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Your bearings are the most accurately manufactured part of your skateboard or longboard, with clearances and tolerances considerably smaller than 1/1000th of an inch. That means that a single hair is thicker than the clearance between the balls and the races inside the bearing, and a hair will clog it up and slow you down. Because you skate outside through dust, sand, water, mud, etc; your bearings will eventually get dirty and/or wet. When they are dirty, you will notice they don’t spin freely when you flick the wheel and you may also notice they are getting noisy. At this point you have two options: clean your bearings or replace them.

WARNING! Don’t continue to use bearings that don’t spin freely on your skate. If you continue to ride very dirty or un-lubricated bearings, you run the risk of permanently damaging them and/or yourself. Dirt in your bearings will cause pitting of your balls and races, increase friction, cause extra heat, and can eventually cause the bearing to “freeze up” or stop rolling. If this happens to your bearings, the skate will stop abruptly, causing you to fall and be injured. So keep them clean, dry and lubricated with Speed Cream.

 

Maintenance Instructions

  1. Keep your bearings dirt-free, moisture free, and lubricated. Water will rust your bearings and dirt will destroy the smoothness of the super finish on your bearing races, increasing friction.
  2. Clean your bearings when they become dirty or noisy with the most environmentally friendly cleaner you can find that is suitable for dissolving oil, grease, and removing dirt from the steel, plastic and rubber surfaces. We have tried many cleaners and solvents and many of them can be used safely. Citrus based cleaners can work, but they tend to leave behind a slight residue. Solvents are dangerous to use, but often provide a superior solution to cleaning very dirty bearings. If you use a water based cleaner like a citrus cleaner or a detergent, be sure to dry your bearings IMMEDIATELY and then re-coat them with lubricant to prevent rust. Some solvents/commercial products that we have used are: pure, or almost pure, isopropyl alcohol (The kind normally found in markets is only 10% pure and does not cut grease well.); Gumout® carburetor cleaner (found in auto parts stores); acetone (found in hardware stores). If you can’t find any of these solvents like acetone or pure alcohol, you can use paint thinner or lacquer thinner, but these cleaners are oil based and may leave an oily residue on the inner surfaces of your bearings.
  3. If you use a solvent cleaner, please wear appropriate rubber gloves and work in a safe well ventilated area. When you are finished, please remember to dispose of your solvent in a safe, ecologically sound manner.
  4. Do not add oil to dirty bearings. It will not clean the bearing, but merely flush the existing dirt further into the bearing. It may seem like they roll faster initially, but in reality you are only spreading the dirt around, and it will still be there to ruin the high precision rolling surfaces of your bearings. Clean your bearings before re-lubricating them.

Click Here to see instructions for cleaning your bearings using BONES Bearing Cleaning Unit

 

Thanks to our friends at Bones Bearings for these instructions - stay safe!

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