How to clean skateboard bearings?
Skate bearings are known for their extended lifespan and low maintenance requirements. If you ride these in the rain or via puddles, it’s a good idea to strip them down and re-grease them later to prevent them from rusting too quickly. Many individuals keep a worn-out pair of bearings on hand just for sliding and skating in the rain. You don’t have to worry about your speed board’s fresh new bearings rotting!
You Will Need:
- Some bearings, please! This course will focus on Sabre ABEC 7’s.
- a little rag
- About a half-hour
- For rubber shields, a knife blade is used, while for metal shields, circlip pliers are used.
- A welcoming, well-lit environment
- Degreaser/solvent of some type
- a tray in which to soak your bearings (preferably with a lid)
- a small amount of light grease/speed cream, etc.
- Capabilities for preparing tea
Taking the Bearings Out
Remove the axle nut and slide the tire along the axle until the innermost bearings are just touching the axle’s edge. Pry the bearing out of the wheel with the same action you’d use to open a bottle of beer. Rep with the other side of the wheel.
Remove the Bearing Shields
After you’ve removed the bearings from your wheels, you’ll need to enter the cartridges. If you’re lucky, your bearings will have one shield, but you’ll almost certainly have to remove one of them to get to the ball and cage. This is simple with a rubber-protected bearing; simply pry one cover off with a little screwdriver. You’ll probably break the shield removing it unless you’re very cautious, but that’s fine because you only need on either bearing. A “C” clip around the exterior of the race on metal-shielded bearings must be removed. It is possible to remove both balls and cages from the race altogether for individual cleaning on some bearings, however, this is not recommended unless you have nothing better to do.
After that, you’ll need to clean out all of the old gunk and grease from your bearing races. Using methylated spirits or just soaking the bearings in a solvent or alcohol is the best option. You can blast all the crud out of your bearings with amazing effect if you can get a spray-on degreaser. Lemon juice is also effective.
Soak your bearings with your preferred liquid by placing them in a jam jar and shaking the living daylights out of them for roughly 2 minutes, then rinsing them with a fresh solvent.
We use Engine Degreaser to have all the gunk out here at HQ, then soak in Meths.
Dry your bearings with a hair drier, then re-lube them with a little amount of oil or grease. You don’t need a lot of lubricant in there, so don’t overdo it! Your bearings can spin faster if your lubrication is thinner, but they will be more prone to damage. Oil speeds up your bearings, but if any debris gets into it, your bearings will indeed be toast. Furthermore, oil has a terrible habit of spinning out of bearings at high speeds, leaving your joints without lubricant, resulting in overheated bearings and melted wheels. Not cool… but it’s worth considering if you’re always cleaning bearings. Medium grease, such as the white lithium stuff that can purchase at a bike store, would be on the other end of the scale. Your bearings will be considerably more resistant to the trash and should survive a lot longer if you apply this, especially if you bike in the rain a lot – however, they will spin slower. A Clear skateboard bearing specialized oil like Powell Fast cream or comparable light grease is your best choice.