Maintaining your roller shoes is critical, not only to ensure the long life of your skates but for a smooth, safe ride. Skates need routine cleaning and maintenance, and we have put together a guide to help you keep your skates in tip condition.
Clean Your roller shoes Regularly
With a damp cloth clean away the dirt accumulating on the outside of the bearings. Gently dig out any embedded dirt.
Change the Wheels
Check the wheels for wear and replace when the inside edges have a shaved off look or when you can hardly read the writing on the sides of the wheels.
Every three or four months check the wheel nuts. If you skate a lot, you should check them more often. Tighten with a half inch wrench just enough that they have no play but not tight enough to prevent the wheels rolling smoothly.
Roller shoes have two types of stoppers, Carrera types that are adjustable and non-adjustable types. The non-adjustable types need to be checked weekly as they work loose from the vibrations caused by stopping frequently. They, are free use a screwdriver to tighten them as tight as possible.
Adjustable types of toe stoppers do not become loose from vibrations so need much less frequent checks, once every six months should be enough. If they need adjusting loosen the nut on the base of the stopper and use your hand to adjust the height.
Trucks can be fixed for flexibility and control. The looser they are the more flexible, but control is harder, especially when skating fast. The trucks are tighter they flexibility is reduced, but control comes easier. It is a matter of preference and skating style, so experiment until the amount of flexibility suits your style.
Inverted kingpins are tightened with a wrench and do not have a locking nut. Standard kingpins have a locking nut which must first be loosened with a wrench. The king pin is then turned to adjust the tension. After adjusting the trucks make sure that the locking nut is retightened.
Adjusting the Plates
The plates are adjustable on some roller shoes, for instance, Soul Train and Blue Love makes. Independent adjustments of the trucks can then be made. This is particularly useful for artistic dancing and freestyle skating. For tight turns and spins a narrower setting is used. For most recreational skating a wider setting will be more appropriate, and this will be the setting of most newly purchased roller shoes. Experiment with the width of the trucks if you have adjustable ones by making small changes and testing the feel and control.
They are adjusted by loosening the locking nut on the base of the truck with a wrench then adjusting the spacing by moving the whole assembly on its track. The locking nut must be securely tightened after adjusting and checked monthly to make sure it has not worked loose.
Clean and maintain your roller shoes for fun and trouble free skating!