Sluggish wheels can suck all the fun of skateboarding. Imagine, one day you go out with your board, and you notice the wheels got stopped and not responding. That’s a state every wheel comes to eventually. And a need to replace the wheels become crucial.
Knowing how to change skateboard wheels is mandatory for every skater out there. If you know the correct technique, replacing the wheels takes a few minutes.
Here is a detailed guide on when and how to change the wheels. Without further ado, let’s begin.
How often & when should you change the wheels?
There is no fixed answer to this question. The frequency of changing wheels varies from person to person, depending on their usage. If you use a skateboard for casual cruising, your wheels should last long. And if you use them in rough roads it will wear off sooner.
On the other hand, if you are a trickster who does a lot of grinding or power sliding with a skateboard wheel, you’ll need to change wheels much more frequently. Here is some clear indication to when to change your skateboard wheels.
- Lose of grip: Every wheel loses its grip over time, no matter the quality of the wheels or how carefully you use your skateboard. If you feel the grip isn’t there anymore, plan to change the wheels.
- Shrinkage: Skateboard wheels create a ton of friction when they spin. This friction generates a lot of heat, which causes the wheels to shrink over time and creates an imbalance of size among the wheels. In that case, changing wheels are necessary.
- Damaged wheels: Wheels can get damaged for various reasons. Whether it’s constant usage or just an accidental landing, the wheel can get cracked or damaged, and in that case, you should change the wheels immediately.
- Changing for a new discipline: Changing the skateboard wheels can involve something other than damage, grip, or shrinkage. Trying different types of skateboarding techniques will require you to change the wheels. For example, if you plan to skate in a skate park from cruising, you should change into harder wheels from softer ones.
Changing Skateboard Wheels with tools
Changing skate wheels may become important for better riding experience. In case you are going to change the wheels yourself, you may need some tools for doing the job easily.
Now lets find
What tools do you need to screw out the wheels?
Before getting to the change part, you need to gather some tools to make the change possible. Here is the list of tools you’ll need.
- A clean and flat working surface: Changing skateboard wheels involves a lot of washers, some screws & nuts. To ensure these components remain secure in front of your eye, you need a flat and secured workspace is a must. You can put a light-colored cloth on the flat surface to quickly locate the small components.
- A skate tool/ wrench: A skate tool or T-tool is a convenient tool to make all the necessary adjustments to a skateboard. You can use it to unscrew the axle nut and remove the old wheels. If you don’t have a skate tool, a ½ inch wrench should do the job too.
- A new set of wheels: Carefully pick the new set of wheels that suits your riding style. Wheels are most crucial part of skateboard & you should choose a comfortable as well as long lasting wheel for a comfortable riding experience. Don’t choose cheap one because choosing wrong wheels can make your riding experience worsen even cause accident.
- A small bowl (Optional): This will help you store all the small things like nuts, screws, and washers in one place.
How to change the wheel (step by step)
Now that you have gathered all the necessary tools, let’s show you how to change the wheels. The best part about changing wheels is that you can do it anywhere with just one tool. Here are the steps you need to follow:
First it is time to unscrew old wheels. To do so, you need to get your skateboard on a flat surface and grab the skate tool or the wrench. Then remove the axle nuts and speed washers slowly (Each wheel has a two-speed washer on each side of the wheel).
Now separate bearing from the wheel. To separate the wheels and bearings, bring the revolution to the edge of the axle, hold it at a 45-degree angle and pry the wheels off the bearings. Bearings would come out so as the wheels
If you plan to use the old bearings, it’s an excellent time to clean them. Put the washer first, then the bearings onto the axle. Then take the new wheel, and press them on the bearings with a bit of weight. The bearings will be snapped into the wheels.
Repeat the same process for each wheel. After you snap the wheels, put the last washer and screw the axle nuts back on. Don’t screw the wheels too tightly, as it can affect the smoothness of your skateboard wheels.
How tight the wheels should be, depends on riding style and place you want to skate on.
Replacement cost of wheels
The replacement cost of wheels varies widely depending on the quality of the wheels you are installing. Most beginner-level skateboard wheels are cheap, coming in between $15 and $25. Going higher quality into wheels from known manufacturers will cost anywhere between $30 to $60. Considering the importance of wheels, you should always go for high quality premium wheels.
Most of the wheels come with bearing in package. If you want to buy bearings separately you may do do that. The price of the bearing, too, depends on the quality and brand. Bearings have a much wider range than wheels, costing between $10 and $100.
That’s a wrap for today. Skateboard wheels are subject to wear and damage to the point where changing them becomes necessary. For all the beginners out there, my guide should be beneficial to figure out the right way to change skateboard wheels.
After changing, you’ll be ready to hit the road with smoothness again.
Also check out our guide
Hi, this is Jerry, a skateboarder, who loves to talk about micro-mobility and future of that industry. Coming from motion engineering background, I am very enthusiast about speed, motion, balance and technology. I have taken a mission to carry the fuel free, environment friendly micro-mobile industry forward by educating people about micro-mobile products especially skateboards and longboards. I love skating around very much and encourage people to do so. Its a fun believe me.