Skate Care 101: How to Clean and Change Your Bearings

January 26, 2023

Are your bearings feeling or looking a little rusty, maybe they’re even squealing out for some TLC? If the answer is yes or maybe, it’s well and truly time to practise some skate care and give your bearings some love.

When is it time to clean or change your bearings?

Cleaning your bearings is an easy way to keep your skates feeling funky fresh and extend the longevity of your bearings at the same time. If you’re not a regular skate carer then you might not know when it’s time to give your bearings a clean. If you skate regularly you should probably be cleaning your bearings once a month. Let’s be honest though, most of us wait until we hear that hideous squeal or one of our bearings has completely seized up. A good tell-tale sign is if your bearings are feeling a little sluggish or when you try to spin the wheel they don’t spin for at least 5 – 10 seconds.

If your bearings are completely rusted out, stuck on your axles, missing ball bearings or feeling sluggish even after cleaning then it might be time to invest in a whole new set of bearings. New bearings can make a huge difference to your skate experience. You don’t need to get the most expensive and fancy bearings on the market for them to make a difference, but price generally does indicate quality. Just make sure you’re getting the correct size bearings for your skate plates. Most skates take 8mm bearings but for people with Roll-Line or old speed skate plates, you’ll need some 7mm ones. Some of our favourite bearings are Bones Reds, Roll-Line Carbon J, Moxi Mixtapes, Better Bearings Rock Solids and Lickety Splits.

How do you clean or change your bearings?

There are loads of tutorials out there showing you how to clean and change your bearings. This one from our friends at Moxi Roller Skates is our go-to for showing RollerFitters the bearing cleaning and changing process to help you get your skates sorted sooner.  

This tutorial from Rebel aka Queer Girl Straight Skates, gives you loads of great info about bearings and how you can use a bearing pull tool or bearing press to help you change your bearings.

Must-Have Skate Care Equipment

The RollerFit Shop is always stocked with a bunch skate care essentials to make cleaning and changing your bearings super simple. Skate tools, bearing lube and bearing wash are always in our skate kit just in case of emergency and to encourage us to do some regular skate care.

So there you have it, all the bearing cleaning and changing knowledge you need to get your skates rolling smoothly. Now you just need to collect your equipment and find dedicate some time to a little bit of skate care. Trust us, it’s worth it!

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