Carver CX Trucks Review

The first encounter with the Carver CX set

The first time I tried Carver Trucks was one day at the skatepark when a guy came

complete carver C7 board
A complete board with a C7 set – Picture from carverskateboards.com

with a ‘Da Monsta’ board equipped with C7

trucks. I tried his board and had a lot of fun with it, I could make really sharp turns and it felt so smooth and surfy ! But when the guy told me he bough his complete board for about 320€ I though I would never be able to ride one.

Back home I made some research and browsed forums such as silverfishlongboarding.com trying to find a cheaper alternative way to surf the concrete like an everlasting wave. I heard about the Vector Bennett truck (which I will review it soon) and about the Carver CX which is a little cheaper than the C7 but also was considered as more adapted for ‘pool’ ridding.

Finally I found a shop which sold the CX set for around 100€ and decided I would buy it as it looked like it was really some great trucks.

After a few days I finally received the package and quickly mounted them under my home made deck and with a set of 60mm 85a wheels. I didn’t even change the trucks tightness, it was set very loose.

I then went out and tried it on the road and I was very surprised, the front truck turned so much I could make a U-turn in a hallway. It was like I could lean so much that ‘deck bite’ could be an issue, but it was just an impression.

Then few day after I took my board and my Carver CX truck to the skatepark. The skatepark is made of a long snakerun ending with a huge bowl and a high manual pad, an inclined pad, a rail and a bench.

snakerun-skatepark-la-baucaire
The snake run.

I had spend the last week carving the snakerun and had found pretty efficient lines, but with these trucks my lines didn’t mean anything anymore as my turning radius was much smaller. I had a great time with the set of trucks and really enjoyed surfing my way into the snake run with an incomparable feeling of freedom.

Then I soon learned how to pump, it is so easy with those trucks and you basically learn it without knowing it. You just have to turn the front truck from one side to another and you will quickly gain speed without much effort. I quickly became used to make some quick pump on the flat parts of the run so I could go faster and climb the higher transition.

Many people looked at me as if I was coming from another planet as it seems nobody here never heard about pumping and people were surprised about how my front truck was able to turn.

The only problem that I had with this set of truck was its height, event with no riser and with 60mm wheels it was so high that I had like 2cm of clearance between the wheels and the deck with the truck at its maximum leaning… More on that later.

The LDP stage

As I made some research about pumping I found about LDP on PavedWave and quickly became interested in it. I wondered how it would be to go on bicycle path and try to go as far as I could without pushing. So I took my board and ride for about 7 or 8 kilometers, I was not really fast but I had fun. I quickly realized that I needed softer and bigger wheels as the rough asphalt slowed me down and my feet became numb because of the vibrations.

There was a sale on Amazon on OJ Thunder Wheels which have a really soft durometer of 78a and a pretty big diameter of 75,5mm. I put those on my board and immediately felt the effect of having softer, bigger and heavier wheels : I could go faster and farther !

Then on day, I met a fellow LDP rider on the bicycle path and he shared with me the url of a French forum about LDP DandyStance (Which is currently down…) and I gained a lot of knowledge about LDP by browsing this forum. He also graciously lent me a longer deck (a modified freebord deck) so I could try a longer wheelbase to see if it would help me.

I used it a lot and modified it by adding an aluminum beam to make its wheelbase

freebord modified LDP
Gheto, eh ?

even longer and even though it looks ghetto, I could go really fast with it comparing to my street sized deck.

I took part of a sort of LDP race in the following autumn (2015)  in which I arrived 27th out of 35 with 20km in 1h13,23″ which is not that bad considering that there were a lot of really impressive athletes with more specialized equipment. And I only pumped, not pushed ! It made me aware that my body is not as much in shape that I though it was and I became more concerned about training my body in the following months.

This is the race I took part of, you can briefly see me at the arrival wearing a red shirt and shorts.

I will talk more about LDP in another article as I have now changed my equipment, and this review is about the Carver CX trucks, isn’t it ? 🙂

 

Technical details

Note : My set of trucks is the version 4 which was commercialized in 2013, older version are a bit different.

First here are some picture of the CX front truck.

The front of the Carver CX truck
The front of the Carver CX truck
Carver CX side view
Side view
 underside CX C2 Neil Carver signature
And the underside with Neil Carver signature.

 

As you can see, it doesn’t look like your usual TKP truck (Traditional KingPin) , and it doesn’t even exactly look like a standard RKP (Reverse KingPin – Usually longboard trucks).

Here are the measured angles :

 

Paris Trucks are very common and the angle between the kingpin and the pivot is about 90°
Paris Trucks are very common and the angle between the kingpin and the pivot is about 90°

 

On the other hand the angle of the Carver CX is very narrow.
On the other hand the angle of the Carver CX is very narrow, about 30°.

I can’t find any other trucks on the market with such an angle, every RPK manufacturer seems to respect the 90° angle.

This original angle is interesting because it doesn’t really compress the bushings the same way a classic RPK truck would. It used to cause problem on the precedent versions and damaged bushing. But it seems to be fixed as I haven’t experienced any bushing damages and I have put more than 100kms on them.

All the measurements are available on the Carver CX page :

– 2 7/8” tall
– 6.5” hanger with a 9” axle
– .55’ top conical bushing, .65” bottom conical bushing. Stock 89a durometer for easy pumping, optional 95a durometer set available
– 2 ½” kingpin
– .7” OD x ½” ID pivot cup
– Drilled to new and old school mounting patterns
– Sand cast 356 aluminum alloy, heat-treated to Rockwell T6
– Made in the USA

 

Carver C2 3/4 view
The Carver C2 is used as a rear truck on both CX and C7 sets.

The C2 truck used on the rear position is not as original,  it is basically a well made and higher version of the Tracker RTS which is a widely used truck for slalom and LDP. The RTS is a TKP truck. It is very stable and can be easily tuned by the use of angle risers. The Carver C2 shares the same qualities but works well out of the box.

I would advice people to buy the CX in set with the C2 truck as they really work well together and I’m not sure another rear truck would be an enhancement.

Here are its measurement as found on its page on Carver website :

-2 7/8” tall
-6.5” hanger with a 9” axle
-.55’ top conical bushing, .65” bottom barrel bushing. Stock 89a durometer for easy pumping.
-2 ½” kingpin
-.7” OD x ½” ID pivot cup
-Drilled to new and old school mounting patterns
-Sand cast 356 aluminum alloy, heat-treated to Rockwell T6
-Made in the USA

 

Conclusion :

The Carver CX set is a very fun set of trucks that most people will enjoy, the sensations are uniques and addictives, however it is quite high and can’t be ridden fakie without extreme instability which limits its capabilities.

You will enjoy the CX set if you:

  • Want an unique surfing feeling
  • Want to carve and pump the street
  • Like to carve pools and snake runs
  • Want to learn LDP quickly

You should try another truck if you:

  • Only want to do street skating
  • You like to grind (except if you modify the Kingpin)
  • Want maximum versatility

In my opinion, this is its pro and cons.

Pro:

  • Fun
  • Good quality, looks strong and durable
  • Polished pivot
  • Optimized architecture
  • Stable at medium speed (never tested faster than 45km/h ~28mph)
  • Good for LDP, especially if there are hills to climb

Cons:

  • Too high, really too high when you want to use smaller wheels
  • The front kingpin stick out
  • Addictive

If you have those trucks please let me know what you think about it in the comments bellow and if you have any question, feel free to ask !

14 comments on “Carver CX Trucks Review

  1. Where is it that you hail from?!?
    Just wondering how your local streets are.
    Can you skate with a street setup or do you need a longboard?

    1. I’m from a small village in the South of France.
      My local streets are mostly made of old and rough asphalt and in most part you just can’t roll on it with small hard street wheels. But we have nice and long bike paths that are fine on most part.
      You can use a street deck with Carver CX trucks, it is what I used most of the time but a longer wheelbase might be nice too. But for LDP you definitely need very long wheelbase if you want to go far and fast.

      1. Bonjour,
        Je suis de st laurentlaurent du varvar et j aiai reconnude laa piste, cyclable!
        Je viens de monter cx et c2
        Sur une planche fish oxello,.
        J essaierai demain a cagnes sur, mer.
        Bonne soireenuit avous et qui sait peut etreêtre nous croiserons nous,.
        Salutations
        Thierry

  2. Hi, and nice review!

    I got addicted to the Carver CX.4 truck set after trying them about a year ago – recreates a fantastic sensation of surfing and opens up amazing new lines in my local pool.

    I’ve been experimenting with all sorts to get stability at speed and the full range of lip tricks – longer boards, like the Alva short stuff which is 20″ wheelbase, and more recently with harder bushings and a normal pool wheelbase (16″ or so). Carver now offer a ‘park’ version of the CX.4, with a harder bushing set, which is dark red and 95a, with a barrel bushing board side on the front truck. This gives more stability at speed and reduces the squirrelly feel when going fakie. It’s almost a normal board feel, with the exception of the height – irritating as you simply don’t need the extra height when using smaller wheels, and there is no risk of wheelbite. A lower baseplate would solve this and open up a much wider market for Carver trucks and normal boards.

    One final point – I’m using Carver’s 58mm 90a pool wheels at the moment, which are pretty slow. They came with Carver ‘deep V’ steel bearings, but even with bones super 6 they lack the rebound and speed of the Carver roundhouse wheels. I’ve ordered up some OJ hot juice mini 55’s and will see how they go instead. Keep it up!

    Paul

  3. Hey, thank you for your comment.

    As you said the height is the only real bad thing about this truck, I like to use it with 60mm 78a (Penny style) wheels and the wheel clearance is really huge. It feel uncomfortable for me to be that high when I’m carving the snake run for exemple and if I have to kickturn for some reason, it feel insecure.

    On the other hand, when I was using it on my LDP longboard I only had to put one or two riser to accommodate the 75mm wheels, but now I mostly use those trucks for pure fun and not LDP performance, so I would love a lower baseplate for sure.

    I think you will enjoy the OJ wheels, I have been using the 75mm version for more than a year and they are fantastic.
    I have reviewed them here https://icantskateboard.com/oj-wheels-75mm-78a-thunder-juice-review/
    They were tested mostly for LDP and cruising but you will get the idea.

    But something you have to consider is the quality of the pool coating. For exemple I find out that I had the best speed and traction ratio with 85a wheels in my local park, but the coating is very very smooth.

    Anyway, have fun with your Carver trucks and your new wheels ! Please come back when you have tested them to tell me if you like them !

    François

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  5. Bonjour François,

    Je souhaiterais monter un CX à l’avant de ma board drop through pour faire du LDP, j’ai une board Carver en C7 que j’ai essayé de monter mais ça ne s’adapte pas du tout au drop through, c’est pourquoi je pencherais plutôt sur du CX…

    Penses-tu que le truck CX s’adapte au drop through ?

    Merci pour ton avis 😉

    1. Bonjour,

      Je pense que le CX peut se monter en drop sans problème. J’ai jamais essayé mais le base du truck semble assez standard donc ça devrait passer. Après ça depend aussi de ton plateau, ce truck tourner énormément et c’est pas impossible que les roues touchent si elle sont assez grosses.

      Si tu te met sérieusement au LDP je te déconseille quand même un peu les trucks Carver, j’ai commencé avec aussi et c’est vrai qu’on se marre bien mais on en atteint très vite les limites. J’ai maintenant un truck Surf Rodz TKP à l’avant et même si j’ai perdu le coté surfy du CX, je peux aller bien plus vite et bien plus loin.

      Pour plus d’info sur le LDP je te conseille de venir sur http://dandystance.com (et aussi le grand classique http://www.pavedwave.org si tu ne connais pas déjà).

      À bientôt,
      François

  6. Hola, cuál es la diferencia de los trucks cx4 y los cx4 invertidos? Acabo de comprar un PointBreak con los invertidos y no estoy seguro si me pusieron una versión vieja o qué?

    Hello, what is the difference between the cx4 and inverted cx4 trucks? I just bought a PointBreak with the inverted ones and I’m not sure if they put me an old version or what?

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