Bearings make skateboard wheels smooth, fast, and precise. Without them, no decent ride happens. But besides these wheel cores are other minor parts that add value to the skateboard.
One of these parts is spacers. What are bearing spacers? These are cylinder-shaped pieces of alloy placed between the bearings and inside the wheels.
Spacers yield several benefits, like balancing the weight on the skater’s wheels. Keep reading to understand what spacers do for wheels, their function, and other interesting facts.
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What Are Bearing Spacers
If you have come across a skateboard wheels assembly tutorial, you will notice the inclusion of bearing spacers in the sequence. Do these parts impact the skateboard’s performance?
As mentioned, spacers are metal cylinders slid on the truck’s axle pin after each bearing. It’s like a short alloy tube with a diameter smaller than the inner space of a wheel. If we recall the bearing installation process, these spacers sit between the wheel cores.
Are longboard spacers required? No. But they add value once installed on your skateboard. What improvements do they make?
Essentially, a spacer’s goal is to reduce the weight placed on each wheel bearing, yielding the following benefits:
- Smoother turns
- Longer-lasting bearings
- Added stability
- Minimized noise
Reddit skaters classify spacers for skateboard based on their axle diameter. And the most common spacer size options today are 6mm and 8mm.
6mm bearing spacers only fit 6mm truck axles. On the other hand, the 8mm bearing spacers skateboard users install are for 8mm truck axles.
What Are Bearing Spacers Used for? How Do They Work?
Spacers help the bearings deal with the skater’s weight. But given various skating styles, their purpose became negligible for some. This is because not everyone rides their boards with high intensity.
However, if you purchase these metal cylinders, the best time to use them is when doing technical skating. To use bearing spacers might be unnecessary for light skate rides because users who prefer such styles put less strain on their boards.
Pros and Cons of Bearing Spacers
While the wheel spacers skateboard owners use yield more good than bad, we still identified some drawbacks to help you decide.
Advantages of bearing spacers
- Consistent bearing alignment
- Reduced risk of wheel slip-off
- Spacers eliminate rattling on the wheels.
- Easier bearing cleaning
- Keep bearings from colliding against each other
Disadvantages and possible problems from bearing spacers
- Potential added cost
With longboard bearing spacers being optional components, the cost becomes a more relevant factor. If you are low on cash, it may be better to forgo them.
- Some skaters prefer not to use spacers because of their weird noises.
Spacers never impose adverse effects on the skateboard’s performance. But if you are a skater particular about the sounds that your wheels make, spacers may not be as appealing.
- Corrosion exposure
Bearing spacers come from metal. And the time will come when they get exposed to moisture, gunk, and dirt build-up. Even the branded ones, like Bones bearing spacers, can rust and decline over time. Nonetheless, these are replaceable components, and proper maintenance can help keep them in good shape.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need spacers between skateboard bearings?
Are bearing spacers necessary? As mentioned, skateboard spacers are only necessary when engaging in technical and aggressive skating. This is because of the weight placed by the skater on the board’s bearings.
But if you are not into this style, you may still use spacers for its benefits. However, these are optional if you prefer casual rides only.
How do you install bearing spacers?
With how we discussed the wheels’ installation sequence, you may have noticed that installing spacers is not difficult. Here’s how to do it.
- Ensure you have your wheels, bearings, washers and spacers.
- Get a truck with an empty axle pin.
- Slide one washer on, followed by a bearing.
- Press a wheel against the bearing core to secure the latter.
- Pull the wheel off the axle pin and slide on another wheel core.
- Drop a spacer onto the axle pin.
- Press the roller against the second bearing until it snaps and locks the spacer in between.
- Lock the wheel on the axle pin with a nut.
To learn more detailed steps, click here!
As skateboard users, we want nothing but quality rides. Hence, we should be mindful of components we never thought would improve the skateboard’s overall performance, like bearing spacers.
What are bearing spacers? These are the metal tubes that ease the weight pressed against your bearings. In effect, you get smoother and more stable skate rides. Not only that, but you also get to increase your wheel cores’ lifespan.
While some drawbacks of spacers may sound discouraging, they exist for a reason. It is easy to appreciate what spacers can do for skateboards.
Related: A Quick Comparison Between Spacers vs No Spacers for a Skateboard.
Hi, I am Charles Harris. I opened this site to write as much as I can about my biggest passion – skateboarding!
I started as a clumsy yet passionate rookie 10 years ago to now a still passionate yet much better skateboarder! But I have to tell you, the whole journey has always been fun and rewarding, indeed not without hardship.