A Look At Surf Rodz: Spacers, Axles and Bearings

As a lot of you know, one of my drug dealers… I mean skate hardware vendors… Psychotiller, has bamboozled me into a rather massive Surf Rodz addiction. I’m a huge fan. PT’s mounts are incredible and never fail. That, coupled with precision quality trucks, makes it easy to see why I like them so much.

I’ve spent some time figuring out spacers and bearings for Surf Rodz trucks (both RKP & TKP since both use multiple lengths of 10mm axles). This doesn’t take into account that you get spacers with the axles when you purchase them from SR directly, Psychotiller also includes spacers with his SR truck kits as well. I just found myself in a circumstance where I needed axles and spacers and bearings as I had he trucks but none of the aforementioned parts. This post contains the results of that research.

Spacers

Let’s start with spacers. With an 80mm axle you will need 30mm of total spacer for the correct fit for each axle. You will also need a 10mm spacer between the bearings in each wheel. After searching, this is what I have found to be available and quickly sourced as of late last year.

Surf Rodz 10mm x 10mm spacer Kit
$16.00 pack of 4, $4.00 each

Khiro 10mm x 10mm Longboard Skateboard Bearing Spacer
$5.95 pack of x4, $1.48 each

aluminumspacers.com 10.2mm ID x 16mm OD x 10mm Long Aluminum Spacer
$1.27 each

aluminumspacers.com 10.2mm ID x 16mm OD x 30mm Long Aluminum Spacer
$1.37 each

The Surf Rodz spacers are solid and beefy, good spacers to use but very expensive per piece. The Khiro spacers are usable but the OD is less than that of the SR spacers and generally don’t look as good or feel as solid. The ones from aluminumspacers.com are as solid as the SR spacers and much less expensive.

Here’s a cost breakdown for a complete build using a set of Surf Rodz trucks, assuming 80mm axles (subtract a single 10mm spacer per axle if using 70mm axles).

The least expensive method is to use four 30mm and four 10mm spacers from aluminumspacers.com:

QTYPRODUCTCOST EACHSUBTOTALTOTAL
410.2mm ID x 16mm OD x 10mm Long Aluminum Spacer$1.27$5.08
410.2mm ID x 16mm OD x 30mm Long Aluminum Spacer$1.37$5.48 $10.56

The next less expensive option is using Khiro 10×10 spacers.

QTYPRODUCTCOST EACHSUBTOTALTOTAL
16Khiro 10mm x 10mm Longboard Skateboard Bearing Spacer$1.48$23.68$23.68

The most expensive is using SR 10x10mm spacers (as in ridiculously expensive).

QTYPRODUCTCOST EACHSUBTOTALTOTAL
16Surf Rodz 10mm x 10mm spacer Kit$4.00$64.00$64.00

Bearings

I am not a fan of the bearings that Surf Rodz sells. The first set I got from them are still going strong. The second and third sets had defects. One set was slightly larger than 22mm OD so press fitting was difficult and resulted in a lot of rolling resistance. A couple out of the other set did not roll well from the start. So I went on a search for 10 x 22 x 6mm bearings, this is what I found.

Surf Rodz 10MM Bearings (AA3-130-A1)
$10.00 for a set of 8 bearings + shipping

FastEddy 10x22x6 Rubber Sealed Bearing 6900-2RS
$9.99 for a set of 10 bearings + $2.99 shipping

10 Pcs 6900Z 10 x 22 x 6mm Single Row Sealed Deep Groove Ball Bearings J5M7
$3.27 for a set of 10 bearings + Free shipping

Here’s the cost breakdown.

QTYPRODUCTCOSTTOTAL
8Surf Rodz 10MM Bearings (AA3-130-A1)$1.25$10.00
8FastEddy 10x22x6 Rubber Sealed Bearing 6900-2RS$0.99$7.92
8Chinese MGF 6900Z 10 x 22 x 6mm Single Row Sealed Bearings$0.33$2.64

Regarding quality, I’ve already covered the SR bearings. The FastEddy bearings were the best quality and I’ve been using them for a couple of weeks now with no issues. The Chinese MFG bearings are surprisingly good. I don’t mind a sealed bearing, a lot of people do because the resistance is slightly higher. I did a WH test between the 2 sets and there was no discernable difference, the calculated value showed .014 WH per mile usage more on the Chinese MFG bearings, but that is well within the margin of error as no ride is ever completely the same.

These aren’t all of the 22x10x6mm bearings that are available, but they are the ones I could get my hands on quickly and weren’t aircraft grade at $60 each.

Axles and fine tuning spacers

Another, less expensive name for precision truck axles is “shoulder bolt.” Calling them axles and placing them in a longboard context immediately jacks up the price. If you’re looking for not-very-well kept industry secrets, that’s a good one. Here are a couple less expensive decent quality options:

10mm x 100mm Shoulder Bolt – Length M8-1.25, Class 12.9, Black Oxide Alloy Steel Socket Head

10mm x 80mm Shoulder Bolt – Length x M8-1.25, Class 12.9 Black Oxide Alloy Steel Socket Head

Additionally, sometimes you need to really dial the alignment in one millimeter at a time. Here’s some cheap 1mm spacers for getting that fit perfect:

16mm OD 10mm ID 1mm Thick Copper Flat Washers

In closing, I hope this little bit of research will help with your decision on whether or not to buy Surf Rodz trucks. They are arguably the best precision quality truck for esk8 on the market, especially within their particular price range.

Originally posted @ electric-skateboard.builders

Mike Maner

Mike is a systems/communications engineer and a dad to 4 kids as well as being a member and forum leader of the electric skateboard building community.Mike is NOT a traitor, screw a damn unicycle!*shakes head in confusion at Damon thinking "why man, just why?"