If the skateboard’s deck is responsible for the pop during tricks and the trucks are responsible for sharp turns, wheels ensure well-rounded stability and precision.
However, these aspects do not solely rely on your urethane rollers. Each wheel connects to the truck axles and has interiors that need proper installation procedures. One of these components is the spacers, which are vital in aligning the insides of the wheels.
So, how to put spacers on skateboard? We’ll start with the bearings’ installation.
Table of Contents
What to Prepare
1. Skateboard-bearing spacers
Most bearings today come complete with spacers in their packages. A classic example of this is the Bones Reds bearings with spacers and washers. Other brands also produce bearings with built in spacers for added convenience.
There might be brands selling spacers separately, but they could cost you more.
2. Prying tool
You can skip this requirement if you plan to install spacers without changing the bearings. But if you are to replace or install new bearings, you will need a tool to pull the ball wheel cores out.
This piece of equipment can be a screwdriver or anything that fits the bearing’s hole size. Also, it needs to be sturdy enough to pry the wheel core off the urethane body.
Some skaters don’t need this equipment since the truck axle may serve the purpose anyway.
A skate tool may not fall directly into the spacer installation procedure, but you may still need it for the steps that come before and after.
Such steps may include loosening the truck nuts to take the wheels off or tightening them back after putting in the new spacers and bearings.
Steps to Putting a Skateboard Spacer
Step 1: Remove the bearings
Note that this step is unnecessary if you start with a new set of wheels or those without bearings yet.
Using your T-tool, loosen the nuts on the outer end of the truck axle. Put the detached hardware in a secure location. Now, you can pull the wheel off the axle.
If you’re using the truck’s axles to poke the bearings off, you have to pull the wheel until the inner wheel core aligns with the axle’s tip. Then, tilt the wheel’s body so the axle locks into the bearing. Keep tilting until the bearing detaches.
If you use a prying tool, it should take the axle’s role.
So, hold the wheel with your less dominant hand against a table or flat surface. Insert the tool’s tip into the bearing’s hole. Begin inclining the screwdriver or prying tool to one side. Do it gradually until the wheel core pops out.
Repeat this step with the rest of the bearings.
Step 2: Dropping in the skateboard wheel spacers
With the truck axles bare of wheels and any part, drop the washers on them. Next, put one bearing on each of the washers. Be sure it aligns with the speed ring. Drop the wheel and snap it against the bearing to achieve a lock.
Note that if you plan to use the same bearings, the previous instructions are unnecessary.
Now that we have one washer and bearing on each wheel, pull the wheel off the axles. Put the second bearing and the spacer in place.
Then, drop the wheel on top of the spacer, followed by another washer.
Step 3: Locking the wheels
After placing the spacers on skateboard trucks or between the bearings, grab your T-tool. Also, get the wheel hardware you set aside earlier.
Fasten the nut on the axle’s tip and begin tightening it. Be sure to do the process gradually to prevent stiffing the wheels up. Next, try rotating the wheel until you achieve the perfect tightness.
And to be sure you performed the entire process correctly, try doing a test ride. Keep adjusting using your T-tool as long as the need arises.
The Importance of Using Spacers
Initially, we briefly discussed how skateboard spacers work. Now, let’s get into their effects on skateboard wheels.
- Spacers can reduce the noise created by bearings pushed towards inside the wheels.
- Alignment is the key. When the urethane wheels, wheel cores, and washers align with the spacers’ help, you’re more likely to experience reduced friction and quality rides.
- These cylinders aim to decrease the weight put on the bearings.
In skateboarding, even the tiniest details matter. Spacers may not be as visible as the other components, but they matter in performance.
And like bolts, bearings, and other skateboard parts, spacers are also significant in various ways. So, now that you know how to put spacers on skateboard, you can finally enjoy a sharp-moving and silently-operating board.
The rules are simple; take a bearing off, slide the spacer in, and secure them back. Afterwards, you’ll begin to feel significant improvements in your skating.