Bent Pinewood Derby Axles: The Pinewood Derby Axle Bending Craze Continues
Earlier this season we posted a short article on Pre-Bent Pinewood Derby Axles. Derby Monkey sponsored a YouTube video by Mark Rober. In this video Mark discusses how to use science to build a fast Pinewood Derby car. He describes how bent Pinewood Derby axles can be a huge benefit in reducing friction and adding speed to the car. This video has now had more than 1,200,000 views and climbing. This has helped to ignite the bent Pinewood Derby Axles craze.
Customers have flocked to the Derby Monkey website to purchase polished and pre bent Pinewood Derby axles and various Pinewood Derby axle bending tools. Its clear that most dads don’t mind spending a few extra bucks to help give their scout’s car a distinct advantage.
So, do bent Pinewood Derby axles really speed up a derby car? The answer is yes if the bends are precise and proper alignment procedures are followed.
Friction is the greatest enemy to the speed of a Pinewood Derby car. A serious point source of friction is where the wheel hub rubs against the car body. During the race, the wheels migrate back and forth on the axle shaft and make contact with the car body. Occasionally, a wheel will migrate into the body and stay there creating a braking effect all the way down the track.
Most experts agree that its best if the wheel hubs never touch the body at all. The only way to accomplish this is to cant (bend) both rear axles up. We want to bend both rear axles up so that the wheels migrate outward toward the inside of the axle head and not inward toward the car body. It is true that this process simply shifts the wheel friction from the car body to the axle head however; the amount of friction is greatly reduced especially if you put an excellent polish on the inside of the axle head.
The NEW Derby Monkey Pre Bent Pinewood Derby Axles are awesome. They are actually the Derby Worx Viper Stainless Steel 2-Groove Axles. These are the most advanced Pinewood Derby axles on the market. These axles are slightly pre-bent (canted) with a precise 2.5 degree bend in order to decrease friction and increase speed! These axles come highly polished on the shaft and inside the head. They also have grooves to serve as lubrication reservoirs and to reduce wheel to axle contact.
Typically, both rear axles are bent so that the wheels will migrate away from the car body in order to eliminate the wheel to body friction and increase speed. The dominant front axle is also bent so that you can easily adjust the alignment of the car to either roll perfectly straight or to turn the car into a Rail Rider and significantly improve speed. These super-fast axles come already bent so that you can quickly and easily install and blow the doors off of the competition.
May the craze continue.