Ask the Gear Guy

Fix slow skateboard wheels


skateboard.jpgThe wheels on my skateboard aren’t spinning well anymore. Is there anything I can do to fix them or do I have to buy new wheels?

Slow Joe, Tampa, Fla.

We feel your pain, Slow. We have the same problem, so we asked our friend Andy Macdonald, eight-time world champion skateboarder, for the lowdown on your slow down:

“New wheels are not going to help in the least if your wheels aren’t spinning. Chances are you just have to clean and lubricate your bearings. Remove your wheel and pop out the bearings with the edge of your axle. Bones Bearings pretty much set the standard in the skateboarding world as far as bearings go. They recommend picking up a Bones Bearings Cleaner Unit at your local skate shop ($15), but a clean plastic yogurt cup and a few cotton swabs will work, too.

“You’ll need to remove the bearing shields if your bearings have them. Just poke them out with a paper clip. Then soak your bearings in acetone, nail-polish remover or rubbing alcohol. Spin them dry and make sure all the dust and dirt are out. Now you’ve removed all the dirt as well as all the lubricant from your bearings. It’s important to use a silicone-based lubricant. WD40 or others like it will dry out your bearings and attract dust and dirt. You can pick up a bottle of Bones Speed Cream at the skate shop, or try some Prolong from the auto parts store. It doesn’t take much, and the excess will just spin out when you replace your shields, pop your bearings back in your wheels and start shredding. Skate safe and enjoy your new-found speed.”

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Comments about “Fix slow skateboard wheels”

  1. Skaterboy14 says:

    I just bought some rictas sparx and rush APEC 7 blue bearings and i cant get the bearings in on the front, only on the back. I have tried every skate tools there is and i even tried to put my bed on it and it didn’t work, plz tell me how to put them in ASAP because i cant skate until they are done, thx

  2. rookie says:

    My wheels are fine but when i get on and ride they barley move they go like 4 feet is it weight?

  3. custompaintskate says:

    In reply to skating newbie if the board is brand new it may not be that the bearings need to be cleaned at all. The new bearings sometimes are alittle stiff in general and need to be “rode in” atleast that is my personal experience.

  4. batma says:

    thanks, that was awesome

  5. Killer says:

    This dose not WORK

  6. skating newbie says:

    I just got a new skateboard and need to clean the bearings. Does anyone know the proper way to clean bearings? Please reply.

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