Whether you are a pro skater or just take fun rides on your skateboard, you need to maintain it in perfect shape to continue enjoying your rides. Of course, you want to have the same experience time and again, and that may not be possible with a worn-out skateboard.
Over time, grit and dust tend to build up in the bearings of your skateboard, affecting its performance significantly. If you know how to clean skateboard bearings, however, you can keep them in good condition by reducing the routine wear-and-tear. When cleaned regularly, the wheels won’t seize up and you will experience a noticeable increase in the speed of your skateboard.
Fortunately, cleaning your best skateboard bearings is easy, and you can even do it at home with little skill and the right tools.
How To Clean Skateboard Bearings?
Cleaning your skateboards can involve three major steps. First, you need to remove bearings from the skateboard wheels. Next, they should be cleaned, and eventually, you have to fit them back in. Let’s run you through each step to help you figure out how to clean skateboard bearings.
How To Remove Skateboard Bearings
In order to remove your skateboard bearings, follow the steps given below.
1. Grab All Necessary Tools
If you want to make the job quick and easy, it’s important to have all the tools handy. For instance, you’ll need a ratchet or a socket wrench, pliers/screwdriver, and a T-tool (or skate tool) for removing the bearings from the wheels. A bearing pole will also be of help during the process.
2. Remove the wheels
Once you have everything you need, remove the wheels of your skateboard with a ratchet, socket wrench, or a skate tool. Hold the board steady while applying firm pressure so that the bolts break loose.
3. Keep All Removed Items Somewhere Safe
When you have removed the wheels, you can easily misplace or lose some necessary items like a nut, a washer, or something else. So, it’s important that you keep them all safe, maybe in some plastic bag, as you proceed.
4. Take The Bearings Off The Wheels
The bearings occupy the wheels’ core and have a circular shape. You can pry them out gently using a screwdriver. You can also use needle-nose pliers to pull them out carefully. In case, if you don’t have the right tool to do that, you can place the wheels on the trucks, just the way you attach them, but ensure that just one of the bearings goes on the trucks. Using trucks for leverage, you can wedge out the bearings easily.
Now that you have removed the bearings, you can move on to the cleaning step.
Cleaning The Skateboard Bearings
Here are the steps you should follow to clean your Best skateboard bearings.
- Use a rag or a paper towel for cleaning any dust and grit that may have accumulated on the bearings. If the dirt is stubborn, using some good solvent is recommended. Some mild solvent like a mineral spirit is recommended for this.
- When cleaning, use a paperclip or a pointy knife to pop-out the bearings’ shield caps.
- Dip the bearing for, at least, 5 minutes into the solution you have prepared.
- It is also very important to let the bearings dry when have cleaned them properly using the solution you had prepared. Just put them on a paper towel to dry.
- The use of canned air to spin the bearing parts can allow for quick drying.
Once the bearings are dry, you can fit them back into place.
Greasing and Reassembling The Bearings
Finally, let’s have a look at the step-by-step procedure for greasing and reassembling the bearings.
1. Apply a Good Lubricant
You should grease the bearings with a lubricant that’s made specifically for the lubrication of skateboard bearings. All it takes is 2-3 drops of the lubricant to grease each bearing. Once you have applied the lubricant, spin the skateboard bearing for distributing it evenly throughout the bearing.
A quick warning here is that you must not use motor oil, cooking oil, or anything like that which may gunk up the skateboard bearings or cause stickiness. You should not use WD-40 either because it will only last for a short period and can junk up your bearings. Rather, the use of a Teflon-based lubricant is recommended.
2. Re-place The Shields Of The Bearings
You can easily pop the shields into place, but it is important to ensure that the seal that lies between the bearing and the shield is complete. The two should not have any gaps in between.
3. Reinsert The Skateboard Bearings Into The Wheels
Put the bearings back into the skateboard wheels by firmly pushing them into place. You can do that easily with your finger. After that, just push the skateboard wheel down onto a truck and press it hard.
4. Fasten The Wheels
Once you have put the bearings into the skateboard wheels as far as you possibly could, it’s time to attach the weeks to the trucks back again. Don’t forget to put a washer on either side of the wheels. Keep tightening the bolts now until they hold the wheels firmly.
Just make sure that they don’t get stiff. Now, before you hit the roads or the skating rink again, ascertain that you have properly fastened the wheels. If you have tightened even a single nut way too much, it can affect the ability of your skateboard wheels to spin properly.
Do some hand-testing of each wheel by spinning it and ensure that it is moving freely. If you find it hard to spin even a single wheel, loosen its bolt a bit until it spins freely enough.
So, that’s how to clean skateboard bearings from taking them off the wheels, cleaning them, and then putting them back in. Make sure that you keep a regular maintenance routine to avoid wear and tear that comes with time and your skateboard performs as good as it did the first time you took a ride.