How to tighten the suspension on a skateboard: setting up the tracks on your complete kit
Are you new to skateboarding and your skateboard doesn’t handle the turns? Or is the complete system too “lax”? Yes, it’s all about the suspension. In this material we will tell you how to properly tighten/unscrew skateboard pendants.
The need to customize the suspension for the rider
In any sport, equipment is adjusted to the athlete. Skateboarding is no exception. Let’s say you bought a new complete set or allowed yourself to buy skate pendants to replace your old ones. Riding on a default puff will not be comme il faut. Often the pull from the magazine is very small, and the board will wobble too much when riding, which will cause you discomfort. On complete boards from regular sports stores, the suspensions are often over-tightened, and the board initially tilts in one direction and does not ride straight. Of course, on such boards this happens not only due to the constriction of the kingpin suspension, but also due to many other factors:
- terrible quality of bushings;
- poor execution of hanger and baseplate.
As a result, in any case, we will tighten/unwind the pendants.
How to properly tighten pendants on a skateboard?
In order to turn the necessary nut without dancing with a tambourine, you must have a special skate tool – a multifunctional key for a skateboard, or in Russian “family man”. Fortunately, today buying such a tool is not a problem, and in the assortment of our skate shop you can easily find the right one.
p.s. It is worth noting that in the United States, many beginner skaters or simply those who use a skateboard as a means of transportation do not use skatetools. In their metric system, a 9/16 wrench fits the kingpin bolt perfectly.
So we have the key. So what to spin? The nut on the kingpin, the main suspension bolt, is responsible for the suspension tension. This is exactly what we need to spin. The thread on most pins is standard, so by rotating clockwise we tighten it, i.e. we make the suspension more rigid and less maneuverable, and we spin it counterclockwise, i.e. making the skateboard more maneuverable when turning. But it’s not that simple.
The process of adjusting the degree of clamping of the bushings, and it is by this property that the stiffness of the suspension is determined, must be carried out in several stages.
1. The pendants are too tight
Let’s start unwinding. We make several turns with the key on one track, and do the same on the other. We turn the board over and try to stand. If this is not enough, then unscrew each suspension one more turn. We are testing. So you should arrive at the optimal tension.
2. The pendants are loose
Twist each hanger by such a number of turns that the hanger fits snugly enough in the seats and does not wobble. Test. Then everything follows the proven scheme until you feel the optimal tension.
Tests of each position of the twisted tracks should be carried out by rocking the deck in place to the frontside and backside. Note a few points that you should pay attention to when setting up:
- if you can easily reach the wheel with your deck, then this tension will not be enough and you will often catch wheelbites;
- if you put pressure on the suspension, and the wheels immediately begin to rise from the ground on the side opposite to the pressure without deflection, then the suspension is too tight;
- If you cannot find some optimal position for the kingpin nut, then most likely the stock bushings are very bad. We advise you to replace them with new, better ones. Yes, yes, most professional riders immediately change bushings on suspensions of famous brands. Most often they do not take it out.
In principle, the process of setting up suspensions is quite simple. The main thing is to try. And don’t complain that you don’t know how to set up trucks and continue to ride on a complete bike, which is not convenient for learning to do tricks on. Ask more experienced riders in the park for help. They won’t refuse.
p.s. Don’t forget that over time the suspension will become a little softer. This occurs due to the fact that the bushings “lose” and lose their former elasticity. Therefore, do not forget to sometimes tighten the tracks in a way that is convenient for you. Good luck!
p.p.s On branded pendants, this effect can appear after a very long period of time.