A few months ago, I picked up a set of the new Tensor Maglight All Terrain Geometry (ATG) trucks, Tensor’s newest model of skateboard truck designed to ride like more traditionally all-around trucks such as those made by Indy, Venture, and Ace.
A friend of mine had picked up a pair of the ATGs and was raving about how they turn and grind. What was compelling to me was the weight — Tensor Maglights are the lightest trucks on the market, and the idea of having a light truck that turns well was appealing. I’ve recently gotten back into skating – and recently turned 50 – so having a lighter setup that was easier to ollie and flip was right up my alley.
Below are my thoughts about the trucks after riding them for a couple of months. Long story short, I’m a huge fan. I love how light they are, they turn well, and they grind better than aluminum trucks (a subjective thing, I know, but I dig ’em).
If you are just looking for a quick link to pick up a pair, in the box below is a link to check the latest prices at Thank You skate supply. I recommend getting them from Thank You, which is owned by the company that makes the trucks (Dwindle Distribution). Otherwise, it can be a bit tricky to make sure you’re getting exactly what you are looking for.
Tensor Maglight ATG Trucks
The trucks come in black or silver, and in sizes ranging from 7.625 inches to 8.5 inches to match various deck widths.
What makes Tensor Maglight ATG Trucks different?
Tensor Trucks have long been associated with street and freestyle skating — the company was started by freestyle king Rodney Mullen in 2000 and is one of the brands under Dwindle Distribution.
Previous Tensor models, at least in my experience, had a reputation as not turning as well as tall trucks such as Indy, Venture and Ace. I’d also heard a few people say they’d broken Tensors Maglights and that they’d stopped riding them due to durability concerns.
Tensor’s Maglight line is made of magnesium, which along with hollow axles and kingpins dramatically reduces weight. The ATG series was designed to keep these weight-shedding features while addressing some of the issues that keep skaters from riding Tensors. Below are a few of the highlights that make them stand out.
Tensor Maglight ATG Features
|Taller Geometry||Tensor made the ATGs taller than its previous models of Maglights (55mm), which allows the hanger to lean more for tighter turns. The new geometry is more responsive than other models.|
|Reinforced Hangers||The hanger on the ATGs is beefed up to handle more aggressive skating and larger skaters.|
|Hollow Axle and Kingpin||The ATGs have a hollow kingpin and axels to further reduce weight.|
|Magnesium Hanger and Baseplate||The magnesium construction dramatically reduces the weight of the truck. In my opinion, it also makes them grind better than aluminum trucks.|
|Lower Profile Kingpin||The kingpin on the ATG trucks is lower relative to the hanger, presumable to reduce the likelihood of hanging up.|
Cons of Tensor Maglight ATG Trucks
|Faster Wear||Magnesium wears faster than other metals|
|Stiff Bushings||Bushings are stiff out of the box and take a while to break-in|
While I have a lot of nostalgia and respect for Indy and Venture trucks, which I skated back in the 1980s and 90s, I’m also intrigued by newer companies such as Ace and Tensor. I have bowl skating deck set up with some Aces and really enjoy them. Not sure I prefer them over Independents – long my goto trucks – but they turn and grind well.
I’m not a young skater anymore and I took a long break (~25 years) from skating. So I’m willing to experiment with anything that can help me pop ollies higher or throw the board around with less effort. For street skating – which I’ll define as skating things that aren’t bowls and ramps (whether in a skatepark or out in the actual street) – I was looking to lighten my deck as much as possible. That’s why I ended up getting a pair of Tensor ATGs.
The closes thing I’ve skated to the ATGs are Independent Titaniums. These Indy’s have hollow kingpins and axles and the axles are made of titanium. They are 11 percent lighter than typical Indies of the same size. The Titanium Independent 149s that I was riding on my 8.5-inch street deck weigh around 344 grams each.
In contrast, the Tensor ATGs (5.75) I bought for the same deck weigh only 261 grams each. That’s around 24 percent lighter, which makes a big difference when you consider that’s for both trucks.
Below is the full rundown on the different sizes of ATGs currently offered. I’ve included the conversion to the full axle width and the recommended deck width for each truck (as recommended by Tensor):
|Tensor ATG Truck Size||Axle Width||Recommended Deck Width|
|5||7.625 in||7.5 – 7.75 in|
|5.25||8 in||7.875 – 8.125 in|
|5.5||8.25 in||8.125 – 8.375 in|
|5.75||8.5 in||8.375 – 8.675 in|
My overall experience with the trucks has been positive. They turn well and feel similar enough to Indy’s that making the adjustment wasn’t really a problem. The magnesium hangers grind well – I dare say better than my Indy’s or Ace’s, though what I mean by better may not match other people’s definition. The main reason I say that they grind better is that they seem to go further on a slappy curb I skate a lot. And the sound and feeling of grinding them is still satisfying.
My one criticism of the trucks is that the bushing they shipped with were taking a long time to break in and really seemed to stay compressed after turning them. If you leaned hard on a turn the board stayed leaned over because the bushing didn’t bounce back from being compressed. Maybe if I was patient they would have broken in with time – but I’m not patient.
To remedy the situation, I bought some medium hardness Bones bushings, which are “broken in” out of the box. They helped a lot, but I am getting a weird clicking sound when I turn, so that’s not entirely solved. I tried some median Indy bushings and they seemed to work well and not click. But the Bones did feel better overall.
All-in-all, these are great trucks. I’m surprised to say that as I’ve been skating Independent trucks for years and really had no plans to switch. But the dramatic weight reduction of the tensors is noticeable when I’m riding and I appreciate being about to move my board around with less effort. If I break the Tensors, I may change my mind, but so far I’m a big fan.