Friday, January 27, 2012

That's How I Roll


One of the most important parts of your skates are your bearings. They help your wheels turn faster and smoother. Have you ever had a bearing that is loud? Have you ever felt like your skates are suddenly slower than the last few times you used them? The solution is probably that you need to clean your bearings and you need to follow these steps!

These are the items you will need:

Brake Cleaner

Empty and washed Parmesan cheese container

Skate tool


Adult Beverage of your choice (to numb the monotony)

Not pictured: Rubbing alcohol, lint-less rag or paper towel, and Fast and Orange

First things first, clear your area and remove your nuts. Ha ha! I said nuts! Remember, lefty loosey, righty tighty!

Some people use a bearing puller, but I do not. Instead of using a bearing puller, after you have removed the nut, remove the wheel from the axle and allow the inside bearing grip the thread of the post. Wiggle the wheel back and forth while allowing the post to grip the bearing. Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle!

It will pop out! Like this!

Some skates have a washer under the bearing. If it does, it will look like this! Now is the time to remove the washer and clean the post and your wheel with rubbing alcohol.

Take the wheel, turn it over, insert your skate tool and pop out the other bearing. (Ignore the rusty tool. It still works!)

Take each bearing and remove the shield. I have Bones Redz bearings. They have a red rubber shield on the front. You will need to remove the shield with a needle. It is the best instrument I have found. You will insert it under the edge and pop off the shield.

The back of the bearing has a clear guard. The guard holds the ball bearings in place. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES remove the guard. You will be chasing loose bearings all over the world.

As you remove the guard, insert the guards and the bearings in an empty, washed Parmesan cheese shaker. Yes, that is my invention!

Spray the bearings and shields with brake or carburetor cleaner. This step is best done outside. I had to do it inside for picture/light purposes followed by an attic fan. Brake cleaner will not melt plastic or hurt your rubber shields like some other solvents can. It also does not leave a nasty residue behind like some cleaners can.

Shake the bearings in the brake cleaner for about a minute. Once you are done, the liquid will be gray. If it is dark gray or black, you need to strain and re-spray.

If the liquid is light gray, you can strain it and lay them out to dry on a lint less rag or paper towel. The liquid evaporates quickly so they only need to dry about 10 minutes. Make sure you place them open side down so the guard is up and any extra liquid can drain out onto the paper towel.

After they dry, you will need to add lube to each bearing. I usually use Bones Speed Cream, but I couldn't find mine (which one of you has it?) so Pay-Pay saved the day and gave me 3 in 1 oil.

Regardless of what kind of lube you use, only put two drops per bearing on each. Too much lube and your bearings will just collect dust more easily and need to be cleaned sooner.

After applying the lube, grab the bearing by the inner circle and spin it several times to equally distribute the lube.

After you have lubed them up, replace the guards. If they do not pop on, you will need to use your thumb nail to replace the rubber guard underneath the edge of the bearing.

Once all of the shields are in place, insert two bearings into each wheel with the colored shield toward the outside and the clear guard towards each other. They should simply pop back into the wheel with no issues or tools required.

After inserting the bearings into all of the wheels, slide them on the post and screw on the nut. You will want your nut tight enough that there is no too much wiggle room, but loose enough that the wheels spin freely. Repeat for each wheel, post and nut.

TA DA! Your skates are fully assembled and ready to rock and roll! If you notice something different on my skates it's because I also changed the bushings from white and soft to purple and firm! I might do a blog about that another time.

After completing your project your hands will smell like grease and be dirty. The best way I have found to get rid of all of the smell and grease is using Fast Orange hand cleaner.