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“Holy moly! How to get bearings out of skate wheels?”,
My twelve-year-old kid yelled at his inline skates and surprisingly nailed at those. Later, he rushed at me, with full of dismay on his face, and begged for my help. ……wheels were not spinning, the problem lies in the bearings I guessed. Fortunately, I knew how to get bearings out of skate wheels. I grabbed the tools at once and dug in for success.
Nevertheless, one of the most important components of skates is bearings. Without the effectiveness of which you do not even think about smooth rolling.
Hence, it needs additional care and assistance. By definition, skate bearings are the circular metallic pieces that are kept inside the wheels to mount the wheels to the axle.
Meanwhile, my young boy stared at me watching the way I was working on it. I allowed him to help me. He was full of delight and eagerly waiting for the “moment”. Both of us tried our best through the following procedure:
Process Of Pulling The Bearings Out:
Tools required to get the bearings out of inline skate wheels:
· Allen wrench
· Bearing removal tool or flat-headed screwdriver
· Bearing pusher
· Three-sided aftermarket tool
Defining Bearing Spacer:
Bearing spacer is a small metal piece that comes in between the bearings. Bearings take the load of the rotation while skating. The bearing spacers reduce this load to a certain extent.
As a result, the wheel can rotate efficiently. As metallic tiny cylinders, bearing spacers allow the axle nut to be tightened thoroughly. This permits the inner rings from both the bearings to be standstill on the axle.
Unscrewing the wheels from axle:
At first, you need to get the wheel off the skates. Sometimes few skates come with both sides bolted. In that case, work on both sides. Get the allen wrench and push it into the screw hole.
A simple thing to remember here is to always push in as far as you can. Hold the wheel and keep pressing the allen wrench and spin it. Spin-off very simply and loosen the axle. Pull the wheel out from the bottom of the axle.
You need to push in gently while you turn to loosen otherwise there will be a risk of stripping out your axles. It may incur replacing your axles.
Identifying The Type Of Spacers
There are two types of spacers. By looking into the hole in the middle of the wheel we can determine the spacer type. A seam between the bearing and the spacer end up with an idea that it is a Floating (Short sleeve spacer) spacer. Otherwise, it is a Standard bearing spacer (Fixed long sleeve spacer).
Another easy way to detect is to simply shake the wheel and you will have a little sound from inside. The sound makes us ensure about the floating spacer.
On the contrary, the Standard bearing spacer does not make any noise from the inside of it.
Removing The Bearings:
Each wheel has a bearing on each side. Bearing removal is depended on the kind of spacer the wheel has inside it. Here is the process:
In Case Of Floating Bearing Spacer:
Following the classic way, the allen wrench again comes in the picture. You can use the flat-headed screwdriver too. It is a little tricky at first. Slide through the allen wrench right to the middle but not too deep.
If you go to the end you are going to hit the wall of the bearing on the other side. Then, there will be nothing to pry on. Hence, it will be more difficult to remove the bearing.
Put the tool about halfway and slowly rotate your wheel. In the same time slowly pry the tool between the bearing and the inside of the wheel. Start putting sideways pressure on the bearings, use the tool like a crowbar and you will find a bearing on your hand.
The floating bearing is sitting in the middle. In this process, often the spacer goes flying so, beware of it. Turn the wheel and push a bit in the center: another floating bearing will be out in your hand.
In Case Of Standard Bearing Spacer:
Slide a flat head screwdriver or a bearing pusher right through the center of the wheel. The end of the tool should be placed on the edge of the spacer and then use a little force.
Knock out the bearing and the spacer on the other side of the wheel. Then turn the wheel over and push it out again for finding another long sleeve bearing.
Overall, be careful all times in pulling out the bearing. Sometimes, bearing press may damage the axles. In the process of pulling off, the wheels make sure you are pushing in while you turn to loosen and tighten. This way will ensure to extend the lifecycle of your axles.
A Video On How To Get Bearings Out Of Skate Wheels:
It is not must but it might be helpful to know some basic knowledge of bearings. Now I want to take the opportunity to explain a bit about the bearing:
Material Used In Bearings:
Materials used in making skate bearings are ceramic and steel. As the ceramic bearings are lighter in weight, they will create less friction, hence, spin more effectively. In contrast, steel bearings are more durable.
Types Of Bearings:
There are two types of skate wheel bearings: Serviceable bearings and Sealed bearings. In the first one, it has a removable shield on one side.
Therefore, it can be easily cleaned and maintained properly. The sealed bearings maintain the sealed and it cannot be removed.
Choosing The Right One:
Bearings remain inside every skate wheel. All good skate wheels are nicely fitted in between the axle frames. Depending on the skating activity and the level of skater, the skaters choose their bearings.
The rating system is a measure in choosing the right kind of bearing for your wheels. You need to go for an efficient one that has better durability and also spins much faster.
It does not necessarily mean to follow the rating scale or the price chart as always.
Important? Is It?
The skate freaks are generally googling or youtubing for the leading talking points: skating tips & tricks, techniques, skate gears, top skate brands.
In different skate community, they are busy chatting a lot about these topics, neglecting one of the core issues like bearing in the skate wheels.
To make the skates running smoothly and functioning properly we need to focus on the bearings and wheels hubs. This may be a small thing to talk about, but this topic should be in the center of all.
Why Pulling Out?
After purchasing a pair of brand new skates, skaters use it randomly for a period of time. This affects the durability of the pair adversely to some extent.
As soon as the bearings are released from the packet, few elements of nature: water, dirt and moisture help skates to wear out a bit. Eventually, it gets rusted, wear out and needs intensive care: cleaning and lubricating.
Even a few high-end expensive products may wear out due to overuse and excessive pressure. Proper maintenance, change and cleaning can transform it to a newer one again.
The opening story has not finished yet! After finishing my job I smiled at my son and mocking at him, “How to get bearings out of skate wheels?”. The young lad smiled back to me and retorted calmly, “I rotate my wheels every day, so I should know it is impossible to get bearings out of skate wheels without the tool, let alone fingernail.”
A bearing failure can have serious consequences and leads to fatal injury. So, regular skaters must learn how to get bearings out of skate wheels to roll seamlessly.