Skateboard Truck Bushings Tips
Most skatebikes use a skateboard truck up front for steering. There is nothing special about the truck except the choice of wheels and bushings. Assuming you are looking at a Minson or a Garel/LeRun bike, you have 30+ year old rubber in the truck. The bushings and pivot bushing will be hard as a rock and the bearings probably need cleaning and greasing.
If you need to replace the truck on your skatebike, there are several factors you need to consider.
1. Hole placement
Minson skatebikes use an old school hole placement. Most modern trucks come in new school hole pattern or dual that has both old and new school holes.
Garel/LeRun trucks use a smaller hole pattern from the 70’s skateboards.
I don’t know of any supplier of this hole configuration in a new truck.
For more details see Garel/LeRun/Max Skateboard Truck Details
AXL skatebikes use a third hole pattern
For more details see AXL Skateboard Truck Details
2. Truck Width
Minson bikes use a wider truck width. A stock Minson truck is 148mm wide with an overall axle length of 215mm. When I replaced my Minson truck I used a Tracker RT-X 139mm. This truck is a long board skateboard truck and is for the front to steer. It is unique in that the front and rear trucks are different. Most trucks are identical front and back and sold by the pair. This truck is sold as a single. The width was close to the original. It also has old and new school holes.
For Garel/LeRun the truck width is smaller. See Garel/LeRun/Max Skateboard Truck Details
Wheels come in diameter, width and softness.
The ones I used for my Minson restoration have specs of:
- Wheel Diameter: 64mm
- Wheel Width: 57mm
- Wheel Hardness: 95a
I like the rounded edge to help climb over imperfections in the road. For more aggressive riding, a softer wheel would be better.
Tactics has a nice intro to skateboard wheels. For skatebiking use the longboard guide.
The bushings that come with modern trucks are too soft. They are made for someone standing on a board flexing their feet to steer. On a skatebike you are moving side to side with the skatebike acting as a lever. You need much firmer bushings.
MuirSkate Longboard Shop has an excellent intro guide on bushings. The Downhill Weight Guide at the bottom matches skatebiking. I am in their last group (175-220+ pounds) and use a 92a bushing in my skatebike truck.