Depending on how much you skateboard you may need to replace the wheels every 2 to 3 months or so. You can also give your wheels more life by swapping them out or rotating them.
When it comes to skateboards, the wheels are one of the most important parts when it comes to performance. Skateboard wheels come in a variety of sizes and shapes that can be matched up with your personal preferences when riding a skateboard. If you’re not sure when it’s time for new ones, some tell-tale signs will help you make the call.
When your skateboard wheels have unusual shapes, exhibit indications of flat spots, cone-ing, or severe flat areas, it’s time to replace them. Irregularly shaped wheels are extremely uncomfortable to ride and may make the difference between landing a trick and not.
How Long Do Skateboard Wheels Last?
There are various factors at work. Wheels hardness is measured in durometers, with the higher the number, the harder they are. The lifespan of skateboard wheels varies depending on the scale used, quality, frequency of skating, diameter, and type of skater you are.
How long your wheels will last is determined in part by the surface you ride on. Your wheels will last longer if you skate smooth concrete all day than if you only skate small wooden ramps. Uneven axle ends can cause wobbling wheels due to low-quality
If you’re a downhill skater or do power slides, your wheels will need to be replaced more frequently than others. A downhiller might lose up to 10mm of a wheel in a day using soft wheels, of course.
Taking good care of your wheels can help increase their lifespan. Consider replacing or flipping the wheels and checking to see how other components of your skateboard impact wear and tear.
What Causes Skateboard Wheels To Wear Down?
Skateboard wheels are composed of urethane, which has several characteristics. Hardness, compression set, tear strength, and rebound are all crucial skateboard wheel qualities.
Rebound is by far the most important quality. Urethane compresses and expands as the wheel rotates (rebound). This consumes energy and creates resistance when you’re skateboarding at a fast pace, slowing down the speed of your board.
There are several reasons why wheels wear down, and one of them is friction. Your trucks’ axles may have bent, which causes a-symmetrical pressure. This can happen to any truck, but lower-quality ones can take less strain.
Some other reasons that the wheels may wear faster are if you have low-quality bushings, bad bearings, or poor-quality wheels. The problem might be the skateboard deck or a faulty base plate. The weather and possibly your weight all contribute to the issue.
Wheel bite is another potential issue. This means your wheels are too big and are hurting your board. You may either buy some risers or smaller wheels to avoid this problem. When you skate a longboard, this is a common issue.
Tips To Make Your Skateboard Wheels Last Longer
Your board’s wheels form after you make a turn, and they become cone-shaped over time. They typically wear down unevenly because you lean one way more than the other. Depending on how much you use your skateboard, you can change the wheels every two or three months. Rotating or swapping your wheels will extend the life of your wheels and ensure that they wear down evenly.
- Put your left rear wheel on the right front
- The right front should go where the left rear was
- Place your left front wheel on the right rear
- Then move the right rear wheel to where the left front wheel was
It’s also possible to flip the wheel, which means the design is on the inside. Some people dislike this because they are devoted to beautiful designs.
Replace Your Wheels In 5 Simple Steps
Step 1: To remove the wheels from your truck, first loosen the hexagon-shaped nuts that hold them in place. I usually try to put the screws back on where they came from and clean both with a rag. This is because I once screwed up the screw thread, so please be cautious. Also, keep an eye on your washers; they may go missing at times.
Step 2: Remove the bearings if you wish to keep them. Bearings are delicate, so don’t apply too much force. You can remove the wheels using your vehicle’s axles if you don’t have any of the required equipment, but a tool is preferable. A skate tool is recommended since it has all of the features necessary to put together your skateboard. Remove the bearings with a puller and remove them gently in one direction only. Avoid touching the surface of the bearing. Instead, grasp its edge.
Step 3: Place the bearings in your new wheels and push them in with your skate tool or the axle of your truck. Attempt to get them straight and aligned with the wheel’s surface. Also, remember to put in the spacers; otherwise, you’ll have to take it apart again. After that, insert the second bearing and press it down.
Step 4: Replace the washer and return the wheel to your truck’s axle. Replace the second washer and reattach the axle nut. They shouldn’t be too tight since your wheel would have difficulty turning. Also, double-check that it isn’t going to fall off if the nut is too loose; this might lead to accidents.
Step 5: Repeat the process above until all four wheels are fastened to your trucks.
The Science Behind Skateboard Wheels
Yes, wheels are subjected to various tests in controlled environments to assess wear and tear, smoothness, and other factors. Here’s what they do to test skateboard wheels before they’re sold.
- A wheel urethane flat-spot machine is used to form flat spots and determine how much pressure the surface can handle. It’s measured using a dial indicator and flat areas are measured by 1/1000 of an inch.
- The wheel abrasion machine mimics skateboard wheels’ continual usage. It checks the wear and durability of a variety of tests. They weigh the wheel and compare it to the weight before the test after the machine has done its job.
- The wheel Concentricity tester examines wheels for smoothness and lack of wobbles, as well as to 1/1000 of an inch. Wheels that do not pass the test are recycled.
- The wheel Impact machine tests a wheel’s reaction to an impact. It measures the rebound and how much energy is dissipated when it hits different materials.
- The wheel Dynamometer measures the speed of the wheel and the speed of bearings.
After that, they are given out to professional skaters to evaluate the wheels and offer their own thoughts. They then hit the market.
The Best Wheels Come Down to Your Personal Preference
Picking the correct wheels for your style may make a significant difference in longevity. While softer wheels wear down more quickly, you’ll have a bad time using tough wheels on a longboard.
Harder wheels are better for basic skateboards because they make it easier to perform tricks. Nobody can tell you what kind of wheels are best for you; it’s something you’ll have to discover on your own. Although I may provide you with a rough understanding, please see my complete guide to skateboard wheel types for further information.
So the kind of board and the terrain you’re skating on are important when selecting skateboard wheels. To give you some idea, here’s what I mean. Hard wheels are typically used for skating concrete, skate parks, bowls, vert ramps, and mini ramps. Street skaters who skate on asphalt should use somewhat softer wheels. If you prefer a smoother ride, go for softer wheels.
If your wheels aren’t turning, it doesn’t imply you need to replace them. Because of filthy bearings, your skateboard is most likely sluggish. Remove the bearings and soak them in acetone or nail polish remover. Spin them until all of the dust and debris are removed, then allow them to dry.
Once dry, liberally apply a silicone-based lubricant to your parts and you’re ready to go. Don’t use WD-40; it will attract dust and sand, which is the last thing you want.
Wheels are important for your skateboard and it’s essential to replace them when needed. You can either do it yourself or take them to a professional. It depends on how skilled you are, but don’t wait until they completely break. Keep an eye out for any signs of wear and tear and replace them when necessary.
While we can’t tell you what the best wheels for you are, we hope this article gives you a better understanding of when to replace your skateboard wheels!