One of the most important aspects of skateboarding is keeping your skateboard bearings lubricated. Without proper lubrication, your skateboard will be sluggish and unresponsive. Poorly lubed bearings can also cause multiple problems that you don’t want to deal with, such as seized-up bearings due to a lack of oil or grease.
Lubricating skateboard bearings isn’t difficult; it just takes some patience and an understanding of what type of lubricant you need, how much lube is required, and how to properly lubricate them without overdoing it and ruining them permanently.
In this article, I will include information on which type of oil or bearing grease to use, how much is too much or too little when lubing your bearings, canned or liquid lubes are better for different situations, plus other tips on properly maintaining your skateboard bearing so they last longer and perform better.
What You Will Need
If you’re planning on lubing up your skateboard bearings, there are a few things that you will need. First, you will need a T-tool to remove the bearings from the skateboard wheels. This tool includes an Allen wrench, a screwdriver head, and other ends that may fit your specific needs.
Next, you’ll need some cleaning tools to get the job done. A safety pin or any sharp object is an absolute must as it is necessary to pop out the shields of the bearings. Additionally, an alcohol-based liquid cleaning agent and a dry cloth should be at hand for thorough cleaning of the wheel cores.
To ensure proper lubrication of your skateboard bearings, you’ll need to invest in quality lubricants such as Bones Speed Cream, Tri-Flow Superior Lubricant, or Liberty Oil which all come with an 18-gauge steel needle for precise oil dispensing.
How to Lube Skateboard Bearings
Learning how to lube skateboard bearings is essential if you want it to ride like new. It’s actually quite easy, just follow these six steps and your bearings will be as good as new:
1. Remove The Wheels From Your Skateboard
Removing the wheels from your skateboard is extremely easy and can be done using a skate tool or an adjustable wrench. To start, simply unscrew each of the nuts on your trucks, using the rule lefty loosey, righty tighty. Make sure to set aside all of the nuts and washers so that you don’t lose them.
I recommend storing them in a tupperware container if you’ll be at home when taking off the wheels. Otherwise, you can put washers back onto the trucks and just screw the nut until it’s secure.
You also have the option to toss them into a cup of alcohol for cleaning. Either way, it’s simple and straightforward to remove your skateboard wheels!
2. Remove The Bearings And Shields
The first step in lubricating your skateboard bearings is to remove them from the wheels. To do this, place the axle of your truck half-way on one of the bearings while twisting the wheel outwards and around to pry it off. Flip over the wheel and repeat this process on the other side.
Once you have taken all of your bearings out, carefully use a sharp tool such as a razorblade, safety pin, or thumbtack to pop off the bearing shields. Be careful to not damage these shields, as they can cause friction on your ball bearings and reduce speed.
3. Soak Your Bearings In A Cleaner
Soaking your skateboard bearings in a cleaner is a great way to get rid of dirt and debris that can accumulate over time. Use an appropriate solvent such as acetone, isopropyl alcohol, or mineral spirits to make sure that the job gets done right. Wear gloves while handling these cleaners as they can be dangerous when used on bare skin.
Put the bearings in a wide-mouthed bottle, mason jar, or Tupperware container and let them soak for about 10 to 15 minutes for the best results. If you have the time, it’s also helpful to stir them occasionally during this process.
Once done soaking, use a rag or old toothbrush to scrub away any remaining dirt and debris from the internal parts of your skateboard bearings so that they’ll continue running smoothly for years!
4. Dry And Lubricate Your Bearings
It’s important to both dry and lubricate your skateboard bearings after cleaning them. After you have cleaned the bearings of any dust, dirt, or residue, take them out of the cleaner and ensure they are dried quickly.
To do this, tap the face of each bearing against a paper towel or dry cloth until it feels completely dry. You can dry your bearings faster by spinning them in a cloth or using a hairdryer.
Once they’re dry, it’s time to re-lubricate your bearings for smooth function. I recommend using skate-specific bearing lubricants such as Bones Speed Cream which come in convenient dropping containers. Use 1 to 2 drops in each bearing hole and then spin them around evenly to distribute the lube.
Repeat this procedure with all eight bearings before returning them to your board. With just a little effort you’ll be able to guarantee that your skateboard board runs safely and efficiently!
5. Replace Shields And Insert Bearings
Once you have finished lubricating your skateboard bearings, it’s time to replace the shields and insert them into the wheels. Replacing the shields is easy; simply set them in place and gently press on them from the center until they snap back in securely.
After that, insert each bearing back into the wheels with care and precision. If done correctly, your skateboard should feel like new again!
6. Put Wheels Back On Your Skateboard
Putting wheels back on your skateboard is easy. To do it correctly all you need to do is place the wheels on the axle, and then tighten the nuts.
Take care not to overtighten the screws so that you can turn them by hand easily, but don’t make them too loose either or they won’t stay firmly in place.
Do You Need to Lube Skateboard Bearings
The short answer is YES! Skateboard bearings that lack lubrication will create damaging friction, so it’s important to make sure you’re using a lube specifically for skateboarding.
There are several brands available such as Bones Speed Cream, Bronson Speed Co High Speed Ceramic Oil, and more – each offering its own unique benefits.
It’s very easy to apply the lubricant too; simply drip 1-2 drops of lube into the bearing then spin it in order to evenly distribute the oil throughout the bearing. Doing this regularly, every few months or so will ensure your bearings stay smooth and free of damage!
What Can I Use As Lube for Skateboard Bearings
For proper lubrication of skateboard bearings, you have a few options. WD-40 is a popular choice – it’s an all-purpose spray that helps keep your bearings clean and free of rust. White lithium grease helps to reduce friction and prevent corrosion.
If you’re looking for oiled lube, then go with a synthetic bearing oil such as Bones Skate Oil which is specifically made to lubricate skateboard bearings.
Lastly, there are some wax-based spray lubricants on the market, like the World Industries Skate Wax spray which is designed to increase speed and reduce stress on the trucks and wheels caused by grinding and sliding. So, with this range of options available to you; find one that best suits your needs!
How Often Should I Lube My Skateboard Bearings
It’s important to keep your skateboard bearings well-maintained, as this will ensure a smoother ride and make you less prone to injuries. In general, you should lubricate your skateboard bearings every two to three months, depending on the environment you are skating in.
If you primarily skate inside areas where the surface is not often cleaned, then it’s recommended that you lube them once a month.
What Happens If You Dont Lubricate Bearings
Without lubrication, skateboard bearings are at risk of becoming damaged due to heat build-up. As they rotate quickly in their raceways, friction can cause an intense amount of heat that could cause the bearing to fail prematurely.
Without a thin film of lubricant to reduce this friction, the metals in the parts will rub against one another, resulting in high temperatures and potentially catastrophic bearing failure.
So it is important to make sure your bearings have proper lubrication if you want them to last long enough for you to enjoy!
What Happens If You Over Lubricate
Over lubricating your skateboard bearings can have a negative effect on the state of the joints. With too much lubrication oil, the pressure within the seals will rise which can eventually cause them to break down and tear apart.
When this occurs, water and dirt are able to enter the mechanical system, leading to possible issues with the performance of your skateboard bearings.
Therefore, it’s important to make sure that you only use just enough lubrication in order to ensure that your skateboard is able to perform at its best. Too much lubricant will lead to a decrease in performance as well as potential damage down the line so take care when lubing up your bearings!
Power Tips for Lubing Skateboard Bearings
Lubing skateboard bearings can be a tricky process, but with the right power tips, it doesn’t have to be difficult. Begin by learning about bearing free space. This is a must-know step in deciding how much lube should be applied and can easily be found on published data, equations, and reference charts.
Next, make sure that your lubricant is compatible with any anti-corrosion substances or oil layers already present on the bearings. Otherwise, you’ll need to clean them off before applying any lube.
It’s also important to neither over nor underapply lubrication as both of these scenarios can lead to internal friction or insufficient protection of the bearings. You should only lube when necessary; observe your wheels’ performance to determine when this moment arrives.
Finally, use an ultrasound instrument that gives live data of decibel levels for accurate application of lube. All of these steps are essential for skateboards that will perform well and have a long lifespan.
Is It Ok to Put Wd-40 on Skateboard Bearings?
You can apply any type of lubricant to the bearings, but make sure to remove any excess once the bearings have been adequately lubricated.
Can I Use Olive Oil on Skateboard Bearings?
Olive oil may help out in the short-term, but will not prolong the life of dry bearings. However, if you think it’ll make a difference, then go ahead and use it.
Can You Use Bike Lube on Skateboard Bearings?
If you’re using bike chain lube, make sure it’s oil, not grease. You should only use one drop per bearing, otherwise, there’ll be too much and it will leak out.
Why is My New Skateboard Bearings Slow?
You should clean and lubricate your bearings if you need to improve their performance.
In conclusion, lubing skateboard bearings is an important part of maintaining your board and ensuring it runs smoothly. By following the instructions above, you can make sure your bearings last longer and keep you skating for as long as possible.