Tuesday, February 21, 2012

How to Change Skateboard Bearings

Remove Old Bearing

Gather the proper tools. A skate key will work, but you can substitute a basic screwdriver and wrench.

Remove the wheels with your skate key. If you have shields installed, you must remove those as well. Keep your spacers, if you are using them, to use with the new bearings.

Apply pressure with the skate axle to pop the bearings off. You can also use a screwdriver or a skate key that includes a removal nub, but the easiest way is to slowly pry the bearing out with the axle. Make sure only the tip of the axle is inside the bearing and it is not touching the wheel.

Pry the bearing out carefully if you want to save the part. If you are throwing your bearings out, then you can apply more pressure, which may cause damage. Just be careful not to hurt the wheels.

Repeat prying each bearing out with the axle until all eight bearings have been removed.
    Install New Bearings

Set the bearings into the wheel. Some bearings have a colored shield on one side, which can be placed facing outward, but is not required. The fit should be tight, but start by simply placing the bearings in the wheel without applying too much pressure.

Press evenly on the outside metal rim of the bearing until it pushes into the wheel. It should end up flush with the wheel. Avoid pushing on the shield or center of the bearing while you change the parts.

Add a spacer between the bearings if you are using them. A spacer keeps the bearings at the proper distance.

Set all eight bearings into place one at a time until your skateboard wheels are complete. Then attach the wheels to the board.

Tighten the nut that holds the wheels on until it stops. You want to push the bearings into the wheel completely, but do not want to force the nut, which may break the bearings.

Loosen the nuts just a little so the wheel has room to roll freely. From the tightest point, you should loosen the nuts about one-quarter to one-half of a turn.

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Tips & Warnings

    Try cleaning and greasing your bearings before you replace them. Sometimes this helps your skateboard roll more freely again.

    Removing the bearing improperly may damage your wheel. Most skate shops will remove your bearings for free, which takes the pressure off of you.

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