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New Train Wheels

daewoodaewoo TexasMember Posts: 336
edited July 19 in Collecting
I was reading a review of the new Hidden Side train set (found at Promobricks) and found that the wheels are new.  Instead of a metal bar connecting two wheels, each wheel will be independently connected at two friction points.  I'm not sure I like this idea.  On the one hand, this set up might make curves easier to navigate since both wheels will be able to roll at their own speed.  On the other, two friction points, plus the fact that it's all plastic, may not wear well with use, especially when run continuously for long periods of time.  What do you guys think?

Comments

  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,383
    My guess is that may be that way for these Hidden line sets, but not the way for typical train sets.
  • LyichirLyichir United StatesMember Posts: 735
    My guess is that may be that way for these Hidden line sets, but not the way for typical train sets.
    I can't fathom Lego introducing parts like this for a single set if they planned to continue producing the old wheels for other themes. It's not like Lego makes that many train sets overall...

    My guess is that the benefit of this, for Lego, is that more of the components can be produced in-house on Lego's equipment, instead of having to order metal parts from a separate supplier. The question of how these stand up to long-term wear is valid, and I suppose will only be answered with certainty after these parts have been in use long enough to see the results of that.

    As a non-train builder, I'm mostly intrigued by the potential these parts have for alternative uses. The wheel base has more connection points on the underside, and the wheels might as well if those axles are a standardized width like a 3.2mm bar.



    sid3windrAanchir
  • darthlewis20darthlewis20 west sussexMember Posts: 10
    I prefer the current axles and carriers make a decent modern style bogie for coach,wagon or locos
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,383
    Lyichir said:
    My guess is that may be that way for these Hidden line sets, but not the way for typical train sets.
    I can't fathom Lego introducing parts like this for a single set if they planned to continue producing the old wheels for other themes. It's not like Lego makes that many train sets overall...

    My guess is that the benefit of this, for Lego, is that more of the components can be produced in-house on Lego's equipment, instead of having to order metal parts from a separate supplier. The question of how these stand up to long-term wear is valid, and I suppose will only be answered with certainty after these parts have been in use long enough to see the results of that.

    As a non-train builder, I'm mostly intrigued by the potential these parts have for alternative uses. The wheel base has more connection points on the underside, and the wheels might as well if those axles are a standardized width like a 3.2mm bar.



    Time will tell, but who said it would be only for one set? That is not what I meant in my initial post. LEGO seems to make a 'train' set for other themes that really is not a train set in the traditional sense (either push or tiny, and maybe LEGO just wanted a molded alternative to keep those sets cheaper). I just do not see LEGO making this the norm for the expensive train sets, again because of the possible issues with such a pin instead of a steel axle making it easier for motors (and considering how expensive the train sets are, I doubt LEGO would want to put parts likely to wear out in those).
  • piratemania7piratemania7 New EnglandMember Posts: 2,080
    edited July 20
    I wonder if the parts are going to be limited to the set or few sets perhaps as stated above. I doubt LEGO would haphazardly go to a new wheel without thinking about the wear and tear piece.  Without the set it’s hard to evaluate.
    madforLEGO
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,421
    I don't believe they will replace the metal train wheels on the higher end sets. Lego does sometimes use the cheaper parts in the cheaper sets like #4708 and #4758. Even the EN used technic shafts on the front trucks  which I absolutely hated.  Lego used the friction pin style on the older 4.5v and 12v trains and those increase rolling resistance considerably. 
  • LyichirLyichir United StatesMember Posts: 735
    Lyichir said:
    My guess is that may be that way for these Hidden line sets, but not the way for typical train sets.
    I can't fathom Lego introducing parts like this for a single set if they planned to continue producing the old wheels for other themes. It's not like Lego makes that many train sets overall...

    My guess is that the benefit of this, for Lego, is that more of the components can be produced in-house on Lego's equipment, instead of having to order metal parts from a separate supplier. The question of how these stand up to long-term wear is valid, and I suppose will only be answered with certainty after these parts have been in use long enough to see the results of that.

    As a non-train builder, I'm mostly intrigued by the potential these parts have for alternative uses. The wheel base has more connection points on the underside, and the wheels might as well if those axles are a standardized width like a 3.2mm bar.



    Time will tell, but who said it would be only for one set? That is not what I meant in my initial post. LEGO seems to make a 'train' set for other themes that really is not a train set in the traditional sense (either push or tiny, and maybe LEGO just wanted a molded alternative to keep those sets cheaper). I just do not see LEGO making this the norm for the expensive train sets, again because of the possible issues with such a pin instead of a steel axle making it easier for motors (and considering how expensive the train sets are, I doubt LEGO would want to put parts likely to wear out in those).
    The thing is that even non-City, non-Creator trains are such a rarity that I can’t picture the cost savings per set for not including a metal axle outweighing the cost increase of not one but two new molded elements. It seems to me that if Lego intended to continue using the existing train wheels, it’d be far cheaper to continue using them even for the rare trains like this one that aren’t designed to be motorized.

    I suppose time will tell.
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,822
    edited July 21
    Lyichir said:
    My guess is that may be that way for these Hidden line sets, but not the way for typical train sets.
    I can't fathom Lego introducing parts like this for a single set if they planned to continue producing the old wheels for other themes. It's not like Lego makes that many train sets overall...

    My guess is that the benefit of this, for Lego, is that more of the components can be produced in-house on Lego's equipment, instead of having to order metal parts from a separate supplier. The question of how these stand up to long-term wear is valid, and I suppose will only be answered with certainty after these parts have been in use long enough to see the results of that.

    As a non-train builder, I'm mostly intrigued by the potential these parts have for alternative uses. The wheel base has more connection points on the underside, and the wheels might as well if those axles are a standardized width like a 3.2mm bar.



    Time will tell, but who said it would be only for one set? That is not what I meant in my initial post. LEGO seems to make a 'train' set for other themes that really is not a train set in the traditional sense (either push or tiny, and maybe LEGO just wanted a molded alternative to keep those sets cheaper). I just do not see LEGO making this the norm for the expensive train sets, again because of the possible issues with such a pin instead of a steel axle making it easier for motors (and considering how expensive the train sets are, I doubt LEGO would want to put parts likely to wear out in those).
    I mean, LEGO has gone ahead and used plastic axles in sets like #10261-1 and #70922-1 and I haven't heard about too many fans encountering issues with those. It's possible that the development process for those roller coaster elements is what gave them the opportunity to figure out the right geometries and/or the right materials to make all-plastic axles viable.

    For that matter, #10194, #10219, #10254, and #60098 have used ordinary Technic pins or axles to attach several of their wheels, even the ones that aren't linked to a motor.

    If for some bizarre reason LEGO decided to introduce a new train wheel and wheel holder without first making sure they'd be adequate for the vast majority of sets that they'd be relevant to, then they could always make the Technic style train wheels or axles the standard for all train wheels in big City or Creator Expert sets.
  • Baby_YodaBaby_Yoda The world's backsideMember Posts: 1,247
    I wonder if Lego's found some sort of problem with the metal rod element that caused them to (potentially) switch over. They seem fine to me, though. Has anyone else experienced issues with the current train wheels, especially long-term/after prolonged use?
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,421
    ^ Lego has been producing that wheel since 1991. I seriously doubt they have found a problem. 
  • LyichirLyichir United StatesMember Posts: 735
    oldtodd33 said:
    ^ Lego has been producing that wheel since 1991. I seriously doubt they have found a problem. 
    If there were a problem that needed addressing in such an old part, it would likely have more to do with something like updated child safety standards in a particular market than some persistent quality issue. That said, there are other potential reasons for the update including wanting to rely less on external manufacturers.
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,822
    Lyichir said:
    oldtodd33 said:
    ^ Lego has been producing that wheel since 1991. I seriously doubt they have found a problem. 
    If there were a problem that needed addressing in such an old part, it would likely have more to do with something like updated child safety standards in a particular market than some persistent quality issue. That said, there are other potential reasons for the update including wanting to rely less on external manufacturers.
    On the "child safety" note, I wonder whether the new train wheel might make it more viable for LEGO to release train-themed 4+ sets! After all, if City-age kids like trains and Duplo-age kids like trains, it seems like a no-brainer that the age set in between would like trains as well. Particularly given the overlap a 4+ age range would have with the core audience for stuff like "Thomas the Tank Engine".
    Lyichirgmonkey76Baby_Yoda
  • piratemania7piratemania7 New EnglandMember Posts: 2,080
    One of the biggest problems I seem to have with the metal rods and maybe with the train wheels in itself is the dust.  Dust tends to settle and get stuck on the metal bars and wheels thus slowing the train down and sometimes making an awful noise.
    Baby_Yoda
  • LyichirLyichir United StatesMember Posts: 735
    Aanchir said:
    Lyichir said:
    My guess is that may be that way for these Hidden line sets, but not the way for typical train sets.
    I can't fathom Lego introducing parts like this for a single set if they planned to continue producing the old wheels for other themes. It's not like Lego makes that many train sets overall...

    My guess is that the benefit of this, for Lego, is that more of the components can be produced in-house on Lego's equipment, instead of having to order metal parts from a separate supplier. The question of how these stand up to long-term wear is valid, and I suppose will only be answered with certainty after these parts have been in use long enough to see the results of that.

    As a non-train builder, I'm mostly intrigued by the potential these parts have for alternative uses. The wheel base has more connection points on the underside, and the wheels might as well if those axles are a standardized width like a 3.2mm bar.



    Time will tell, but who said it would be only for one set? That is not what I meant in my initial post. LEGO seems to make a 'train' set for other themes that really is not a train set in the traditional sense (either push or tiny, and maybe LEGO just wanted a molded alternative to keep those sets cheaper). I just do not see LEGO making this the norm for the expensive train sets, again because of the possible issues with such a pin instead of a steel axle making it easier for motors (and considering how expensive the train sets are, I doubt LEGO would want to put parts likely to wear out in those).
    I mean, LEGO has gone ahead and used plastic axles in sets like #10261-1 and #70922-1 and I haven't heard about too many fans encountering issues with those. It's possible that the development process for those roller coaster elements is what gave them the opportunity to figure out the right geometries and/or the right materials to make all-plastic axles viable.
    Having just tested out the roller coaster carts on some track I got recently, if the new train wheels are anywhere near as buttery smooth as the roller coaster wheels, they might even be an improvement.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,473
    In my experience, the metal axles give considerably less rolling resistance than the plastic Technic axles.

    So much so that when I used to display trains at shows, I would replace all the Technic axles that I could with the metal ones.

    I would be very surprised if these new plastic ones don't increase rolling resistance. If Lego have indeed replaced the metal axles with them, I can only assume they've done so on grounds of cost or bringing production in-house.
    madforLEGOgmonkey76oldtodd33
  • daewoodaewoo TexasMember Posts: 336
    I'll buy a set when it goes on sale just to see how they perform.  But unless I see a significant benefit, I'll stick with the metal bar setup for my trains.  I've purchased ball bearings that significantly reduce friction, which saves battery power.  I just don't see any way that the new wheels are an improvement outside of maybe as a cost savings for TLG.
  • CyberdragonCyberdragon Maryland, U.S.AMember Posts: 385
    edited July 27
    daewoo said:
    I'll buy a set when it goes on sale just to see how they perform.  But unless I see a significant benefit, I'll stick with the metal bar setup for my trains.  I've purchased ball bearings that significantly reduce friction, which saves battery power.  I just don't see any way that the new wheels are an improvement outside of maybe as a cost savings for TLG.
    People who run trains in long shows/setups use track powered systems (at least the sane ones) not the crappy battery trains that just run dead (or they convert them). So people who do big train setups won't have to worry about reliability of the wheels as they won't be using those types of wheels anyway. I mean, overall longevity with many short runs aka the lifespan of the set is still a concern, just only for people who abuse battery sets XD.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,473
    ^ I used the li-po batteries for my train layout at shows. I got into Lego trains long after the 9V was discontinued, and as I have over 750 pieces of straight track, paying upwards of £2 per piece for the 9V would have been far too expensive, and therefore I consider myself 'sane' for using the PF li-po battery instead.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,949
    I would imagine it is more cost or production issues rather than anything to do with performance. LEGO uses very little metal, so production of metal axles probably costs significantly more for them than a regular plastic part.



    I learnt this bearings trick from EB a few years ago, and tend to use it on any train I want to run for more than a few minutes.


    madforLEGO
  • daewoodaewoo TexasMember Posts: 336
    daewoo said:
    I'll buy a set when it goes on sale just to see how they perform.  But unless I see a significant benefit, I'll stick with the metal bar setup for my trains.  I've purchased ball bearings that significantly reduce friction, which saves battery power.  I just don't see any way that the new wheels are an improvement outside of maybe as a cost savings for TLG.
    People who run trains in long shows/setups use track powered systems (at least the sane ones) not the crappy battery trains that just run dead (or they convert them). So people who do big train setups won't have to worry about reliability of the wheels as they won't be using those types of wheels anyway. I mean, overall longevity with many short runs aka the lifespan of the set is still a concern, just only for people who abuse battery sets XD.
    Not all of us who display have what is now very expensive track.  I also don't like the limited geometries if sticking with Lego product.
  • piratemania7piratemania7 New EnglandMember Posts: 2,080
    I noticed how on my city layout a very simple track layout takes up a lot of room.  The curves really do you in.  I think you can have a nice city layout or a nice train layout but not both at least not without a lot of space for it all.
    LittleLori
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