Updated: May 4
You have probably seen people upgrading their skate set ups with slider/grind blocks, different wheels and wider trucks for using in skateparks and possibly aren't sure of the benefits to using them. Here I will attempt to answer some of your questions and test them out!
We tested three types of 'grind' trucks:
CIB Grind trucks.
ACS 651 hanger trucks.
For comparison a standard Sunlite truck is 79g. (@Tantrix: How heavy are the different types of wide truck?, @Ca.dea: How much heavier are they? )
First up: Penny Trucks.
@Emily-Schemily: How to fit them!!
I fitted the Penny trucks onto a Sunlite plate along with my Bigfoot grind blocks.
It was really easy - simply undoing the king pin bolt removing one set of cushions and then replacing the truck with the wider one and replace the cushions and bolts.
@Vickyseal: They’re skateboard trucks? They fit roller skates as well? @Vickyseal: Any adaptations needed to fit them?
Yes! They did fit, they are just wider than a standard roller skate truck so your wheels stick out further at each side. You will need to check the compatibility with your plate but these should fit most standard plates.
@Lapizzzlazuli: Was planning to put Penny trucks on my Avanti plate do I have to make the pivot gap wider?
I used the pivot cups supplied with the Penny trucks as they were larger than my existing pivot cups. If you plan on using a king-pin fitting slider block such as Disco Blox or Bigfoot grind blocks you may need to switch to a thinner or more conical shaped hard cushion such as Rollerbones or Bones skateboard bushings.
But I used standard bushings without much issue.
@Thelastgelfling: What do you use them for?
I tested these trucks out in both indoor and outdoor skate parks - I felt more stable when pumping and stalling, however I found the Penny trucks felt heavy on my skates and it took me a while to adjust to the wider skate stance so as not to clip my inside wheels together.
@Dallas-pops: What the difference between wider and normal?
The wider trucks mean you are able to perform certain tricks such as grinds (along the length of the skate rather than sideways slides on the block). The wider surface also helps with stability and being able to land on the coping sideways.
Next, testing CIB grind trucks:
These were tested with Sunlite plates and Disco Blox outlaws as well as the previous set-up.
Again these were straightforward to fit onto the king pins.
They fit straight into the standard pivot cups without needing to be changed.
I also found the axles on these to be slightly smaller than the Penny trucks which meant the wheels felt like a better fit without too much excess bolt sticking out.
Tested both indoor skatepark and outdoor. These felt a lot lighter under my feet than the Penny trucks so I found it more comfortable to jump and get up onto the coping without feeling quite as clompy. They did feel very stable - and helped my balance.
@Wrong-Nicole: What makes them than regular trucks for skate parks?
I think once you get used to the different width it would open up a whole variety of new skills and tricks which would be difficult to perform on standard width roller skate trucks such as grinds and sideways coping tricks like 50/50s.
@Wrong-Nicole: What is the affect of wider trucks on other types of skating (ie jam)?
Initially I felt that skating flat ground and especially roller dance/jam skating in wider trucks would be impossible but I had a go just for fun!
I actually kept them on for our two hours of skate lessons including speed skating, roller dance and some slalom skills. I didn't fall over (I had expected to trip over my wheels at least once) and felt really stable. I think being quite tall (I'm 5'8") the wider trucks helped with my balance and I was able to really support myself when leaning to either side.
I probably wouldn't suggest using them as a regular skate for rinks and jam skating as they would eventually get in the way of your skills and quick footwork, but for street skating and recreational skating they would probably be fine to keep in place.
In summary - the Penny trucks are a great way to access wider trucks and a stronger base for balance and tricks in the skatepark. They are slightly cheaper and come in a whole range of awesome colours to make your skates look great and fully customise your set up! I felt the extra weight was a bit much but I think if you prefer a stronger base to your skates this could be a benefit.
I really liked using the CIB trucks - they were the lightest in weight and had the narrowest axels of the three and once I had used them for a short while I felt that I could easily get more out of my tricks in the skatepark. You would need to check the compatibility with your plates and any choices such as sliders/grind blocks to make sure they would be suitable.
Finally the ACS 651 - I wanted to test these are they are a super budget option at only £6.99 per truck. They felt really strong and despite being wider were still lighter weight than the Penny trucks. The extra width was not for me and I would have just tripped over, however, I think if you are looking for a wide truck to suit a hard skate boot or for larger sizes these could be
Mel's view: I like the bright colour of the Penny trucks and also that the axle protrudes a bit. I have had wheels fall off in the past so I found it comforting! I think they take a little adjustment to get the kingpins re-set correctly unless you have a click-action type. I liked them for street skating, even in hard Moxi Trick wheels on uneven tarmac, as when I went from smooth to less smooth surface, I found the wider trucks helped my stability. I skated from the skate park through Leeds to see what they would be like. On smoother surfaces, when I stopped travelling to just have a little cruise around the area with headphones in, I found the wider trucks a nuisance. I couldn't turn as tight a circle and felt stuck occasionally. With more time, I'm sure I'd get used to them. The CIB trucks felt in between my regular trucks and the Penny trucks. I liked them, and they took very little time to adapt to. On the other hand, I didn't feel quite as stable as with the Penny trucks, but then turning was much easier. If I had skate park specific skates, I'd probably go for the Penny trucks, but as a good middle ground the CIB trucks have it.
@Tayncake: Everything. I’m a skate newbie.
I hope this has helped to answer some of your questions.
If you still want a bit of inspiration - check out the incredible @bambibloodlust for all the grind tricks galore! Then get out there and skate!