When you spend good money for a pair of skates, you want them to last. Just like anything else of value the skates need good care. If they are not properly taken care of, they will not only not last, but also possibly create a safety issue. I would like to share with you the following guide that will help you keep your skates in excellent condition.
Cleaning the skates
Use a damp cloth to clean the dirt that might have accumulated on the boot, plate, wheels and bearings. Gently remove any dirt that you might find. It is good to do this every time you skate, especially if it is outside.
Adjust the plates
Some plates are adjustable. If you are a freestyle, artistic or dancing skater, this can be especially useful. If you are doing a lot of tight turns and spins use a narrower setting. Most recreational skaters will want the plate to be in a wider setting and this is usually the setting for most new skates. If you are not sure, do some experimenting. You can always change the setting. You adjust them by loosening the locking nut on the back of the truck with a wrench. After you are done that, you adjust the spacing by moving the whole assembly on its track. After you have completed the adjustment, make sure that you have properly tightened the nut.
Adjust the trucks
If you are in need of more flexibility and control, you might want to adjust the trucks. The looser they are the more flexible they become, but you can have a problem with control if they are too loose. If the plates are tighter, flexibility is reduced and control is easier. Everyone is different so experiment to see what you like best. Inverted kingpins are tightened with a wrench and do not have a locking nut. A standard kingpin has a locking nut which must be loosened with a wrench. The king pin is then turned to adjust the tension. After finishing the adjustment, make sure that the locking nut is re-tightened.
Replace the wheels
Examine the wheels for wear and replace them when the inside edges have a shaved off look or if you can read the writing on the sides of the wheels.
Adjust the wheel nuts
Every few months check the wheel nuts. If you skate very frequently, obviously do it more often. Tighten enough so that you don't have any play but not so tight that the wheels would be prevented from rolling.
Adjust the toe stoppers
There are two types of stoppers, adjustable and non-adjustable. The non-adjustable stoppers need to be checked very often because they can easily work lose. If they are loose, use a screwdriver to tighten them.
Replace the bearings
Bearings wear out and need to be replaced. If you skate a lot, the bearings need to be changed every six months to a year. It will become obvious to you that they need changing. The bearings will start making a noise and your skating is no longer smooth. Bearings insure that the skating is smooth. On each wheel a casing hold the ball bearings and they are damaged by dirt, sand or when the ground is wet. The standard size is 8mm but some come in 7mm so check the size of your skates before you purchase. There are several diagrams available on the internet that will show how to change the bearings.
Your skating will be trouble-free by providing the proper maintenance of your skates. Taking these steps will also make it possible to keep your skates for a long time.