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Old January 17th, 2011, 08:07 AM   #61
rufusprime99
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Default Night 2 of Looser Blue

Gotta say right up front, very nice. Got to Fountain Valley early. I dropped off my daughter at her mom's. She was going to work on her science project at home, so I did not keep her until Monday. That meant I would let her slide and not take her skating Saturday since I would get my normal skating Sunday. As many of you can understand, my Thursday and Sunday skating nights are near sacred. Not to be missed lightly.

Once again, the place was literally CRAWLING with little 'uns and their parents. There was not a seat in the house as a ton of people were taking off skates and putting on their shoes. I put my skates on a display case and checked my pivot pins. After finding a seat to get my skates on, I could not help but noticing an adorable little girl, about 3 ish, who was throwing quite a fit. It seems that she did not want to leave as she was lying on the carpeted bench with a beet red face and kicking feet. She wanted to keep skating. Dad said skating is over. The little girl countered, no, look, they still skating. (the adult skaters had already taken the floor) I found it deeply encouraging for the future of skating that this little one was so committed. Her parents were slightly less enthused. But, after breaking out some candy and giving some to what I believe was the little girls' older sister, and then to the little girl, familial order was restored, and they made for the door.

So, out for some warm up laps. I usually get a little crampy feeling in my feet before they warm up. Not that overly crampy feeling I reported with loose blue cushions and long pivot pins, the same one I had last week for a while, but a normal, happens all the time crampy feeling before my feet warm up. There was some good music, so I did some lively skating before taking a break. So I sat down, drank some vitamin water and rested my feet, and then did a bit of stretching. So, back out on the floor, my feet started getting in the groove and I noticed something. No SUPER crampy feeling!! Not at all. Just the normal, mild "get my feet started" crampy feeling. I did the beginning speed skate and felt pretty stable. I think some time spent working on long power strides could go somewhere. Crossovers would also need some work. I do notice a little bit of that over-arcing in some of my faster skating. Experience tells me that that is something you work out as you get used to the setup. I don't have the over-arcing of the trucks anymore at moderate speeds unless I make it happen on purpose. I believe the same will be true at higher speeds.

Seems like the crowd built quickly this night. It even got a bit congested on the floor at times. That is fun. Crowded, but not too crowded. It was also a babe-O-rama kind of night. Lots of pretty gals. Never a bad thing. I did some normal slalom. I seemed to be having some trouble with the left front axle. It was doing a bit of that loss of traction studder at times. I could not believe it was the pivot pin, so I did nothing. I actually lengthened that pin 1/6 turn, and the studder disappeared, I got tons of traction and no tippiness. Note to self: Next time listen to your feet! I actually skated most of the night putting up with the little studder. Pretty much explains why none of my slaloming was particularly crisp. That left front axle was distracting me until I finally fixed it. Note to a DA45 Newbie: I think it is very noteworthy that by lengthening my pivot only 1/6 of a turn changed the performance from a loose traction feel to a SOLID traction feel. Just 1/6 of a turn! So close to being right, and yet it was not.

Well, I did fix my pivot pin just in time. The dj decided to play 5 70's cool old school songs in a row. !!! I call that the old guy special. I of course cannot call it the old GAL special, as gals don't get old. They just hit their prime. So on the first song, I said, I love this song, gonna skate it hard. Then on the next one, I said I love THIS song, gonna skate it hard. Then, NO, I love *THIS* song, gonna skate it hard, and on it went. I was a bit surprised that they did not need to cart me off the floor, which is my lead in to my next little topic: Vitamin Water.

I had my first vitamin water a few sessions back. I got it on a rainy night at Fountain Valley because I forgot to bring my water bottle in, and there was no way I was going to go out in the rain on my skates, so I tried water and gatorade from the vending machine, but there was none, so I got a viatamin water. Dragonfruit, whatever THAT is, it was good. Skated a good hard session. Ah, that was right before I skated Monday at Moonlight, killed my resistance and got sick. I drank a few more of these when I was skating sick, and I think they are due some credit for me not getting a lot worse. Fast forward to last Thursday night. Drank about 1/2 a Dragonfruit on the way to the rink, finished it there and used the bottle for water after. This was the first night skating in a few sessions where I could say I was no longer sick, just had some residual stuffiness. I felt quite strong on the floor and did not peter out. Again today, that 5 song set should have killed me. I really pushed it and the legs just kept delivering. 50 calories, few carbs, c and b vitamins. Since Gatorade does not agree with me, something in it aggravates my allergies, finding this Vitamin Water is pretty cool. I know that if I have a Gatorade and I am almost sick, it helps me get sick. If I have it 2 days in a row, I get sick. (sore/infected throat) It is just something weird in it. Or, more correctly, something weird in me. (allergies Phooey!) Anyway, I think I will pick up a few more of these bad boys for my skating nights.
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Old January 17th, 2011, 04:55 PM   #62
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I made this observation/joke w/Doc on the phone a while back...

If you've ever had to set screw and locknut adjustment valve clearances on mechanical lifter engines (old V8's, Euro sports cars, many motorcycle engines) You'll be able to set the pivot pin tension on a set of DA-45 trucks with surgical precision.



Years of setting valve lash I can flip over my skate, press on the truck with one finger, and tell if the pivot ball is bottomed out in the pivot cup properly or off by a 'few thou'
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Old January 17th, 2011, 11:33 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by Two Minute Mike View Post
I made this observation/joke w/Doc on the phone a while back...

If you've ever had to set screw and locknut adjustment valve clearances on mechanical lifter engines (old V8's, Euro sports cars, many motorcycle engines) You'll be able to set the pivot pin tension on a set of DA-45 trucks with surgical precision.



Years of setting valve lash I can flip over my skate, press on the truck with one finger, and tell if the pivot ball is bottomed out in the pivot cup properly or off by a 'few thou'
LOL. Yeah, we need a little feeler gauge for the pivot pin cup.
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Old January 21st, 2011, 09:33 AM   #64
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Default Getting LOOSE and Going (s)TOPLESS

And, now, after that juicy teaser lead in, I must say sorry. First, there is an s before TOPLESS, referring to my skates' lack of a toe stop, and anyway, I am a middle aged guy. If I went topless, all you would see would be greying chest hair. Not too exciting. (unless you are into that Shhh. If you are, PM me later) Well then, what about getting loose. Well on that subject, whoops I did it again!

So last Thursday, I took my tightened down blue cushion setup and loosened it a full 1/2 turn. Noticed a good bit more response and a bit of foot strain. Sunday saw a very lively skate night and no foot strain. I ALSO skated Monday. I was mellower Monday at Moonlight, as I really burned it up Sunday night. Similar to Sunday's skate, no negatives from the looser action, but I had a definite itch for MORE ACTION. So for this Thursday, I did it again. A full 1/2 turn. I first thought I was crazy. I am definitely going to go too far and have a screwy night of skating. (I brought all of the tools needed to get things back to normal, if needed) But, in the end I went for it. Just putting on my skates and putting pressure to the inside or outside edge I could see, this is fairly looser than before. I even hedged a bit goofing around on the thin carpet before going out on the floor to skate. I just wanted to give my feet a heads up before actually skating. So I finally go out on the floor, telling myself, go slow, push easy. So I did, and, it was no big deal. Within a few laps, a was pretty comfortable with it. Another plus was that I seem to have nailed the pivot pins this time. I actually did each pin twice. I set it, checked it, shortened it, looked for movement, then set it again eliminating the movement. I had nice traction, no studder, and no tippyness on one foot gliding. So I skated some, I was keeping it a bit mellow as I was not feeling too hyped up, waited for my feet warming up cramping feeling, then took a break and stretched. Got back out there after my feet mellowed out a bit and got no more complaints from my feet or ankles. This setup was looser, but no part of my body was complaining about it. But, my head and feet were liking the extra action. Regular slaloms were good, fast foot slaloms were VERY NICE. This setup just begged for curvy skating. I really wish it had been crowded, more human obstacles to maneuver around.

Toe Stop Weenies Anonymous. Yes, I was once a toe stop weenie. It has been 1 month and 10 days since I last used a toe stop. In other rufusprime99 skating news, it seems like I have finally weened myself off of my toe stops. I actually have not tried to push off straight forward once since removing them. Last time I tried this, I was constantly falling over trying to use a toe stop that was no longer there. The T start is pretty firmly engrained into my system. Another place where I would fall would be on a backward spin stop. After a bit of spin, I would rely on the toe stop at the end of it. Now instead, I use the toe of the foot I have most of my weight on and slide that sideways a bit for that final bit of stopping. And the one area that worried me the most was light to moderate slowing in traffic going backwards. I never did like a backwards t-slow. Now a quick wide dab of backwards plough stop slows me down in traffic. The last little thing that convinced me I am free of a toe stop was this: I was waiting for an opening to get on the floor. I was absentmindedly rocking my left foot from flat to toe of boot on ground. Two thing struck me as I was doing this. My foot did not miss the toe stop, and when it came time to push off, down went my heel for the sideways push.

So my setup as it stands now is, all blue cushions, 2 threads showing on the kingpin. After finishing up some backward slalom and fast foot slalom, I kept getting a thought in my head saying "I am home". And I think I am. I think this is the setup I will stay with. I will need to tame some minor speed wobbles, and become fully comfortable with the setup. I MAY mess with going looser if I bet bored, but I think this is really giving me what I was looking for. The excellent feel on the fast foot slalom and general good feel are really doing it for me. Now I can FINALLY concentrate on getting some bearings into my PeaBolix. (FINALLY ) So, I think this might be the end of my cushion saga. We'll see. I may try some trick stuff, but if so, it won't be for a while. So, anyway, I hope any of you following this enjoyed the ride, and maybe picked up a tip or two. Cyas!
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Old May 17th, 2011, 09:22 PM   #65
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Default Invader Rubiks' Cube

.....Or, why in the **** can't I get my Invaders to do what I want them to do?

First, a few deep breaths. OK. Moving along.

So after skating my Rebel Magnum for over a year, I decide to get a nicer boot and put my Invader on it. Bont QRL. Nice boot, fits great. Great control of the plate without needing to lace tightly. But all is not well in paradise. My right leg is getting real tired skating. The action also seem looser than the left skate which seems to be doing OK despite my persistent sprained ankle. I go a few sessions, and the problems persist. Now the Bonts seem to be giving me a better feel of the plate and a higher level of control. I figure given my right leg fatigue, maybe I don't NEED blues on the Invader. I drop down to yellows. THINGS GET WORSE. I cannot for the life of me get the right skate to feel like the left skate to save my life. There always seems to be more play on the right skate, causing my right lower leg to work harder. I seem to be able to crank things down harder than I like ok, but as soon as I try to loosen things up, erratic results result.

Maybe it's the king pin?
So, I check the king pin lengths. Aha! The right front kingpin is about a thread longer than the other 3 kingpins. That is why 2 cranks down from the level nylock point is not having the right result. I fix the king pin and put thing back together. Problem solved, right? NOOOOOoooooooOOOOOOoooooooo. I am still getting erratic results from simple adjustments.

By now, I just want to hit 90 on the freeway and chuck the skates, and get inlines. Hell, I am even considering Dynapros. The only thing left, seeing as I had found a problem with one king pin, was to take EVERYTHING apart and reassemble. Hey, that strategy worked for that one gals' R3 turning inward problem. So, I took EVERYTHING apart except for the delrin pivot cups and axles. Pivot pins, king pins, cushions, retainers, everything. Then I mixed up every part so they did not go back where they started, but paid close attention that everything assembled in the exact same way.

The Pivot Pin Smoking gun.
Somewhere along the line of this debacle, I had gotten the bright idea to start my pivot pins cranked all the way down, and then lengthen. I think that the pivot pins were part of the problem throughout most of this unpleasant affair. So, if starting with a very short pivot pin is not so hot, as this experience seems to suggest, where to start with pivot pin length???

The Pivot Pin Neutral Point
(Not to be confused with Star Trek's Neutral Zone)
After painstakingly putting the plate back together, it was time for cushions. I decided to chuck the yellows, and go back to blues, which were/are working great on my Rebel/Magnum. I put the 4 barrels on and had a thought. How long should the pivot pin be, to rest in its' cup, and have the truck sit optimally over just the barrel cushion? I tightened a pivot pin down, and then lengthened 2 full turns. I put the truck on with the pivot pin in the cup, and it did not quite center the truck directly over the barrel cushion. The pin needed to be a bit longer. 1/2 turn did it. 2.5 turns long from tight should provide you with your pivot pins' neutral position. So, if you were to put the conical on, tighten the king pin nut just enough to keep things from jiggling, you would be very close to the correct pivot pin length right out of the box. I set all of the pivot pins this way. I checked each truck with their respective king pin/cushion, and all were the same. My pivot pin neutral point worked on all 4 hangers. I then put on the conicals and prepped the king pin nut. Prepping means getting the top of the nylock nut flush with the top of the king pin. After this is done, I then count the revolutions I crank the nut down, and do the same for each king pin nut. (2.5 turns in this case) After cranking all kpNuts down 2.5, to my GREAT delight, every truck seemed to be at the exact same tension. No truck stood out as being loose or tight. The way I set my pivot pin nut is to have the flat part of the nut to face directly in line with the plate/truck. This way, when I adjust the pivot pin, I can make a uniform adjustment. In whatever direction I am adjusting, I just turn the pin till the next flat of the nut is in line with the plate. I did figure that having started the pivot pin length at neutral, that it would be a little long at this point. So for each pivot pin, I shortened 1 sixth, and then another sixth. I did not notice any play in the pivot pin, so at this point it might be just a bit long, or just right. But one thing I am very confident of is that it is very close to being right due to where it started, AND each pin is set exactly the same. On putting the BontInvaders on and trying the action, it felt VERY Magnum like. My Magnum is also set up exactly like this. KPNut tightened 2.5 turns, pivot pins set correctly. I won't skate this until Wednesday, but I am very confident that the Invader Rubiks' Cube is no more. I am going to insert a quote of this over in my pivot pin tuning thread. Having a good starting point of the neutral point, 2-2.5 turns loose from tight, and knowing that each pin is set the same is better than just saying start short and lengthen.
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Last edited by rufusprime99; May 18th, 2011 at 12:16 AM.
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 09:26 AM   #66
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Cool Blue/Yellow: Odd but Cool

LOL. I was looking back at old posts and realized that I had already tried blue cone yellow barrel. The difference this time was that I had good pivot pin adjustments, and I skate the blue/yellow AFTER having spent some time on all blue. It was weird but cool. I had the quick reaction of the all blue, but I got real nice snap back. Man, I had really forgotten about snap back. Just did not get much from all blue. I COULD feel more tension when I made a cut, but it was the snap back that got my attention. When you make an authoritative cut, there is some momentum behind it. It overpowers the (yellow) cushion. You just feel a mild bit more resistance. But the snap back was nice. The blue cones makes STARTING a move very easy. THAT is the blue cones' job. The yellow barrel keeps things from being too loose overall.

It is funny. All of this, the cushion saga, wanting to go all blue, the Bont/Invader, was all born out of a bit of boredom with my session skating. I started doing some more demanding backward slaloms, and I wanted to do them better. So with my Rebel/Magnum, it meant 2 pairs of socks to dampen the little bit of boot wiggle, and all blue cushions. Now with the Bont/Invader, I have so much control from within the boot, and I can move my feet so fast that I actually NEEDED a bit more control, and snap back, of a yellow barrel.

I was never that big on going all blue to begin with. But, after a while, I gotta admit, I got caught up in the badass aspect of it. Yeah baby, I run all blue. (and the girls swoon. ) But a funny thing happened with the blue saga. My technique changed.

Getting Better.
The way I used to do my so called fast foot backward slalom is with arcs. I was drawing an arc with my muscle effort alternately with each foot. Now it is different. It is a violent, by comparison, push from whichever foot is at the apex of its arc back toward center. The other foot is still arcing, but with little weight on it, just kind of going through the motions. It is kinda like running down a v shaped gully. The all blue setup was so soft that it made this a bit of a chore. The greater snap back of the yellow helped the effort.

Craving More Speed and Harder Cushions???
That is another funny feeling I am getting. I generally contend that it takes a VERY good skater to make a 10 degree plate turn. They HAVE to rely on some single axle pivoting tricks to make certain turns happen. Well, I am starting to do that. (especially with the heel, courtesy of the forward rear axle of short forward) It is like I don't want to JUST depend on the action all of the time. I mean, I do a lot, and I love it, but I like to play with the pivot methods too. I am out here for fun and exercise, but I am no zombie just doing laps. I keep trying to up my game. I like of some single axle pivots, but I liked them better on a yellow barrel. I think I could do them harder and faster with a purple barrel. And get more speed in general. The fastest I have gone on a DA45 was back on my purple cushions. So now, after planting my flag on the hill of an all blue setup, my improving technique is craving a harder cushion. WhoddaThunkIt?? One thing is for sure. Continuing to try different setups will sure keep things interesting and fresh.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 01:05 PM   #67
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Looking to be educated here and maybe a stupid question

Where can one find out the hardness/color combo of cusions or can you?

This thread is pretty much mind blowing and would take a month to read but I get that different colored cushions mean difference densities.

I'm 200 lbs and about to get some Invader DA45's and now wonder what cushion I should have or use. I believe I want the hardest made as I'm no super skater and don't want a ton of movement at least not at first.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 01:27 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by RIC0 View Post
Looking to be educated here and maybe a stupid question

Where can one find out the hardness/color combo of cusions or can you?

This thread is pretty much mind blowing and would take a month to read but I get that different colored cushions mean difference densities.

I'm 200 lbs and about to get some Invader DA45's and now wonder what cushion I should have or use. I believe I want the hardest made as I'm no super skater and don't want a ton of movement at least not at first.
In all honesty, I think purple is probably as hard as you want to go. It is the second hardest, but pretty stiff.

Here is a chart from the SG website that might help out:
http://www.suregrip.com/products/acc...uper-cushions/
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Old May 26th, 2011, 04:45 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by rufusprime99 View Post
First, there is an s before TOPLESS, referring to my skates' lack of a toe stop, and anyway, I am a middle aged guy. If I went topless, all you would see would be greying chest hair. Not too exciting. (unless you are into that Shhh. If you are, PM me later) Well then, what about getting loose.
Add some fiber to your diet. But please don't post to tell us how it worked...
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Old May 26th, 2011, 10:15 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by Poobah View Post
Add some fiber to your diet. But please don't post to tell us how it worked...
Well, I have yet to start writing the Saga of the Great White Round One, but I have it on my to do list. Stay tuned.

(oatmeal does it for me )
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Old June 7th, 2011, 12:36 AM   #71
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Cool The Bont Cushion

Seeing as this thread is about DA45 cushion setups, I thought I would comment on the Bont cushion. ?? But Bont is a boot, not a cushion. True, but I have to say, after skating them a few weeks and taming my pivot pins on my wayward Invader plate (I think the plate was possessed there for a while , but has since been exorcised ), they are making quite a difference. My current cushion setup is all yellow, about a turn tight from jiggly, but I am craving a harder barrel for speed and snap back.

The whole root of the problem is, I am a session skater. A rhythmic backward session skater. And as such, I skate for exercise and fun. Fun entails figuring out what I can and cannot do. So as I started exploring some fast foot backward slalom, the little bit of give in my boot was a problem. 2 pairs of socks helped. Then I tried softer cushions. That also helped. However, now, with the Bonts, my foot is held in place with no slop. My fast foot backward slaloms in the Bonts blow away my efforts with the Rebels. The good fit is the reason. Especially the heel. With the extra control I get with the Bont, I use a completely different technique, and now want more snap back so I can do it faster still.

The Bonts also make the heel of a short forward setup even more fun. I had liked the feel of the heel when I was on my Rebel. But now with more control, wheeee! I can now do a forward slalom, feet parallel, to the beat of a song. ANY song. The faster the better. And I can do this while maintaining a moderate, not slow, pace traveling down the floor. What is even odder is that once I get the rhythm of my weight slamming back and forth on the rear axles, the front axles are light and sometimes up. File that under silly but fun skate stunts. And if I loosen up the slalom and push for speed, I can reach my top speed without lifting a foot with just a slight wiggly motion as I go down the floor. I will probably go faster still with a harder barrel.

So, I hereby nominate the Bont QRL, as a primo DA45 cushion upgrade. Two thumbs up.
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Old June 7th, 2011, 12:39 AM   #72
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You have an inclined heel in your QRL's or are you running flat?
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Old June 7th, 2011, 12:50 AM   #73
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You have an inclined heel in your QRL's or are you running flat?
Flat as a pancake.
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Old June 7th, 2011, 01:25 AM   #74
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To me, that's more surprising than the cushions or the boot frpm a backward skater's perspective. Glad you found something that works for you. That's probably the most important. If you are comfy, you are happy. Good stuff.
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