Bearings are a crucial component of inline skates. They make the wheels rotate smoothly and efficiently, allowing you to enjoy a comfortable, enjoyable skate session indoors or outdoors.
Related: How to Buy Inline Skate Bearings
However, over time, the bearings can become worn or damaged, which can negatively affect the performance of your skates. When this happens, it may be necessary to remove the inline skate bearings and replace them with new ones, or service them. In this post, we will discuss the fastest and easiest way to remove inline skate bearings, with or without a tool.
Also Read: Best Rollerblades for New Skaters
Would you prefer watching a video tutorial over reading this guide? Below is a video tutorial on how to remove wheels from rollerblades plus how to get the bearings out of the wheels. If you like the video, please share, like, and subscribe so Youtube’s algorithms might show it some love and more people get to watch it.
Over time, your inline skate bearings can become dirty, worn, or damaged. Which can cause the wheels to spin less smoothly and reduce your skates’ overall performance. When this happens, it may be necessary to remove the bearings and replace them with new ones. And if the bearings are serviceable, you can always remove, clean, and lubricate them.
You know it’s time to replace your inline skate bearings if:
- your wheels are spinning slower than usual
- if you hear a grinding or rattling sound coming from your skates
- you notice uneven wear on the wheels,
- you see visible damage on the bearings upon removing them
- spinning the wheels by hand faces much resistance
What You Need to Remove Wheels and Bearings from Inline Skates:
- 4mm Allen Key
- WD40 (optional)
The fastest and easiest way to remove inline skate bearings is to use an effective tool. The best bearing removal tool is an Allen Wrench or a Skate Tool. I recommend the Pig Tool or Silver Tool for the job.
This is the method I use to remove bearings from my Flying Eagle skates and other skates. And the technique works each time without fail. You want to use a 4mm hench wrench for the task. Many skates these days come with this tool, but if yours came without it, buy one.
*Make sure to watch the video above to learn how our editor, Peter, removes the wheels from his much-loved Flying Eagle inline skates. Note that the way you take the wheels off may be different than the way you do for his son’s first-ever pair of skates.
A skate tool is pretty inexpensive. Many skaters on Reddit (and that includes us) recommend the Silver All-in-One Multifunction Ratchet Skate Tool or the Pig Tool. These are pretty versatile tools, BTW. They’ll even help you file your grip tape.
All that said, pretty much any skate tool, screwdriver, or paint can opener will do the job.
To remove rollerblade bearings using an Allen key, follow the steps below:
#1. Remove the wheels (using an Allen key) and place them on a flat surface facing upward.
#2. Take off the washers if there are any. (this step is optional)
#3. Put your Allen Key into the hole in the center of the wheel to a place around the middle.
#3. Apply some force on the Allen Key with your hand. Do this by pushing the handle toward you and downward. This method removes some bearings in 2-3 seconds and stubborn ones in 5-6 seconds tops. I do this all the time, so I know.
#4. After removing the first bearing, remove the spacer, and push the other bearing out of the wheel hub.
#5. Repeat this process for each wheel.
Note: To remove bearings from inline skates with a screwdriver, remove the wheels and then follow the exact same steps described above.
If you do not have a dedicated tool or an Allen key, you can still remove inline skate bearings using a few common household items. To remove the bearings without a tool, use a small Phillips head screwdriver or even a paint can opener to get the bearings out.
- Remove the wheels from the skates and place them on a flat surface such as a table or even the floor.
- Insert a Phillips head screwdriver through the center of the bearing and apply some downward force on the tool. Doing this loosens up things and takes the bearings out.
- Repeat this process for each wheel.
The time it takes to remove inline skate bearings will depend on the method you use and your level of experience. With a dedicated tool, you can remove all 16 bearings in a matter of minutes. Using an Allen key or a screwdriver may take a bit longer, but it should still only take a few minutes to remove all the wheels.
Good quality inline skate bearings can be pretty expensive. Decent rollerblade bearings can range from around $10 to $100 or even more depending on the brand and quality.
High-end bearings may be made from better materials, precision skate bearing engineering, and advanced lubrication systems. And all these things can make these pricier options more durable and longer-lasting than cheaper ones.
But you don’t necessarily need to break the bank to get a decent set of inline skate bearings. There are plenty of affordable options available that still offer good performance and durability.
When shopping for skate bearings, consider factors such as the bearing rating the manufacturer adheres to such as skate-rated bearings or ABEC-rated bearings, the material used (steel, titanium, or ceramic), and the manufacturer’s reputation.
No, ABEC-rated skate bearings don’t always perform better than skate-rated bearings. Bones bearings (our all-time favorite) aren’t ABEC rated; they’re skate-rated, which means they’re tested for skating and not for industrial use. Many skaters out there swear by Bones bearings even if they’re not ABEC rated.
The lifespan of rollerblade bearings will depend on a variety of factors. It depends on the quality of the bearings, how often you skate, the skating style you do, and the kind of conditions you skate in.
Higher-quality skate bearings will last longer than cheaper ones. And bearings that are well-maintained will last longer than neglected ones.
With proper care and maintenance, good quality rollerblade bearings can last for years. However, if you use your skates frequently or if you skate in harsh conditions such as wet or dusty surfaces, you may need to replace your bearings more often.
Inspect your bearings regularly for signs of wear and tear or damage. Replace the bearings if necessary to make sure that you always have smooth and efficient skates.
Removing inline skate bearings is a simple process that can be done with or without a dedicated tool. By following the steps outlined above, you can quickly and easily remove your bearings and replace them with new ones, ensuring that your skates perform at their best.
Make sure to invest in good quality bearings and maintain them properly to get the most out of your skating experience.