Truck review

Aera RF-1 Review

Aera RF-1 are the most unique feeling truck on the market. They feel incredibly playful underfoot, feel amazing for carving around, but are also good for big stand-up slides. If you want to find out more about them, check out my review below.

Specs

  • Baseplate angles: 50°, 46°, 42°
  • Widths: 150mm, 176mm, 180mm
  • Construction: Cold Forged Aluminium
  • Cost: $190
  • Rake: 5mm
  • Discontinued

Aera RF-1 Review

Summary

The RF-1s are the most fun truck I have skated in a long time. They are so playful; skating from point A to B is a joy. They’re so good at carving it’s unbelievable.

I find it hard to believe but these trucks are also pretty decent for doing big standup slides. They have a surprisingly fat/strong center that makes it incredibly easy to hold out big standup slides. That strong center also translates to a bit of stability.

Aera RF-1 trucks

However, even with that center, these trucks aren’t all that stable overall. They tend to react quite a bit to road imperfections and aren’t forgiving at all at speed – one misinput could make the trucks twitch quite a bit. And they also do this weird “oscillating” thing (that isn’t quite a wobble) when you go super fast too …

I believe the above happens because these trucks react and turn a bit deeper to a given input than other trucks would. 

Aera RF-1 hanger

The deep turning nature of there’s is a double-edged sword. Great for playfulness and carving at slow speeds, but not the best for going fast. I wouldn’t take these trucks over 40mph.

Finally, these trucks tend to turn most bushings to mush. Higher rebound bushings – like Hardcore barrel bushings work better in these trucks, giving you more consistent lean, control, and return to center. And if you’re looking for more stability, a fat bushing on the boardside helps control the deep turn of the trucks.

Aera RF-1 bushings

These trucks in my opinion are one of the best in the market. Of course, you have to use them appropriately to get the best performance out of them. I am incredibly sad to see that they’ve been discontinued. 

What is special about these trucks?

These trucks come with a ball pivot.

Aera RF-1 pivot

The ball pivot is incredibly unique – few trucks on the market have one.

It allows the hanger to turn much deeper than normal. What results is a deep turn, and a playful feel in the ride.

Do they turn good?

Yes, they do. They turn deeply, they turn good. You’re never really going to want for more turn with this truck.

They’re honestly a joy to skate and carving feels awesome. They make my feet happy.

If a normal truck turns at a factor of 1, these feel like they turn at a factor of 1.5 … I hope that makes sense.

The turn also feels quite direct.

But how deep they turn in reaction to your input or road imperfections, seriously affects stability.

Are they stable?

Yes and no. They have a strong center, but they don’t feel too stable at speed and when you skate over road imperfections.

Typically, a strong center means AWESOME stability. But here I think it just translates to no slop, and then a TINY bit of stability.

Are they stable at speed?

When you skate over 30-40mph, these start to behave weirdly. They start to oscillate a little.

This isn’t quite a wobble, but the hanger just moves back and forth under you. 

It feels the way a cruiser board on cone bushings does when you take it too fast. It twitches a lot, but it isn’t quite out of control.

This doesn’t mean they’re bad trucks, it just means going fast isn’t their thing. If you want to mainly skate fast, tons of other trucks do that job better.

Some people skate them fast

Though I have said they don’t feel good at speed. Some people skate them super fast.

Mirko Paoloni recently took his Rf-1s to 100kph.

No idea if he set them up with a more voluminous bushing boardside – which is the go-to for stability. But that boy built different.

Venom barrical bushings

He is an exception to the case, not the rule.

A lot of people also skate them with the hangers flipped for negative rake. This also adds a bit of stability.

How do they react to road imperfections?

Because these trucks turn deeply, when they skate over road imperfections (think roughness, a pebble, a crack, etc.), they also react a bit deeper than other trucks do.

So when you skate fast and hit a crack, it feels like they twitch quite strongly before returning to the center.

This feels SCARY.

But yeah, this is one of the reasons they’re not all that stable … it isn’t much of a biggie when you skate slower though …

Are they consistent at that edge of traction?

Yes, they are. Because there isn’t much slop, these trucks feel very consistent at that edge of traction.

They turn bushings to mush

The other interesting thing about these trucks is that it feels like they work bushings harder than usual. Most bushings feel like they lose rebound in these trucks.

For example, with Venom HPF barrels in these trucks, it just feels like the hanger flops side to side. In other trucks, the lean would be smoother and more gradual.

So just like the Valkyrie Voxters, you need either higher rebound bushings or more voluminous bushings for a smoother more controlled lean.

What bushings to use?

Higher rebound bushings like the Hardcore Barrel bushings feel better in these trucks.

hardcore barrel bushings

Are they good for big slides?

With the direct feel and strong center, these trucks slide very good and feel nice. As I said, they will allow you to do big stand-up slides with ease.

toeside slide on rf-1s

Are they durable?

They are extremely durable. Because they are cold-forged, these trucks are incredibly strong. They will stay straight for a long time and withstand a ton of abuse.

Well worth the investment.

What I think the RF-1s are best for …

The RF-1s are best for dancing, carving, and freeriding below 40mph. 

They’re not great for going super fast, or if you’re looking for a stable truck. 

Tips

Make sure you clean and lubricate the pivot every now and then. Unlike other trucks, the pivot tends to get affected by dirt a lot more. Keeping it clean improves and keeps performance consistent.

Aera RF-1 pivot cup

That’s it! Did you enjoy this review of the Aera RF-1?

I’m saddened that these trucks have been discontinued, I really think they’re pretty special. But, also interested to see what Aera have cooked up for RF-2s!

Big thanks to all my patrons for the support – David, Squirrels Adventures, Mike, Jed, Mowgii, Jan, Josh, Jay, Jay, Bryan, @owencampbell777, @dkwan, Alex, Kasajja, Domnik, Reuben, @pablo.vega.andrade, Vlad, Asa, Helge, DeLacoste, Peder, Josh, Mike, Anthony, @issishreds, Greg, Jackson, Slipa, Louisa, Bill, Steve, John, Austin, @bomber_p_, Brian, Jeffrey, Jules, Henry, Austin, Philip, and Justin. I couldn’t write articles like this without you guys’ support.

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