Longboarding is a fun, and exciting activity that requires skill, practice, and proper maintenance to ensure your ride is smooth and safe. One crucial aspect of maintaining your longboard is cleaning the wheels regularly.
This article will explore the best ways how to clean longboard wheels and bearings. I have also provided a few valuable tips for longboard maintenance.
Best Way How to Clean Longboard Wheels
Cleaning your longboard wheels is essential for maintaining their performance and preventing damage to the board. Here are the steps to follow for the best way to clean longboard wheels:
- Remove the wheels
- Remove the bearings & hardware
- Wipe down the wheels
- Soak the longboard wheels
- Clean the wheels
- Dry the wheels
- Put the wheels back on your longboard
Remove The Longboard Wheels
Start by removing the wheels from your longboard. Use the Skate tools to remove the wheels easily.
Remove The Bearings & Hardware
Once you’ve taken the wheels off, remove the bearings and hardware. This step will prevent the bearings from getting wet, which can cause rust and damage the lubrication.
Gently Wipe Down The Wheels
Using a small towel or paper towel, gently wipe down the wheels to remove any larger pieces of dirt or debris.
Soak The Longboard Wheels
Fill a bowl with warm, soapy water, and let the wheels soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Soaking will help to loosen and remove any smaller pieces of dirt and debris.
Clean the wheels: Scrub The Wheels With An Old Toothbrush
Use an old toothbrush to scrub the wheels with soap water for stubborn dirt and debris.
Dry The Wheels
After cleaning, dry the wheels thoroughly using a dry towel. To avoid rust or damage to the wheels, make sure the water has been drained completely.
Put The Wheels Back On Your Longboard
Finally, put the wheels and bearings back on your longboard. Make sure everything is securely tightened. Now you are all set to have a safe and smooth ride again.
How to Clean Longboard Wheel Bearings
Cleaning the wheel bearings is just as important as cleaning the wheels themselves. The following Steps should be followed to clean the wheel bearings on your longboard:
Remove the Bearings from the Wheels
Remove the wheel bearings from the longboards. Take out the axle nut and washer from the vehicle using a skate tool or wrench. Once the nut and washer are removed, gently push the wheel away from the truck until the bearing pops out. Repeat this process for all the wheels.
Prepare the Bearings for Cleaning
The wheels must now be prepared for cleaning after the bearings have been removed. Start by removing the bearings’ rubber seals or shields. They are simply removed by using a flathead screwdriver to carefully take them off. Take caution not to break the shields or seals.
Clean the Bearings
Now it’s time to clean the bearings. To do this, you will need a cleaning solvent such as rubbing alcohol or a specialized bearing cleaner. Place the bearings in a jar or container with enough cleaning solvent to cover them completely. Shake the jar or container vigorously for several minutes to dislodge any dirt, grime, or debris from the bearings.
Dry the Bearings
After cleaning the bearings, it’s important to dry them thoroughly before reassembling them. To do this, place the bearings on a clean, dry cloth and let them air dry for at least an hour.
Reassemble the Bearings
Put the Bearings back together after they have dried completely. Each bearing should first get a tiny amount of lubrication. Then, replace the rubber seals or shields that you removed earlier. Finally, press the bearings back into the wheels, ensuring they are seated properly.
Test the Bearings Now
After reassembling the bearings, it’s a good idea to test them to ensure they work correctly. To do this, spin each wheel with your fingers to see if they spin freely and smoothly. You’re ready to hit the road!
Best Solvent for Cleaning Wheel Bearings
Isopropyl alcohol is the ideal solvent for cleaning wheel bearings. Although many solvents could be used for cleanings, like Acetone, Methyl Ethyl Ketone, Citrus cleaner, and Denatured alcohol, Isopropyl alcohol is a highly effective solvent that can break down grease, grime, and other contaminants that accumulate in your bearings over time. It is inexpensive and easily available on most paint or hardware stores.
Steps To Follow:
While using Isopropyl alcohol to clean your wheel bearings, make sure to follow these steps:
- Remove the bearings from your wheels using a skate tool.
- Place the bearings in a small container.
- Pour enough isopropyl alcohol into the container to cover the bearings.
- Shake the container vigorously for several minutes, ensuring the alcohol reaches every part of the bearings.
- To clean the bearings, use a fresh cloth or paper towel.
- Allow the bearings to air dry entirely before reassembling your wheels.
It is important to note that while isopropyl alcohol is highly effective for cleaning wheel bearings, it is also highly flammable. Always handle Isopropyl alcohol cautiously and wear protective gloves and eyewear to avoid skin and eye irritation.
Soft Longboard Wheels
If you want a smooth and comfortable ride, using soft longboard wheels is an excellent option. Soft wheels are ideal for cruising and commuting, providing better shock absorption and traction than harder wheels. However, they wear down faster than harder wheels, so clean and maintain them regularly.
Skateboard Wheel Grease
Using skateboard wheel grease is an effective way to lubricate your longboard wheels and bearings, making them spin more smoothly and reducing wear and tear. Apply some grease to the bearing before reinserting it into the wheel.
How to Change Longboard Wheels?
Longboard wheels are an essential part of your longboarding experience. They play a significant role in your longboard’s overall performance and functionality. The wheels wear out as you ride, and you must replace them. This guide will help you go through the process of changing your longboard’s wheels step-by-step.
Before we begin, let’s gather the necessary tools. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Skate tool
- Rag or towel
- New longboard wheels
- Step-by-Step Guide
Now that we have everything we need let’s begin changing your longboard wheels.
Remove the Old Wheels
Using your skate tool, loosen the nuts on the wheel you wish to replace. Once the nuts are loose, remove the wheel and the bearings from the axle. clean the axle and get rid of dirt and dust using a rag or towel.
Install New Bearings
If you’re installing new bearings, now is the time. Insert the bearings into the new wheels by pushing them into the center of the wheel until they’re fully seated. You can use your skate tool to help with this process.
Fix The New Wheels
The replacement wheel should be mounted onto the axle and lowered until it is flush with the truck. Insert the nuts and tighten them until their snug. Avoid over-tightening the nuts, as this can damage the bearings and reduce the performance of your longboard.
Test And Adjust
Once you’ve replaced the old wheels, it’s time to test them out. Take your longboard for a spin and see how the new wheels feel. If they don’t feel right, you may need to adjust the tightness of the nuts. Use your skate tool to make necessary adjustments until you find the perfect balance between tightness and smoothness.
Neglecting the proper maintenance of your longboard wheels and bearings can decrease performance and even cause accidents. Therefore, it’s imperative how to clean longboard wheels and bearings effectively. Use appropriate cleaning tools and techniques to remove dirt, grime, and debris from your longboard’s components. Regularly perform maintenance checks on your longboard and ensure you’re using the correct type of wheels for your riding style. Taking the above-discussed steps will not only enhance your longboarding experience but also extend the life of your equipment.