You can’t enjoy a pair of roller blades if you are worrying about their safety. Maintaining roller blades will not only keep your enjoyment safe, it will also prolong the skate's life. Roller blade maintenance is easy by following these tips below:
- Roll the wheels. Rolling the wheels of your roller blades by hand is perhaps the simplest way to maintain the wheels. Each use, the wheels get stuck with dirt, grime, fallen hair, and other foreign bodies. It is important to remove these unnecessary pieces away from the wheels to keep it running smooth and easy. Since this is a simple maintenance task, you can do this before and after using the roller blades.
- Unscrew the wheels. Sometimes, more stubborn dirt can only be taken off by unscrewing the wheels. You need an Allen wrench to unscrew the wheels. Keep the screws and other small components that you will be taking away for later use. Remove each wheel and wipe it. A clean cotton rug, damped in water, is enough to take off the dirt.
- Switch wheels. Check each wheel if it is still in perfect condition. Consider switching wheels if some of them are already wearing out. For example, if the front wheel is worn out, replace it with a wheel in better condition. Remember also that the front and rear wheels get the most impact. Never put worn out wheels as replacement for these. It’s better to invest on new set of wheels than continue using worn out pieces.
- Replace wheels. Sporting goods stores will most probably have replacement wheels for roller blades. When the wheels are all worn out, it’s time to replace them with a new set. You may choose the same type of wheels or change them with wheels of different shape or height. Tall and skinny can run faster and wear out slower. But they give more uncomfortable vibration on rough road. Fat and short wheels can wear faster and roll slower. But they can give you better turn, better grip, and better balance.
- Check and maintain bearings. These small balls inside the wheels are the reason for smooth and easy running. If the wheels are okay but the roller blade is still rough to ride, better check the bearings. Wipe them when you detached all the wheels. Also, replacing the bearing can be necessary on special and rare cases. Select the best bearing based on the scale quality. ABEC 1 is the lowest quality and the ABEC 7 is the highest quality. The highest quality is not always the best so better consult someone at the sporting goods store.
- Check the brake. Never use the roller blades without checking the brake. It should be positioned high enough to keep it away while you skate. But it should be positioned low enough for easy breaking.
- Replace the brake pad before it wears out. The brake pad is the rubber-like thing on the brake. This receives too much pressure, especially when always used abruptly. The pad should be replaced once it has reached the wear line or before it reaches the screw attaching it to the skate.
- Overall roller blade clean-up. Wipe the roller blades at least three times everyday. Detach every part also for thorough cleaning.
Taking care of the roller blades properly is a way to be responsible about your possessions. It is not only a money-saver but might even serve as your life’s saver. Besides, how hard can it be to maintain the roller blades? Once you get used to it, you won’t even notice that you’re maintaining the blades.