Product Thrash: PNL Precision Strummers
Published at Oct 28, 2014 | Posted by Aaron Hou
 

Product Thrash: PNL Precision Strummers

Words by Aaron Hou - Stoked Team Spreader


Overview:

For starters, PNL Strummer trucks have been hands down the best trucks I have ridden to date. Keep in mind that I have ridden extensively and used almost all the trucks on the market. Even after having ridden this plethora of trucks, both cast and precisions, I can say with no doubt in my mind that PNL Strummers have been my favorite trucks. The heaping $335 price tag might throw some potential buyers away, but in my mind, they are worth every penny. If you are debating whether to fork out a lump sum of your bank account, the answer is a simple, yes. Buy it and you will not regret how the trucks feel and treat you. Just think about it, some longboarders pay almost $500 for other trucks, when they could buy an equal or better truck at almost $200 less, which is almost a complete longboard to add to your quiver.

Now some detailed information of why PNL Strummers are worth your Benjamin’s. PNL Strummers are one of the sturdiest trucks on the market as of today. Their baseplates and hangers are both crafted from 6061 T6 aircraft grade billet aluminum. If this metal keeps airplanes running and together, it should be plenty strong in a longboarding truck even for your everyday needs. With that being said, the axels are 17-4 heat treated stainless steel which in no way means will bend easily when hitting those 5 foot kickers or whipping out countless freestyle combos.

Another reason to dig deep into those couch cushions to find the extra dollars to pay for PNLs is the construction of these trucks are simply out of this world. PNLs feature a couple very unique things in the precision market that in combination keep them apart from others. The spherical ball pivot allows for a no bind pivot which in turn makes the truck feel extremely fluid with almost unlimited lean, a no rake pivot so you can flip the hangers both ways without drastically effecting the baseplate angle, and an open bushing seat that captures the base of the bushing and eliminates any slop, but still allowing a non-restrictive very turny truck. The bushing seat is also identical on both sides so there is no need for tall bushings to maintain correct geometry. Furthermore, another exclusive thing that I have only seen in PNLs is that if and when you decide to run tall bushings, the geometry will still remain the same due to the spherical pivot. The reason is that in most trucks, the pivot is a U bar or a T bar which has to be inserted completely into the pivot cup to work properly, but with PNLs, it works because the ball pivot can rotate in any way which accommodates all sizes and shapes of bushings.

What’s in the Mystery Box?

Ever hear people complain they want precisions washers, spacers or riot cups? Well if you buy PNLs, you won’t have to worry about them. Every truck come stock with regular bushings, but PNLs took it one step further. They give you a 95a Riptide barrel boardside and 90a Riptide barrel roadside STOCK. In other trucks, it would take around $10 to upgrade to Riptide bushings. PNLs come stock with 95.5a WFB formula Riptide pivot cups, which are custom made just for PNLs. The WFB formula also self-lubricating the cup so there is no need to have to constantly lube and re-lube after riding. PNLs are also outfitted with machined precision spacers to ensure longevity of your bearings and a smooth slide through the ride. Another thing PNLs snuck in to amp the quality of your trucks is the 303 stainless steel machined washers. These washers are extremely similar to the Amish washers Buzzed Trucks use, but I have noticed that the PNLs have a shallower sleeve which allows for more turn, which is better for freeriding. Finally, PNLs come with a 17-4 kingpin, machined with the same equipment that the hangers and baseplates are forged from. This ensures a better fit with the whole truck as well as maintaining strength vs a simple grade 8 kingpin.

Getting Sideways:

When PNLs were created, long ago in a warehouse in California, freeriding was the main purpose of these trucks. Back then, most precision trucks were geared towards downhill, not necessarily freeride. When PNLs finally arose and came into the picture, the whole ball game changed. Pretty Noise Lab brought a kick ass truck that excels in freeriding and later created a lower degree base for dominance in downhill.

PNLs have two major factors, both listed above that set them apart from other trucks for freeriding. Possibly the greater of the two is the spherical ball pivot. This pivot allows the truck to have that almost infinite lean, but still being extremely controllable and fluid at the same time. The lean definitely helps make PNLs name so popular within the longboarding crowds. Personally, I enjoy being able to feel my trucks when they turn and as soon as I stepped on my board with PNLs, I knew there was no way of going back to casts. The fluidness of the turn just amazed me, when hitting high speed slides or cornering, PNLs still have not disappointed me.

The other factor that set PNLs apart is the open bushing seat. You really use its potential to its max for freeride. The seat is a snug fit to the bushing to ensure that all possible slop is eliminated and so you can get the most dive as possible. With all this lean, even with a 47* baseplate, you must watch out for wheel bite. I found the best way to reduce wheelbite but still have a turny setup is to run a chubby boardside and a barrel roadside. This seems to do the trick in almost every setup of mine, if not just slap a 1/4in riser and you should be set.

Trying to Break Speed Records:

Although I have not used my PNLs extensively for downhill, they have, in my experience, performed extremely well. As expected from most precision trucks, PNLs are fully capable of handling extreme speeds. Not only does the fat center point help with straight line downhill, but the ball pivot makes cornering a breeze.

Durability:

As stated above, PNLs are one of the most durable trucks out there. They feature 6061 T6 aircraft grade billet aluminum baseplates and hangers and 17-4 heat treated stainless steel axels and kingpin. With all of these factors working together, it makes bending these trucks almost impossible by human strength. I have only heard of one time that these were bent and that was because they got run over by a two ton pickup truck. Also Pretty Noise Lab replaces bent trucks as long as it happened from natural causes, which doesn’t involve being run over by 4,000 pounds. I have put my PNLs through quite a battle, I jump off curbs, off big kickers, grinded them and still I see not even the slightest chance of them being bent.

Concluding thoughts:

Although PNLs are rather expensive compared to cast trucks and other lower ended precisions, you pay for quality. Even if they were $500 I would still save up my money and later invest in a pair that would change the game. Overall, PNLs in my mind will always be worth it, they are some of the best if not the best trucks on the market today. With so many extras and such great features, PNLs are a great deal. You don’t need to have 3 pairs of trucks, one for downhill, one for freeride and one for just screwing around when you own a pair of PNLs. Pick a pair up at Stoked today, and never look back.


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