Learning how to replace bearings on a mountain board should be at the forefront of your mind. It’s about as important as learning how to ride your mountain board safely.
Luckily, replacing mountain board bearings isn’t as tricky as learning some of those death-defying mountain board riding tricks.
We take a quick look at six pro tips that will help you replace or clean your mountain board bearings like veteran riders of the sport.
Why Should You Replace Mountain Board Bearings?
The bearings are an important component of the wheels, and you should replace them as soon as they start making weird noises or when the wheels are no longer spinning as smoothly as they used to. The problem with skateboard bearings is that they can get dirty, worn out, or plain broken. If they are dirty, all you have to do is clean them and put them back.
If they are broken or worn out, you have to replace them. You will know when to replace the wheel bearings when the wheels still won’t spin after you have cleaned and lubed the bearings.
Keep an eye out for the bearing shields or ball bearings. If any of them is broken or missing, you must replace the wheel bearings immediately. Failing to do that could lead to sudden accidents when riding.
Why should you replace your skateboard bearings instead of suffering from faulty or broken ones?
- Lack of speed: When you have faulty bearings, you will struggle to get to the speed you need to land a trick or safely maneuver down a hill, which can cause accidents.
- Dangerous: If your bearing shield falls off, that bearing can shift and block your wheels, causing you to wipe out.
- Damage: Faulty bearings can damage the entire wheel.
Now that we know why it’s important to replace the bearings on your mountain board, let’s take a quick look at some pro tips on how to do that.
Pro Tips on How to Replace Mountain Board Bearings
This guide assumes that you don’t have a fully kitted workshop or, at the very least, don’t have all the specialized tools you may need to work on a mountain board in a DIY situation. As such, it gives your ideas a few workarounds when it comes to replacing the bearings on your mountain board.
Tip 1: Uninstall the Bearing Using a Bench Vice and Socket
Once you have removed the offending wheel or wheels by loosening the axle nut, you may find it difficult to remove the old bearing. In some cases, you can simply push it out using your thumbs, but in many, it will be stuck and might need a bit more brute force than your thumbs can provide. If this is the case, you have two options to deal with the stubborn mountainboard part:
- Hammer and socket: You will need to find a socket roughly the same size as the old bearing, a hammer, and maybe a roll of duct tape. Place the hub on the duct tape so that the bearing is in the middle of the circular hole left by the duct tape. Place the socket on the bearing in question and gently but firmly tap it with your hammer until it falls out and into the hole.
- Bench vice and socket: If you have a bench vice, place the hub with the socket right on the bearing between the clamps and slowly tighten the vice until the bearing falls off.
Once you have uninstalled the offending bearing or bearings, it’s time to replace them with new ones.
Tip 2: Use your Thumb to Press it in
In some cases, you will find that the old bearing is difficult to remove from the bearing seat because it’s been there for a while, and how long it’s been in use might make it stick. In this case, you might find that replacing the new bearing in the same hub could be as easy as simply pushing it in with your thumbs.
Tip 3: Use A Table
However, if you find that you can’t push it in with your thumbs or it’s just too difficult to do, there are several tricks that you can use. The first is to use a workbench or table with a hard, flat surface. In this case, here’s what you need to do:
- Start by sticking the new bearing into the hub.
- Push it as far in as you can with your thumbs until you can’t get any more purchase.
- Flip the hub over, so the bearing sticking out faces the flat surface of the table.
- Apply pressure to the hub with your hands and your entire body weight.
This should be good enough to push the bearing in. Once that works, all you have to do is repeat the process with every other hub and bearing you’re replacing.
Tip 4: Use the Ground
This trick is similar to the table trick, but it needs to be applied when the table trick doesn’t work because you need more force or more of your body weight on the hub and bearing:
- Once you find the table trick isn’t working, move the hub and bearing to the floor.
- Using the same setup, place the hub and the bearing on the ground with the protruding bearing facing the ground.
- Make sure that your foot is on as much of the hub’s surface as possible, stand on the hub, and let your full body weight do the trick.
In many cases, you will find that this works.
Tip 5: Use a Bench Vice
Note that all the above tricks are only necessary if you don’t have a bench vice. If you do, your life will become so much easier. Using a bench vice to get the bearings in and out of the hub is simple. We have already looked at how to get the bearings out using a socket and a roll of duct tape. Now let’s see how to get it in.
You won’t need a roll of duct tape for this part. Simply place the hub with the protruding bearing between the clamps and slowly tighten the vice until the bearing is all the way in.
Tip 6: Use a Hammer
A hammer should be the absolute last resort because using a hammer can cause damage to the bearings. If you have no other choice but to use a hammer, here’s what you need to do:
- Place the hub with the protruding bearing on a flat surface (the protruding bearing should be facing up).
- Gently take your hammer and start tapping the top of the bearing on the sides.
- Try as much as you can to apply equal gentle pressure with each tap to push the bearing in slowly as you go around. Doing so will minimize your chances of ruining the bearing or pushing one side in further than the rest so that it’s cockeyed.
Here’s a video showing you how to do this:
Once you finish, all you have to do is replace the wheel and hub on your mountain board and make sure that it’s running smoothly before taking it out on the road.
See more: How to change Mountainboard parts