Inline Skates Maintenance

August 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Maintaining Your Inline Skates

Once you've decided to start inline skating, and you've purchased a good pair of inline skates you have to learn how to maintain and care for them. Your inline skates maintenance is the most important thing you need to do both for your safety and for the longevity of your skates. If you want your skates to take care of you, you have to take good care of your skates. You should get into the habit of cleaning them and keeping them safe so they will last a long time. Having a well cared for pair of skates will also help you in your performance.
As you get more and more into your skating, you will learn more advanced inline skates maintenance, you'll learn to fix problems and do upgrades to your skates, but in the meantime, there are a few things you should start with to keep your skates in top condition, like rotate the wheels, clean the bearings and tighten the screws.

When you buy a new pair of skates, they should come with an owner's manual. Keep the manual for information on parts and specifics about your particular brand of inline skates.

To give basic maintenance to your skates you will only need a few tools, and the more you do it, the faster you'll do it.

Before and after you go skating, take a few minutes to wipe down your bearings and rotate your wheels. You also need to check your spacers and your brake system. If you turn this into a routine, you'll have a safe and fun experience every time you go out on the trail.

ROTATE YOUR WHEELS
Yes, just like a car your inline skate wheels will need to be rotated once in a while. You'll notice that some wheels wear more to one side or the other, and you need to rotate them so the wear will be even in all wheels and they'll last longer.

There are many things that affect the wear of the wheels. It depends on what surface you skate on, your weight, how long you skate and how often, your skating style, even the weather! That means that sometimes wheels need to be rotated daily or once a week. Some people just do it every time they go skating as part of their routine.

CLEAN YOUR BEARINGS
You probably don't have to clean your bearings completely every time you rotate your wheels, except when they get wet, in which case you have to remove the bearings and the spacers and dry them thoroughly. Don't lubricate the outside of a bearing.

There are different kinds of bearings. Some require that you remove a shield to open them in order to service them (serviceable bearings). You need a solvent to remove the lubricant and debris, rinse and dry the bearings, re-lubricate and reassemble them.
There are also non-serviceable bearings that only need to be wiped off with a clean, dry  cloth. You will find this information in your owner's manual or on the website of the company where you purchased either the skates or the bearings.

CHECK YOUR BRAKES
Your break pad also wears out and you have to check it before and after every skating session. Make sure the pad is firmly attached. If your skate uses advanced brake technology, make sure all the components work fine. Check the wear line on the brake pad to know how much longer the brake will last. Always replace the pad before you reach the wear line to be safe.

MAKE ANY NECESSARY UPGRADES
Your wheels, bearings and hardware will eventually wear out and you'll need to replace them. use this opportunity to choose a different set of wheels with all the characteristics you might want for your specific needs. There are many things to consider when you choose your wheels: durometer, durability, shock-absorption, your skating style and diameter. Check this article for more info.

You can choose a serviceable or non-serviceable bearings as we mentioned before. If you want lower maintenance or if you're going to skate outdoors a lot, get non-serviceable or Seal bearings.

IF YOU NEED REPAIRS

Almost every part on your skate can be replaced. Check with a local inline skate dealer, or check online with the skate manufacturer for parts.

Most skaters do their own repairs and upgrades, but if you are just beginning and don't feel comfortable doing it yourself, you can take your skates to a pro shop, a rink, or even an instructor who can teach you how to do it, or perform the service for you.

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