Our entire truck lineup just had a major overhaul in a very important area – bushings and washers.
We have been through every truck we produce and re-specced the whole lot with our much loved original Sabre Bushing Formula, poured in the USA to our own custom specifications.
One of the unique things about our trucks is the bushing height. We have used a slightly taller bushing than most other trucks on both top and bottom bushings since our first truck protoypes 2008.
From left to right:
|Key||Brand||Top Height||Bottom Height||Total Stack|
|C||Mindless Talisman 2||13mm||16mm||29mm|
|E||Caliber (Blood Orange)*||15.5mm||15.5mm||31mm|
*Same height as Riptide, Venom, Bear Grizzly
**Same height as Ronin, Bear Kodiak
Why make this comparison?
Well, a taller bushing allows a truck to lean and turn more.
You’ll notice that the cheaper, no-brand “copy” trucks in this lineup (A,B) are a lot smaller. Less urethane restricts the truck and, as a result, these cheaper trucks don’t turn and lean as well.
So is taller always better?
We believe that it’s possible to go too far.
Yes, a super tall bushing, like the gigantic 20mm Venom Tall (F) allows the truck to lean a lot more.
But it also introduces a lot more slop.
This is fine on a truck like a Ronin with the extra support pin, or even a Rogue with it’s insert bushing. But put too tall a bushing in a regular RKP truck, and the result is imprecise and sloppy.
Over the years the “standard” has coalesced around 15.5mm – 0.6″. We’ve gone slightly bigger than this – 16mm.
This is a subtle difference, but combined with our angle and rake geometry choices, it’s one of the reasons that our trucks tend to lean just a bit more than a lot of the other longboard trucks out there.
The other thing you might notice about this picture is that not all bushings sets are symmetrical – eg the MIndless Talisman is 13mm on the top, and 16mm in the bottom.
Asymmetrical bushing setups do two things: Firstly, the shorter top bushing restricts the truck – which we don’t want. Secondly, it means that you have to buy twice as many bushings if you want to change anything.
With symmetrical bushings, you are free to use your top bushings in the bottom. So for example – if you have a set of Sabre Forged Precision Freeride Trucks and you wanted them to be more stable, you could buy a single pair of H-Type 96A Barrels and put them on the bottom, then put the R-type Barrels you already have on the top.
See what we did there?
The result is a simpler, cheaper way to tune your trucks to exactly how you want them.
But, we hear you cry, does this mean that we can’t use Sabre bushings in our Calibers, Paris or Bear Trucks? And can I not put Venom or Riptide aftermarket bushings in my Sabres?
Well yes, of course you can. It’s only 0.5mm difference. If you change the top and the bottom at the same time, you may alter the bushing preload slightly, and you may change the truck angle.
If you’re going to use another brand bushing in your Sabres, it’s a good idea to use a washer on the bottom bushing to compensate for the slightly lower height.
At the same time as this bushings change, we have introduced a more conventional washer setup.
All our trucks now come with thick steel, full capture cup washers top and bottom. This holds on to the bushing way more than the flat washers we used previously, and really brings the trucks to life.
It allows you to set your trucks up looser for more turn, with less fear of wheelbite.
At the race/downhill end of things, cupped washers combined with double barrels allow more control and stability as the bushing is held in place on the kingpin throughout the turn.
This also adds a small level of preload to your bushings, which gives even more return to center (rebound) than before. Our urethane formula seems to react well to a bit of preload – but if you don’t like it, it’s super easy to remove the bottom washer for less capture.
It’s a small detail, but this new bushing and washer setup has transformed our stock trucks. Sabres now skate better straight out of the box than ever before. Try some today and you’ll see what we mean…
If you already own some of our trucks and want to follow us with this upgrade, it’s super easy to just buy a Sabre Bushing Kit, which comes with all the bushings and washers you’ll need for a pair of trucks.