Every skater needs to know how to change roller skate wheels. Fortunately, the task is rather easy to do, and it does not take a lot of time.
There are only five basic steps to go through. Learn what they are and other handy tips to make sure you do the job correctly in the detailed guide below. We will walk you through all that you must know.
Read on to find out more. Our guide should work on Roller Derby skates too.
Step-by-step Guide to Change Roller Skate Wheels
What you will need to prepare
- An Allen wrench or a skate tool
- Skate wheels
- Clean rag
Step 1: Loosen the Axle Screws or Nuts
The first thing you need to do to change wheels on roller skates is loosen up the axle screws and slip them off using an Allen wrench or a skate tool.
Even if you have never used these tools before, you will be able to get this done easily. Insert the tool into the screw of the bearing and turn the tool counterclockwise until you can remove the screw entirely. Repeat the same process for all the other bearings’ nuts.
Step 2: Remove the Wheels & Stow Away the Axle Screws or Nuts
After detaching the screws/nuts, set them aside and start working on the wheels. All you need to do here is slide the wheels off the axle and out of your skates’ frame.
Tip: Keep the screws/nuts you have taken off in a cup or bowl to make sure you do not misplace them. They are small, so they are quite easy to lose.
Step 3: Fit the Wheels in
While you can put on the new wheels right away, it’s best to wipe the axle clean first. Otherwise, it can negatively affect your bearings, which ultimately impact your skating experience.
Position the wheels in front of the axle and make sure that its flat part is not facing you. The part with the beveled portion should be the one facing upward. Slide the wheels through the axle on your quads or into the frame of the skates on your inlines.
Step 4: Secure the Wheels
Then, secure the wheels in place with screws or nuts you have taken off earlier. When doing this, check that the screws/nuts are tight. You do not want them falling off while you are skating. It is extremely dangerous!
However, keep in mind that they should not be too tight. If they are, your wheels will not be able to spin freely and roll smoothly. You can rely on this principle to check if you’ve overtightened your nuts – try spinning the wheels, they should be rolling smoothly without any hiccups.
Step 5: Test the Skates
The final step is to check the wheels. Now that they are all fitted into your skates, you need to see they are good to go.
With quads, set the skates to its side on a flat surface and pull the wheels up and down with your hands on both sides. They should jiggle a bit, but should not be loose and unstable.
If your skates pass the first test, put them on and go for a “test ride.” Skate around and take note of how they feel. Are they wobbly? Do they make noises? If you are answering NO to these, then your skates are ready. Take them out for the real experience in a skate park!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Reasons for Replacing Roller Skate Wheels
Roller skate wheel replacement is not something you do just because you feel like it. There are different situations where it should be done, such as when the wheels are making noise, unevenly worn out, or you want to replace your indoor roller skate wheels for outdoor skating.
Besides the hardness, you might want to change wheels because of their size. For instance, wider wheels to reach higher speeds and skate with more stability (Perhaps when you are doing speed skating).
Common Problems When Changing Roller Skate Wheels
A common problem that skaters encounter changing replacing roller skates wheels is the wheels getting stuck in the axle because of friction caused by lodged dirt and grease. When you run into this, you will have to spare some time and effort to manually get rid of the filth build-up.
Another issue that some skaters get is the new wheels not being able to go all through the axle all the way for a tight fit. This is most likely because your new wheels are not compatible. Make sure that when you purchase replacements, you get the correct ones. You can consult store employees if you are not sure.
If you are reattaching existing wheels and a similar scenario occurs, the skate bearings are likely the problem. They might be bent or wonky. You need to remove them from the wheels with, and switch new ones in. Use a roller skate tool, bearing puller, or bearing press and bearings to do this.
Note: For more instructions, check out our guide to putting bearings in roller skate wheels post.
How long do roller skate wheels last?
Roller skate wheels typically last between 12 and 18 months. However, a pair of wheel’s specific life can be affected by other factors, like how often it is used and where it is used. Its material and original quality also plays a role.
Can you change roller skate wheels without tools?
Yes! It is possible to replace roller skate wheels without tools. Here is how you can do it:
- Take the wheels out of your roller skates.
- Put the wheels back on the tip of the axle, but do not push it through all the way.
- Use the wheel as a leverage to pry the bearing from the wheel. It should pop off with a bit of effort.
- Repeat the steps to take off the bearings of all your wheels.
Now, you know exactly how to change roller skate wheels. There are only five main steps to remember. It might be a bit difficult the first time, but you will eventually get the hang of it. Feel free to bookmark this guide to refer back to the steps if you are still trying to familiarize yourself with the process.
Do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have trouble changing your roller skate wheels. We will be glad to answer your questions and offer help.
Harrison is a skating enthusiast who picked up the sport during her student exchange years in Canada. She has been a skating coach for children and teens for 3 years and now holds classes as a freelancer. Harrison entwines her experience leading skating classes in the content published on Cora to help readers fall in love with skating, just like she did.