How to Rotate Inline Skate Wheels

Inline skaters rotate the wheels on their wheels every once in a while depending on how often you skate and a bunch of other factors. It’s not hard, nor is this simple activity a time suck. If you can spare between 40-60 minutes now, you’ll rotate the wheels on your rollerblades like a pro.

Also read: How to Remove the brake pad from inline skates

All you have to do is follow this brief tutorial or watch the video below (our video, published on our YouTube channel here).

Rollerblade Wheel Rotation Video by

Here you go!

Why Do You Need to Rotate Your Rollerblade Wheels?

inline skates placed side by side

It’s important to rotate your inline skates wheels from time to time to make sure your wheels wear down evenly. You don’t have to rotate them, but you then have to be OK with unevenly worn wheels that roll somewhat differently.

How Do You Know Your Wheels Need to be Rotated?

Take a look at your wheels. Do they have a tapered appearance? Is the inside of the wheel more worn than the outside? Does it feel like your skates are rolling somewhat differently lately? It’s time to move the wheels around.

tapered rollerblade wheels need to be rotated
Tapered wheels: it’s time to rotate them

Naturally, inline skates wheels wear down more on the inside than on the outside. When you’re done rotating them, the worn-down side should face outward.

How Often Do You Rotate Inline Skate Wheels?

It all depends on your weight, PU formula, skating frequency, and the nature of the skating surface. I suggest that you rotate your wheels every time you do a multi-hour session on asphalt. I find that I have to rotate my wheels 1-2 times each week.

As Many Ways to Rotate Rollerblade Wheels As There Are Skaters

In this video, I’m gonna show you how I do wheel rotation on my flat setup. But in truth, my way isn’t the only way. So copy my rotation method if you like, but you may also want to learn other rotation patterns as well.

What My Rotation Pattern Looks Like

wheel rotation diagram

Wheel #1 of the right skate swaps with wheel #3 of the left skate

Wheel #2 of the right skate swaps with wheel #4 of the left one.

Wheel #3 of the right skate takes the place of wheel #1 of the left skate.

And right skate wheel #4 trades places with left skate wheel #2.

Let’s get started.

Sure, you can remove all the wheels at once for rotation, but this approach can cause confusion. I didn’t always remember which wheel was where initially, so I stopped doing that and started swapping each wheel pair at a time. I suggest that you do this.

What You Need to Rotate Your Rollerblade Wheels

  • A pair of inline skates with worn wheels that need to be rotated
  • *Affiliate like: as an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no added cost to you. A 4mm Allen Wrench (some frames need two wrenches to remove the wheels)
  • A pair of hands
  • A wheel rotation method to follow.

Step#1: Place both skates on a table or other surface, one on each side. Set them the way they are when worn.

inline skates placed side by side

Step #2: Unscrew wheel 1 of the right skate and wheel 3 of the left one with a 4mm Allen Wrench. Make counterclockwise turns to do this. Then, flip the wheels over before moving each to where the other sat originally.

switch wheel 1 of right skate with wheel 3 of left skate

Once you’re done, turn the axle head on each wheel in the clockwise direction to tighten it. don’t overtighten. Below is how the skates look like after I swapped wheel 1 of the right skate with wheel 3 of the left one.

how skates look after swapping wheel 1 and 3

Step #3: Repeat the process for the other 3 wheel pairs and you’re done!

Below is how the skates look after you’ve swapped 2 wheel pairs.

And below is how the skates look after I’ve swapped three wheel sets.

3 wheel pairs already swapped

That’s basically how I rotate my wheels on flat setups. If your wheels are

Wheel Rotation on Rockered Frames: How to Do It?

Some rollerblades have a rockered frame while have wheels arranged a certain way to create a banana-shaped wheel configuration. When you rocker your skates, maneuverability improves dramatically. That’s why slalom and hockey inline skaters rocker their wheels.

So, how do you rotate the wheels on rockered inline skates? There’s no one correct way to do this, so choose a rockered frame rotation pattern and stick to that.

If your frames have a natural rocker, simply follow the flat-setup rotation pattern 1-3/2-4. But if you rockered the wheels yourself, simply flip the wheels (inside of the wheel faces outside) but keep the wheels in the original position. You may also swap the left skate wheels to the right skate (without changing position, but wheels flipped) with the right skate wheels.

Clean the Bearings Before You Replace Them (Optional Step)

If the bearings in your wheels are dirty, clean them before pushing them back into the hubs. To clean the bearings, dip them into a [As an Amazon Associates, I may earn a small commission on qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you] Bones bearing cleaning unit or other container with a lid.

Swirl the cleaner around and allow it to stand for half an hour before drying and lubricating the bearings and getting them back into the wheels. Watch our video on how to clean inline skates and bearings after you’re done watching this one. If you don’t wish to clean the bearings, simply wipe them down with a rag. And you’d like to learn how to deep clean your rollerblades, watch a video we recently published on our Youtube channel.

How to Rotate Inline Skate Wheels: Conclusion

To rotate your rollerblade wheels, grab a 4mm Allen Wrench and loosen the wheel axle nuts of the first wheel pair. You can unscrew all the wheels at once if you want, but you likely will wind up getting confused. It’s best to handle one wheel pair (left skate wheel trading places with right skate wheel) at a time.

Before moving the wheels to each other’s original position, flip them over. Then, tighten the wheel axle nuts and repeat the process for the remaining three wheel sets.

This process shouldn’t take more than 40 minutes from your life assuming you won’t clean the bearings. If you wish to clean the bearings before replacing them, the wheel rotation process may take about an hour, which isn’t too much time.