Skateboarding is an incredible sport that requires balance, coordination, and speed. One of the essential parts of a skateboard is its wheels. However, over time, skateboard wheels can become slow and sticky, affecting the overall performance of the skateboard.
To keep your skateboard running smoothly, it’s crucial to know how to lubricate skateboard wheels. In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about lubricating skateboard wheels, from when to do it to how to do it correctly.
Why Lubricating Skateboard Wheels is Important?
Skateboard wheels rotate on bearings, and when they aren’t lubricated correctly, the bearings can become sticky, which leads to slower speeds and a less smooth ride. By lubricating the skateboard wheels, you reduce friction between the bearings, allowing them to rotate smoothly, increase the speed of the skateboard, and prolong the life of the bearings.
Signs that Your Skateboard Wheels Need Lubrication
The most apparent sign that your skateboard wheels need lubrication is when they start to slow down and become sticky or wobbly, making it challenging to maintain balance. If you notice these symptoms, it’s time to lubricate the skateboard wheels.
Types of Lubricants for Skateboard Wheels
Several types of lubricants are suitable for skateboard wheels, including bearing oil, speed cream, and lithium grease.
Bearing oil is a lightweight oil that’s perfect for lubricating skateboard wheels. It’s easy to apply, and it won’t attract dust and dirt. Bearing oil is an ideal lubricant for those who want their skateboard to spin faster.
Speed cream is another excellent option for skateboard wheel lubrication. It’s a heavy-duty lubricant that provides long-lasting protection to bearings. It’s perfect for those who want to maintain their skateboard performance for an extended period.
Lithium grease is a heavy-duty lubricant that’s great for those who want to lubricate their skateboard wheels without applying lubricant frequently. It’s a thick and sticky lubricant that provides long-lasting protection and reduces friction.
How to Lubricate Skateboard Wheels?
Now that you know why lubricating skateboard wheels is important and the types of lubricants available, let’s discuss how to lubricate skateboard wheels. Here are the steps:
Step 1: Remove the Wheels
To lubricate your skateboard wheels, you’ll first need to remove them from the skateboard. Use a skate tool or wrench to loosen the nuts holding the wheels in place. Then, remove the wheels from the trucks.
Step 2: Remove the Bearings
Once you remove the wheels, it’s time to remove the bearings. Use a bearing tool or an axle to pop the bearings out of the wheel. Be careful not to damage the bearings or the wheel.
Step 3: Clean the Bearings
Use a bearing cleaner or isopropyl alcohol to clean the bearings. Soak the bearings in the cleaner for a few minutes and then use a paper towel or cloth to dry them thoroughly. Be sure to remove all dirt, debris, and old lubricant from the bearings.
Step 4: Apply Lubricant
Apply a small amount of lubricant to each bearing. For bearing oil and speed cream, one drop per bearing is enough. For lithium grease, use a small brush to apply a thin layer of lubricant to the inside of the bearing race.
Step 5: Reassemble the Bearings and Wheels
Once you have applied the lubricant, it’s time to reassemble the bearings and wheels. Insert each bearing back into the wheel, making sure they are seated correctly. Then, place the wheel back on the truck and tighten the nuts with your skate tool or wrench. Repeat the process for all the wheels.
Congratulations! You have successfully lubricated your skateboard wheels, and now you’re ready to hit the road or skatepark.
Here is a video tutorial about lubricating skateboard wheels:
How often should I lubricate my skateboard wheels?
It depends on how frequently you ride and the conditions you ride in. If you ride in wet or dirty conditions, you may need to lubricate your wheels more often. As a general rule, lubricate your wheels every two to three months.
Can I use WD-40 to lubricate my skateboard wheels?
No, you should not use WD-40 to lubricate your skateboard wheels. WD-40 is not designed for skateboard bearings and can cause damage to them. Instead, use a lubricant specifically designed for skateboard bearings, such as bearing oil or speed cream.
Can I use any type of lubricant on my skateboard wheels?
No, you should only use lubricants that are specifically designed for skateboard wheels, such as bearing oil, speed cream, or lithium grease. Other types of lubricants may damage your bearings or attract dirt and debris.
How do I know if my skateboard bearings need to be replaced?
If your skateboard bearings are making noise, feeling rough, or not spinning smoothly, it may be time to replace them.
Can I lubricate my skateboard wheels without removing them?
It’s not recommended to lubricate your skateboard wheels without removing them. Removing the wheels and bearings ensures that you can clean them thoroughly and apply the lubricant correctly.
Lubricating your skateboard wheels is an essential maintenance task that can help prolong the life of your bearings and improve your ride. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your skateboard wheels are properly lubricated and ready for action. Remember to clean your bearings thoroughly, choose the right lubricant for your needs, and apply the lubricant carefully to each bearing. With a little bit of care and attention, your skateboard wheels can stay in great condition for longer.