Monday, October 8, 2012

Longboard Helps: How to Change Bearings

A few weeks ago Freya, my scooter, was damaged in a parking lot while I was at work. I finished my shift to find that someone had moved her, knocked off the mirror, and added a few new scratches. To make it even worse the scooter would not start. Therefore I was back to longboarding to get around. Carrying the big Sector Nine board around campus gets a little tiring and so I was looking for something smaller for school. I settled on a blue Stereo Vinyl Cruiser which I found for a pretty good price.

Its a nice little board, very old school, and very fun to ride around. However the stock bearings it came with were junk and wouldn't spin very fast. I replaced them with new bearings and decided to take the opportunity to explain about skate bearings.

For the longest time I had no idea what bearings were, how to clean them, or how to replace them when needed. I've decided to help out all the budding boarders and explain it now. Your board has the deck where you stand, under the deck are the metal trucks. Your wheels attach to the trucks, however, rubber wheels don't spin too well against metal. In between the wheels and the trucks are the bearings. Metal rings that have little metal spheres inside. This spins which allows your wheels to spin. After time the spheres wear out or get dirty and you need to replace the bearings.



How to Change Bearings

All you need is your board and a small wrench with which you can take the bolt off the end of the trucks.


Take the wrench and carefully unscrew the bolt off the trucks. Then take your wheel off. Be careful because there will be two small washer rings called bearing spacers, be sure not to lose them. 

Carefully unscrew the bolt...

...and take the wheel off the trucks

Then, all you need is the trucks and your wheel. Angle the bearing on the very end of the trucks and push carefully on the wheel. The bearing should just pop out. 



If you want to save the old bearings, for another board or just to
clean them, be very careful not to push too hard and damage
the bearings


Then you take your new bearings and push them into the wheel. They might not go in all the way just by using your fingers. Do not pound on them to make them fit better! Instead, put the wheel back on the trucks and tighten the nut as far as you can and this will push the bearings in all the way. Then loosen the nut until the wheel can spin freely and wiggle a little bit on the trucks. You have just succeeded in replacing your bearings. Congratulations. Its not too bad is it? But if no one every told you, you would have no idea. Now get out and ride on your board, after an hour or so the bearings should be broken in enough and spinning beautifully.



4 comments:

Fritz Clark said...

This is really nice. This is how bearings should be shown in a picture. With lots of info with it.
babbit bearings

Mason said...

Thanks for the compliment. Bearings are a key part to the board. I took a look at your website. It looks like you guys are into more extreme bearings than skate ones. Pretty cool stuff.

Dick Olson said...

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NancyRichard said...

A longboard is a type of sports equipment somewhat similar to a skateboard, but much longer. nicolas mcgee