How to clean and change skate bearings with a rollerblade maintenance tutorial, inline wheel repairs lesson and removal instructions.
Inline Tips

How To Clean and Change

Skate Bearings

  Cleanings should technically be done at least once a season, preferably at the beginning, and immediately after any encounter with water, dirt, mud, sand, etc.
  Changing your bearings should only be done when you are sure that your bearings are no longer any good.
  Since cleaning them requires that you remove the bearings, this tutorial covers both aspects.

Tools Required:
Small bowl or metal pan
Safety pin
Bearings cleaner
Small cleaning brush (e.g.. toothbrush)
Rags or towels
Allen Keys

Cleaning Your Skate Bearings:

  1. Remove one wheel at a time to avoid confusion. Make sure you place the same wheel back in the same spot. Use an Allen key to remove the wheels bolts (axles) from the skate unless a specialized tool is supplied. They are attached to the spacers, so sometimes this is a little tricky to synchronize. You must loosen both simultaneously with most blades (pic #1). Or else you may have a problem removing one of the bolts (pic #2). You may have to re-insert the other one and try again.
  2. Pry the bearings case from each wheel with an axle piece or push out the spacer using an oversized Allen key that fits into the bearings but not the spacer (pic #3). Make sure not to damage the thread on the inside of the spacer. Set aside the wheels and the spacers which are found between the bearings in each wheel (pic #4).
  3. Insert the end of your safety pin into the end of the C-ring holding the shield onto the bearing. Gently pry the C-ring up and towards the center of the bearing and remove the shield taking care not to damage it (pic #5). Some bearing are not serviceable so check before ripping off the cover.
  4. Place bearing in container or small bowl and flush with the citrus cleaner to remove contaminants. Use small cleaning brush to remove major particles. Repeat this step if necessary by using new clean solvent to re-rinse bearing. Gently spin bearing and then place it on paper towel to air dry.
  5. After the bearings are completely dry, apply 1 or 2 drops of lubricant to inside of bearings case. Rotate bearings, slowly working in lube around all moving parts (pic #6).
  6. Apply shield by placing it on bearing. Slip one end of
    C-ring around groove until it snaps into place.
  7. Install bearing into wheels and then spin again to insure lubrication is worked in. Make sure that the spacer is inset between the two bearings inside the wheel (pic #7).
  8. Remember to tighten the nuts securely when installing your wheels to your skates.
  9. You are now ready for a much smoother ride.

NOTE: Use extreme caution whenever working with solvents. Bearing cleaners are not for human consumption and are toxic.

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<< Pictures >>
Removing the
Wheels Bolts
Problem Removing the Bolt (Axle)
Pushing Spacers
& Bearings
Wheel Assembly
Removing C-Ring from Bearing Cover
Proper Packing
for Bearings
Bearing & Spacer
A Better Spacer
(from hop-up kit)


BSB Speed Oil
Bearing Lubricant


BSB Speed Wash
Bearing Cleaner Kit


© SPOON Media 2005