Posted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 7:45 pm Post subject: Dropdown LDP decks? and Subsonic Century review
Deleted my last thread since I figure this one is more appropriate.
Anyone have experience with turning dropdown decks into LDPP decks (PP - pumping/pushing)?
I know the Evo makes a good candidate. Any others out there? Subsonic Reflex or Swift? Boards by Rayne? Kebbek? WeFunk?
I'd like to have a pumper/pusher that's decently stable going down hills. I know you can't ask for too much in the stability department with the front truck being so loose, but being risered up to the sky so you don't get wheel bite probably doesn't help either (Pulse/mermaid).
Just got an email back from Scott at subsonic. It appears he and James have already discussed a hybrid pumper using a drop board with the angled transition for the front truck.
He as something drawn out already but hasn't built it yet. He's willing to pursue it, so I'm game. We'll see what happens. We haven't discussed any specifics yet. I'll keep you all updated if you're interested.
yeah this has been an ongoing experiment, mostly off than on lately. the key is to not compromise on pumping leverage as much as possible.
the evo pumper was an interesting stint. what it really lacks is flex, and it has too long a wheelbase. it does "pump" across flats, but you're relying almost entirely on the tic-tac of the front and driving speed off the rear, but getting practically no return energy from the board itself. actually, Terry just pointed out a board company that might be filling that gap with a "schlongboard" type thinner, shorter deck that goes exactly in this direction. ( http://pavedwave.myfastforum.org/about160.html )
personally, i've found the dedicated pumping board experience cross-country to be not all as bad as some think. firstly because we're usually pumping 80-90% of the time, and secondly because I think many peeps still set up their boards way too high, using risers that are fat on both ends. on our interstate rides like the Seattle to Portland, where you're battling fatigue the most, the only place I felt a low board was really needed were a couple of mile-long uphill sections, or extremely steep uphills.
I think this perception of extreme risers comes also from the experimental time when we're playing around with Carver trucks, which you basically have to riser flat, and really tall, in the 6" range if you're trying to run any significantly sized wheels. on my Carver setups now I just run wheels in the 62--65mm range just for general crusing and parking lot fun board.
my Bennett-LDP setups are only 4.5"-5" off the ground at max height, and I don't find that to be too high for the short pushing lengths.
what is truly key in wedging an LDP setup is that the front truck's riser is super THIN on one end, and fat on the other. this means that the only height you get off the ground is due to the wheelsize, deck width, and fat end of the riser.
so far I'd say the Cambiar concept board of Mark Groenenboom's captures one of the best tradeoffs -- the flex of the aluminum brackets, combined with a somewhat rigid yet snappy deck (the Loaded works nice, Scott's Subsonic deck worked equally nice as well) and now it's figuring out how to get the most leverage possible over the front truck. that's where the shape of Scott's deck could really come into play.
I'm using the Khiro wedge kit, so it's definitely thin on one end and fat on the other end. As opposed to the "Angled wedges" which are fat on both ends and provide less than 7 degrees of wedging. I'm using a 1/4" shock pad. All of this risers me to about 5 inches (i'm using the new 73mm black ops speed vents - which are awesome btw - not too small and not on the big side either). I'm also using the bennett 6.0 which has a slightly thicker base plate if i'm not mistaken - going off of hear say, i haven't actually compared the two side by side.
Quick question about this board the two of you were sort of in the works of designing, it's not the raven is it? How much flex does it have and would it be suitable for mild down hill? I'm not looking for an Evo, but I'd like it to be a tad bit more stable at speed when compared to my pulse 40 and flex 4 vanguard (if it's not the trucks, it's the flex of the board that scares me). I don't want to bomb hills, but I don't want to have to drag my foot down the entire way.
I'm going to try to give Scott a call tomorrow, but it seems like he's been slammed with orders this time of year and I haven't been able to get a hold of him.
here's some of the ideas i've sent and we've flipped around.
the first was actually a carbon-foam proto I was thinking of working with rollsrolls, but it seemed like his turnaround time was long, and he was already working on the wooden version of the RR sportster at that time.
then started taking an original Subsonic deck, morphing in the dimensions from the Evo experiments and adding rain guard mods and leveraging the Evo type angling (Scott was already doing on his modified RIP board) --
which removes all need for extraneous wedged risers...
it would have a flex like you'd expect from a maple-birch combination, like an 8-ply schlongboard. definitely needs some stability in the nose and not too significant a drop, since we've seen that the original LY DH neck has some weak points when converted into a pumper.
Cool. I was essentially looking for a shorter Evo with some flex to it. I think the current Evo has WB at 34.5" and i know you guys recommend anywhere from 26-31" for LDP.
The one thing i'm currious about with those designs you've thrown out is wouldn't it be kind of weird to pump with your feet on different level platforms? I wouldn't know since i haven't tried it, and i just learned to pump last month when my Pulse 40 came in (i'm pretty proud of a 7-8 mile session I recently did - pathetic. haha).
It just seems odd, or am I missing something here and looking at those designs completely wrong? It just seems like you'd mostly want to keep your feet on relatively the same vertical plane for pumping. Some of the slalom boards with the upturned tail make sense to me, but i can't quite picture having my front foot an inch and a half higher than my back foot.
wouldn't it be kind of weird to pump with your feet on different level platforms?
yeah, it's pretty weird. we've only played with it a bit, and this was several years back -- I wouldn't want to rely on that kind of stance too much, so trying to find a middle ground, where your foot can be on a gently sloped portion that still provides decent leverage, but not jacked up too much higher than the other. i think it could do groin damage or something :-p
watched the videos and I definitely think I'd have a difficult time pumping like that.
If I can get a hold of Scott, I'll see what he has planned. Maybe a modified Raven or Reflex would fit the bill. Getting my feet leveraged over the trucks and pumping like that Rolls Rolls probably wouldn't work out so well for me.
We'll see what Scott has planned. This might take some time though with how busy he is right now.
Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 2:32 am Post subject: stability question
I was reading more through the gear section, and you mentioned that the drop deck actually added MORE squirreliness to the deck when setup for LDP.
So, is it impossible to incorporate the pushing and stability characteristics of a drop deck with those of an LDP deck (minus the foot over the front truck)?
I figure it might actually get a response here since getting a hold of Scott right now seems impossible, and I don't think 50 million emails will help. I'm sure he'll answer when he has the time, which might be another 2 weeks from now. Or after that next slalom meet.
Always a trade-off. A stiff drop deck with a really loose front truck creates a kind of pendulum effect, like a hammock swaying, when speeds pick up. So what works nice in the 10--15mph range, might toss you sideways with speed wobbles getting up past 30mph. Having a wife and kid, I'm not a huge fan of testing higher speeds, so on cross-state excursions, which involve both lots of flatland pumping AND some high speed downhills, I still tend toward using a topmount board.
On a 183-mile ride I'll be starting tomorrow, there are a LOT of inclines, so now I'm faced with the dilemma of whether the benefit of pumping the topmounted board will outweigh the downside of having an extra inch of height on each push, especially for the uphills. That's the real reason for wanting to have a "lowered LDP" to start with. But I'm still leaning toward using my baby the Mermaid, and increasingly interested in the science and the evidence that the lowered deck really, truly saves significant loads of energy, depending upon the pushing technique the skater uses. (In other words, I'm fighting the idea of switching to a drop deck for this...)
Right at the moment, I think the best solution or compromise to this is Mark G's "Cambiar" invention, which might end up packaged on a Loaded deck, and called the "Fathom." There's another thread on that in this forum, and Eric from Texas has been testing and tweaking his a lot more than I have lately...
And yeah, better to try calling Scott at some point, the emails just get noisy. He gets tons of "pen pal" mail. With that amount of volume you have to start to prioritize actual business mails at some point (those who've financially committed to a deck/project.) Also there may have been some medical issue lately, I just caught word of last night and need to follow up on that...
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