Sunday, July 10, 2016

derbies: cleaning the bearings

This was my first time ever cleaning my bearings.
I felt like I was skating through mud and it was difficult and I couldn't go fast even when I tried super hard.
And I could hear them.  That's not a good sign.

I borrowed a skate tool from the lovely Mimi and also a bearing puller.
I am so grateful for that bearing puller.  It's hard work getting those suckers out.

Those bearings above are dirty.
If they make a whirling sound, then they are probably dirty.

So, here is I cleaned my bearings.

First thing you have to do is obvious.  Remove the wheel from the skate.
Do that using your skate tool.  I didn't manage to get a picture of the one I used, it was a multi-tool.
Here are some examples of skate tools and a bearing puller.

I put the skate nuts in a dish of soapy water.

After the wheels are off, you had to get the bearings out of the wheel.
This is quite a chore.
I had to put the wheels on the ground, step on them and use the bearing puller and yank them out.
I have a lovely bruise on one of my arms to show for it.

After you remove the bearing, you have to remove the covers.
Mine are the clear plastic kind.
I used a needle and a small nail to remove them.
Some people use a small eyeglass screwdriver.
The first one I tried took me a long time.
An annoying long amount of time.

Once all those are removed, you can put the covers in soapy water and scrub them down with a toothbrush.  Then place on a towel and let them dry.

You can use many things to clean the bearings:  70% isopropyl alcohol, denatured isopropyl alcohol, paint thinner or kerosene (I'll skip those) or bearing specific cleaner.

I used 91% isopropyl alcohol. 
The higher the percentage the better.

I soaked my bearings in those.
After soaking I used a toothbrush to clean them out using the alcohol.

After that was all done, I put them on the towel to dry.

Once they were dry, I used 3 in one automotive oil to lube them up.
Others use bearing specific oil.  Some use other lubricants.

Once they are all lubed up, it's time to put the bearing covers on.
This is much easier than taking them off.

You can use a needle to line up the bearings and snap the cover right on.

Make sure they spin.

Then put your bearings back in your wheel.

Put your wheels back on your skates and you are ready to go.

This worked really well for me.

I am not an expert, so consult your local skate shop for more detailed information.

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