If you've been following our socials, blog posts or purchased skates from us in store, chances are we have discussed skate bearings with you before.
Bearings? Don't Know Her
Bearings are the donut shaped ones that fit inside your roller skate or inline skate wheels and allows the wheel to spin on the axle.
If you need a refresher on what they look like click here and then come back.
All wheels require bearings in order to work.
Each wheel needs 2 bearings - one back and front.
Put simply, bearings help you roll good.
If your bearings are old, dirty, gross and rusty then you won't roll good. The End.
This is why at some point you'll need to either clean out or replace your bearings.
Dirty (or low quality) bearings could also be why you feel like you can't roll smoothly and have to push really hard to go anywhere.
There are a few different types of bearings - rubber shielded, metal o-ring and fully enclosed.
You can open and clean out the rubber shielded type and the o-ring shielded type.
When to Clean Your Bearings?
You should clean your skate bearings when:
- You notice they are slowing
- You know that they are super dirty and crusty or super old
- You've gotten them wet and now they don't roll good
- Or at least every 6 months
If you've had your skates for many years and never cleaned your bearings they may have rusted out or gone past the point of no return, in which case you should probably just get new ones here.
If you're not sure if you need 7mm or 8mm bearings check out our blog post on that.
How to Clean Your Bearings
To clean your bearings you will need:
- Bearing wash (if you can't get your hands on wash then some people use pure isopropyl alcohol, acetone or solvents - just make sure you wear gloves and do it in a well ventilated area)
- Bearing lube (you can also use a light sewing machine oil)
- Container with a lid (like a jar) or a dedicated cleaning unit
- A pin
- Newspaper or microfibre/lint free cloth
Remove the rubber shield/or o-ring carefully with a pin, wipe the shields and put to the side.
Place bearings into a container or cleaning unit. You can use a fancy cleaning unit or you can use a non fancy jar.
Pour some bearing wash in, close the lid and agitate gently. At this point dirt etc will come out. You can repeat this process if you need to.
Once clean you will remove bearings from the container and place on newspaper or a lint free cloth to dry. (To speed up the drying process you can use a hair dryer).
Once fully dry relubricate your bearings with 2 drops of lube per bearing. Give them a spin to work it in.
Pop the shields back into place and you're ready to roll good!
Are you a visual learner? Me too! Watch us clean some bearings over on Instagram
A reader note: Some people like to take the ball bearings out of the cage and clean them individually, I prefer not to do that because I don't have the time or patience for it. Some people have a different bearing technique, that's cool - you do you. Some people don't want to clean their bearings at all and just prefer to replace them, this is also totally fine.