Ask us anything! Kelly emailed us recently, asking why her bearing shields keep coming off.

Posted by Kirsten Slade on

Yellow roller skate wheels. The left wheel's bearings are intact. The right wheel has no bearing shield, so the ball bearings are visible.

Our mate, Kelly Tawharu, sent us a photo and asked, "I have these wheels. Hardly used. And the cover bit has come off a few of the bearings...  I don't want to throw bearings out as not old. Do you have a solution to this? Seems to happen to me a lot."

Kirsten responded:

Hmmm, do you tighten your wheels with a drill? Serious question - we do so many wheel changes in the shop that we do use a wee power tool, but it can be easy to quickly over tighten and cause damage to the shield.

Or, do you leave your wheel nuts so that there's a bit of movement on the axle - some people prefer this, a little "play", but what can happen is your bearing shield keeps taking a hit.

Once the shields are off those little all-in-one type of bearings, there's not much you can do to re-fit them. You could be industrious about keeping them clean - a little bit of forced air (like the cans you buy to clean your computer keyboard) and a new drop of lube. People did used to just ride with open ball bearings like this. You could try using a product like ZeroNutz, which these might be too late for, but you could try them anyway, to give them a little longer life.

The solution:

Kelly responded that yep, she like a bit of 'play' in her wheels and she might have enthusiastically over-tightened her nuts while changing her wheels. She opted to try some ZeroNutz to see if she can't keep these bad boys spinning a little longer, but also popped new bearings in her shopping cart because fortune favours the prepared! 

Got a question? Hit us up - if we use your query in an upcoming newsletter or blog post, we'll send a little thank you gift your way!