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Pinewood Derby Kits - New Wheels and Axles

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I got an email from Pinewood Extreme, one of the online derby suppliers, about some forthcoming changes to the official Pinewood Derby kit. The statement from Pinewood Extreme is below (bad grammar and all).




The new wheel is changes everything. New Molds, New Internal Design, Lighter at 2.6grams, Smaller Diameter, Reduced and Tapered Hub.


There is a new Axle nail too!"


Personally, I think changes to the wheels and axles are well overdue. I think the amount of work required on them has discouraged many scouts from participating in their Pinewood Derby race or from being as competitive if they do. On the axles, I am hoping that BSA is dumping the nails for machined pins, like Awana and some other organizations use. Those type of axles require much less work to get them race ready. Though, this announcement does use the term "nail", so maybe they are not making that extreme of a change.


See also this discussion on Derby Talk for a sneak peek photo of the new wheel design, http://www.derbytalk.com/viewtopic.php?f=37&p=45772#p45772


New wheels and axles may require some packs, districts and councils to tweak their rules. They will also have to consider whether they will be allowing the older wheels and axles.


Hopefully, we will be able to get more information soon on the extent of wheel and axle changes.

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Here's some photos of the new wheels and axles










Old axle (longer) next to new axle (shorter)









This is the response that I got from Bill Launius at Derby Worx:


"Ok, here is the deal. I was in meetings with the B.S.A. last week in Charlotte, NC so I have the REAL SKINNY and the wheels too!!!


The B.S.A. had the current molds as they put it Cleaned up, repaired or replaced since they were getting old and worn. Some of the molds dated back to 1985. THESE up-dated wheels have been slowly introduced into the supply chain since some time late January (I and National supply are surprised that more people have not seen them yet). The B.S.A. dose not consider this to be a big change or improvement, just a reworking of the existing designs due to age and wear, also it is not a announced change or improvement as some of the crazies think it should be and no one was informed at national supply outside of purchasing. I dont understand why everyone thinks the B.S.A. should make like perfect parts for the Pinewood Derby, the real beauty of PWD is teaching, showing and correcting the little imperfections of the existing kit and truly succeeding as a father and son team, if everything is PREFECT then what?


We have several fresh sets that were given to us by the purchasing agent we work with for experimental reasons but there will be a period that we see both designs (whether it is fair or not, the B.S.A. understands very little about the performance and fundamentals of PWD) then once the old existing ones are gone this will be the current wheel. There will be a pretty good period in which the old design is around with existing stock and colored wheels on national supplys shelves.


My bet is the old wheel (in a good base piece) will be still desired and very fast.


Hope this helps.



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  • 3 months later...

These new wheels are starting to show up at more scout shops. Still, it is very hit and miss to find them. So far, people have only reported having found them in black and yellow and just in the wheel/axle sets, not in the car kits.


Packs, districts and councils should take a look at their rules and see if there will be issues with these new wheels. The new wheels are significantly lighter, slightly smaller in diameter and have coned hubs.

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  • 1 year later...

The newer BSA wheels have definitely been a nice change, for the most part.


Unfortunately, Revell has jumped in and has started producing wheels under a BSA license. These are made in China and the feedback that I have seen on these so far is not so good. It is like taking a step back to the older wheels.



I understand trying to keep costs down, but BSA is an American organization and increasingly the stuff you buy from BSA is being made in China. It seems that they should make more effort to provide things made in USA.


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