Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Owner's Guide to Changing Your Wheels

take off the wheels

Let's get started manhandling our skates, don't be scared! You can't be afraid to touch your skates, derby is about being empowered.

Changing your wheels is the easiest thing in the world to do. Maybe you want to replace those terrible Cayman wheels with swanky new wheels, or maybe you need to swap your indoor wheels for outdoor wheels, or maybe you're really a wheel princess like me and wear different wheels at the practice space, which is skate court, and at the skating rink, which is wood. Or maybe you're actually cleaning your wheels!

To take off your wheels, all you have to do is unscrew the axel nut that holds your wheel on the axel. Just remember righty-tighty, lefty-loosey. I have the cheapest possible skate tool, it works for me.

To put them back on, plop the wheel back on and screw on the axel nut. I don't have to tell you that the flat side of the wheel faces inward and the funnel side faces outward, right? To get it to the right tightness: tighten it until the wheel doesn't spin, then back it up a half turn until it spins freely.

If you're swapping indoor for outdoor wheels, you will probably just have separate bearings loaded into each set of wheels. If you're swapping between indoor sets, you may have to change the bearings. I also have an extra set of indoor bearings, just because changing bearings is a little bit of a pain. But you do sometimes have to change your bearings, instructions to follow—