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My Roller Skate World Archive Page
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
I have found that skate bearings are often neglected by the novice skater. Most new skaters focus on the boot and the wheels. They will keep the boots polished and the wheels clean and think that is all they need to do to maintain their skates. It is similar to car ownership. We can wash and polish our cars and change our oil at regular intervals. But if we neglect to check our car bearings and breaks, we can be in serious trouble.
Skate bearings allow your wheels to roll smoothly on your skate axles. But they need to be cleaned. You can know it is time to clean them when one of the following occurs: they are hot to touch after skating; make a noise when skating; and/or you have some resistance when you spin the wheels. I would not recommend waiting till you have one of these problems before you clean your bearings. If you skate once a week, clean them every two to three months. The more you skate, the more often you need to clean them. If you skate outside, they need to be cleaned more often. For the once a week skater, I would clean them once a month.
How do you clean bearings? First, the wheels need to be removed from the skate. A simple wrench can accomplish this task. Also, there are skate wrenches available at internet skate stores and skate rinks that can be used. Once you have the wheels removed, now it is time to remove the bearings. The best way to accomplish this is having a bearing press. These cost around $30 but it is well worth the investment. It is harder to remove them if you don't have a bearing press, but it can be done. They can be pulled form their wheels using the axle. Hook the axle into the center part of the bearing and carefully pry around the bearing until it comes out.
Find some kind container to clean your bearings. Purchase some bearing cleaner from your internet store or skate rink. Follow the directions on the skate cleaner bottle. Do not use mineral spirits or other strong cleaning agents. They will permanently destroy your bearings. After you soak them for a few hours, rinse them off. I suggest running them through some hot water. This will help remove any remaining dirt and solution remaining on the bearings. Put them on a dry surface and wait for them to be thoroughly dry.
Now it is time to lubricate your clean them. Bearing lubricant can be found at skating internet stores and skate rinks. Place about two drops of lubricant in each bearing. Don't put in too much lubricant because it could be a magnet to attract dirt and making it necessary to clean them more often.
The life of your bearings will be extended, if you follow these very simple steps to keep them clean. Of course you can buy cheap bearings and change them every couple of months. But if you are spending $30 to $200 for a set of bearings, you want them to last. Take these preventive measures and you will have a great skating experience!
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by: My Roller Skate World 1 Comments
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