Wheels, Rotating

Bearings, Cleaning and replacement

Skate shell, liner and frameInspect for any damage. Clean as necessary (see Hygene below).

Pole tips, Changing – Pole tips are usually secured with a specialty hot glue. To adjust or change, dip your tips in near boiling water for a minute or two. This will soften the glue and allow you to remove, install or twist the tips. If replacing, keep water out of the glue joint as it will compromise the bond. Tips are usually easy to change, but a vice can be helpful.

If you skate in very hot temperatures this glue can loosen and allow tips to slip. To fix this I drilled a .0625 hole across the center of the tip and pole joint. I used some .0625 (1/16″) piano wire found at a hobby shop to pin the joint and it has never slipped since. Carefully align the drill squared and centered on the joint center, so that when you swap the tips to the other pole they will line up. Cut the pin a little long so you can push the little nub with pliers. To change tips, just push out the pin.

Pole tips, Sharpening Tips can be sharpened with a diamond whetstone, but it takes a while. Using a grinding machine with a fine to medium wheel works well. Be very careful to get the tip edge angles right. Edge wear will likely slant to one side of the tip. It’s easier to just flip the tips to the opposite pole than to try and sharpen out this one sided wear. Once flipped this slant generates great grip.

Note: Heat will quickly damage the bond between the carbide and plastic housing. Use a container of ice water to dip the tips into often to prevent any heat build up.

Note: Carbide tips are extremely hard and will cut right into some grinding wheels. Grit rips off the wheel, so make sure you wear safety glasses. Don’t grind the tip on the side of the wheel.

Skate brakes

HygeneBoot liners, elbow and knee pads, gloves and helmet (smellmet) pads get funky. Just hand wash in antibacterial soap, press a towel against them to them to soak out excess water. If your skates do not have a removable liner, just pull the wheels off and wash away. Do not put any of these in the dryer or on a hot driveway (I melted the memory fit foam in a nice pair of $kates this way). You’ll probably find your skates fit tight after washing, but they’ll return to normal after a few miles.

 Posted by at 11:40 pm

  2 Responses to “Maintenance”

  1. THis is great advise. Anything on brake maintenance?

    • Good question… Brakes vary. Some are active (w a lever attached to the cuff). Some are fixed to the heel. Many skaters, particularly those with a hockey background have no brake and use a “T Stop” (dragging one skate sideways behind) or just kick ’em sideways and skid.
      Brake pad replacement is a simple one fastener, pry out, bang new pad in, secure and go.

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