Inline skate bearings are located between the wheels and the axles. The bearings wear out over time and may need to be replaced, though the more expensive, high-quality bearings may actually outlast the rest of the skate. Bearings must also be removed to be lubricated and maintained, so never assume when you purchase a pair of skates that you'll never have to remove them. As you become a more advanced skater or decide to try other styles of skating or inline hockey, you may find yourself removing the bearings on a regular basis.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Allen wrench
- Bearing removal tool or flat head screwdriver
Unscrew the skate wheels using two Allen wrenches; hold one of the wheel screws in place while unscrewing the other. The axle is now removed, and the wheel can be pulled out from the bottom of the frame. Do this with all four wheels on each boot.
Determine whether the bearings have standard spacers or floating spacers by looking into the hole in the middle of the wheel. If you see a seam between the bearing and the spacer, then it's a floating spacer, according to London Skaters.com. Otherwise, it's a standard bearing spacer.
Insert the end of the bearing removal tool into the hole in the centre of the wheel and punch it through. The smaller end at the bottom of the tool will push half of the bearing out of the wheel, and then the wider ridge above the small end will push the second part of the bearing through the centre of the wheel and out. A flat head screwdriver can be used as well but must be applied differently with the two types of spacers. With a standard spacer, the end of the screwdriver should be placed on the edge of the spacer; then push down to knock the bearings out of the wheel. With floating spacers, the screwdriver should be placed at the bottom of the bearing. Pry the tool between the bearing and the inside of the wheel, rotate it and then pry again until the bearing comes out.
Tips and warnings
- If using a flat head screw driver, be careful not to gouge the inside of the wheel too much or ding up the bearing.
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