Squeaky wheels are annoying. I’m pretty sure you agree with me on this one and you’ve all been there at some point in your rollerblading journey.
If you’ve been looking for a way to fix this annoying problem, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, I’ll teach you the method to fix squeaky wheels and help your rollerblades last longer.
Fixing squeaky wheels requires a great deal of maintenance like cleaning and lubricating.
If you put in the effort to maintain your rollerblades on a weekly or a monthly basis, your rollerblading experience will improve 10 folds.
However, doing the opposite can make your blading experience dull and not fun. My friend even smashed her skates into the ground because of the squeaking sounds. She’s got quite a temper.
So let us get started on fixing the main problem.
Table of Contents Hide
- What Causes Squeaky Wheels?
- The 2 Steps to Fixing Squeaky Wheels:
- Commonly Asked Questions
What Causes Squeaky Wheels?
Squeaky wheels are inevitable. It’s just a matter of time before your wheels start squeaking like a little mouse. No matter how hard you try, your skates will become squeaky over time, however, you can make your wheels last longer.
My wheels lasted for 4 whole years because I was able to put in the time to maintain them. You can read our guide on how long your wheels should last for.
Here are the things that cause your wheels to get squeaky.
Getting Water in Your Bearings
Water is like a poison for rollerblades. You should never get your rollerblades wet. No matter how smelly and dirty they become, do not wash your rollerblades. Water will instantly inflict great damage to your wheels.
So, if your skates get dirty, use some other cleaning agent instead of dipping them in a bucket of water.
Also, avoid rollerblading in the rain. Not only will it make your wheels squeakier than ever before, there is also a huge risk of serious injury.
Rolling on an uneven surface
Well, this one is pretty obvious. If you rollerblade on uneven surfaces, your wheels will get damaged. So my recommendation would be to avoid rollerblading on jagged footpaths, roads or wooden planks.
However, that’s unavoidable. Many of you would probably need to rollerblade to school or go to your local skate park with your rollerblades on.
In that case, you should make the time to regularly clean your roller blades and lubricate them. That way, your rollerblades will stay fresh and ready for use.
However, your wheels will get little dents on the surface, so you might have to change them once in a while.
Getting dust, sand or debris in your wheels
Dust and debris creates friction between the bearings and the wheel and causes them to squeak. Debris can get in your wheels over long periods of time or they could get in as a result of you skating on a dusty, crooked road.
The only way to avoid this is to clean your rollerblades on a weekly basis.
Maybe, you should also think twice while putting your rollerblades on, on the beach. Just saying.
Skating on Grass
Ok yes, I get it. Standing on the grass with your rollerblades on is a great way to improve your balance. It’s also a great way to start learning to jump, because it won’t hurt even if you fall with your face implanted on the ground.
Grass is such an amazing thing. It feels like a mattress to all the new rollerbladers out there.
However, it does get grass blades and dirt into your rollerblades. And that is the prime cause of squeaky blades.
You should start skating on skating trains more.
Keeping your Skates in Moisture
If you keep your skates in moisture, the bearings will become rusty. I’m sure I don’t have to explain the chemistry behind that.
Do not keep your skates in places with a high humidity. Try to keep your rollerblades as dry as possible.
But if your bearings do become rusty, the only way to fix the problem is to replace them with new bearings.
Avoid keeping them in places like a garden, a damp garage, outside after the rain, or a dirty backpack. Keep them in the open dry air.
The 2 Steps to Fixing Squeaky Wheels:
To fix squeaky wheels, you’ll have to:
- Clean the wheels
- Lubricate the wheels
Cleaning the wheels is very different from lubricating the wheels. The two are not meant to be mistaken for one another but they usually are.
1. Cleaning the Wheels:
Squeaky wheels are usually caused by dirt between your wheels, so it’s really necessary to clean them often.
Items You’ll Need
Here are the items you’ll need to clean those wheels.
- Allen key or Hex key – This is a hand held tool used to turn bolts and screws having hexagonal sockets.
- Box cutter – A knife, nail cutter, a fork or any other sharp object can work.
- Jar – This is to put your bearings in.
- Bearing cleaner – Any good cleaner should be fine.
- Tissue paper – This is to dry the bearings.
- Tweezers – This is to take the dirty particles out.
- Soap – This is to clean the hole in the wheel.
Steps to Clean Your Wheels
Follow the following steps to effectively clean your rollerblade wheels.
- Step 1: Getting the wheels out – Use the hex key to turn the bolt on your wheel. When the bolt is out the wheel, should also come out
- Step2: Getting the bearings out – Get the bearings out of your wheel using simple force. There should be 2 bearings and a spacer.
- Step 3: Taking off the shield from the bearings – Use a box cutter or a sharp object to take off a black coloured shield from the bearings. However, some people disagree, and recommend not to take the plastic shield off, and clean the bearings with the cover on.
- Step 4: Putting the bearings in a jar – Use a simple glass or plastic jar with a cap and drop the bearings in.
- Step 5: Pouring a bearing cleaner into the jar – Pour a cleaner into the jar until the bearings are fully immersed in the cleaner. Put the lid back on the jar.
- Step 6: Shaking the jar – Shake the jar vigorously until you can see the cleaner become dirty. This means that the dirt from the bearings has been dissolved by the cleaner.
- Step 7: Taking out the bearings – The cleaner can damage the hand so use something else to take the bearings out of the jar.
- Step 8: Put the bearings on a tissue paper – Put the bearings on a piece of tissue paper and leave it there for a while, so the cleaner is absorbed into the tissue paper.
- Step 9: Use Tweezers to take out the remaining dirt particles – Be careful not to damage the balls in the bearings. However, the chances of bigger dirty particles stuck inside the bearing are really slim.
- Step 10: Clean the Wheels – Use a little bit of soap and water to clean the rubber part as well as the hole of the wheels. Dry it properly and make sure the water doesn’t remain on the wheel.
Congratulations, your wheels and bearings have been fully tidied.
2. Lubricating the Wheels
The next step is to lubricate your wheels. This will ensure smooth running of wheels and get rid of the squeaky sound that’s still left.
Your rollerblades will feel fresh and smooth, and will last longer than ever.
Items You’ll Need
Here are the items you’ll need to lubricate your wheels thoroughly.
- Cotton Swabs
- Lubricant or oil
- Tissue paper
All these items will probably be available to you at home.
If you don’t have cotton swabs, just use cotton or even tissue paper instead.
For the lubricant, you don’t have to buy one; you can use olive oil. Just make sure that the lubricant is acid free.
Steps to Lubricate Your Wheels
Follow the following steps to nicely lubricate your bearings and make them flawless:
- Step 1: Add 1 to 2 drops of lubricant to your bearings – You can use olive oil or any other oil as the lubricant but it should be acid free.
- Step 2: Smear the lubricant – Use cotton swabs or tissue paper, to smear the lubricant to make sure it enters the bearing.
- Step 3: Use tissue paper to wipe off the lubricant – If you put on a really thick layer of lubricant, it will attract dirt. So use a tissue paper to thin out the oil layer.
- Step 4: Put the bearings back into the wheel – Put the 2 bearings and the spacer back into the hole in the middle of the wheel. The bearings should be on the side and the spacer in the middle. Make sure, they’re fully fitted into the wheel.
- Step 5: Put the wheel back on the roller blade – Now, for the final part, you need to put the wheel back on your rollerblade. Use the allen’s key to really tighten the bolt so that the wheel doesn’t fall off in the middle of your rollerblading.
Congratulations, your squeaky wheels are gone for good for the next month or so.
Commonly Asked Questions
Here are some questions that people commonly ask, so I answered them the best I could. You might find the solution to your problem if you go through them.
How Often Should I Clean the Wheels?
You should clean your wheels on a weekly basis, however, if that’s not possible, then, cleaning your wheels once or twice a month can also do wonders for you.
Which Bearing Cleaner Should I Use?
In my opinion, any good quality bearing cleaner from a reputable brand is fine. Some even come in spray cans to make it easier to clean, but the soaking method is more preferable to clean your wheels efficiently.
DO NOT use water to wipe the dirt off of the bearings.
Should I Take the Shield Out of the Bearing?
You can clean the bearings without taking the plastic shield out but it won’t remove all the dirt.
However, a lot of people take out the shield and cannot get it back where it was properly. So some people might argue that it’s better to not take the risk and leave that to the professionals in the industry.
How Often should I Lubricate the Wheels?
How often you lubricate your wheels depends on how long it takes for your rollerblades to get squeaky. Generally, you should lubricate your wheels every 4 to 5 weeks.
Why are my rollerblades still squeaky even after lubricating?
The reason for that might be
- You either used the wrong kind of cleaner or lubricant.
- You put on a really thick layer and got dirt attached to it more quickly.
- Your lubricant is no longer usable and needs replacing.
- The squeaky sound might not be coming from the wheels but from some other part of the skates.
It might be better to leave your skates for a day or two after lubricating, so the oil can fade away.
How Do I Make My Bearings Last Longer?
Here are some tips to not wear off your wheels right away.
- Stay away from water.
- Stay away from mud puddles on the road.
- Stay away from grass.
- Stay away from footpaths.
- Stay away from sand and debris on the road.
- Roller blade on skating trails or a skate park.
- Clean and lubricate your bearings monthly.
Squeaky Sounds Gone!
There are several reasons why your wheels may be squeaky. Ensuring you take proper care of your wheels can help keep your wheels lasting longer. Watching the surfaces you skate on and regular maintenance (cleaning and lubricating) will help fix your squeaky blades.
Congratulations, if you followed this guide till the end, your squeaky sounds are most likely gone. So grab a drink and go rollerblading.
We want to know how you feel after cleaning and lubricating your blades. Do your rollerblades feel like you’re skating on thin air? Is the skating smooth? Are the squeaky sounds replaced by the pleasant sounds of the bearings spinning properly?
Or do the squeaks still remain?
Anyways, feel free to comment below, and express your thoughts.
If you want more quality tips on maintaining your rollerblades, quad skates or fitness skates, check out our other roller skating guides.