14degrees off the beaten track
home | about | route | blog | photo gallery | vids | gear | FAQ | links | contact | PRESS | 14degrees off the beaten track in Japanese

August 16th, 2008 | categorizilation: all categories,China (Shaanxi),equipment

« Previous Day                                                                                                   Next Day »

New holey trucks in Xián, Shaanxi Province, China

I can’t remember the last time I was this happy…all due to a little brown box waiting for me at the hostel reception this morning.

Package waiting for me at the hotel reception in Xián, Shaanxi Province, China

I am using Holey Trucks, and so far I have hardly touched the original ones I began skating on over a year ago in Switzerland. They came standard on the Rollsrolls longboard that I bought, and have now held up to just over 10,000km of abuse not only over some of the roughest skating terrain in the world, but also supported me and my gear for that distance, a total weight of over 100kg at times. I am truely happy with their performance.

I emailed Holey Trucks, asking them if they could get some replacement parts to me, since the original trucks were getting understandably worn. In the photo below you can see the comparison between the pivot on new trucks, and the worn pivot on the old trucks. Over time, grit and moisture has worked like a grinding paste to wear down the pivot, which supports a lot of weight as it turns.

Old and new Holey Trucks in Xián, Shaanxi Province, China

This pivot point is cradled in a low-friction nylon pivot cup, and this also showed signs of considerable wear. This means that after 10,000km, the pivot no longer fits snugly in its spot on the baseplate and this in turn means that the truck no longer turns smoothly. Rather, it jerks from side to side as I am trying to turn.

My original plan was just to replace the nylon pivot cups, but Holey got back to me and advised that the wear on the pivots themselves would cause issues, even if only the pivot cups were replaced. It would have been nice to keep the old trucks till the end of the journey, but when Holey offered to replace the trucks, I could not refuse.

I was truely impressed with how fast Holey Trucks got the new trucks to me. I was fully expecting it to take weeks for them to arrive. In less than a week they were here at the hostel. Ask any long distance traveller and they will tell you that getting replacement parts on the road can be a nightmare. Markus Wagner, from Germany, is cycling from Germany to China right now, and he had a horrible time trying to get replacement equipment to Turkey. Big thumbs up to Holey Trucks.

New holey trucks in Xián, Shaanxi Province, China

It was 10am when I got the package from the reception, and it was just as I was about to head out the door for breakfast. Breakfast would now have to wait however…first things first…gotta get the new trucks installed.

Old and new Holey Trucks in Xián, Shaanxi Province, China Old and new Holey Trucks in Xián, Shaanxi Province, China


The floor in the hostel dorm room I am staying in quickly became my workshop.

New holey trucks in Xián, Shaanxi Province, China

Off came the old trucks and on went the new ones.

New holey trucks in Xián, Shaanxi Province, China

The difference in turning power was instantly obvious. Complemented by the nice wide, concave Longboard Larry deck, it is amazing how these truck turn. Very nice.

New holey trucks in Xián, Shaanxi Province, China

Still in the post are some harder durometer bushings, so hopefully those will arrive by the time I am back here in Xián in a week or so. I think some harder durometer bushings on the back truck will help with trailer stability, by reducing the amount that the rear truck turns.

As for the old trucks, I will be sending these to Surrey Skateboards (England’s oldest skateboard store) to be enshrined amongst all their other skateboarding history paraphernalia. Gavin, a long time resident of the Surrey Skateboards shop, is also the mastermind behind the design of Holey Trucks, and it’s only fitting that the furtherest travelled trucks in the world go that funky shop. I haven’t cleaned the old trucks properly (ever), so hopefully England customs is OK with Chinese/North American/European road grime entering the country…

« Previous Day                                                                                                   Next Day »

    Permanent Link     Comments (8)

Comment by Mum — August 17, 2008 @ 4:00 am | post a comment

Such nice and shiny trucks! If Dad and I ever get to England Surrey Skateboards will be a must visit – just to see your old trucks of course!

Comment by brian — August 17, 2008 @ 10:22 am | post a comment

Congrats on the new trucks. Once you get a few miles on them, I'd be curious if you'd look back and think, "wow, I should have replaced these 2000km ago". That is, if you could place a life expectancy on the trucks which other distance skaters could use as a guideline.

Comment by Rob Thomson — August 17, 2008 @ 6:36 pm | post a comment

Brian, I would say that with regular replacement of pivot cups and bushings, trucks should easily last 10,000km. That is, replacing the pivot cups every 2,000km after 6,000km on the original ones, and replacing the bushings every 5,000km. This should keep the pivot snug for well over 10,000km. I had no spares; neither pivot cups nor bushings. I had no idea how long they would last. If I was to skate around the world again, I would take a few sets of spare pivot cups and bushings. I now am carrying a few sets of spares.

Comment by Rob Thomson — August 17, 2008 @ 6:41 pm | post a comment

Oh, and one more thing, I noticed a drop in performance of the trucks indeed about 2,000km ago. They were fine going down the very first major downhill in China (http://14degrees.org/en/?p=627), but on the way from Urumqi to Turpan, only a few weeks afterwards, they were definitely looser and not working like they used to. From then on I was just hoping they would make it to Shanghai.

Comment by Aunty Les — August 20, 2008 @ 3:38 am | post a comment

Great news about the trucks. It should make skateboarding a bit easier. The old trucks were certainly well worn in comparison with the new!

Comment by Carl — August 20, 2008 @ 5:45 am | post a comment

Just been away with work and now have to catch up with all the fun and games, hope all is well with you.

kind regards

from darkest surrey

Comment by kathy o — August 20, 2008 @ 7:40 am | post a comment


Another HUMAN POWERED method of travel.

Comment by Lemon ZHAO — August 21, 2008 @ 4:52 am | post a comment

Haha……What you doing so amazing!

I already finished my travil last week, now i'm in Beijing office, and i just finished update my blog for the day i meet you. so amazing you are doing!

Wish you everything goes well!

Leave a comment

* required fields