SLC's roughness

Thursday, July 10, 2003 2:57 PM
Alright.. How can rides like T2 be really rough or whatnot, but say an SLC built the same year or a year later wont be as rough? How do SLC's age exactly? What happens from the time it opens to now?

Does the track wear slowly? If they replace parts on trains, how do they really get rough? Thanks.

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Six Flags Worlds of Adventure Online

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Thursday, July 10, 2003 3:03 PM
Part of the reason that T2 is rougher than most (all) SLC's is because it was Vekoma's very first attempt at an SLC. It gave them the opprotunity to work out the kinks for their later coasters.

--Ryan "The SLC needs some TLC."

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This is my first signature. Please go easy on me.

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Thursday, July 10, 2003 3:27 PM
Actually El Condor was the first SLC, and believe it or not, I did not find it too rough at all.

I think a big part of "roughness" could be contributed to maintenance.

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Thursday, July 10, 2003 4:12 PM
I guess as the years progress the axles get worn and the tolerances are loosened. Kong is one of the older SLC's and it is considerably rougher than lets say Serial Thriller at SFWoA

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Bid my blood to run, before I come undone...

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Thursday, July 10, 2003 4:24 PM
I ended up at WA for a concert and rode Hangman and was not impressed at all in fact it was a very very rough ride
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Thursday, July 10, 2003 4:39 PM
As much as I disliked T2 when it was new, I thought that Serial Thriller(SFWoA) was butter smooth when it was new. Was I surprised that first year at Geauga. Then the second year the ride seemed a little rougher, but still not too bad. Then its third season, after the trains were overhauled during the winter, that ride became as bad as all the other SLC's I've ridden...if not one of the worst. It's too bad really, as the ride was built in a beautiful setting.

Wood - anything else is just an imitation

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Thursday, July 10, 2003 4:52 PM
Sorry, but it has nothing to do with the age of the coaster but rather the way in which Vekoma designed the wheel assembly *and* the way the seat support is designed and attached to the wheel assembly. Here's the short explanation:

B&M uses spring-loaded wheels assemblies, meaning all wheels are always touching the rails. Smooth, right? Vekoma does not, meaning there is a gap between the wheels and the rail. The gap creates soem of the roughness you feel. Arrow's coasters [with the exception of X] are the same, but Arrow also had issues with track design, especially in the transisitions, but that's another story.

Secondly, if you look at how the seat support is attached to the axle you'll notice the shock absorber-type cylanders jutting out on an angle. The lower portion of the seat support is actually designed to swing [due to B&M's patent on a fixed design] and it's the cylanders that are *supposed* to keep the seats steady, but there is some slight movement.

Combine the wheel gaps with slight movement of the seats and you get a rough ride. Proper maintenance of the wheel assemblies and "shocks" will result in smoother rides but an SLC will never be as smooth as a B&M invert.

I'm sure there is actually more and someone like Rideman can take it from here.

mOOSH

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A random Mooshter's Dawntionary listing: Balderdash [n.] - a rapidly receeding hairline.

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Thursday, July 10, 2003 5:28 PM
Actually Mamoosh, we're both right. You're right in the assessment about the wheel bogies and the way the cars are affixed to them. And I'm right in assessing the fact that Vekoma rides don't age well. Especially if wheels wear down and gap tolerences increase too much. Tensioners on the bogies would aleviate a lot of that busyness during the ride though. I just didn't feel like getting into all the stuff you mentioned on your post. Metal coasters tend to be insignificant with me. But that's just me.

Wood - anything else is just an imitation

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Thursday, July 10, 2003 6:34 PM
The Togo stand ups also have the springloaded wheels which are in contact with the rail at all times & yet they're rough as well,so it's not entirely in the wheel mounts.

I don't think there'd be any patent issues with vekoma using a rigid frame design for their trains if they wanted to,after all if B&M patented the vehicle & track design then vekoma & intamin are in violation of such patents for even daring to produce their own inverted vehicle/track configurations.

Even if there are patent issues any designer can simply go to the patent holder(in this example B&M) & ask for permission to develop their own version of the same vehicle type.

Now the track is the main problem with the SLC (along with almost all of their designs),vekoma borrowed the basic corkscrew track dimensions from Arrow & as a result the guage & transitions aren't made to the optimum banking/angle,which in turn probably created the need for extra clearance between the guide wheels & track to avoid binding in the curves,drops & pull outs.

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Thursday, July 10, 2003 6:50 PM
I don't really find TOGO coasters rought, per se, but it's just that the Trains are so dang uncomfortable, and that is what makes them painful. And Moosh is right about the Patent thing, I learned alot in Business Law about such things. Vekoma may have went and asked for B&M's permission, but may have been denied. However, if they come to the same type of invention by different means(changing the rigidity of the trains to slightly swinging Suspended Coaster trains, which they in theory could have asked Arrow for, since they had a working relationship, or just desinged theirs different from Arrow), then there is no Patent laws against that. A patent protects an idea, but doesn't prevent someone else from going out, changing the way you get to that Idea's conclusion, and making you own.:)

It's like, if I invented Mac and Cheese and made noodles out of wheat and cheddar, but someone else came along and made mac and Cheese with Barley Noodles and Provolone, we may have had the same idea, but went about it totally different for much of the same thing, though not quite.

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"Gee, I wish I was witty!";)

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Thursday, July 10, 2003 6:57 PM
I ride Kong regularly and I've been on Serial Thriller. I find Kong to be much more smooth. My thoughts of SLCs are "fun, kinda uninspired, but fun." Togo... now that's a different story.

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www.CaliforniaCoasterNews.com
www.SFMWZone.com

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Thursday, July 10, 2003 7:03 PM
I find a lot of the pain/nausea from SLC's come from their excessive G's. I don't know if anybody else notices it, but on SLCs and Boomerangs, I tend to get "sparkly vision" due to the high g-forces because I don't tihnk the pull outs are very well designed. Then again, that could just be me, but I feel like the G-forces like to "spike" at high levels very hard on Vekoma rides.

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I play in a really awful garage band, but it's still fun.

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Friday, July 11, 2003 5:23 AM
Age, I have found, has little (if anything) to do with the smoothness of an SLC. Wildwood's Great Nor'easter, built in 1995, was amongst the first of the Vekoma SLCs built in the country, and is still very smooth. I don't know how Morey's manages to keep butter-smooth SLCs and Boomerangs, but take a spin on their rides and you'll be shocked that old (or new) Vekomas can be so enjoyable.

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-Rob
A.C.E. member since 1990
Posting @ Coasterbuzz since 2000
E.C.C. member since 2002

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Friday, July 11, 2003 5:43 AM
Exactly! I was shocked how awesome Great Nor'Easter was, not only in smoothness but in the amazing amount of foot choppers, arm choppers, etc. A front seat ride on that SLC is freakin' scary...and in a good way!

Best. SLC. Ever.

mOOSH

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A random Mooshter's Dawntionary listing: Balderdash [n.] - a rapidly receeding hairline.

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Friday, July 11, 2003 5:45 AM
Don't all SLCs have the same foot choppers and arm choppers? Or do different parks modify the support designs?

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I play in a really awful garage band, but it's still fun.

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Friday, July 11, 2003 5:55 AM
The last time I was at Wildwood in '98, the Nor'Easter was rough and tumble. I loved the experience of the ride with all the leg choppers, but I found it extremely rough at the time.

Wood - anything else is just an imitation

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Friday, July 11, 2003 5:55 AM
Since you ask, Craig, I can only assume you haven't been to Morey's. With Great Nor'Easter it's not only the choppers provided by the supports and track but the rides and waterslides that have been build next to, around, and *inside* the layout!

Look Here. Here. Here. Here. Here.

mOOSH

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A random Mooshter's Dawntionary listing: Balderdash [n.] - a rapidly receeding hairline.


*** This post was edited by Mamoosh 7/11/2003 9:56:39 AM ***

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Friday, July 11, 2003 6:06 AM
This came up at Westcoaster recently (what's the world coming to when Aussies frequent a site dedicated to Californian coasters?!). I'll regurgitate what I can remember of my posts over there on the topic (without sounding too much like a first date after a break-up - "She used to love the chicken here!").

The unsprung wheels have a bit to do with the roughness. When it comes time to change direction, the train does the shuffle, and you'll feel (and hear) a pretty nasty jolt once contact is made. But this really doesn't cause the continuous headbanging etc. caused by the worst of this model. It might count for a few of the nastier sections (over here, in the turn out of the in-lines, there's an aweful jolt that feels like there was a few inches of track missing).

I like to think that the track design is essentially well done. Would anyone here happen to know if our friend Werner Stengel had anything to do with this ride? I suspect that this ride uses most/all the whiz-bang new-fangled methods of design that make our beloved B&Ms so smooth (rider heartline not track; gradual banking, fancy transitions etc.).

Problems are all to do with the trains. You've got none of the articulation and dampening that B&M use. Vekoma use a wheel compound that seems a little too hard for the job. It means that parks don't need to replace them quite as often (in a recent rehab of one of our Lethal Weapon's trains, after pulling the entire train to bits and rebuilding it, it was great to see the same original wheel set in place once it was back in commission), but also results in a less than forgiving ride. If they softened up a little and used a decent compound, you'd get a less bumpy ride.

Now, the crux of the problem I think stems from those horrid restraints they use. Just look at them. Aside from using a material matched in hardness only by the wheel compound, they've got these earpads made from granite an inch from your head, so you don't slam your neck into the hard plastic lip on the restraint. Look at those rider-view shots you see of the B&M inverteds on coaster specials. The head doesn't exactly stay still - it's wobbling from side to side throughout the course of the ride. The fact that there's nothing there for the head to hit is what makes this ride so smooth (having never seen or ridden one in real life).

If Vekoma got out and designed a new restraint for these things that was at least softer, and less in the way, you'd have a somewhat decent ride. The restraint they put on the suspended Roller Skaters (and Chessington's retrofitted Vampire) are a start, but the hardness is still the issue here.

Of course, fix the wheels (springload and soften), get decent restraints, make a few other significant changes, and you've got a ride formally known as Deja Vu. I guess it's not an easy job.

Even if there are patent issues any designer can simply go to the patent holder (in this example B&M) & ask for permission to develop their own version of the same vehicle type.

(Coming from someone that generally despises the fictitious transcripts we get around here):

Vekoma Dude: "Hey Walt and Claude! We're making a cheaper version of your Inverted coaster - one of the most revolutionary rides ever created. Mind if we borrow your plans so we can diminish your market share?"


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Total Thrills Amusement Guide
Australia's Premier Source for Thrills!

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Friday, July 11, 2003 6:15 AM
Interesting points auscoasterman. You're hired!!

Wood - anything else is an imitation
*** This post was edited by Thrillerman 7/11/2003 10:26:36 AM ***

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Friday, July 11, 2003 6:36 AM
The newer restraints on the SLCs like the ones now on T2 (and I think SFWOA got them this year too for ST) seem to make the ride bearable as far as head banging are concerned. I positively enjoyed my rides on T2. I happen to love SLCs. I like the compact layout with all the foot choppers and tight, intense action. I found that riding towards the front is the way to go as there is much more headbanging in the back of the train. I got one front seat ride on T2 and I had an absolute blast. My only complaint about the restraints, however, is that they restrict your shoulder movement too much so it is difficult to put your hands up.

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Bob Hansen
Resident Airtime Whore

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