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Trucks Galore
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Trucks Galore

cjones

So I just got my DB Lunch Tray (look for a review soon, short and sweet on item page and more detailed in the blog) and in the process had some troubles with trucks that, after resolving my issues, inspired me to write this. In short, trucks vary to a degree most don't even consider and so I figured I would shed some light on the matter and post some statistics, often overlooked. Main things here are ride height, effect on wheelbase, and bushing seats. I haven't owned all trucks by any means so talking about bushings would be hard, with reliable personal experience, so I will stick to height and wheelbase (as they are just specifications).

In short, bushing seats matter in how restrictive they are. Crails have a crazy restrictive bushings seat making for a nice return to center but less turny, and almost responsive, carve making them more downhill focused. Meanwhile, a Randal has a loose bushing seat that is great for carving but can be sketchy at speed (depending on preference, experience, etc.). How to tell what type of seat a truck has is by finding a picture (or looking at your own/going to a shop) of the hanger. The restrictive ones have a nice and deep hole almost, for the bushing to rest in. Loose ones are more flat where the bushing makes contact with the hanger. For reference, the following pictures are of my crail (blue) and Randal (black) hangers.

   

Now, on to the specifications! Ride height is the distance from the axle to the board (when combined, subtracted or added, with drop height, deck thickness, riser thickness, etc. you can get your total height of foot placement). Wheelbase is just the distance between wheels. This can be deceiving as different trucks affect the wheelbase differently. A deck’s “wheelbase is often measured from inner holes to inner holes (from each side of deck), but that is not all that matters. Some trucks can add over three inches to that number based on where their axle is located from those inner holes. These numbers are very important for just about everyone; if you’re riding a flexy board, bringing in the wheelbase will make it less flexy and vice versa while if you are riding topmounts, too low of trucks and wheelbite is a big concern, and riding dropped decks while having a low truck can give you rail bite. The following are some ride heights and wheelbase additions of trucks that can be found on this site, in alphabetical order. As you might notice, generally as a truck degree is lowered, it is also lowered to the ground. I will try to update this if needed. All numbers listed are in inches.



Ace:
Height=2.15, Wheelbase=2.6

Bear 52:
Height=2.5, Wheelbase=2.25

Bear 40:
Height=2.45, Wheelbase=1.75

Caliber 50:
Height=2.45, Wheelbase=1.2

Caliber 44:
Height=2.3, Wheelbase=.6

Gullwing Charger II:
Height=2.55, Wheelbase=1.42

Gunmetal V2:
Height=2.45, Wheelbase=1.65

Gunmetal Mach 10:
Height=2.3, Wheelbase=1.75

Gunmetal 42 :
Height=2.38, Wheelbase=1.58

Gunmetal Revolver:
Height=2.1, Wheelbase=2.85

Independent:
Height=2.1, Wheelbase=3

Paris V2 50:
Height=2.55, Wheelbase=1.8

Randal 42:
Height=2.3, Wheelbase=2

Randal 50:
Height=2.63, Wheelbase=2.4

Road Rider 45:
Height=2.36, Wheelbase=.47

Also, from my understanding, the only trucks listed here that are made in the USA are Randal’s and Independent’s. I also believe that Caliber precisions are the same geometries as the 44's. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

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The DB Cosmonaut!
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The DB Cosmonaut!

cjones

Introduction:
The DB Cosmonaut is a longboard mainly based around freeride, and with freeriding as popular as it is, many companies are making knock-offs of others and share too many similarities to set them apart. This board is not one of them and easily sets itself apart from others.
 
Features:
The board is 41 inches in length, with a 28.5 inch wheelbase, 9.5 inch width at widest point (the center), and has roughly a half inch of concave. The construction is a 9-ply hybrid of maple and bamboo. The part that draws the eye the most is easily the mad curvatures. The Cosmonaut has a very unique concave that locks in your feet incredibly well, meaning you don’t even need your usual extra coarse grip tape (good as your shoes may last longer). The shape also allows for you to find your feet positioning very quickly when switching between stances and slides. The kicktails also have a distinct shape to them. Before sloping upwards, the kicks (more specifically the truck mounting area) slope downwards. This slightly decreases the angle of your trucks however depending on your weight there is a chance that the small flex that this board offers will match it back to normal. Going inward from the trucks, toward the center of the deck, you get a very quick drop that then returns to more of a micro-drop level. This is odd at first as it will feel like you can only stand in those pockets. However, after riding for a while you will get used to it and will barely notice it and will feel more than comfortable on the board as a whole.
 

The Ride:
Sliding/freeriding is a breeze on the Cosmonaut with the combination of low ride height, 28.5 inch wheelbase, concaves, and stiffness (not stiff enough to be a go to board for downhill by any means but definitely enough so that it is responsive and stable at speed). The reason I mention the wheelbase is I find that longer wheelbases initiate slides easier but are more difficult to hold out and control; meanwhile, as you would expect, shorter wheelbases tend to be grippy, therefore harder to break traction but once sideways you can go for days with little effort. I think of 28 inches as a pretty medium level wheelbase that does well in both categories (from my experience, 32 would be long and 25 short). Stiffness is key to sliding at speed as you don’t want to get bounced off when sideways and the concave keeps you from slipping. The kicks also make this board great for flatland tricks so you will be sure to have plenty of fun on your way to your favorite hill; shuv-its, manuals, big spins, g-turns, are all second nature with these kicks and if you don’t already have those down they will surely come quick. Cruising and carving, like downhill, are possible but not the focus of this board.
 
Conclusion:
DB did it right with this board and it really shows when you stand on it; or even when you just look at it. A lot of effort clearly went into designing this board both in terms of the build quality and even the extravagant graphic. It feels as unique as it looks and you can buy it with full confidence and no regrets if you are looking for a new freeride machine!

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