recent B&M roughness

Wednesday, August 9, 2006 2:33 PM
I've noticed this on a few of the newer B&M coasters. It seems like they ride the track rough--not an SLC-type or Arrow-type rough, but more of a bumpy-type rough. It's like the track and/or wheels aren't completely smooth or something. The following offenders come to mind:

--Hydra
--Talon
--Dominator

Hydra seems to be the worst B&M that I've ridden in terms of this type of roughness. I've heard that they were using a mixture of wheel types on Hydra last season.

Is B&M losing their touch, or are the parks not using the correct wheel types and/or proper maintenance? These problems don't seem to occur on some of the older B&Ms, such as Great Bear, B:TR, and Alpengeist. Any thoughts?


coastin' since 1985

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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 2:34 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar Personally, in 4 or so visits, I've had nothing but butter smooth rides on Talon. I only hit Hydra on one day (day after it opened) and it was also riding really smooth.

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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 2:37 PM
I was at Dorney last week and Talon was fine and Hydra is a little bumpy at the bottom of the first drop and that first turn. As for Dominator I think it's a little rough on the flatspins.
#1 Steel-Nitro #1 Wood-Shivering Timbers 137 coasters in track record.
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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 2:37 PM
rollergator's avatar Unnamed sources seem to indicate it's mostly due to failure on the parks' part to replace wheels frequently enough...

The floorlesses, though, they seem to have some OTHER issue...not that I'd call it "roughness" per se, but certainly bumpiness...

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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 2:38 PM
HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar The base of Alpengeist's first drop I remember very vividly the violent shaking that occured.

But yes I've noticed the same thing as well that the newer Beemers seem to have this vibration, I don't consider it rough though. As for Talon, I thought it was smooth as butter. Hydra and Dominator on the otherhand have the vibration.

~Rob Willi

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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 2:52 PM
Talon's is tolerable to me, and I know it's not as bad as Hydra. I'd more expect it on the larger B&Ms, such as Nitro, which has some vibration at the bottom of the first drop.

But for such a small coaster as Hydra, it rides SOOO bumpy! This was last season & this season. It does it at various points throughout the ride--I don't enjoy the ride a whole lot, thanks in part to this bumpiness.

I didn't notice Alpie being awful at the bottom of the drop. The worst part was the turn into the MCBR.

I just wonder what they have done differently with some of the newer ones. I can't very much blame it on maintenance for Hydra, as it was doing it last season in July.

Yea, it kinda does seem like the floorless ones have some "other" issue--I wonder why?

Maybe the ground Hydra stands on is cursed by the "discomfort fairies" :) We know that Hydra is less painful than the monstrosity that it replaced, but to have a B&M that bumpy? I generally like all B&Ms that I ride--the main exceptions being the standups, as I don't care for them much. But Hydra is one B&M that I really just don't care much for--the 3 main reasons being the JoJo roll, the lack of intensity, and the discomfort from the bumpiness. *** Edited 8/9/2006 6:56:56 PM UTC by rablat5***


coastin' since 1985

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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 3:31 PM
SFoGswim's avatar Goliath @ SFoG has a considerable amount of roughness going up the second hill, but without OTSR's, it's not bad at all.
Welcome back, red train, how was your ride?!
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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 3:42 PM
Ride of Steel's avatar

HeyIsntThatRob? said:
The base of Alpengeist's first drop I remember very vividly the violent shaking that occured.

~Rob Willi


Granted I haven't been on the ride since 01, I remember at the bottom of the drop you were always pressed against your seat and you could really REALLY feel the speed. But I don't remember it being rough.

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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 3:54 PM
I ride Talon several times a week since it opened in 2001 (well, except in the offseason of course ;) ) Very rarely have I had a "rough" ride on it, and in those rare instances I can tell from prior experience that it needs a wheel change (and the following day it's smooth as glass, presumably because the wheel was changed). B:TR and Medusa @ SFGAdv, on the other hand, are almost always rough. Given their maintenance record, I'd assume that it's also because of wheel change issues, except they don't change it that often.

Hydra? It's a little bumpy, but it seems par for the course on the floorless design for some reason. Relative to Medusa @ SFGAdv and Scream @ SFMM, it's definitely smoother.


"Life's What You Make It, So Let's Make It Rock!"
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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 3:55 PM
Is a "little" roughness really that bad? Especially considering the rap B&M usually get of being too buttery smooth?
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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 4:03 PM
I've never had a problem with Talon but quite a few floorless coasters have seemed bumpy. Thankfully Kraken seems to remain smooth, and thus remains one of my favorite steel coasters of any kind. Not sure what Hydra's issue is, although gator makes sense. But I wonder why they would ignore the need to replace wheels on that coaster while Talon is maintained correctly?
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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 4:27 PM
I like that buttery smooth
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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 4:34 PM
HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar Ride of Steel:

I visited BGW in August of '02 and April of '04, both times I had the same thing on Alpengeist, which I found that to be wierd. I still somewhat enjoyed the ride.

~Rob Willi

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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 4:46 PM
Hydra is DEFINITELY worse than any other B&M in the mid-Atlantic, IMO. The bumpiness is so bad that I think that it may bother my head. Every other B&M that I have ridden is milder in this respect than Hydra (and I've ridden quite a few B&Ms).

I just don't get what's up with Hyrda, and why they don't fix it. It's definitely the worst non-standup B&M that I've ever ridden.


coastin' since 1985

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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 4:56 PM
I can't figure it out either. I see no reason why the thing shouldn't be as smooth as other B&M's. It's not like Dorney neglects their coasters. They may trim their woodie to near-death but at least everything seems to be in good shape.
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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 5:37 PM
Could it be a center of gravity issue? I mean, on an inverted like Talon, your head and shoulders are much closer to the track, and your legs are further away. But on Hydra, your head and shoulders are actually at the end of the moment arm furthest from the track. So any bump or jar is amplified.
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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 5:41 PM
Vater's avatar I honestly don't remember whether or not Hydra was bumpy, but I only rode it a few times in May '05 (CBuzz event), and all I really remember is that the ride itself was not all that exciting...one of the more ho-hum B&Ms I've ridden.

Talon, on the other hand, was excellent.

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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 5:43 PM
At CP, Mantis is just jerky around the twist, it's not due to the wheel. Raptor has always been smooth and it just seems to get better each day.

Old/new wheels make a big difference on these rides I'm guessing.

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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 5:52 PM

dannerman said:
I ride Talon several times a week since it opened in 2001 (well, except in the offseason of course ;) ) Very rarely have I had a "rough" ride on it, and in those rare instances I can tell from prior experience that it needs a wheel change (and the following day it's smooth as glass, presumably because the wheel was changed). B:TR and Medusa @ SFGAdv, on the other hand, are almost always rough. Given their maintenance record, I'd assume that it's also because of wheel change issues, except they don't change it that often.

Actually, generally when wheels are changed the ride gets rougher until they wear a groove into them and stop sliding back and forth as often.

How often do you all think that parks are supposed to replace their wheels? I think that it is interesting that there are people claiming poor maintenance records for rides because of "wheel change issues." Don't you think that wheel changes would be something suggested by the manufacturer for safety's sake? And don't you think that even poor companies would switch them out whenever that time was so that they were not sued for negligence if the ride suffered a catosrophic failure? Believe it or not, there are maintenance records kept on these things, and if a wheel has outlived it's functional lifespan, I don't think *any* park will still be running with it on.

So, how long does everyone think an average wheel life span is? A day? A week? A month? I think the answer would surprise a lot of you.

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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 7:39 PM
I have noticed this issue only on Dominator, but have heard of its presence on Hydra, Scream, Patriot, B:TDK and Goliath at SFOG. It sounds like all of these cases are the same thing, and that is a strong vibration throughout the ride rather than head-banging roughness. It ruined Dominator for me, and was the primary reason why I did not renew my GL add-on this year.

The weird part is that it seems to affect only some rides. Not all floorlesses have this problem (Kraken at SWF is glass smooth) and not all new B&M's have this problem (Sheikra at BGA is glass smooth). This certainly is a unique problem for B&M and I'm sure there's an explanation for it, but it's beyond the enthusiasts' realm of knowledge.

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