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Introdução

Any avid rider of longboards can attest the feeling of smooth cruising is paramount in the skating experience. Drag induced by grime building up in wheel bearings is literally that: a drag. The process outlined here serves as an introduction to longboard maintenance, focusing on the components of the wheel as well as how to maximize their efficiency.

An easy way to test the state of one’s wheels is to spin each independently and time how long it takes to come to rest. Generally, if a wheel spins less than thirty seconds it will detriment the quality of the motion. However, even if this criteria isn’t met, visible build up of grime signals the need for maintenance.

  1. Remove the wheel components from the axle starting with the cap nut. Set aside the smaller components on a paper towel. They are easy to lose and can leave grime on surfaces.
    • Remove the wheel components from the axle starting with the cap nut.

    • Set aside the smaller components on a paper towel. They are easy to lose and can leave grime on surfaces.

  2. Use the axle to carefully pry each of the bearings out of the inside of the wheel. Use the axle to carefully pry each of the bearings out of the inside of the wheel.
    • Use the axle to carefully pry each of the bearings out of the inside of the wheel.

  3. Remove the rubber seal fitted in the bearings with a thin blade. Make sure to insert the blade between the rubber and metal, otherwise the seal may be damaged. Pry the seal out by moving the tool in the opposite direction of the blade edge and twisting slightly.
    • Remove the rubber seal fitted in the bearings with a thin blade.

    • Make sure to insert the blade between the rubber and metal, otherwise the seal may be damaged. Pry the seal out by moving the tool in the opposite direction of the blade edge and twisting slightly.

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  5. Place the bearings in a bowl. Add solvent until all the bearings are submerged completely.
    • Place the bearings in a bowl.

    • Add solvent until all the bearings are submerged completely.

  6. Let the bearings soak for 2-4 hours. Empty the bowl and allow the bearings to dry for 30 minutes.
    • Let the bearings soak for 2-4 hours.

    • Empty the bowl and allow the bearings to dry for 30 minutes.

    • Keep all the easy-to-lose components in the same area as the bowl used for soaking.

  7. Add two drops of lubricant on opposite sides for each bearing. Remount the rubber seals in each bearing now that they are cleaned and lubricated. Remount the rubber seals in each bearing now that they are cleaned and lubricated.
    • Add two drops of lubricant on opposite sides for each bearing.

    • Remount the rubber seals in each bearing now that they are cleaned and lubricated.

  8. Wedge each bearing back into the center of the wheel. Wedge each bearing back into the center of the wheel.
    • Wedge each bearing back into the center of the wheel.

  9. Remount the wheel components in order: wheel, washer, cap nut. Tighten the cap nut until it provides resistance. Tighten the cap nut until it provides resistance.
    • Remount the wheel components in order: wheel, washer, cap nut.

    • Tighten the cap nut until it provides resistance.

  10. Spin the wheel to test the clean bearings. A new set of bearings should allow for roughly 60 seconds of uninterrupted free-spin.
    • Spin the wheel to test the clean bearings.

    • A new set of bearings should allow for roughly 60 seconds of uninterrupted free-spin.

Conclusão

While the fix itself is relatively simple, it requires time to allow the bearings to be cleaned properly. Be mindful of where the smaller components are placed as one can lose track of them easily. Also, be sure to employ caution when using the box cutter.

Alexander Whitworth

Membro desde: 08-02-2019

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