I know this has probably been discussed before, but just how much does a coaster's track have to do with the roughness of the ride?
All of the dozens of times I'd gone on Demon at SFGAm, it had been horrifically rough through the corkscrew, but the last time I was there, it was smooth as glass. I immdiately looked towards my friend, and we both had this shocked look, and couldn't figure it out. The ride was absolutely amazing! Was it just a brand new set of wheels, or maybe the temperature or humidity was better, etc.? I have never had such an amazing difference in ride experiences before in my life. How much do the wheels affect the ride? What type of weather is conducive to good rides and which is contributing to worse rides (I'm assuming that it will at least affect speed) ?
I am proud to say my homepark has 3 B&M's, soon to be 4, hopefully.;)
Wheels on steel coasters are replaced pretty often. Every few weeks is common. Every few days is the norm on coasters that really eat wheels. Its first season, Millenium Force was getting less than a full day between wheel changes.
You can usually tell a wheel problem just going up the lift hill. You will feel a thump each time the wheel turns. How closely wheels are fit to the track also effects the ride.
What type of roughness are you talking about here?. Bad wheels are usually running wheels and result in a vertical pounding. The usual complaint on Arrow loopers like Demon is headbanging. This is unlikely to be caused by bad wheels.
Deja Vu doesn't have fastlane, but it has a fastlane line.
Head banging actually starts when the train makes a sudden change of direction and you head tries to go straight. The OTSR then slams into your head. After a couple whacks your head can then start bouncing back and forth as well.
One of the tricks to reducing head banging is to start a turn with a little bit of a turn in the reverse direction just as the track starts to bank into the turn. This causes the train to rotate around your head. This is one of the tricks that B&M uses to get a smooth ride. The constant tracking of the wheels with no free play is also a help.
You can see the reverse turn clearly in this photo of Medusa. http://www.coastergallery.com/1999/GA29.html
If i see this, i won't ride, but if it doesn't appear to be jerking, I actually enjoy the ride. It's not a bad layout, it's just the trains that need a bit of work.
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