Removing bearings is actually part of the wheel replacement process. Usually when people have to deal with taking out bearings, it is part of the wheel replacement process. However, in many situations, it is actually not the wheel that you are replacing but the bearing itself. Why does this happen? Well, a lot of it has to do with the fact that bearings do deteriorate and break down from time to time. This is especially true if you do not really maintain your rollerblades all that well.
Maybe for a variety of reasons, you subjected it to the elements. Perhaps the bearings, which are often self-contained and self-greased or self-lubricated, broke down. Whatever the case may be, there comes a time where you might need to replace bearings. Please follow the instructions below so you can do it right.
Just like with anything else in life, you can choose to do things the right way or the wrong way. It totally is your call. It may seem like it is so convenient to do things the wrong way, but believe me, the moment you choose to cut corners or take shortcuts, you will only have yourself to blame the moment your equipment breaks down way ahead of schedule. Proper maintenance ensures that you can stretch out the life of the different components that go into your rollerblade assembly, bearings is one of them. While wheels are almost unavoidable worn down, bearing deterioration is primarily caused by faulty or sloppy maintenance. In case you need to take the bearings out of your rollerblade assembly, pay attention to the following:
The following equipment is required: Allen wrench or a screwdriver (flathead).
Follow these directions.
Using the Allen wrench, take off the screws from the skate wheels. It is important to hold the wheel in place while unscrewing the screw. When you hold the wheel in place, you are actually holding one of the screws. This enables you to access the axle. Pull out the wheels from the bottom portion. This exposes the frame’s bottom side.
Keep repeating this process until you have done this for all the wheels of the boot. This should be fairly straightforward. The first time you do this, it might be slow. However, the second wheel would be faster, and then you get used to it. So, the third and fourth wheels would be a breeze.
Determine the Spacer Type
Bearings usually have two types of spacers – floating spacers or standard spacers. If you notice that there is a seam separating the spacer and the bearing, the spacer is called a floating spacer. If the bearing is not designed anywhere like this, then it is a standard spacer. This is very important to note because the following steps that you are going to do will depend on whether it is a floating or standard spacer.
Insert the bearing removal driver or flathead screwdriver into the wheel’s middle portion. Working from this central location, you punch the tool through. When you do this, about 50% of the bearing will stick out of the wheel and when you keep pushing, there is going to be a ridge that will open up and at the small end of the ridge, then you will be able to pull the other half of the bearing. It is really important when using a flathead screwdriver that you place the head at the spacer’s edge. Push it down to enable you to knock the bearing piece from the wheel. This is the procedure when dealing with standard spacers.
Now, in the case of a floating spacer, place the flathead screwdriver head at the bottom part of the bearing. Wedge the tool between the interior part of the wheel and the bearing and then rotate it. Keep prying until you dislodge the bearing, and it comes out completely. Again, this procedure is probably going to be a little bit tricky in the beginning. It might even get a bit frustrating but simply follow the instructions outlined above and keep repeating it and it will get easier. It pays just to use a specialized tool for bearing removal.
If, for whatever reason, you do not have access to this tool, you can still use a flathead screwdriver, but you need to be very careful with it. You have to play close attention as to whether you are working with a floating spacer or a standard spacer. If you treat a standard spacer like a floating spacer, then there are going to be issues. The same applies in reverse. So, avoid damage by making sure that you are well aware of what kind of spacer you are working with and then go through the process accordingly. Again, this is one of those things that becomes easier with enough repetition.
Remember: Professional help is always an option
Depending on the amount of time you have available, it may or may not be a good idea to remove or replace your blades’ bearings by yourself. Always remember that your time is worth something. For every minute you spend doing an activity, you necessarily won’t be doing another thing. What if that other activity, the alternative task, pays more? What if the other activity is more pleasurable to you? See the value you’re giving up.
Always keep the idea raised above (opportunity costs) in mind when it comes to any kind of DIY operations involving your skates or pretty much everything else in your life. While most people automatically steer clear of some potential DIY activities-representing yourself in court for a lawsuit or criminal defense or doing your own dental work or doing surgery on yourself-we are often too bold when it comes to many other thing. Keep opportunity costs in mind so you can steer clear of situations where you might not get optimal return on effort. In fact, by focusing on opportunity costs, you might avoid doing things that you don’t have expertise in. It would probably be cheaper (in terms of money and time, as well as frustration) to just go get professional help.