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Monday, December 16, 2013

Paris Street Trucks 169

Paris Truck Company has released their TKP truck, called the Street Truck.

A lot of longboard truck manufacturers are making TKP (Traditional KingPin) trucks in addition to their RKP (Reverse KingPin) trucks. TKP trucks are also sometimes called CKP (Conventional KingPin) trucks. The difference between TKP and RKP trucks is that TKP trucks have the kingpin mounted fairly upright, with angles of, for example 15° from vertical (= 75° from horizontal), while RKP trucks have the kingpin mounted at more of a slant, with angles of, for example, 50° from vertical (= 40° from horizontal).

Paris Street Truck 169

I picked up a set of Paris Street Trucks in the 169 size.

Vital measurements:
Hanger width: 169 mm (6.65")
Axle length: 236 mm (9.29")
Weight: 443 grams
Height: 57 mm (2.24")
Axle Placement: 35.5 mm (1.40")
Bushing heights: 12.5 mm boardside, 13 mm roadside
Bushing+washer heights: 15 mm boardside, 15 mm roadside

Paris Truck Company released the measurements of their trucks in advance of their truck's release date. In addition to the measurement listings, they said it was "a true 169 mm hanger"; my measurements confirm that statement. The axle width of 236 mm (9.29") is a good fit for my 9.5"ish boards. My big popsicle decks with wheelwells do well with these trucks when I ride them riserless with 57-58 mm wheels. My hybrid deck, a 10x38 shaped board that admittedly skates better with RKP trucks, doesn't have wheelwells, and I get wheelbite with 57-58 mm wheels.

The trucks have a tiny sticker on the bottom that says "Made in Taiwan". The kingpin is the new Paris grade 8 kingpin, which Paris says is stronger than their old kingpins. Paris has their logo on the head of their new kingpin (see the pictures below), while their old kingpins have no such logo. The shape of the metal around the kingpin seat is square, but too wide to mount inverted kingpins or non-knurled hex head kingpins. See the captions in the pictures below for more about the kingpin.

Compared to most street trucks, the baseplates are extra tall, allowing for the nice stable ride of a low truck while achieving the height to ride 57 or 58 mm wheels without risers. 60 mm wheels if you ride tight trucks. Nice. My favorite truck setup is to ride low trucks (like around 48-50 mm in height) with risers underneath. It started about 3 years ago with Venture Lows and 1/8" risers. Nowadays, on my trick boards, I ride 3/8" risers with 48 mm high trucks - either Mini Logo or Polar Bears. With these Paris Street Trucks, I won't need any risers at all.

The kingpin, while it clears the hanger on perfectly squared up 50-50 grinds, is 57 mm (2.25") long (other street trucks typically have 50 mm (2") kingpins). Kingpin clearance is approximately 1 mm; a board with rocker or a board flexing from the weight of a skater will likely easily close this distance, causing the kingpin to grind.

The longer kingpin on the Paris Street Truck will allow use of tall (i.e., 15-16 mm) bushings boardside and roadside, with enough room remaining for washers. However, compared to the average street truck, the Paris Street Truck's geometry is sensitive to changes in the boardside bushing or bushing+washer height: the kingpin longitudinally deviates from yoke center with boardside assembly height changes as small as 2 mm. The kingpin is centered when the stock bushings are under compression consistent with normal operation; tightening the kingpin nut too much will again result in longitudinal deviation of the kingpin from yoke center. Intentional over-compression of the bushings might correct positive deviations in boardside height, however, this correction may come at the expense of bushing functionality, performance, or longevity. The good news is that the baseplate bushing seat is wide enough (24 mm) that a boardside washer is not necessary. If the skater desires a cupped washer, selecting a bushing of approximately 13 ± .5 mm height will help preserve the stock geometry. The most likely scenario for fans of tall bushings who wish to preserve the stock geometry will be a solitary bushing boardside and a bushing+washer combination roadside.

As a big fellow, I like using tall bushings boardside, but in my skating I don't really get much extra out of using tall bushings roadside. I will skate these trucks with the tall roadside bushings, but if I end up liking the trucks, I will be switching the kingpin out for a 50 mm (2") kingpin so I can ride my preferred bushings.

It is cold and damp on the east coast right now, so I've only skated these briefly around my neighborhood. I did a lot of carves, a lot of ollies, and some sliding. My boards with wheel wells did fine on the carves. Ollies felt quick and snappy, very nice. After I have skated the trucks more, I will update this post with more of my impressions on how they ride.

Here are some pictures:

Paris Street Truck 169. Note that the extra height comes from the baseplate. 

Paris Street Truck 169

Paris Street Truck 169

Paris Street Truck 169. The area around the kingpin is square, and it looks like you could put inverted kingpins in there, but the width from wall to wall is 17-19 mm, in an outward taper. Standard kingpin nuts are about 14 mm. Replacement kingpins should be the knurled, press-in type.

Paris Street Truck 169. The area around the kingpin is square, and it looks like you could put inverted kingpins in there, but the width from wall to wall is 17-19 mm, in an outward taper. Standard kingpin nuts are about 14 mm. Replacement kingpins should be the knurled, press-in type.

Paris Street Truck 169. The geometry is sensitive: the kingpin is centered in the yoke only when the bottom bushing or bushing/washer combo is close to 15 mm tall. I put some stimulator bushings on, and I had to forego the bottom washer to preserve the geometry. Interestingly, the height of the stock (Divine) boardside bushing is the same height as the boardside bushing on Independent Stage XI trucks. This is NOT meant to imply that Paris copied Indy - far, far from it - but I do find it interesting that two companies now are using 12.5 mm boardside bushings instead of the typical 14 mm boardside bushings so many other street truck manufacturers use. Bones bushings are 14 mm boardside, for instance.

Paris Street Truck 169. Lots of extra kingpin above the washer. The bushings are slightly compressed in this photo.

Paris Street Truck 169. Lots of extra kingpin above the washer. The bushings are loose and uncompressed in this photo. If the kingpin nut is level with the top of the kingpin, then the trucks rattle. The standard 57 mm (2.25") kingpin is really long for the truck. Even with tall bushings, a 54 mm (2.125") kingpin would be sufficient. 
Happy Holidays!


  1. I think you need a "longboard trucks for the skateboard guy" post that goes into the RKP/TKP differences in a bit more detail. Just saying it is a matter of kingpin angle is kinda misleading.

    I'm totally confused about what size bushings are standard for these trucks. You say you can use 15-16mm bushings boardside, then you say they have 12.5mm boardside bushings in the photo captions.

    I'd definitely like to know primarily how these ride with full size longboard bushings, particularly double barrels if you have 'em, and if you can really grind with the stock kingpin. It seems to me that's the main feature of these trucks, if it actually works.

    I don't like that alpha skate explanation of truck stability. I buy that the height difference between axle and bushing ring is important in the feel and performance of the truck, but the idea that it is changing the "center of gravity" does not smell right to me.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Tom!
      I tried to explain the difference between longboard and skateboard trucks without opening a can of worms. The kingpin angle is the primary difference, that much is unassailable. I'll craft a post to explain the other differences in more detail.
      Sorry about the confusion. The standard bushings for the Paris Street Truck are 12.5mm boardside and 13mm roadside. Those are my measurements. The height of the boardside bushing+washer combo is just under 15mm. You can use 15-16mm bushings boardside if you forego the bottom washer. I'll update this article.
      Theoretically, you can grind with the stock kingpin. On a rockerless board, the kingpin clears by about 1mm. Not much at all. Add a little rocker, or simply add the weight of a skater, and it is likely that the kingpins will be grinding on 50-50s. I think the kingpin is too long; many skaters will think it is a good length. I'll ride some double barrels and let you know how it feels.
      The Alpha skate explanation is marketing-centric, but I like the diagram. I have found that I prefer the low leverage that short pivots provide. Skaters who want a highly responsive truck might prefer the high leverage that long pivots provide. When I put risers on low trucks, I get good turning without wheelbite, and I get a truck that I can ride loose that isn't going to be overly sensitive to inputs.
      I'll get working on that article about the differences between RKP and TKP trucks.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. if I may... and please forgive me for contradicting - I design bicycles and am intimately familiar with head tube angles, trail, etc.

      What is key to handling is two things:

      * First, the pivot angle. there is a little play there, but not much (I'll detail that later). *1

      * Second, if your base is "thicker" or "thinner" - what I mean by that, is I observed that some "hi" trucks have the pivot higher up off the plate, while others have a hanger that is taller for the same base plate. *2

      1 - on the first point, the pivot pin and hole are designed to match up at the same angle (to be co-axial). of course, you can change that, but if you do, you will cause premature wear on that bushing that is in there, and possibly even metal deformation and/or wear (once it eats through the bushing prematurely because it's in diagonally instead of straight in that hole). But varying the deck-side bushing thickness CAN be used to change the angle at which the hanger pivots in relation to the deck - but for the reasons mentioned, it is not advisable - better get a truck that has a pivot angle that satisfies your favored handling characteristics. A shallower angle, like 50-60 degrees (in relation to the deck or base plate) will make the skateboard turn slower, and less sensitive to speed wobbles. This is ideal for going down a hill at 60mph and through snaking turns. But it would drive you crazy at slower speeds like in a skatepark. A steeper angle, like 75 degrees, gives you that very responsive handling that you want when you're in the skatepark, on ramps and just need it to turn quick to get back under your center of gravity really fast lest you fall off because it's not following you. But it would scare the sh!t out of you going down hills at high speeds, because every little surface asperity will make the truck turn and twitch a little bit... becoming wobbles, at high speed.
      As for the kingpin angle, that has only something to do with optimal angle at which the bushings are compressed - and as we have seen, there are at least two approaches that have been commercialized (but not the only way). Your pivot angle is basically like a hammock strung between two points resulting in a given swine plane. As I said, modify at the risk to the longevity of your equipment. Your truck is designed to pivot at a given angle, and the kingpin is placed so that the bushings can perform in an optimal manner. If you had a perfectly vertical kingpin, compared to one at an angle, but both intersected with the hanger at the same point on a plane, both would have exactly the same turning angle. But one would have bushings that compress and decompress better, while the other may feel not as nicely responsive (like having harder or softer bushings, and thicker or thinner).

      2 - This leads me to the last element of the second point. If you increast the distance between axle and deck by adding risers (and possibly using low trucks), you are bringing the pivot point away from the deck. That makes for a deck that leans more from one side to another, just like you would want it to do when leaning into high-speed curves (read: longboard). When you use trucks that have a taller hanger (and NOT taller baseplate), as you lean from one side to another, your deck stays more centered over the trucks and between the wheels, making for better balance in low-speed turning.

      So as you can see, truck height and pivot angle affect your board's handling, and having a better understanding of how they affect each other can allow you fine-tune a board to your needs, and get the sweet ride the way you prefer it.

    4. *given SWING plane (not swine plane)

      sorry for the typos... I can't keep on deleting and reposting each time I see an error - preview just posted it anyway, and I can't seem to be able to edit the post.

    5. Timmi, that's great, thank you for your contributions. I want to cogitate on your input for a few days, as well as conduct some simulations so I understand the dynamics you've explained. Thanks again!

    6. you're very welcome. if you have any questions, please do not hesitate.

  2. Thanks for the awesome post! I am interested in pickin up a set of these.. the taller bushing/TKP combo sounds pretty sweet and these trucks just look sexy AF!

    Please update your blog once you ride them more I can't find anything on these trucks besides specs and Kody Noble shredding like he always does.

    thanks again!

  3. Thank you for your review, the site is a wealth of info. Though the Paris RKP trucks are hugely popular with longboarders, it doesn't seem the street trucks are widely accepted (So far I have the 109s on a micro cruiser and love them). I was wondering how you feel they stack up to the competitors like Independent? Also, how do you suppose the 149mm version would have fared in your 149 Truck Comparison Test, especially for park and bowls? Also any thoughts on Krux? (I love high trucks, and big wheels!)

    1. you may have noticed that it is their baseplate that is simply taller, yielding the same effect as simply adding riser pads.
      as opposed to keeping the same baseplate height and elongating the hanger.
      in the first case, your center of gravity is shifting more to the side in turns, whereas in the second case, you are staying more on top of the board, as in doing tricks and lower speed turns (ie: skatepark).
      the question is, which better suits your riding style?

    2. That kinda makes sense. The results of the Truck Comparison show that the Ace and Indy are turny, good when run loose, and excel at transition. I have the impression that the Paris have similar qualities, but have no ridden enough trucks to make that call. I might just have to buy a few of the most interesting brands learn the difference from experience.

    3. So I ordered a pair of these in 149mm width. They are a very different truck. They are crazy carvy turny, and the stock bushing setup feels super soft. In their current form they feel like they would be great on a longboard but not so much a skateboard for street or transition. The top bushing is much taller than the average street truck, and combined with the stock durometer they are just silly loose and if they are tightened down the top bushing smooshes out and theres a lot of extra kingpin. So I ordered some harder bushings, which seem like they would typically be too hard for any other truck. Maybe this will improve it. I also got Indys for the first time and they are not as carvy, but still turn well and are more stable and the stock bushing size/durometer feels much firmer and better for skateboarding. I also have Paris 108 and in that size the stock bushing is awesome cuz there is less leverage on them. This bigger size needs a different setup.

  4. "A lot of longboard truck manufacturers are making TKP (Traditional KingPin) trucks in addition to their RKP (Reverse KingPin) trucks. TKP trucks are also sometimes called CKP (Conventional KingPin) trucks. The difference between TKP and RKP trucks is that TKP trucks have the kingpin mounted fairly upright, with angles of, for example 15° from vertical (= 75° from horizontal), while RKP trucks have the kingpin mounted at more of a slant, with angles of, for example, 50° from vertical (= 40° from horizontal)."

    Here's the downlow on the kingpin:

    When the hanger moves up and down along the kingpin (while the bushings compress and distend), it actually moves along the kingpin in an arc, the center of which is at the pivot. At rest, the hanger's hole is farthest out from the truck. Remove rider weight, or hit a bump (or land), and the end of the hanger moves up or down along the kingpin. Usually, the hander there has a hole which is elongated, so that when it goes up and down along the kingpin, it does not jam against it (in either the highest, lowest, or middle positions). The angle of the kingpin is merely to be along the average of that arc formed by that suspension system. IT IS NOT DETERMINATE OF TURNING ARC.

    ***** It is on another plane that the steering function takes place. That is on an imaginary axis that runs in the same direction the board is pointed (nose-tail - I mention that, for it not to be confused with the actual physical axle that holds the wheels). This axis is at a given angle, which is determined by the pivot bolt angle, and, if the correct bushings are used, runs from that pivot angle to where the hanger rests on the kingpin. That is your pivot axis. It's angle determines by how much degrees your wheels turn for each degree that you slant your board. *****

    Now I love spreadsheets and data. and I noticed the sheet entitled "skate parts weights and measures".
    There are two pivot angle columns, D and E. What is meant by pivot angle to yoke and to axle? What plane of reference are we in?
    Does either of those simply give us the angle of the pivot pin end, in relation to the deck (as a flat plane of reference)?
    I would like to better understand what each means. Thanks.

    1. Hi Timmi,
      Thanks for the great information about the kingpin. Your explanation emphasizes the importance of seeing trucks as dynamic systems, and we shouldn't be tempted to make conclusions about observations of a static truck.

      The pivot angles are measured from pivot cup to yoke (column D) and pivot cup to axle (column E). Plane of reference is the baseplate of the truck. I don't measure the angle of the pivot in relation to the deck, but I see the pivot cup to yoke is measuring a virtual angle. What would you recommend?

    2. hi Bertrand,

      I am not certain if I understood correctly... I believe you are saying that for column E was to measure the line from the center of the pivot cup, to the center of the axle. That could be misleading - allow me to take a bicycle fork as an example, just because it is easier for me to explain as it is familiar territory for me: there is the headtube angle (think steering column), of which the axis intersects with the ground at an imaginary point. now the fork is curved (that is called the fork rake - or offset if you prefer) and by how much it is curved (offset) will determine if a vertical line through the hub's axle is in front of or behind the point where the steering angle intersects with the ground - actually it is a combination of the two that determines how far behind it is on the ground (that is called trail) - and just one degree can make a difference there. it would be misleading to measure the angle from where the hub's axle intersects with, say, the handlebars, because it gives us neither the steering angle, nor the trail (both of which determine different handling characteristics). Both those parameters are important, and not the result of the two, if we want to predict, by looking at specifications, what type of geometry/handling we could expect.

      Could you please tell me what instrument you use to measure the angle? I am just curious - not that high precision goes into making skateboard trucks anyways because they are cast, not machined to high tolerances.

      Theoretically, to avoid premature wear, you would want the angle of your pivot cup opening to coincide _precisely_ with the angle from the pivot to where the yoke and kingpin intersect, therefore the angle of the yoke, and measurement in column D should be the same (they may change however, if you change bushings). I am wondering if one can just use a rod of which the diameter corresponds precisely to the pivot hole might be used as a simplified method to help measure the angle.

      Let's go back to the bike analogy from earlier. The fork rake is designed to give a certain trail for a given wheel size (wheel size determines distance from the ground which determines the distance between the two angles as they touch teh ground). Change the wheel size, and you change the trail. Ditto for skateboard trucks. Change the wheel size, and handling will be affected a little bit. I just don't know by how much because I am no expert in skateboards - but I would guesstimate that it all comes down to proportions, and a percentage change in one equivocates a percentage change in the other. So when you compare trucks for handling characteristics, you might want to try using the same size wheels each time - say, 55mm or whatever is most popular, or a good middle between big and small for skateparks for example.

      Now, as I said, I'm no expert in skateboards, but it seems to me that the measurements in column D seem a bit shallow as an angle - I would have thought they would be much more vertical than that. To further my point, I see longboard trucks for sale, advertised as having a 44 degree angle, or 50 degree angle, for example, and the angles quoted in your column D are even shallower than that - hence my surprise.

    3. Trail on skateboards is an interesting measure. Neil Carver - one of my favorite truck designers - wrote an article about speed wobbles:

      RKP trucks advertise kingpin angle, that would be 90 minus the value in column C. I measure trucks from the horizontal, and RKP truck kingpin angles seem to be measured from the vertical. In the comparison to measuring fork rake, my measurement of pivot cup to axle is equivalent to measuring from the bottom headset bearing to the axle. Forks are long, and hence the sensitivity you see with only 1 degree of change. Truck pivots are short, and thus the measure theoretically shouldn't be as sensitive.

      I only have 4 RKP trucks on my spreadsheet. The Bear Grizzly, the Paris 43 and 50, and the Surf Rodz RKP. You can see that column D and E match up for the Paris trucks and the Surf Rodz. The Bear Grizzly trucks are my favorite RKPs, so they're never off the deck long enough to measure angles. Plus the Grizzly trucks work great, and in a rare moment for me, I kind of don't care what the measurements are. If I'm having a lazy day, I flip the Grizzly hangers to give me high stability and smaller ollie angles. Otherwise I skate them on the "high" height for good turning and snappy ollie pop.

      I use three different angle measurement techniques: 1) physical protractor with a swinging arm measuring a physical truck, 2) digital protractor on a physical truck, and 3) same tools as well as a graphic arts software that measures angles on a digital photo of the truck from the side, with perspective correction.

      On bicycles, yeah, headtube angle and fork rake are popular measurements because they can give an idea of the behavior of the bike. I have built a few 29er bicycles in my time, and after years of messing around with angles, I settled on the right mix of headtube angle and fork rake (curved fork) that optimized my ability to ride hands-free. I can't remember what the angles are, I suppose I could go to the garage to measure my bike, but I remember well the significance of the measurements.

      I always use the same size wheels when comparing trucks, but I use different wheels for different "classes" of trucks. For testing trucks for 8"ish decks as well as any low truck, I use 50 mm wheels. For testing trucks for 8.25-8.5" decks, I use 54 mm wheels. For testing trucks for 8.6"+ decks, I use 58 mm wheels. Controversially, I use 58mm wheels to test longboard RKP trucks, but I also don't use RKP trucks like most people use RKP trucks, neither do I publish RKP test results except in the context of what RKPs might mean for street skaters on big popsicle stick decks.

      Good convo, Timmi. Thanks for keeping it interesting!

    4. With things like perspective correction, or the challenges of getting your instrument into place, I cannot help but wonder if more precise measurements wouldn't be derived by simply calculating the angle instead, using trigonometry, instead measuring distances to compose a triangle.

      The link you provided for the speed wobbles article contains a significant error: he is measuring the angle via the kingpin and not the steering pivot. But we know that the kingpin is but a support - the hanger doesn't pivot around it - it can't or you wouldn't be able to have the pivot as stationary. You can put the kingpin at any angle, and it will not affect steering: (as long as your intersect point is the same on a plane) it will only determine if the hanger opening rubs or jams on it or if suspension can work freely.

      BTW, putting weight on the front works. I transposed that into bicycle racing with the same result - get rid of wobbles when going 60mph downhill while spinning on a 52x12 - but I digress.

  5. Really really interesting data.
    I have to say that some of them achieve missunderstanding from my part, but mainly, very nice report

    Let me please ask you a question.

    I have parís 180 trucks for longboard (loaded dervish sama and banghra).
    I want a Street deck (Rayne Renegade or Bustin Yoface 35). I'm used to ride on longboard trucks, really loose (VENOM red and even orange, dancing setup).
    Do you think PAris Street trucks could be turning nearer longboard trucks than CAliber Standard trucks for Street (special skate trucks for streets).
    I know skate trucks are different from longboard trucks, but would you say that Paris Street trucks will turn and make me feel nearer than what I'm used to?
    Or simply its diferente and thats all...

    Thanks in advance

    1. Paris Street trucks turn deeper than Caliber standard TKP trucks.

  6. nice, @bertrand did u ever do the comparison with double barrels?thnx

    1. Not yet! Still catching up on lots of stuff. Thanks for the reminder.

  7. I've been using the Paris 169s for a while now and they've totally replaced my indy 169s for skating tranny. My indys turn well but skating fast on large bowls makes them twitch around, especially on Bones hardcores (for some reason 169s come with a low kingpin so you're pretty limited unless you swap it out). They've thrown me off a few of times twitching on fast alternating turns.

    The Paris are super stable at speed and have a very progressive deep turn. My only problem with them was the stock Divine bushings are very hard now, they seem to be using pretty stiff red 93a. I swapped them out for a Sabre 88a barrel boardside and a soft Khiro orange cone roadside and they feel perfect. Super stable, deep turn, nice grind on pool coping and high enough to skate my 64 bowl bombers just with a shockpad. They seem to work especially well on tight transition, our local wooden bowl the "Gorilla" is particularly tight and nasty, but I can hit every line in it on the Paris, compared to getting thrown off or sliding out on Minilogo 8.75s or the indys.

    1. That's great information you've shared, Burt! Thank you. My Divine bushings also got pretty stiff: I use the red Divine bushings as the roadside bushing on my Newton trucks when I want to go fast.

    2. Burt I have had similar positive results with Polar Bears as well. In fact on my very first run with Polar Bears, I was in a large bowl & found myself in a hairy unexpected frontside carve situation and I just flowed right thru it without even getting nervous. Usually I have a heart attack in that situation.

  8. I have both paris 169 and independent 169 trucks. I really like paris trucks: they are stable and predictable. I remove the hangers to compare the kingpin position and I notice that paris truck have a much more vertical kingpin position. That`s why paris feels more stable at higher speeds and indy turns deeper. For my 37inches board with 18 inches wheelbase, paris works great on big pools and huge transitions but on tighter transitions indys are better.

    1. Thanks, Jonas, for sharing your experiences! I take the Paris Street trucks out every now and then and find similar results.

  9. Do you think Indy's 2" kingpins would work?. I searched high and low for a 2.25 kingpin and couldn't find one that wasn't a hex head. Paris was no help either.

    1. I think they might be a little short, you'd have to carefully thread the nut to get it started, kind of like with Independent Low trucks.

  10. For sliding, freeriding would you recommend paris St or independent for a. Bustin yoface 35? Thanks!

    1. Independent Stage XI for sure. I don't often feel so strongly about recommendations, but the Bustin Yoface decks feel perfect with Independent trucks. Go for Indy 169 on the Yoface 39, 159 or 169 on the Yoface 35. Ride the Independent trucks loose for the first few hours: just go carving and get used to the really nice turning. Then the bushings will have heat cycled and you can tighten them down if you want. I usually tighten my rear Indy to medium tight but leave my front Indy loose. Yoface decks are heavy but they slide and freeride really well.

  11. We friends had made a small skate park in a empty space outside of our playground. Those days were so interesting and really enjoyable to me. We riders became more spreader and after all we became professional rider. I still remember my friends win international price for best performance. I have a blog for the beginner riders best longboards