There are many ways to config a deck for distance
pumping, and depending largely on preference and pump style, some
work better than others. What I'm imparting are my opinions on
what works best, and a good number of pumpers here in the Northwest,
where we've got endless miles of paved trails to ride.
First, the TRUCKS.
As the saying goes, what's old is new...and there
is some "new" magic in the reissue Bennett
-- I'm putting more time on these than anything else now.
My typical (front) Bennett Bushing
Setups for LDP
Bennetts feel a lot like
an Indy, with a fast turn on initiation, and they turn like crazy
all the way through. In slalom there seems to be a couple "schools",
those who really like the power of a Tracker turn, and those who
have been sold on the feel of an Indy since day one. A splitfire
in back combination gives rear truck stickiness at the fastest
speeds (flatland doesn't usually get much faster than 20mph) and
the Bennett in front has a nice, easy surf feel that translates
well to the trails. One thing I have to re-learn is how to footbrake
at speed on these. The first time I broke at around 25mph, I didn't
realize how much twitchier the front was than my splitfire!!
One thing I like about
in front, is that the axle is nearer the baseplate than a Randal
or Carver truck, decreasing the overall height from deck-to-ground,
which makes for easier pushing, for those unavoidable times when
you must resort to that primitive skill. ;-)
Over the past year I've come to appreciate most
the Bennett front / SplitFire rear, a perfect combination for
a pumping machine.
Here are a few shots of my rear trucks. I always
run them dewedged, and have lately moved all the SplitFires to
DH baseplates. Since the SplitFires are currently on production
hiatus, other options that I've set up are Tracker RTS and Indys
on back -- which are about a sixth of the cost, and at least in
the world of LDP, make a negligible difference.
has obviously been a favorite in the past. We were riding these
hard way before Carver's marketing department finally woke up
and started actively promoting them. With wheels of 75mm, they
require 1-1/2" or more of risers (just flat ones, no angles),
so pushing can be challenging especially up hills, but it surfs
like crazy, so most the time you shouldn't be touching ground
For a relatively inexpensive, back-to-basics
setup I would use a reverse
kingpin truck, such as a Randal 150 or a Gullwing
R180's or Holeys are okay, but those broad hangars will require
a wider, more energy-invested pump, and what I prefer is a hangar
that lets you tack the nose back and forth more effortlessly,
at a shorter 'wavelength' and higher frequency. Paris trucks look
far more elegant than the Randals, with a polished finish and
arguably more consistent machining, though functionally there
is very little difference.
Tracker RTX/RTS combos are great for slalom pumping.
I find their turn to be of a progressive nature, and not as conducive
to long distances because they require a bit more effort. Trackers
seem to turn gradually, but as you continue to turn, they turn
very deep and positive, which is probably why they work so well
on the stiff, broad-nosed AXE slalom deck. However, the energy
investment for short, wiggly acceleration costs a little more,
and over the long hauls, I tend to use this method to either maintain
momentum or sprint up long inclines.
On any truck, I basically stick with Khiro
barrel bushings, usually a barrel on both the top and
Then, there's RISERS.
How the truck is mounted on the deck will greatly
increase or decrease its turny, surfy quality. For LDP, you want
a tacking, back and forth action in the front, and a relatively
stable rear truck. For the SplitFires, Bennets, Randals, or Gullwing
Cruisers, a strong wedge in front and slight de-wedge in back
feels just right.
On the CX, I typically just ran 1-3/4" of
flat risers with 75mm wheels and stock bushings.
Exact riser and hardware measurements vary widely,
because my wheel choices generally range from 70mm to 77mm, bushings
range from super soft to medium duros, decks can have some concave
which raises the edges slightly -- so these choices have a huge
influence on whether you run into wheelbite or not.
Current favorite riser/wedge
combinations in the front (with Bennetts) are:
Config1: 15 degree angle
wedge plus ONE of the Khiro angled 'shock pads' for 75-77mm wheels
(Vents, BigZigs, Gumballs)
Config2: 10 degree angle wedge plus ONE of the Khiro angled
'shock pads' for wheels in 70mm range (Zags, HotSpots, Manx)
Config3: TWO soft angled wedges (70mm wheels)
- add a flat 1/8" riser (Avilas, Gumballs) or 1/4" riser
This may look like a lot of riser, but in fact,
these wedges are fat only on one end and very thin on the other,
so my LDPs tend to be as far off the ground as other, more standard
Khiro Wedge Kit diagram
and typical risers used.
Most setups are about
1/4" off the deck on the thin end...
For 75-77mm wheels, about
1-1/2" off the deck on the thick end...
Slalom set up with 10
degree wedge and two flat 1/8" risers.
What I typically run on any reverse kingpin truck
or Bennets, are Khiro
angled 'shock pads' in front, which are actually a large
wedged rubber riser that is 3/16" on one end and 9/16"
on the fat end, plus if I'm using wheels that are 75mm or larger,
will add at least 1/8" flat riser and sometimes another very
thin angled riser.
Usually before fully tightening everything up,
you can just put the baseplate over the bolts, grab the wheels
and wrench the hangar side to side, to get an idea whether you've
got enough riser to keep the dreaded wheelbite from getting you.
To just take care of all your angled riser needs
once and for all (until you need more, anyway) just pick up one
of the Khiro
wedged riser kits!
As far as hardware goes these days, I rarely
buy anything shorter than 1-1/2" up to 3", just get
a collection of bolts in all lengths and you'll never
be stuck with a truck-less deck!
WHEEL preferences -- I'm usually running
one of these on distance setups:
- 75a 77mm Speed Vents - fastest top end
speed, good on poor-to-excellent trail conditions
- 72a 75mm Red or PurpleSkunk Avilas - because of
its amazing soft duro that maintains its momentum on nice surfaces,
and gets over the nastiest asphalt smoothly, this is still the
wheel of choice for tackling ALL terrain LDP!
- Pink Gumballs - amazing rebound, and cushy for nasty
- Lime/Lemon BigZigs - amazing rebound, best on good-to-excellent