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How to Change Skateboard Wheels: A Step-by-Step Guide


Changing Skateboard Wheels

Skateboarding is awesome, but you have to take good care of your board to keep it rolling smoothly. Your wheels play a big part in how your board performs and how much control you have, so it's important to switch them up once in a while. In this guide, we'll identify when it is time to change wheels, show you how to swap out your wheels, and give you some tips on how to keep them in tip-top shape. 

First things first, you'll need a few things to get started-

Skate Tool: This handy tool has a wrench, screwdriver, and Allen key all in one. It's what you'll use to loosen and tighten the nuts and bolts on your board. 

New wheels: Make sure you get wheels that fit your board and are good for the type of riding you like to do. 

New bearings: These tiny metal balls help your wheels spin smoothly. 

Bearing cleaning kit: This kit has a cleaner and lubricant to help keep your bearings clean and running right. 

When to Change Your Wheels

Skateboard wheels are a component of the board that directly affects the board's performance. Knowing when to replace the wheels is critical to maintaining optimal riding conditions. In this article, we will discuss some signs that indicate it is time to replace your skateboard wheels and factors that impact their lifespan. 

One of the most noticeable signs that indicate you need to replace your wheels is when they are irregularly shaped, flat, or coned. Such wheels can make the riding experience uncomfortable and affect the rider's ability to land tricks. Over time, the wheels' diameter decreases due to friction, resulting in decreased rebound. Hard wheels may develop pitting and tears, while softer wheels may separate or show tears. 

The lifespan of skateboard wheels depends on various factors, including their quality, durometer scale, diameter, frequency of use, and the type of rider. Wheels' hardness is measured by durometers, with higher numbers indicating harder wheels. The surface you ride on also plays a significant role in determining how long the wheels will last. Rough surfaces tend to wear out wheels faster than smooth surfaces. Riders who do power slides or downhill skateboarding need to replace their wheels more often due to the high level of wear and tear on the wheels. 

Taking good care of the wheels by regularly flipping or swapping them and maintaining other skateboard parts can increase their lifespan. However, at some point, you must replace your wheels to ensure optimal performance and safety. It is crucial to choose high-quality wheels that suit your riding style and preferences. By following these tips, you can extend the lifespan of your skateboard wheels and enjoy a smoother, safer riding experience. 

We'll teach you how to change your skateboard wheels in 4 easy steps. Follow along or jump to one of the steps below-

  1. Remove Wheels
  2. Remove Bearings
  3. Insert Bearings into New Wheels
  4. Mount Wheels

Step 1. Remove Wheels


To begin the process of replacing your skateboard wheels, use your skate tool or wrench to remove the axle nuts from the truck. Afterward, slide the wheels off of the truck axle. Remember to keep track of the washers that sit on either side of the wheel. You can organize and store the axle nuts and speed washers in a small tray to prevent losing any small pieces of hardware. 

Step 2. Remove Bearings


The next step is to remove the bearings from your wheels. You can do this by prying them out of the wheels using the axle of your truck. To start, slide the wheel halfway onto the end of the axle so that only one bearing is on the axle. With the axle securely holding the inside of the bearing, twist the wheel outward and around as you pry the bearing out. Flip the wheel over and repeat the process. Some setups use bearing spacers that sit between the two bearings in the wheel, while other bearings have built-in spacers. If your bearings have spacers, keep track of them in your hardware tray.

Step 3. Insert Bearings into New Wheels


Begin by sliding your two bearings shield-side down onto your skateboard's truck axle. Next, press your wheel onto the top bearing until it is fully seated in the wheel. You may need to put some pressure on it and turn the wheel until the bearing is evenly seated. Flip the wheel over and repeat the process to get the second bearing in.

Step 4. Mount Wheels


Now that your bearings are in your new wheels, you can mount them back on the trucks' axles. Slide the wheel onto the axle with the correct side facing out. Some wheels have graphics or angled cuts that indicate which side belongs on the outside. For other wheels, it doesn't matter, and you can mount them however you like. After deciding which side should face out, put the axle nut on by threading it until it is finger-tight. Use your skate tool or wrench to tighten the nut until the wheel has almost no wiggle room between the truck and the nut. Be careful not to over-tighten as it can damage your bearings. Once this step is completed, your board is ready to go, and you can enjoy the fresh urethane on your new wheels. 

Other Maintenance Tips

Maintaining your skateboard wheels is an important aspect of keeping your board in good shape and ensuring a smooth ride. Here are some more details on how to execute the tips mentioned-

ROTATE YOUR WHEELS: Rotating your skateboard wheels can help prevent coning, which is when the wheels wear unevenly, creating a cone shape. To rotate your wheels, remove them from your board and swap their positions. For example, move the back wheels to the front and the front wheels to the back. This can be done every three months or whenever you clean or replace your bearings. This simple technique can help you get a little extra life out of your wheels.   

FIX FLAT SPOTS: Harder skateboard wheels can develop flat spots with use. These flat spots create rough vibrations, slowing down your board and compromising your smooth ride. To fix flat spots, you can do powerslides on rough pavement to grind down the flat spot until the wheel rolls smoothly again. If you cannot do powerslides, you can do the same action while holding your board with your hands. This will help to wear down the flat spot and restore the shape of your wheel. 

CLEAN YOUR WHEELS: Although cleaning your skateboard wheels doesn't do much for the wheels themselves, it can help to prolong the life of your bearings. Any time you have your bearings out of your wheels, take a paper towel and wipe away any dirt or debris from the middle of them. This will help to keep them clean and reduce the risk of damage. You can also use a bearing cleaning kit to deep clean your bearings. This will help to maintain the speed and performance of your wheels. 

By following these tips, you can keep your skateboard wheels in good shape for longer, saving you money and ensuring a smooth ride. 

Keep Learning


Still Have Questions?

If you're still curious about wheels and need more information, rest assured that we have the resources to help you out. Our customer service team is highly knowledgeable and can answer any questions you may have about these shoes or other skateboard equipment. You can easily reach out to them by phone or message. 

Additionally, if you are in Portland, Eugene, or Bend, feel free to visit one of our local shops and speak to one of our friendly and helpful retail employees. They'll be more than happy to assist you and provide any information or guidance you need. Don't hesitate to reach out to us - we're here to help! 

Customer Service: 

Call us toll-free at 888.450.5060 

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