bushings, bearings, wedges, etc













^^^ CLICK ^^^

This comprehensive bushing comparison chart was created by Boris a.k.a. "BlueB" on the pavedwave forum.

If you have any new information to submit, please contact him directly!



Bushings I use in both LDP and slalom:

Orange Khiro cone + Orange Khiro barrel on bottom. This is JUST the bottom configuration. You have to kind of smash them into place, they add up to be a little taller than a stock Bennett. Then an Orange Khiro barrel on top. I don't care for the aluminum cores because they tend to blow out on a distance setup.

Another good fit are holey hourglass + holey cones in a Bennett. The only problem is they seem to blow out pretty fast for me. If you have the cash, try them out. They fit right out of the box.

Yet another more recent good fit are blue Khiro Tall cones, sometimes with a single washer on bottom, then an Orange Khiro on top.

There's been a lot of brand hype on Silverfish in recent years, where Venoms have taken over the market and Khiros are now "yesterday's bushing." But here is why I tend to stick with Khiro's when it comes to front / Bennett trucks on an LDP:

I still use Khiros in front because they LAST for the many miles covered in LDP. Once you've ripped up a few $10 bushings in only the first 25 miles, unless there's a trust fund or sponsorship involved, you'll probably want something that performs and lasts too.

These days I tend to use 4 different types of bushings on ONE setup: Front Bennett with Tall Khiro Orange cone or barrel on bottom, and Venom/Sabre/Retro/Khiro barrel on the top -- in an 80-90 duro range. Rear Virage with Vintage Green Stim, Green Eliminator, or Green Radikal on bottom, and Red Venom on top.


Bushing reviews on the Pavedwave Forum:



Venom SHRs

Abec11s / Retros



Bushings that work best for the Carver CX:

Carver's stock red bushings...pretty damn good straight out of the box! However, one thing to consider is you will probably CHEW through bushings more often with Carver CXs because they do put a lot of twist-torque on them. So other newer bushings can be an expensive habit to maintain.

If you skate hard and often, you'll chew through bushings, so its always a good investment!

"Khiro Bushings Shredding Solution" on the forum - from Eric Lowell (Houston, TX)

Eric is one of the skaters who pumped 187 miles in LIVESTRONG IV, and he's been tinkering like a mad scientist on Mark Groenenboom's "Cambiar" dropped deck brackets. This is one of his recent ideas to help extend the life of bushings on a Bennett truk.



Really, they don't matter. Get the cheap ones and go!

Just make sure they're CLEAN and LUBED and you're golden.


Bones Reds - cheap and awesome

Rockin Rons - everyone says they're better. What that really means is "Ron is a cool guy."

Abec11 Biltins - a favorite. Pop in and go. No extra speed rings or spacers.

Mile High Mark's - silverfishers rave about these, I never tried them yet. They're bearings. Whatever.

Ceramics - ok, these can make a difference, on race day. That's the only exception.


My maintenance technique for bearings:

Allow "earth lubricant" (dirt) to collect on outside of bearing shields and nut until fully coated. The outside coating of earth lubricant gradually creates an additional protective shield that prevents more earth lubricant from getting any closer to the bearings.

Over time, a few particles may break through the shield, and subtle crunchy noises become pronounced.

Before riding, spin your wheels a few times. If the crunchy sounds are accompanied by a slowing down or completely halting the wheels' momentum, it's time for some man-made synthetics (my current solution is this Silicon Spray.)

With the board on its edge, spray a few bursts directly at the bearing shields and allow the spray to soak in. Repeat on the inside of the opposite wheel, and for both front and rear wheels. Then flip the board and repeat.

After allowing the synthetic to soak in, flip the board on its topside, wheels up, and kick/spin the wheels HARD with your shoe, breaking free any concentrations of earth lubricant and allowing the synthetic to completely coat the insides of the bearings.

Probably not a good idea to follow this regimen. Keeping your bearings clean and lubed really is a good idea. I just don't have time to take things apart and clean them.

When things do get so crunchy that even the above technique no longer works, I remove all the bearings, throw them in an old Starbucks mug with a small cup of Simple Green earth-friendly soap, then cap it and shake that thing like a bartender. This knocks loose most of the crud, then I pop them back in, and squirt everything with the Silicone spray and go.

Just remember, bearings do not matter.



Here's a WEDGING diagram that sums things up well.

I got this from Chris Chaput's webpage, but originally this was from a Rad Pad advertisement back in the late 70's.

#1 is the most "carvy" pumping setup, and #2 keeps the back truck more stable for a more slalom/technical pumping setup. Steer clear from configurations #3 or #4.

I don't really have any 'favorite' wedge pads. It's a chunk of plastic or rubber that angles your truck more or less, or keeps the wheels from chomping the deck. You can make them from wood, many people in slalom do.

But probably the best all in one packaged deal is the Khiro Wedge kit, with all kind of angles to mix and match on your setups.

On the Trail... GPS

This is a Garmin Forerunner 201 and I'm totally pleased with using it to track raw distances. The altitude measurements are pretty sketchy, but the distance and timing is relatively accurate.

After powering up, it usually takes a minute to locate satellites when the skies are clear, and takes longer in overcast conditions. I don't mind the short wait, it actually reminds me to stretch out before jumping on the board, something that I've come to not only appreciate but respect.

The 201's got a serial cable port to PC, where the upgrade to 301 gives you USB connect instead, and a heart rate monitor, but you pay another $50 or so.

I bought this 201 off eBay for cheap, but for a second one I got a 305 w/heart rate monitor, at R.E.I.

I'm also using the 101 nowadays. The downside is that it doesn't have any PC connection, so you lose all that cool data manipulation online. But it came more from necessity -- I needed a GPS where you could simply change batteries, for events like the 24-hour rides, and the 101 is the ticket for that.


The other GPS I've been toying with was created more for orienteering. It's really powerful, and syncs up fast, but the downside is that it doesn't seem to clearly capture the concept of a "session" as much as the Forerunner series. It's designed more to track waypoints and chart a course, likely over terrain that isn't already clearly marked, like out on forested trails. I bought this one for tracking rides that go past 24-hours though, because the AA batteries will actually last beyond that, possibly 28 hours even, plus they can simply be changed, so no AC power is needed here either. Great for uber-long distance rides across the country, perhaps?

GPS thread with more review / comments / ongoing GPS log...



You can easily pay between $40--$100 for a pair of skate shoes. It really depends if you're looking to appeal to or fit into some scene, which doesn't interest me. I just want shoes that hold up to lots of footbraking and feel comfortable walking around in. I don't expect a lot of arch support, but rather a nice flat sole to stay in best contact with the board. If you really need arches or heel support you can pick those things up separately and move them between your shoes.

Since I do burn through more shoes, especially one particular long winding hill on my way to work, I've recently found some World Industry shoes in the $20---$25 range that are working great. Will probably stick with these in the high mileage months of summer, then go back to the more expensive Vans or e/s shoes that are basically my two favorites.

And as LDP evolves, and guys like Barefoot Ted come into the fray introducing new products like Vibram FiveFinger shoes, it just proves that there are other ways to take care of the feet.

I was fascinated with the idea of barefooting years back, but after trying out a few sessions and shredding up my feet on the grip tape (and reading horror stories about people running out a too-fast downhilling run barefoot) I "retired" the idea somewhat for distance excursions of any significant length.

Now, I've been revisiting this again, and following in the footsteps of the old school slalom scene, most whom stick with thin-soled canvas shoes like Vans or Converse. They burn up a bit faster than the newer skate shoes, but you get a lot more feel for the board and more control overall. The other positive side effect is that your feet actualy get much stronger in the process. Some people with extremely high arches still may not be able to go this route, but I'm more and more convinced that you can "teach" your feet to get stronger with the thin, flat soled shoes. Or none at all -- as long as you are always in control of your speed, and don't go any faster than you can comfortably run out.




Tierney T-rides Board. Gotta say, it's kinda fun. Stable at speed. Totally unstable without speed. Indy rubberized + urethane caster wheels on bottom. Supposed to be a cross-trainer for downhill snowboard racers.

But we're talking asphalt here, not snow, and sliding is not an option on this one.

Had to leave this one to the younger daredevils...but I do miss it.

BMW Streetcarver. Built by engineers, for engineers? Interesting for a few rides. Okay, that was expensive fun. Thank God for eBay.


Epilogue: Some Streetcarver fan mailed me about how great this thing is and why don't I explain my very brief rant here on my page. So here goes.

I tested this board about 9 sessions over 3 weeks, to be fair, and to really consider whether I wanted to keep it or not, considering the investment. Let me just point out a few observations:

- It felt like a highchair on wheels. The best carving machines have a much lower CG.

- Weight is around 25-35 lbs? After repeatedly hiking a big hill it feels like 80 lbs.

- Turn it to the left. Stays there. You HAVE TO consciously turn back to the right. NO return to center. Smooth turning "mechanism", yes, but where's the power?

- No flex at all. Like standing on a cast iron plate.

- Bearings made a "jingling" sound, so I googled it. This happens to be a very well known bug amongst the BMW owners. You can repair, but that's $$ on top of $$$$.

- IMHO, it is NOT a "snowboard cross trainer." Training on the BMW Streetcarver teaches you how to ride a BMW Streetcarver better.

- One good point. It LOOKS very cool.

- One last solid point, to be fair... Kudos to someone with lots of cash for pushing the envelope on a articulated truck concept. Most board builders and designers simply don't have the resources to follow through with a project like this. I don't know all the background on who at BMW conceived and pushed this through, but I do appreciate their effort. By adding some kind of responsiveness to each "joint" in the trucks, and more give and "life" to the deck, this could go somewhere. It would still however be a complex design, with lots of moving parts, which I prefer not to encourage in a sport which wears down parts with repetitive motion.

IMHO, as far as the "skate scene" is concerned, I still feel better steering people who really want a carving machine away from this one. But if you have an engineer's mind, and want a nice looking trophy, and something to tinker with, then feel free to blow your $$. I'd rather spend my next $600 on two very decent slalom decks, or a couple sweet carving decks plus a skatepark deck, and that's the direction I would steer most skateboarders who really want something to shred on.

Flowlab Deep Carve System. 7 inline-like wheels in front, 7 more in back. Carves go click, click, click as the the turning radius changes. Tried it a couple weeks. The carving sensation doesn't work for me. Not like a surfboard, not like a flexy skateboard. I dunno. But it seems like they need to get that "click" out of the carve. One thing they do well is hire a bunch of babes to promote at events.

I guess the kids who rip up skateparks like these as a kind of hybrid carver and park riding deck.

Stowboard. Word of advice: Don't drink and bid on eBay.