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How to change roller skate wheels.

Updated: Aug 25, 2023

You will need some basic tools.

A basic guide to changing your skate wheels in 7 easy steps:

You will need a suitable skate tool.

You will also need bearings in your wheels - check the size of your axel to ensure correct fit.

There are lots of reasons you might want to change your wheels, you may want a different hardness of wheel for skating in different locations or you might just want a change of style. Whatever the reason if you are new to skating it can be a bit daunting to take your skates apart so this should make changing your wheels easy and hopefully less intimidating.

For more information about wheel types please see our post 'Let's talk about wheels, baby!'

We like to use one of these T tools as they are really compact and can be carried around easily.

You may also want spare nuts for your axels.

Fit your tool onto the nut of the wheel.

1. Fit the tool onto the nut on the axel of your skate.

Remember "lefty loosey, righty tighty" and unscrew the nut from the axel.

Turn to the left to undo the nut.

2. Completely remove the nut from the wheel and take off your old wheel.

(put your nut in a safe place for later or you might loose it - they are small and tend to roll away).

Remove the old wheel from the axel.

3. Pull the old wheel off the axel, the bearings will stay in the wheel.

You may want to take this opportunity to remove any dirt, grease and hair (ewwww!) from the truck and axel.

New bearings in new wheels are always best.

4. Put your new wheel (already fitted with bearings) onto the axel - depending on the wheel there might be more or less room than your old wheels.

Some wheels are wider than others.

Screw the nut on loosely with fingers.

5. Gently screw on a nut with your fingers to get the threading aligned.

You may wish to change your nuts depending on the fit of your wheels.

For wider wheels a sneaky tip from some experts (not us) is to put your nuts on back to front for added hold which takes up less room on the axel!

Tighten the nuts with your skate tool.

6. Then tighten the nut on using a skate tool - turn to the right to tighten until it feels tight.

Then turn slightly back to the left to give your wheel room to spin.

Make sure your wheel is loose enough to spin but tight enough that it won't fall off!

Ta-da - you're ready to skate!

7. Spin the wheels with your hand to make sure you are good to go.

Check your nuts regularly to make sure they haven't become loose and if you have any problems changing your wheels try troubleshooting.

Common problems:

Wonky/bent bearings - always use a bearing tool or press to remove and put in bearings as they can get dented and twisted which means they won't fit correctly on the axel.

Loose nuts - nuts keep falling off or won't tighten properly? They may need replacing.

Happy skating and exploring the world of wheels available!

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