On paper, the Aera P2 are certainly basic. They don’t have a complicated design and seem pretty straightforward. But does this mean a basic performance in practice?
No. These trucks are very good. Find out more below.
- Baseplate angles: 50°, 46°, 42°, 30°
- Width: 120mm, 124mm, 130mm, 140mm
- Construction: Precision CNC cut Aluminum
- Rake: 5mm
- Cost: $500
Aera P2 review
Why the P2s are interesting
Narrow trucks are quickly becoming the norm for precision trucks. Most companies are making trucks around 120mm wide.
Most of those trucks come with a slop stopping system, for example, a urethane insert or a queen pin. And they’re usually paired with a trailing link rear hanger, or have a difference in rake between the hangers.
And these features make these trucks work great and perform well in their small size.
However, P2s aren’t made in the same way.
P2s, are narrow, yes, but they don’t have an extra add on for a “slop-stopping system”. They don’t have asymmetrical rake or asymmetrical hanger designs. They’re seemingly just a normal RKP truck in a narrow shape.
So it’s like if every company has done something different why has Aera gone a different route?
And that’s what I want to find out today … is this different truck as good as the other options on the market? Does it feel great? Did Aera goof? All this and more below.
There is not much to say about the Aera P2s.
They’re a truck that works great in a narrow width. They’re stable – with a strong center. They don’t have any slop – thanks to the tight bushing seat, thick pivot cup, and thin pivot. They turn good – with a direct and consistent lean and feel.
These trucks feel awesome underfoot, take awesome lines, slide good, and are great for stand-up slides too …
They’re just a good truck that works great in that narrow width …
I think the most important thing to note is what they’re best for. These aren’t slalom DH trucks to be used on tiny wheelbases. They’re just a slightly narrower truck so that the wheels fit better under your feet and board. If you keep that in mind, you will be able to use them appropriately.
In my opinion, they’re a truck that can truly bridge the gap between freeride and downhill. Being narrow enough for wide downhill wheels, but wide enough for narrower freeride wheels.
They’re certainly quite expensive. But are worth the investment if they’re what you’re looking for. Especially if you just want a narrow truck and don’t want to commit to the whole slalom DH thing …
I wish they were adjustable. With 10mm of adjustability, you’d get a truck that could TRULY bridge the gap between DH and FR.
The above said, I really do like em.
How I set my P2s up
I primarily skated my P2s on my Landyachtz Freedive. I would use a variety of grippier DH wheels and slightly wider freeride wheels on it. The thing was *chefs kiss*.
- Deck: Landyachtz Freedive
- WB: 23.5inches
- Griptape: 60 grit Lokton
- Trucks: Aera P2
- Baseplate Angles
- Front: 46°
- Back: 30°
- Front: 78/78 Venom
- Back: 93/93 Venom
- Front: No BS/Flat small washer RS
- Back: No BS/Cupper washer RS
- Baseplate Angles
- Wheels: Various
I know the picture has 95/95a venoms on it, but I much preferred the green 93/93a. That is an old pic.
Are the Aera P2 stable?
The Aera P2 have a very strong center. They don’t want to turn left or right without deliberate input from the rider.
This results in a stable ride. These trucks feel very solid at speed.
They’re comparable in stability to trucks like Rogues and Smokies (when you dewedge the rear P2 30* plate to 20*). However, the trailing link system of those trucks, adds a surprising amount of stability.
In my experience, the P2s are dummy stable but aren’t as solid feeling as Smokies or Rogues (with a dewedged 20* plate).
Do they have a slop-stopping system?
I believe the big pivot cup, long pivot, and tight bushing seat work together to eliminate slop. So whilst they don’t have an added “slop-stopping” system, the basic things are enhanced to get the job done.
This results in the fat center and a direct feel when you engage these trucks.
However, this doesn’t add any return to center. All of that is controlled by the bushings.
They turn bushings to mush
Like with the Aera Rf-1s, these trucks also make bushings feel like they have less rebound than they do.
For example, Venom bushings don’t lean and turn as smoothly in these trucks as they do in other trucks. They feel like they give much easier.
So when using Venom bushings, you get a lot less return to center. It’s not a big deal when leaning and turning, but when going over a road imperfection, it feels like the truck reacts a bit longer to the imperfection before more returning to center. That also isn’t a big deal when skating, but should highlight the difference.
I felt slightly higher rebound bushings worked better in these trucks.
Higher rebound bushings work better
Higher rebound bushings like Hardcore barrels work well in this truck.
They lean and turn smoother and have a nice return to center. They handled bump steer a little bit better too in my experience.
Though I only tried Hardcore barrels, some people have had success with the Riptide bushings and Venom SHR bushings.
I also felt like Hardcores enhanced the center of these trucks. But IDK if that was a placebo effect.
Do they turn good?
Yes, the Aera P2 turn good.
They have a direct feel to the turn (a good signal of no slop), turn decently, but aren’t the most nimble or turny of trucks.
They didn’t react to my input super quickly and dive suddenly. The turn/dive was more gradual.
With an aftermarket Riptide pivot, the turn and dive was much quicker. I could get edge to edge much faster. But I didn’t like the lack of support in the lean that comes with that pivot, so I went back to the stock pivot.
However, the quickness of the dive isn’t that big of a deal. It is worth mentioning, but it won’t affect your performance or limit your riding experience.
I much preferred how the stock pivot felt and that is what I use today.
In terms of quickness of turn, I am comparing them to the Bear Smokies. The P2s are pretty quick to turn in reference to most trucks.
Do they slide good?
Yes. And they have a very smooth and consistent release and hook up, into, and out of the slide.
They have a low ride height
The P2s have a surprisingly low ride height.
This adds stability and helps make the transition into sliding less abrupt.
Wedging them also doesn’t add much ride height.
On some setups, a riser might be a good addition, particularly on those with deep flush mounting.
Are they worth the money?
Yes. If you don’t want to commit to the whole slalom DH thing, but want a narrow truck so that the wheels are directly under your feet for a better riding experience, the Aera P2 are a great option.
And they’re certainly a high-performance truck. I feel like I’d be able to push my riding skills with this truck pretty easily.
So if you want wider wheels under feet, 120mm will be good for you.
If you want narrower wheels under your feet, 140mm would be a better choice.
Do short bushings negatively affect performance?
I didn’t notice any negative performance with the short bushings that the P2s use.
When messing around, I have found that on the same truck, short bushings result in a quicker end to the lean and overall less turn.
But when riding the P2s, I never did lack for any turning, or need any extra lean.
They certainly didn’t turn as deeply as tall bushing trucks, but I can’t say I missed it.
The P2s worked well and I didn’t want/wish for anything extra.
I think the short bushings are needed on the P2s to make them work well.
P2s don’t have a cupped bushing seat so I believe the short bushings provide an END to the lean.
Without an end to the lean, it would be hard to find a point to push them out into a slide. I had this issue when reviewing and setting up the Valkyrie Voxters, I had to set them up to create an end to the lean.
They don’t have a low-angle plate, is that bad?
Yes and no.
Yes, it’s bad because you can’t run them on an ultra-small wheelbase (think 21-23inches), and have similar performance to trucks like the Slalom Rogues.
And no because I don’t think they’re supposed to be used on ultra-small wheelbases anyway …I think they’re just a smaller truck so that your wheels fit better under your board and feet … I might be wrong. More on this later.
But yeah, I wouldn’t set them up to be similar to slalom DH trucks.
Are they good for stand-up slides?
Yes, they’re good for it.
Are they good for racing?
I’d say yes.
I can ride them aggressively and take good race lines. They don’t limit my control over the wheels, and I don’t feel held back at all by them.
I feel like I could keep up with myself if I was racing against a ghost of myself who had the Smokies or Rogues.
But there is certainly a little adapting you have to do as a rider.
They turn a little less than other trucks, and you have to consider this with your race lines. But nothing that should hold you back.
Why I like them a lot?
They were narrow enough for wide wheels and wide enough for slightly narrower wheels.
They’re one of the few trucks I felt I could truly do both hands up and hands down riding comfortably.
I’ve been able to send it hard stand up on some wheels, and then switch the wheels for grippier ones and still skate super well.
I can do all of that on the same setup …
Before I joined Landyachtz, I was looking for trucks exactly like these; narrower, that performed well and let me push my riding ability.
I had been riding some 140mm wide Paris Savants, and whilst I skated kinda ok, they weren’t the best. I didn’t feel like I was able to truly progress. If I’m being honest, I felt kinda held back.
You can’t just mill any truck down to 140mm or 110mm and expect it to perform well. They need to be designed with that use case in mind.
In that narrow width (I’d say the cutoff point is 140mm or 150mm), you need a truck with quite a bit of rake and a slop-stopping system, otherwise, it won’t perform well.
If the Aera P2 were available then (and I wasn’t sponsored), I likely would have bought them.
And yeah, my whole experience is just mirroring my expectations for how much I’d enjoy a setup with these trucks.
They’re just a narrower truck …
So yeah, I don’t think they’re supposed to be used in the same way narrow, slalom DH trucks are.
These are just a narrow trucks…
So make sure you have an appropriate setup (and expectations) for them.
What I didn’t like about the P2s
There’s not a lot to not like, but I didn’t like that they didn’t have a 20* plate (Kevin pls), and that they aren’t adjustable.
An adjustable hanger would have truly made them an incredible all-around truck. They would have truly been able to bridge the freeride and DH gap for me.
I hope to see some adjustability in hanger width in future Aera trucks.
Keep the pivot lubed
My last tip for you guys is to keep the pivot cup lubed. You could achieve this with soap shavings or your choice of lubricant.
It helps keep the truck leaning all smooth like. When the pivot cup is dry, it has a tendency to grab onto the pivot pin, and make squeaky noises.
Did you enjoy this review of the Aera P2?
Honestly, I wish I could write more about this truck. But they’re straightforward – they’re just a narrower truck that works well. You just need to pay attention to how you want to use them, and you’ll be good.
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