How to know when your skates need maintenance
If you realize that your skate wheels are not rolling as easily, you definitely need to give them a tune-up. Other reasons you may want to inspect your skates include pulling to one side, hearing clinking noises, or if something just doesn’t “feel right” when you’re skating.
Roller skate maintenance and when to do it
- Keep Them Dry
- Check your wheel nuts
You will need to check your roller skate wheel nuts every time you skate. These can slowly come loose from vibrations. If you change your wheels often your wheel nuts might be getting old, which could cause them to loosen over time.
Give your skates a good shake from side to side. If you hear a clinking/chunking noise (the sound of a wheel moving back and forth on its axle), you have a loose wheel nut!
Using a skate tool or 1/2” socket wrench, being careful not to push on the bearing with the tool, tighten the loose nut down a tiny bit at a time until the wheel still spins fully freely but has very little play on the axle and is quiet when you shake the skate.
If you find that you can screw/unscrew your wheel nuts by hand it means they are old and need to be replaced.
- Clean your skate bearings
Your bearings are possibly the most integral piece of gear on your skates. They are what keep you moving easily and swiftly, so it’s important to make sure they stay clean and lubricated. You will need to check your roller skate bearing every 1-3 months.
Most quality bearings come enclosed, and these can be cared for by simply wiping them down and keeping them dry.
Bearings that are not enclosed need to be lubricated on a regular basis since they are exposed to the elements fairly often.
- Tighten/adjust skate wheels
You will need to check your roller skate wheels from time to time to make sure they are spinning properly and have not become excessively worn. Just like wheels on a car, roller skate wheels should also be regularly rotated!
If the wheels are not spinning freely you should check for damage or buildup from dirt or other debris. If the roller skate wheels are damaged they should be replaced.
If they are simply dirty, take the time to remove and clean the wheels as necessary.