks feel different than these new Indy 159s and 169s. The Aces carve tighter and deeper.

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    2. For a 9.25" deck, the Indy new 169 would be a good width. If you choose Ace trucks, then go with the 66. Socal skateshop usually carries the Ace 55 and 66. Tracker makes a couple of different 9" trucks. Gullwing has a 9" truck called the Grinder that is really awesome for carving in bowls if you like really tight carves. Ironically, Gullwing's M1 Carving truck is a shit carver on boards with wheelbases under 20", so don't worry about trying the M1. Bear trucks makes the Polar Bear, a new traditional kingpin truck that is my new favorite, but so far only the 8.75" axle version is available for sale.

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    3. Thanks Bertrand, in that case I think I'll go for the Aces; I'm all about carving and I love my Ace 44s. I'd really like to give the new Indys a try sometime though!

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    4. Are you going to try the Ace 55s or Ace 66s? Both are in stock:
      55: http://socalskateshop.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=26322
      66: http://socalskateshop.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=6904

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    5. I think I'm going to go with the 55s; the Emergency Cross deck is about 8.6 at the rear axle and about 9.1 at the front.

      It actually turns out my truck choices are pretty limited; I live in the UK and new Indy 169s don't seem to have made it here yet. Wide trucks are pretty rare here; you'd be lucky to find anything wider than 8" in most skate shops.

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  11. Hi Bertrand, great blog ( the best there is about technical stuff),

    I would like to know what bushings you use with Ace trucks( even the 96 As), because Im finding that bones hardcore bushings dont make these trucks stable enough. I have the 55s and my height and weight are the same as yours.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Knowing what I know now about bushings, if I were to ride Ace 44s or 55s now, I would use Venom tall barrel bottoms (boardside) with the stock top bushings (roadside). http://www.nyclongboards.com ships them for free. Or, if you're on the West Coast, try http://www.muirskate.com for some nice Venoms. Ace kingpins are kind of long, so I would go for the green or pink bushings, or if I went Super High Rebound (which are interesting because of the liveliness), I would get the white.

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    2. Thanks for the answer Bertrand.

      The Venoms should be used with bottom washers?

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    3. Bottom washers with the tall barrel (AKA downhill) Venom bushings aren't completely necessary. But you could try it either way and see which you like better.

      Delete
  12. Nice review as always. Something I'm not sure about with Indys. Is the Stage 10 Mark II 169 the as the Stage 11 169?

    Also if I wanted my trucks a little on the tighter side would Venom 97a barrel bushings work well with Stage 11 169s and would you recommend using the bottom washer or not?

    Thanks for the great site!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. We've confirmed with NHS and through our own measurements that the Independent Stage X (ten) Mark II 159 and 169 trucks are the same as the Stage XI (eleven) 159 and 169. NHS points out that the only difference is the Stage XI 159 and 169 trucks come with the Stage XI tag on the axle.

      The Stage XI Independent boardside ("bottom") bushing, at a height of 12.5 mm (1/2"), is actually shorter than typical boardside bushings nowadays, which are between 14 and 15 mm in height. The Stage X Indy barrels are even moreso shorter than the typical "tall barrel" or "tall cone" bushings, which are between 15 and 16 mm in height and are used on longer kingpins for carving (e.g. with longboard RKP trucks or Sabre TKP trucks). Therefore, the boardside height would be equivalent to stock if you used the Venom (or other brand) "tall barrel" without the washer. Your primary concern, however, is with getting your kingpin nut on without stripping the threads, as the bushings will likely compress over time. You could use a slightly softer boardside "tall barrel" bushing with the bottom washer, and, assuming you could get the kingpin nut on, things would even out over time. You won't squish the boardside bushing 1.5-2.5 mm shorter, unless the bushing is extremely soft (like 85a or softer), but the performance would suffer in such a situation.

      Bottom line: I recommend no bottom washer with using aftermarket bushings on Independent Stage XI trucks. I even suspect that Indy shortened their stock boardside bushing to account for skaters putting Bones bushings or other aftermarket bushings on their trucks with no bottom washers.

      If you really want to absolutely preserve the geometry and use a bottom washer, the new Paris Street Truck has the same size boardside bushing as Independent Stage XI. I am sure that is not a coincidence. Paris Street Trucks use 93a Divine bushings as stock. The aftermarket versions of the Divine bushings do not appear to have the same dimensions as those that come stock in the Paris Street Truck. However, I will dig deeper to confirm or deny this.

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