Last Updated on January 23, 2021 by Robert Bell
Skateboard bearings are responsible for the smooth and joyful ride of the skateboard. when it is used in a wet, environment, bearings in skate wheels get moist and dust and grit settle down in wheel bearings, which cause rust and wear and tear inside the bearing, now how to clean the roller skate bearings? And keep it roll smoothly,
The question which every skate roller has in their mind. To preserve the life of your roller skates, maintaining the skate’s bearings is essential. So it is highly recommended that skate bearings should be regularly cleaned and lubricated. Many skaters agree that this should be done after each use to maximize the lifespan, durability, and speed of a skate’s wheels. Clean bearings allow for an easy, effortless roll for a skater of any type or level.
Professional skaters recommend avoiding skating in the sand, water, dirt, or humid conditions. These conditions can limit the performance of a skate bearing. Cleaning the bearings will decrease normal wear-and-tear and increase the performance, and prevent the wheels from seizing up.
How Important Skateboard Bearings Are?
Bearings are the essential part of the skateboard to roll. Bearings are rated by ABEC ratings. ABEC number system uses odd numbers, ranging from 1 to 9.the higher the number, the tighter the tolerance of the bearing.
Bearings uses for industrial purposes are designed for radial loads. Because in industrial use, bearings spin at incredible speed in one direction. For these functions, a higher level of precession is required. But skateboarders can’t spin wheels fast enough for the ABEC rating to play a significant role in enhancing their performance.
The ABEC committee doesn’t test for axial or side loads. Skateboarding exerts immense axial loads on bearings when skaters slide sideways or boards land on their rails, flexing the wheels over the bearings. Bearing components can deform or be damaged by heavy or repeated axial loads, especially if they are made to a high tolerance.
This very reason, we have “Skate Tested Bearings” or “Skate Rated Bearings” These are usually more resistant and have been specifically developed to meet the demands of skateboarding; for instance, the impact on the bearings when landing tricks, or the lateral forces when turning.
There are, of course, always new and exciting developments in the realm of bearings. There are now skateboard bearings with parts made out of titanium or extra-hard balls made of tempered ceramic. These special technologies offer a longer lifespan and are naturally also more expensive.
Why Do Skateboard Bearings Get Dirty?
If you roll your skateboard in dusty, dirt, water, sand, mud, etc conditions, your bearings will eventually get dirt and wet. When they become dirty, the wheel will not spin freely and they will get noisy. Moisture causes rust and dirt cause to wear and tear inside the bearing. Don’t lubricate the bearings while it still dirty.
Hazards Of Dirty Skateboard Bearings
Riding the skateboard while the bearings are still dirty or un-lubricated will cause you to run the risk of permanently damaging them or yourself. Dirt increases friction, which causes extra heat and can eventually cause the bearing to “freeze up” or broke down. Is it bad to skate on wet ground? Because it will cause rust which weakens or even destroy the bearings.
Why Is It Necessary To Clean Skateboard Bearings?
After some time, when you skateboard in a dirty and wet environment, dust, grit accumulate in skateboard bearings. Due to this, it gets dirty. It will not spin smoothly, become rusty and noisy. Your skateboard will lose speed and a comfortable ride. Always keep your skateboard bearing dirt-free, moist free, and lubricate after cleaning. Moist create rust and dirt will destroy the smoothness of the bearing causing friction and noise.
How Often Should You Clean Skateboard Bearings?
The smooth and fast ride of a skateboard depends on the condition of the bearings. As the main parts of the skateboard, bearings can make a drastic impact on the speed and performance of your ride. Over time dirt and grit collect in the bearings which results in the bearings slowing down. It depends on how often you skate.
Cleaning of bearings depends on the environment you are skating in. usually, you should clean the bearings once in one to three months. If you skate several times a month in an environment that is not clean then you should shine your bearings once a month, but it depends on how dirty it is?
Can You Clean Bearings With Water?
You should never clean your skateboard bearing just with water. Because cleaning bearing with water, it gets rusted and will destroy the bearings. If bearings get wet, it results to disassemble the bearings, and cleaning, drying, and lubricating processes should be done accordingly. So possibly avoid skateboard from water.
How Do You Clean Skateboard Bearings?
Skate bearings need to be clean after a reasonable time of use. If you did not clean it properly, it will get destroyed. Luckily the cleaning process is so easy that you can clean it at home easily. For this, you will have the proper tools to do the job.
Using the wrong tools will not only damaged the components but can also make you pay more. To clean the bearings, first, you should disassemble the wheels from the skateboard. Then pop out the bearings from the wheels. Details of removing wheels and bearings are given in the segments below. For all these processes the tools are listed below: –
Main Required Tools
|Skateboard Tool, T Skate Tool|
|lubricant Bones Skate Bearings|
|IRWIN VISE-GRIP Long Nose Pliers|
Step 1) Removing Skateboard Wheels
Removing wheels from skate, you should use proper tools, such as a socket wrench, ratchet, or skate tool. To loosen the nuts of the wheel, Hold the board steady and apply firm pressure to loosen the nuts holding the wheel. Remember whenever you use improper tools such as hammer and chisel or pliers instead of wrench or ratchet, you will just ruin the job.
While you are working on skateboard removing wheels, it is easy to lose or misplace nuts, washers, or some other necessary parts. To prevent this you should store these parts in a container or plastic bag.
Step 2) Removing Skateboard Bearings From The Deck
Removing bearings from wheels, again you should use proper tools, such as some specialized tools for removing bearing from the wheel are Rollerbones Bearing Tool and PowerDyne Bearing Puller/Press.
If you don’t have proper tools, you can use a thick metal rod thin enough to go through the opening of the bearing where the axel usually goes through. Settle the metal rod on the bearing from the opposite side and tap the metal rod gently with the hammer.
Removing the bearing with the help of a metal rod may cause damage to the bearing, so you must be very careful. On the other hand, if you have no tools to pop out the bearings from the wheels, you can still do it just to put down barely the wheel on the skate axil. Hook the axil tip inside the bearing.
Slowly and gently push the wheel downward to pop out the bearing. Although it is not the right way to pop out the bearings, so you must do it with great care otherwise probably bearings as well as, the wheel can be damaged easily during this process.
Step 3) Remove Skateboard Bearings Seals/Shields
There is some protection given to bearings against water, dirt, and grit, this protection is called shields or seals. Although these shields or seals are entitled to protect the bearings, they are not enough. Bearings get moist and dirty. So the bearings need to be cleaned properly. But before cleaning the bearings, first, you have to take off the shields or seals that you have on your bearings.
Bearings have three different types of covers, rubber seals, pressed-in rubber shields, and removable metal shields held in by C-ring. Removing rubber seals is easy. You just need to use a paper clip and poke it on the inside of the inner ring (just a little bit) and pry it out. Putting the seal back in place is just as easy just lay it back on, top-flat, and just push around the edge until it snaps back into place.
To remove metal shields, you just need to take a thumbtack, a pin, or a needle, move a pin or needle around the inside of the outer race of the bearing to locate the end of the C-clip, stick the pin or needle into that opening of the C-clip and pry it out. Completely remove C-clip. To get the shield off, just tap the bearing on the surface and the shield will fall out.
To remove the fixed shield, pierce a pin or needle into the shield near the inner race. Slowly pry the shield from bearing, completely remove the shield.
Step 4) Use Water-Based Citrus Cleaner
For cleaning your bearings, stay away from dangerous chemicals such as acetone, mineral spirit, gasoline, Emmy K, rubbing alcohol. They are highly inflammable, cause skin irritants, and emit hazardous fumes that can cause breathing problems.
The water-based citrus cleaners are the safest option to use for bearing cleaning. These are environment friendly. These are also non-hazardous. Which gives no harm to the environment as well as to the human. As these are water-based, it leaves a small residue on the surface. To eliminate this problem you should dry the bearings with a soft cloth and lubricate the bearings.
Step 5) Use lubricant
After cleaning the bearings it becomes dry. Dry bearings can spin freely but it creates friction, causing the bearings to heat up during skate ride and eventually broke it down. For smooth spin of the bearings and to prevent it from breaking down it should be lubricated with good lubricants.
Step 6) The Installation Part
After cleaning and lubricating your bearings properly, it’s time to reinstall them into the wheel. For this purpose, again proper tools should be used. The improper tools can easily damage the shield of the bearing which causes friction and slow down your bearing. Using proper bearing press or tool will press only on the outer ring of the bearing during insertion.
Align the bearing properly while pressing it back into the wheel so that your wheel spins freely, quietly, and smoothly. After installing if they don’t spin quietly or smoothly then you will have to check back the cleaning process to find out is incorrectly installed. Then do the job according to need.
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The smooth and joyful ride of the skateboard depends upon the condition of the wheel bearings. If you take care of bearings and kept it clean properly then you will enjoy the ride. It will also make the skateboard bearings last much longer. However, if you do not clean them properly and regularly chances are they will give up on you soon. You will not be able to use them for long due to their reduced performance.
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