How to Tell If Skateboard Bearings Are Bad

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Estimated reading time: 2 min

Your skateboard bearings are what keeps your skateboard moving fast and smoothly. It is important to be aware of signs that might indicate that they are bad. You need to clean and relube them regularly to extend their life, and if any bearings are missing, you need to replace them right away. You might notice that your wheels are making strange noises, or your wheels might stop spinning quickly. Continue reading to learn how to tell if skateboard bearings are bad.

They Don’t Spin After You Clean Them

After you clean and lube your bearings, the wheels should spin fast. They should continue spinning for one to two minutes without slowing down. You need to clean and maintain skateboard bearings because they lose their lube and get dirt and debris in them. When you lube them, remember that dirt will stick more to an oily substance, so you want to use a silicone lube.

Generally speaking, you will clean your bearings every three months if you skateboard regularly all year long. It is worth the effort because it will help your bearings to last longer. Remember that it is not a good idea to add oil to them to make them spin faster because the dirt will stick to it and get more embedded in the bearings, which will lead to their needing to be replaced sooner.

You Have to Push Too Hard When You Skate

If you find that you are pushing all the time when you skateboard, you might need to replace your bearings. You might find that you don’t get anywhere when you push, and you have to keep pushing. The problem is that the bearings pick up dirt and debris over time. If you don’t clean them, this will cause them to wear out and it gets in the way of your wheels spinning freely.

When you notice that you are constantly pushing, you can start by taking the bearings out to clean them. You will be able to tell whether they are bad by holding them between your fingers. If they feel rough or metallic, then they are going bad and it is time to replace them. If they feel smooth, you can probably clean them and use them a while longer.

You Hear Them Squeaking

Another sign that your bearings are going bad is that they are squeaking and making noise when you skate. Your wheels should turn smoothly, and they shouldn’t make any squeaky noises. The noise can indicate that they are worn out or that they need to be cleaned. If it has been a while since you cleaned them, cleaning may do the trick. However, if you discover that they are worn out, you will need to replace them.

It is important to stay on top of your bearings because having worn bearings that have gone bad can be dangerous when you are skateboarding. You may not be able to land a trick, or the bearing shift could block your wheel while you are moving, which would cause a nasty fall. Bad bearings can also damage your wheels, which can be expensive to replace.

One of the biggest reasons that bearings go bad prematurely is that people skateboard in wet conditions. Moisture damages bearings and causes oxidation. It can damage the silicon lube and the metal itself. If the bearing rusts, you need to replace it. Sand and dust also put wear and tear on the bearings, so you will want to make sure that you keep your bearings clean after you skate in these conditions.

The key to preventing your bearings from going bad is to take care of them and clean them frequently. Make sure that you use silicone lube and not oil to keep them greased, and dry them if they get wet. As long as you take care of them, good bearings can last for years before you have to replace them.

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