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Fix slow skateboard wheels


Q. The wheels on my skateboard aren’t spinning well anymore. Is there anything I can do to fix them or do I have to buy new wheels?
Slow Joe, Tampa, Fla.

A. We feel your pain, Slow. We have the same problem, so we asked our friend Andy Macdonald, eight-time world champion skateboarder, for the lowdown on your slow down:

“New wheels are not going to help in the least if your wheels aren’t spinning. Chances are you just have to clean and lubricate your bearings. Remove your wheel and pop out the bearings with the edge of your axle. Bones Bearings pretty much set the standard in the skateboarding world as far as bearings go. They recommend picking up a Bones Bearings Cleaner Unit at your local skate shop ($15), but a clean plastic yogurt cup and a few cotton swabs will work, too.

“You’ll need to remove the bearing shields if your bearings have them. Just poke them out with a paper clip. Then soak your bearings in acetone, nail-polish remover or rubbing alcohol. Spin them dry and make sure all the dust and dirt are out. Now you’ve removed all the dirt as well as all the lubricant from your bearings. It’s important to use a silicone-based lubricant. WD40 or others like it will dry out your bearings and attract dust and dirt. You can pick up a bottle of Bones Speed Cream at the skate shop, or try some Prolong from the auto parts store. It doesn’t take much, and the excess will just spin out when you replace your shields, pop your bearings back in your wheels and start shredding. Skate safe and enjoy your new-found speed.”

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69 Comments on Fix slow skateboard wheels

  1. This helped a lot with my slow board thanks! 🙂

  2. dude skate boreding is awsome

  3. Does it matter which way I put back my bearings into the wheels? Or I can just put them whatever way?

  4. can you help me // July 27, 2013 at 9:27 am // Reply

    i have had my Bord for like 2 years and my bearings are abec 1 but the worked good then i started using goo gone to lube up and now they slow down????

  5. Don’t use wd-40 guys its a waterbase substance.

  6. I’ve got all my wheels off my skate board except for one, and I can’t get it off, how can I get the wheel off? I’ve been using sunflower oils, Cyder vinigar and nail polish remover, nothing seems to be making it budge, what should I do?

  7. Wd40 is the worst lubricant for bearings, and silicone based sprays lose their lubrication properties very quickly. It is best you use liquid wrench to clean them properly and use something like tri flow to keep them spinning.

  8. Thanks for the help my board works know

  9. I have a cheap walmart board and my wheels stopped so i just sprayed wd40 on them. It works like a champ know.

  10. get a longboard and play final fintasy >.>

  11. i dont know if my wheels arereal or fake their rubber

  12. How can i fix my skatewheel

  13. Swagermix571 // May 1, 2012 at 3:42 pm // Reply

    Bone swiss ceramic bearings

  14. ither you have a crappy wallmarnt sate bord or you need new berings

  15. just put some wd_40 that works to

  16. i bought a new blind board for 105$ and the wheels are really slow do i buy new ones or what?

    • 80_TonyHawk_80 // April 4, 2011 at 7:17 pm // Reply

      Maybe you should just buy a new skateboard dude. I mean if tings aren’t working right with me i mean if i buy some new bearings or something and it doesn’t work, i would just buy a new one man.

    • RiseWithTheFallen // July 9, 2011 at 6:41 am // Reply

      just replace the bearings if you need faster bearings i recommend bones reds

    • cant skate // July 27, 2013 at 9:23 am // Reply

      you dont need new wheels its the bearings them self if you have some money hanging around you can get new ones or you can use liquid wrench

  17. Do I Buy a new board?:)

  18. protegy sk8ter // September 18, 2009 at 12:54 pm // Reply

    how do i fix my board i have all my bearings but im missing the thing thats in the bearing its the thin round thing that holds the wheel

  19. skatepotato // July 29, 2009 at 7:46 am // Reply

    i recommend bones swiss bearings they set the standard the are fast u dont even have toclean them and alll the pros use bones swiis so get bones!!!

  20. just get some abec 1 bearings, their cheap and work great if you clean them out

  21. Sk8freek21 // July 6, 2009 at 11:24 pm // Reply

    Apec7 yellow jackets are awesome they are like butter

    • skatergirl13 // October 5, 2013 at 6:02 am // Reply

      i started skating about 2 months ago, I bought a cheap board (tony hawk huckjam series) and I want to get new bearings which is the best to start on? (abec 1, 2, 3, etc)

    • Does a lubricant called finish line wet bike lubricants good for bearings ?

  22. Sk8freek21 // July 6, 2009 at 11:21 pm // Reply

    Yea just place it in acetone for 5-10mins then just put some wd40 on it and it’ll work fine. I just did that with mine and it works like a charm. I polish my board bottom every time after use and clean the outside of the wheel everytime after use. There’s a saying,” take care of your board ad it’ll take care of you”

    • dont use wd 40 it attracts more dirt use a silicon based lubricant thats why they have skateboard specific bearing lube.

      • 80_TonyHawk_80 // April 4, 2011 at 7:25 pm //

        Yeah I’d say that too man. Use some silicon based lubricants for that type of situation man.

    • JackTheGiantSlayer // November 8, 2013 at 6:45 pm // Reply

      Why would you polish your skateboard and clean your wheels? That’s just weird..

  23. Anonymous // July 4, 2009 at 5:21 pm // Reply


  24. I just stuck brand new wheels and bearings on my board and all but one of them have a decent spin. I have no idea why only 1 of the wheels goes slow! Any ideas?

  25. Oil will make it worse if they get some dust from ground, they become slow and noisy

  26. yeah, just go to your local skate shop and get Bones Speed Cream.
    I go to Zumiez.

  27. lube them and then ride hard for a hour or two that will do the job…

  28. i want good wheels

  29. expert hiker 101 // June 27, 2008 at 8:47 am // Reply

    i just like to put on w-d 40 and that w3orks because i don’t want to buy new bearings.

  30. jelly mannnn // June 11, 2008 at 5:01 pm // Reply

    skating wrocks!!!!

  31. dude, apec 7 speed demons are way better than bones

  32. if your gonna spend 15 bucks on cleaner, u might as well spend the 15 dollars on new bearings…but, i was wondering what if ur bearings have been lubed up and all but they still run slow…? if they’re broken is there a way i can fix them?

  33. swiss bones bearing i think are the best

  34. Silent Canadian Skateboarding // February 12, 2008 at 11:33 am // Reply

    Yeah deffiantely dont use WD40 on your bearings, if grits up and attracts dirt easily, rubbing alchohol works great to clean but to lube it all up I recomend spraying white lithium grease inside the bearing while th cap is off but only a very small amount. Ismade not to wear out or wash off and doesnt attract dirt if you dont put to much on.

  35. Y cant i use my real name??? // January 29, 2008 at 5:48 pm // Reply

    look, i went and bought some graphite which my friends said worked really well if you apply a little bit then rup all over the sheild of bearing. i tried it and had to wash graphite out in petrol. i ended up just putting all of bearings in petrol for cleaning and i didn’t bother to lube them and they work just fine and each wheel spins for 20 seconds when spun by hand! i recomend just doing what i did. im going to try graphite powder again though and try to use less! hop this helped!

    also, i was in a skate shop and the guy there said not to use speed cream. but he didnt tell me y?? he was creepy so i just didnt ask!! haha!


  37. GERT(playdough stuntman) // November 23, 2007 at 8:16 pm // Reply

    DUDE, skateboarding with Bones Bearings is AWSOME!!!!!!!!! :):):):):):):):):)

  38. i like i will use it

  39. Extreme Rapper // October 22, 2007 at 7:01 pm // Reply

    Skateboarding is the best! 😀 8) 🙂 😉

  40. wot ive done before is use wd40 then put a little petroleum jelly. It will attract more dirt though

  41. get bones cleaner or lube and soak them for a couple of mins.

  42. armybrat213 // October 3, 2007 at 3:09 pm // Reply

    slosen the bolts a little bit

  43. i think wd 40 or around da house oil works best

  44. You could always just oil your wheels and i agree with jjjjjjjjjjjg.

  45. Personally bearings aren’t that expensive, and just some spitfire bearings work just fine for me. Also everyone else has a legidiment answer and i think wd 40 works just fine.

  46. I agree with bacon.

  47. johnnny D-Train // June 17, 2007 at 9:08 pm // Reply

    You can also use graphite

  48. If you dont want to clean your bearings and you have an old board with good bearings just switch them out and they should feel good.

  49. Take your barings and spray them with wd-40 and if that dosent work, wash them off with a rag and get some plated bearings or what I have are baring proters that you can put on the out side of your barings and keeps your barings clean.

  50. jjjjjjjjjjg // May 14, 2007 at 2:36 pm // Reply

    You can put some oil in the washers.

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