It has been 2 years since I got my first Sabre Trucks cold forged hangers in the mail and I still use them daily! They were the blue 180 mm version but since then I also got my hands on the 190 mm and 170mm hangers. Read through to find out more about them and how to properly set them up.
All of the Sabre trucks I have perform as they did on the day I got them, they are still straight and perfect. Despite them being one of the lightest trucks out there, they turned out to be one of the strongest in the industry as well. Sabre was the first company which started producing a fully cold forged longboard trucks and the fact that you see other brands following their path proves that they were right, pioneers even.
All of the hangers come out of the same mould and are identical in strength and design, what separates the is the axle placement. The axles are made as precisely as they can be and you will notice that immediately. When I put the bearings on, I actually had to lubricate the axle so that the bearings could slip on easier. That’s as tight fit as it gets!
The 180 mm and 170 mm hangers have 3mm rake and the 190 mm hangers are rakeless. But if you have something special in mind, you can drop them a message and maybe the will whip a special on-off hanger just for you. I’ve seen that happen :)
Setting up the Sabre trucks
The bushing seat is pretty shallow. I suggest you take the time to set them up properly. Poorly set up truck could have too much lean which might lead to using too hard bushings.
With my current setup, I use a 86a/90a Sabre king cone bushings boards-side with a wide flat washer and a 86a king cone bushings with a wide flat washer roadside. Yes that`s right, Double King :)
Anyway, why this kind of setup? As I already mentioned, the bushing seat is very shallow and in order to get some restriction buildup at the end of the lean you need big bushing. In contrast to setup with smaller and harder bushings, this one feels much better.
A very important detail are the washers. The Sabre trucks don’t come with a board-side bushing washers, but I think they really should. The fat part of the bushing is wider than the baseplate and without a wide washer it does not provide enough restriction. You can get these washers at any hardware store and they are very thin, so it will not affect the geometry. Use them roadside as well!
All of the recent baseplates (48 and 38 degree) feature urethane pivot cups and they are snug but very fluid. If I recall correctly, they are even self lubricating. No pun intended :)
So, to summon it up… Use fat bushing in the vein of king cone, fat cone, eliminator and so on, get them as soft as you feel comfortable, preload them a bit and away you go. I use double thick riser, in total of 12mm on 38 degree baseplates and I am wheel-bite free even with the Cult Rapture wheels.
The general opinion is somethig in lines of, rakeless and wide is for hauling ass, and thin n`raked if for freeriding. I agree to some extent but I use my trucks in the exact opposite way, but than again not so much really :)
Firstly, about the grip. I think it depends a lot on the type of a board you’re using. Matching the width of your board and trucks is important if you want to grip hard. When the rail of your board is in line with the end of the axle it means that you have maximum leverage over it along with the wheels and it will grip the most. That is for hauling ass, gripping lines king of grip.
Then we have release and hook-up point, which is something that riders often make a mistake and mix up with grip. The narower the truck, the more agressive the release point will be and the more sudden is the hook-up.
How I use them
I use the 170 hangers for downhill because the board will want to get back under my ass as soon as I have scrubbed enough speed. It also makes it more responsive so it’s great for the type of the roads I do DH on. I mostly use them with the Cult Rapture wheels.
My other 180 mm trucks reside on a board which I usually use to skate one of my favourite runs on a steep, narrow, tech-DH alpine road. I mostly use Cult Deathray wheels on that track. 80% standup, 20% hands down.
I use Sabre’s 190 mm trucks on a board which I use mostly for slide sessions. They have the cleanest transition from grip to slide and are the most forgiving when hooking up. You can really stretch out your slides and it will have the most non twitchy and a seamless hook-up. I use them mostly with Cult Classics or Cult Creators with 78a duro.
I hope that this write-up will be useful to new Sabre trucks users and maybe convince some to become one. The Bristol boys are as honest as it gets and stand strong behind their products, so buy with confidence. You are not getting only a great product but a great support as well. If there is something that you feel I haven`t covered it this write up, leave a comment bellow and I’ll reply to it.