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Old February 8th, 2017, 05:41 PM   #1
Dekindy
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Default Truck adjustment for beginners

I decided to go with the Powerdyne Reactor Neo to upgrade from my Thrust plate. I have read a lot about plates so please don't tell me whether this is a good or poor decision.

What I need to know is how to properly adjust truck tension? I have been reading everything I can and watching youtube videos but it has not gotten me any closer to feeling comfortable on where to start.

For instance, I saw a video where the plate seemed to have the same design as mine. The first step in adjusting truck tension was to loosen the kingpin nut. Is this correct?

I know that for the cushions to do there job that there has to be tension on the cushions. But shouldn't there be a standard setting for getting the maximum performance from the cushion. Tight enough so that the cushions are doing the work: which would be not too loose that the cushions cannot rebound the truck and softer cushions should be used instead; or not too tight that the cushions are not deformed and a harder cushion should be used instead?(hope I have the terminology correct!)

I have tried tightening each truck the same number of clicks but it seemed like the front truck has less tension than the back and it does not seem like the tension is the same on each skate.

Do I want the front and back trucks to have the same tenions or different?

6'2" and 215 pounds with fairly decent beginner and some intermediate skills and working to improve. Installed orange cushions.

I hope there are some rules of thumb/guidelines because I do not have a very good feel on figuring this type of adjustment on my own.

Also I have read several threads from the 2012-2013 era discussing Reactor plate cushion configurations(DocSk8, Armidillo, Christopher_T, etc) to get the best performance from reactor plates and it was difficult for a beginner to follow. Realize that was for the Pro model as the Neo was not in production but any help here would be appreciated also.
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Old February 8th, 2017, 09:15 PM   #2
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Well, I did even more searches and part of the results yielded a 2010 Skatelog Forum thread and other sources that have answered most of my questions. Would still appreciate any insights anyone might have.
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Old February 9th, 2017, 12:23 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dekindy View Post
Well, I did even more searches and part of the results yielded a 2010 Skatelog Forum thread and other sources that have answered most of my questions. Would still appreciate any insights anyone might have.
What you are looking for is a loose truck but not out of control or speed wobbles. As you get better, you want to loosen the trucks little by little until you feel out of control. Then tighten the back up until the wobbles go away.
Next if you are feeling you want them looser but you are already at the point that if you loosen them any, you get speed wobbles, your cushion probably need to be swapped for softer ones. This lets you have looser trucks without wobbles. Allows more traction and smoother turning. There will come a point that you will try to go softer on the cushions and find that you cant gain control even with tightening the trucks down. The cushions will be too soft at that point for YOU. Different people and different setups will allow different cushions to be used.
I hope this helps....
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Old February 9th, 2017, 04:56 AM   #4
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The quick setup I use is to tighten the kingpin nut maybe half a turn after touching the cushions. Then skate forwards with normal technique. If you get speed wobbles then tighten the front truck for the respective foot that got the speed wobble 1/4 turn should be enough each time. If you are fighting your skate to turn, then loosen the front truck for the respective foot that you were fighting, again 1/4 turn should be enough. When these are sorted, do the same again but skating backwards and tightening/loosening the back truck of the skate according to whichever is wobbling/ fighting.
This has been my fastest and easiest method for setting truck tensions.
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Old March 13th, 2017, 02:48 AM   #5
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Talked to a skate mechanic and he recommended the proper tension so that the pivot arms do not move side to side in the pivot cup. That seemed to be about one click past hand tight.
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Old March 13th, 2017, 02:58 AM   #6
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So you read all the forum threads asked for advice and you still listened to a so called skate mechanic.....

Theres no correct tension.....but plenty of wrong ones.

First is so loose that the truck falls off .second so tight that it doesnt allow movement{although a lot of speed guys have it like that}.

Just experiment till you find what you like...

I am about the same size as you and run yellow suregrips on boens barrel and cones.Have also tried the magic orange cushions and blue venoms.

All pivot pins need to move from side to side its the up and down movement that you minimise......
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Old March 13th, 2017, 03:15 AM   #7
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All pivot pins need to move from side to side its the up and down movement that you minimise......
Yes Sir!! Without proper pivot adjustment you could break a kingpin and almost any part of your body.

Keep rollin
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Old March 13th, 2017, 02:10 PM   #8
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Talked to a skate mechanic and he recommended the proper tension so that the pivot arms do not move side to side in the pivot cup. That seemed to be about one click past hand tight.
That has almost nothing to do with proper cushion adjustment. While this advise isn't completely wrong it isn't correct either.

Cushion adjustment has more to do with the skater than with the skate. From the skate's perspective you don't want the cushions to bulge (too tight) or the trucks to move without cushion control (too loose). In the range between those two extremes the cushions MAY skate the way you like and are able to skate. If not get harder or softer cushions.

Personally I like the handling soft cushions provide. "Chasing the speed wobble" as mentioned above is the way to progress to softer cushions and from my perspective you are not an advanced skater until you have mastered the softest cushions available for your plates. Once you can skate full out on the softest cushions you may want harder but how would you know that if you haven't tried it?

In so many things, like skating, until can't do it until you can. Nobody was born knowing how to skate.

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Old March 14th, 2017, 01:23 AM   #9
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Talked to a skate mechanic and he recommended the proper kingpin tension so that the pivot arms are working properly[/s] do not move side to side[/s] in the pivot cup. That seemed to be about one click past hand tight.
Reactor Neo pivot arm is not adjustable so any reference to tension is kingpin tension.

If I had talked to this "skate mechanic" and 2nd generation skating rink owner originally I would not have had any questions to ask on skatelogforum and would have had the proper skates equipment and boot fit initially.
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Old March 14th, 2017, 04:42 PM   #10
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Reactor Neo pivot arm is not adjustable so any reference to tension is kingpin tension.

And there in lies the problem. Adjusting the suspension based on the results in the pivot cup serves no purpose what so ever. The action is adjusted to suit the sk8r, not some other "preset" characteristic.

If I had talked to this "skate mechanic" and 2nd generation skating rink owner originally I would not have had any questions to ask on skatelogforum and would have had the proper skates equipment and boot fit initially.

Really?? He must be a rare gem then. So describe what you deem to be the "proper" sk8 equipment. I'm really curious..
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Old March 14th, 2017, 05:43 PM   #11
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want to know... Too many different styles and blends of types of skating to say one skate gets it all done. Armadillo would be all over this....
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Old March 14th, 2017, 06:34 PM   #12
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Going back to your original post;
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dekindy View Post
... But shouldn't there be a standard setting for getting the maximum performance from the cushion.
I'm somewhat amazed that no one gave that statement a resounding NO. Hopefully you are no longer under the delusion that such a setting exists. There is a reason there is an adjustment there and the few designs that lack such an adjustment people are always trying to modify.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dekindy View Post
Reactor Neo pivot arm is not adjustable so any reference to tension is kingpin tension.
Yes, I know. Looked the plate up before I responded. That is why I said what I did. Doc puts an even finer point on using that metric for cushion adjustment.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dekindy View Post
If I had talked to this "skate mechanic" and 2nd generation skating rink owner originally I would not have had any questions to ask on skatelogforum and would have had the proper skates equipment and boot fit initially.
Yes, getting the correct skate and boot fit is best done in person. While there is a lot of good information available from multi-generational skate operators there is a lot here also. The rink I frequent is 3rd and fourth generation. I learn from them and they learn some from me. A lot of what I know comes from here. Anyone that thinks that any one source has any body of knowledge covered is being shortsighted.

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Old March 15th, 2017, 02:08 AM   #13
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You guys have been very helpful and I appreciate it. You are all also a little much at times, jumping, no pouncing on every little word.

Proper skate equipment simply means a metal plate for a 215 lb person, properly installed plate and cushions, a better fitting boot, and a more appropriate durometer wheel, you know, the basics to get a novice skater started properly. I am partially to blame. I do not recall how budget oriented I was and went to a derby oriented shop because I was interested in being a referee and also wanted to support the owner because he does so much for the local derby league. Also my goals have changed, the primary skating service I will be skating, etc.

I am going to have to continue educating myself and determine how much I want to invest in trying different things. I know this because everyone(skatelog forum, skating instructor, skate rink owner) has drastically different recommendations with a corresponding strong opinion based upon their bias.

It is all good. A $5 pair of insoles seems to have remedied most and possibly all of my foot pain so I can continue skating my present equipment until I gain more skills(hopefully) and knowledge and a clearer picture of where I am going with my skating. The good news is that I have confidence in my equipment and although skating is still a lot of work it is also becoming enjoyable.
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Old March 15th, 2017, 05:59 AM   #14
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and although skating is still a lot of work it is also becoming enjoyable.
Which should be the primary objective, cos if you aren't enjoying it, you must be doing it wrong
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Old March 15th, 2017, 05:12 PM   #15
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You guys have been very helpful and I appreciate it. You are all also a little much at times, jumping, no pouncing on every little word.

It is obvious you have not done your homework...as in reading the long history of responses to various questions... One of the things that happens here is folks that are misinformed will be redirected...more often than not in what can be perceived as a less than gentle manner. Much of this has been discussed to death over time.

Proper skate equipment simply means a metal plate for a 215 lb person, properly installed plate and cushions, a better fitting boot, and a more appropriate durometer wheel, you know, the basics to get a novice skater started properly.

As you describe, there is a huge range of equipment and technique. I have built more sk8s than I care to remember and I will be willing to bet that my definition of what fits into your description would be totally different than what you are currently rolling...

As far as properly installed, well, that is a subject worthy of much study. Perhaps you may have noted... there is no real consensus on this subject. There are several areas of general agreement, but no firm consensus.

I am partially to blame. I do not recall how budget oriented I was and went to a derby oriented shop because I was interested in being a referee and also wanted to support the owner because he does so much for the local derby league. Also my goals have changed, the primary skating service I will be skating, etc.

I am going to have to continue educating myself and determine how much I want to invest in trying different things. I know this because everyone(skatelog forum, skating instructor, skate rink owner) has drastically different recommendations with a corresponding strong opinion based upon their bias.

Beware the limited viewpoint bias.. Coaches syndrome, the tendency to say "Sk8 on this because I say so." is typically based on very narrow experience with technique and equipment. What they really are saying is "Sk8 on this because it works for me." Equipment, technique, it's pretty much the same. My daughter was coached that way for years. It wasn't until she got a coach that evaluated the way her body worked that we made any progress. Remember, opinions are like..well you get the drift. Just because it works for you does not mean it works for me.

99% of sk8 "science" is opinion / personal preference and much of the argument comes from old farts that pitch the "It works why change it??" argument.

I have avoided this by spending far more money than I care to contemplate on sk8s. I have over 50 pair of my own in the shop right now, with more on the way. I try diligently to comment only on what I have sk8ed and not to make any firm statements on something I have not. Speaking of which I have a new magnesium RD Elite Axis plate. It has an honest to god 45 measured king pin angle but the first test was not real pleasing. Sadly my first roll screamed Arius to me. I am reworking the suspension right now and will report back after the next couple of tests... I also have the new RD Elite mag Octane. Both of these plates are pretty sharp looking w/ a black finish and aluminum accents.


It is all good. A $5 pair of insoles seems to have remedied most and possibly all of my foot pain so I can continue skating my present equipment until I gain more skills(hopefully) and knowledge and a clearer picture of where I am going with my skating. The good news is that I have confidence in my equipment and although skating is still a lot of work it is also becoming enjoyable.
I'm glad you feel that way. I spent the first year or so sk8ing with terrible shin pain for the first hour of the session... It finally went away.

BTW if 5 buck insoles helped that much, perhaps some 40 buck Superfeet would help a lot more. There has been prior discussion on the effects of insoles on sk8 performance as well.
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