Trip Wheelbite Problems and How to Fix Them
One of the crown jewels of longboarding customer service questions that we receive is in regards to wheelbite and bushing suggestions for rider setups. This is of no real surprise, because we design our longboards to fit like a glove, and sometimes this requires a little bit of finagling to get it just right for your size and riding style. Our Pantheon Trip double drop longboard can be a little finicky when it comes to setting up and balancing bite free deep turns with large wheels. Bushing selection will be absolutely key in making this all happen. Getting this right is totally worth the effort, as it will result in an absolutely awesome ride that will make you feel safe while still allowing for ample turn. As always, when choosing your longboard deck, pick the longboard that best suits your intended riding style! If you’ve settled on the Trip for transportation or exercise, read on!
The Trip Is Not a Bite Prone Deck
First thing’s first. I want to make clear that the Trip is not an especially bite-prone deck. One of the reasons people get bite on this board is because the wheel cutouts are allowing for an exceptionally deep turn, and the trucks we set the Trip up with turn exceptionally deeply. We choose the Paris trucks because they feel the most flowey, with a really nice, smooth center that feels secure in the middle but allows for easy steering whether you are pushing on one foot or steering like a snowboard. Furthermore, we recommend the Trip with Paris 150mm, which is 30mm thinner than the standard Paris 180mm that almost every other drop through longboard on the market. We do this because we built the board around this type of setup to create a thinner overall setup. The wheels are closer into the board, and for pushing distances where you’ll be getting tired along the way, a thinner setup will help keep you from kicking the wheels and falling on your face. The thinner setup also allows you to land your push foot a bit further closer to your body, which is ergonomically more efficient, as your center of gravity will be closer to your body and you’ll spend more energy moving forward.
So with the above stated, you’ll find that if you set up your Trip with 180mm trucks, you should be able to turn as deeply as you want without any significant bite trouble. And even with 150mm trucks, you can really get a deep, tight turn with no problems, even with the soft Paris stock bushings. It’s just that at the very end of the turn, you may get the wheel to catch. This will generally only happen at very low speeds, and you can ride with stock bushings if you want and just get comfortable with the deck, OR you can get yourself a bushing upgrade and make it literally impossible.
Longboard Bushing Upgrades
In general, there are a handfull of great bushing options out there for all sorts of trucks and riding styles. Venom Bushings and Riptide Bushings are the two most popular bushing manufacturers, and for good reason. Venom is super popular in the downhill and slalom worlds, especially, and they definitely make a killer product. Riptide actually makes two bushings that are specifically designed for Paris trucks–their Canon and Magnum bushings. Personally, I’d go for the Canons, as I just appreciate a standard barrel and the way it leans over. Magnums are a fatter bushing and will give a different type of feel that is more restrictive, which is great for going fast, but I find that thicker bushings restrict the ability to turn on one foot, which is just a must for a commuter board. They may be very useful for a back truck for increased stability though!
We at Pantheon are offering standard Orangatang Nipple bushings as simple upgrades for the Paris trucks on our commuter longboards. The main things we like about the Nipple bushings are that they are simple but effective designs, they come with great bushing washers, and they provide a couple different options in feel.
Honing Your Orangatang Nipple Bushings
Orangatang Nipple Bushings come as standard barrels in three different durometers, or softness. They make it easy on you by just calling them soft, medium, and hard, which is simple enough to understand for the layman and still effective for experienced riders. One of the awesome things about their bushings for our sake is that they are designed especially around Paris trucks, being slightly overrides to fit into the open Paris bushing seat. This helps in allowing you to ride a slightly softer durometer while still getting enough restriction to avoid wheelbite.
Orangatang’s website defines the various bushing hardnesses around these ranges of weight:
Soft (orange): 80-180 lbs / 35-85 kg
Medium (purple): 160-230 lbs / 70-105 kg
Hard (yellow): 200-270 lbs / 90-125 kg
We find this to be fairly accurate and leaning toward the softer side. Personally, I am 170 pounds and I ride the medium hardness bushings. I can get bite on the orange but only at the VERY end of the turn, and it would really only happen while not moving for me. That said, I ride a lot of hills here in Colorado, so I prefer a medium feel and find that I can still turn on one foot very easily with the medium bushings, and that the hard bushings are significantly harder for me to turn and restrict the total turn a bit too much for my liking.
Once you have your bushings, there are a couple things to be aware of. There are two different sizes of bushings in your pack. The large bushing fits board side and the smaller bushing fits road side. One thing to note here is that if you want your bushings to feel a little softer, you can actually switch the small bushing into the road side position, and it will push back on the trucks a bit less and allow for a little bit more turn. Another thing to note is that the bushings are a high rebound urethane and very reactive to bushing compression. If your bushings aren’t stiff enough, you can tighten them down a bit via the kingpin nut and they will respond well to the increased pressure. I had a buddy riding my medium bushings on a hill the other day and couldn’t believe how tight he got the board to feel. Was not my style, that’s for sure! Personally, I think bushings respond best when they are tightened just to the point where there is no free wobble on the truck, so they are engaged, but not under significant pressure until you start turning.
Lastly, there are slight differences in bushing feel dependent on the direction that the bushing is set into the seat. There is a small bevel on one side of the bushing which was designed to fit into the Paris bushing seat. We hypothesized that flipping the flat end into the bushing seat would make the bushing feel more restrictive. We tested this and ended up being dead wrong! Obviously it really comes down fit and the interface between the bushing and where it sits in the truck. Equally important is the interface between the bushing and the bushing washer. Orangatang Nipple bushings come with a nice 1-inch flat washer. Personally, that’s my favorite type of washer and I would choose to size up in hardness before changing to a cupped washer, but some people will feel differently. Paris Trucks come with a nice cupped washer stock, and we will include the washers and original bushings in any complete that is purchased on our website.
Hopefully that settles some questions you might have over bushing selection for the Orangatang Nipple bushings. Our best recommendation is to size up and run the soft. That way you can always tighten them down and stiff them up, or add a little extra restriction with a cupped washer! Keep following us for all your longboard deck info, and we’ll do our best to provide you all the information we can about getting your setups just right!