Just bought a new skateboard truck and now in search of how to tighten and measure Skateboard Trucks? Trucks form an essential part of a skateboard. They are used to attach wheels to the deck. The size of the truck will depend on the type of board you are using, and the purpose of using the board as some people occasionally use their board just for fun or to learn some new tricks while others prefer using skateboarding as a source of transport. The skateboard truck nuts can loosen over time, or some pieces might get cracked or damaged so you can buy that piece or change the whole truck if you want to.
A skateboard truck is the heaviest part, and one of most important also as wheels which will move the board is attached using it is made up of small pieces. These are baseplate, kingpin, kingpin nut, bushings, hanger, axle, axle nut, and washers. The base plate is attached to the deck of the board by bolts. Kingpin and pivot cup are present on the base plate. Kingpin attaches the hanger to the baseplate. The hanger has an attached axle on which wheels are mounted. These pieces are available individually.
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Measuring Truck Size
Skateboard trucks last year and don’t need high maintenance. It’s expensive to buy a new one but as they last long so it’s not an issue. Before buying pay special attention to the various details of the board truck. The buyer can ask the shopkeeper for help so that you find the most suitable truck for your board. Not all skateboard trucks will be suitable for your board. The width, height of the truck, and then the width of the deck is measured, and the most suitable size is selected that will give maximum stability and great turning effect.
Using a Ruler or Measuring Tape
The first possible way of measuring a skateboard truck’s width is using a ruler or measuring tape. Measure the width of your deck and then measure the width of the truck from the end of one axle to another. Truck width should be less than that of deck width so that it fits perfectly and wheels will not be visible from sides. Visible wheels not only cause wheel bites and injury but will damage the nuts and axle as well.
Place the Truck on your skateboard
Secondly, you can place the truck on your skateboard and then check if it’s too narrow or too wide. If the truck is wider than the deck, it will cause you to suffer from wheel bite. The too-narrow size will cause instability so long riding or performing tricks will be difficult. By placing a truck with wheels on the deck, you’ll get an idea of what measure of the truck is suitable for your board. The shopkeeper can help you in choosing the best suitable one. The buyer can carry his deck along and then check different size trucks to get the size that is best for your use.
Factors to Considered Before Buying a Skateboard Truck
The shape of the truck
The shape of the board should be considered before buying trucks. For performing tricks, the truck should be narrow while for streets it’s best to have the same width as a deck. The most important issue in measuring a truck or buying one is no standardization in truck size by manufacturing companies. Some manufacturers mention hanger length size while other mention axle length so you need to be sure about whether the length mentioned is the same as you’re required or not, as often the length mentioned might not be accurate.
Weight of the truck
The standard trucks are heavy and lifting board off the ground isn’t easy with them. Newly designed hollow trucks are lightweight and can be used to perform stunts. It all depends on personal choice and what feel you want to get while skateboarding. Heavy trucks can be good for people with heavyweight and built. Lightweight trucks might tear easily with harsh use or above-advised weight burden. Once you have chosen the truck, then wheels can be decided to match the width and height of the truck.
Width of the Skateboard Truck
As the width of the skateboard truck is the most important height needs some attention also. Height is measured from base plate to truck axle middle. The height of skateboard trucks can be high or low. Low height trucks are used for performing tricks and stunts. They give better stability and are great for kids. In low height trucks, wheels are near the deck so it’s easy to flip and small wheels are well suited with such trucks as with big wheels, wheel bites will result. In the high-height truck, the wheels are farther away from the deck it’s easy to turn and bigger wheels can be used. High trucks are good for street skaters. Mid-height trucks are in between the other two. They range from 50 – 53 mm.
Material of the Skateboard truck
The material of skateboard affects the boarding experience as well. Mostly the tracks are made up of aluminum, steel, or polyurethane. Prefer metal trucks over plastic ones as they last long and can endure more weight and rough surfaces than other ones.
Importance of Choosing the Right Skateboard Truck
Trucks are the longest lasting part of a skateboard, and having proper trucks is important for a good skating experience. Too small or too big trucks will cause instability. Trucks are of different types: low, mid, and high. While choosing a truck, it’s needed to measure the truck size. Truck size should be per deck width. The wheels or axle should not be visible from above deck nor should the size be too short. Measure the width of the deck and then check the suitable size of the truck
Tightening or Loosening Board Truck
After measuring the truck and buying the most suitable one, after some time you may have some issues with your ride, that’s the time to adjust the nuts of the kingpin maybe. Every skater should learn how to tighten and measure skateboard trucks because it is often required to adjust parts of the board after some time of use. Having knowledge skater can himself adjust as he knows his likes and demands more.
With usage over time, the kingpin nuts become loose and need to be tightened. Tighten the trucks according to your need. If very tight turning becomes a problem. Similarly, if loose then instability and chances of fall are increased. The kingpin nut between wheels is adjusted using a skate tool to tighten the nut as much needed. Turn clockwise to tighten or anticlockwise to loosen the nuts. After slight adjustment, ride the board and check if the adjustment is working fine for you or not before taking the board out for skating.
Bushings are compressed as nuts are tightened so that turning will decrease. If you feel your board ride is squeaky, it’s due to the urethane in the new bushing. After a few rides, the problem will get solved. Be careful regarding the bushings while tightening the nuts because over-tightening will severely damage them.
Bushings are of different types. They might be hard, soft, tapered, or flat. You’ll get a jerky ride experience if the bushings aren’t broken in. Loosen the nut slightly and skate for a while so that bushings settle into the truck. Trucks can accumulate over dirt, so it’s best to wash the truck with a soapy solution to remove accumulated dirt.
Tightening Kingpin nut
Kingpin nut can be tightened or loosened using a skate tool. If the nuts are too tight bushings will be destroyed, and you’ll need to purchase a new one as they are one of the most important parts of the truck. The most skateboard comes with a skate tool, but if you don’t have one a screwdriver at home can be used instead.
Importance of Proper Knowledge
All the skaters, whether beginner or frequent, should learn how to tighten the nuts and screws at home. Skateboard parts aren’t very complex, and anyone can easily manage to disassemble and assemble them. After learning the technique, the rider can adjust the different parts according to personal suitability.
Skateboard trucks are the most important part that affects the ride quality and control the wheels as well as the deck. Trucks function to attach wheels. They give the turning effect and affect the ride experience. Trucks are attached to the deck using a kingpin. The kingpin has a nut at the end. The tightness of the nut can be adjusted according to the need.
If you don’t know which trucks are best for you, you can read the detailed review of Skateboard Trucks available on the market.
Although tightening nuts should be done with care as it might damage bushings and then new bushings need to be bought. Trucks should be cleaned with a cloth and some cleaning solution whenever possible or after the muddy, dirty outdoor ride. Proper maintenance and cleaning increases the life span of the product and saves you the money you’ll need to buy a new one.
How often should kingpin nut be tightened?
It depends on individual use purpose and frequency. If the board is used often for some stunt practice or for commuting the nut will become loose, and then the ride will not be stable, taking turns will be difficult, and chances of falling and getting an injured increase.
Is it essential to measure the truck size before buying a new one?
It’s very important so that you get the most suitable truck for your deck size. As you know how to tighten and measure skateboard truck now so use the measuring technique listed earlier and mention the size of your old truck in inches to the shopkeeper, and you’ll get the same new one, or if you want to get something new, you can directly choose by placing trucks on deck.
How does the height of truck affect the boarding?
In case of height, the deck size doesn’t matter high decks are for adult street skaters they allow you to use big wheels and enjoy a different ride experience. The low height trucks in which distance between deck and ground is less the stability is more, and thus it is easy for beginners and young kids to operate this skateboard. All people who have just started skating and don’t know much tricks and technique should begin with low height to avoid getting injured. Measuring the track gives you an idea about what kind of wheels to choose.