How to Change Your Bearings and Maintain Them: Tips to Keep Them in Top Condition


For our latest blog post, we're going to dive into the New York City nitty-gritty committee of changing and maintaining your skate bearings. This isn't just about keeping your wheels spinning; it's about making sure your whip is as smooth and fast as fuck. If you're local, look out for our Free Skateboard Service days where we show you ins and outs of skateboard bearings maintenance.

What You Need to Know About Skate Bearings:

Before we jump into the maintenance part, let's have a quick reminder on what bearings are. Bearings are the small circular devices sitting inside your skateboard wheels. They let your wheels spin freely, making your ride smoother and your tricks slicker.

Step-by-Step Guide to Changing Your Bearings:

Your Tools: You'll need a skate tool (sometimes called a t-tool or y-tool, also you're a tool) or a wrench, a clean rag or cloth, and if you're replacing your current set, then your new bearings as well. Don't forget your speed cream!

Remove the Wheels: Use your skate tool to loosen the axle nuts and take off the wheels.

Pop Out the Old Bearings: Pry out the old bearings from each wheel. Be gentle to avoid damaging your wheels. Top tips for this bit (cuz its sometimes a proper nause)

    • Use the Right Tool: While you can use the axle of your skateboard truck as a lever to remove the bearings, a bearing puller specifically designed for skate bearings is a safer bet. It grips the bearing evenly and pulls it out without exerting uneven pressure on the wheel.
    • Leverage Technique with Skate Tool: If you're using your skate tool or the truck axle, here’s the technique:
    • Position the wheel so that one bearing is facing down over the end of the axle or the notch in your skate tool.
    • Gently apply downward pressure until the bearing pops out slightly.
    • Rotate the wheel and repeat until the bearing comes out evenly. Avoid using excessive force.
    • Heat Can Help: If the bearings are particularly stubborn, a bit of heat can help. Use a hairdryer to gently warm the wheel and bearing. The heat expands the plastic or urethane of the wheel, making it easier to remove the bearing. Be careful not to overheat as it can damage the wheel.
    • Avoid Using Screwdrivers or Sharp Tools: While it might be tempting to use a screwdriver to pry out a stubborn bearing, this can damage the delicate parts of your wheel. Stick to tools meant for skateboards to prevent accidental harm.
    • Patience is Key: Sometimes, the bearings might not pop out on the first try. It's important to be patient and apply steady, even pressure rather than forcing it out quickly. Rushing the process increases the risk of damaging your wheels.

    Clean and Inspect: Wipe down your skateboard wheels with the rag. Check for any cracks or damage.

    Insert New Bearings: Press your new bearings into the wheels. Ensure they're snug and flush against the wheel.

    Apply Speed Cream: This is crucial! Dab a little speed cream on each bearing. It reduces friction and protects against wear and tear.

    Reattach the Wheels: Put the wheels back on the skateboard and tighten the axle nuts. Make sure they're not too tight – the wheels should spin freely.

      Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Bearings in Top Condition:

      1. Regular Cleaning: Clean your bearings every few months. Remove them from the wheels, pop off the shields, and clean them in a bearing cleaner or with isopropyl alcohol.

      2. Lubrication is Key: After cleaning, always re-lubricate your bearings with speed cream. It's the secret sauce for a smooth ride.

      3. Avoid Water and Sand: Water can cause rust, and sand can cause abrasion. Try to keep your bearings dry and clean.

      4. Regular Check-ups: Every time you clean your board, give your bearings a quick spin. If they don't move freely or make a grinding noise, it's maintenance time.

      5. Storage Matters: When you’re not skating, store your skateboard in a dry, cool place to prevent bearing damage.

      Maintaining your skate bearings might seem like a chore, but trust us, the payoff is huge. Not only will your board ride smoother and faster, but you'll also extend the life of your bearings, saving you money in the long run. Remember, a little bit of maintenance goes a long way.


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