How to Install Skateboard Bearings? Step by Step Guide For Beginners

Skateboard bearings allow the wheels of the board to roll and rotate smoothly. Every wheel on the skateboard requires two bearings each, so eight bearings attach the wheel and the board. Installation and replacement of these bearings is an effortless task and should be done regularly to maintain the smoothness.

This gives an extra boost to the wheel and makes skating more fun. A detailed guide on installing or replacing the bearings of the skateboard is provided below. By following these steps, you can easily install the bearings if the old ones are broken in a matter of a few minutes only. So without further ado, Lets find out How to Install Skateboard Bearings. Also have a look at how to clean skateboard wheel bearings.

How to Install Skateboard Wheel Bearings?

As skateboard bearings are made with steel or ceramic, there are high chances that they might rust. The interaction of water with the wheels is one of the main reasons for the damage. They might also crack up or seize with excess use. The old bearings of the skateboard can be replaced, or new ones can be installed in five easy steps. It is simple once you know the tricks.

Removing the Old Skateboard Bearings

If you know the installation process of the skateboard bearings, removing the old ones will be super easy for you. The replacement or removal of old bearings is the same procedure but backward. The illustration of these three easy steps is done below:

  • Before starting the process, a skating tool or a 13 mm wrench should be ready in your hand. All the four nuts placed at the end to fix the wheels should be unscrewed slowly and gradually. Once the nylon lock nuts are unscrewed, remove the washers as well. Save all these nut locks along with the washers, as they will come in use after a few days.
  • The wheels should be slowly pulled out until the middle of the axle. The bearings are pulled out once the wheels are out. Some skateboarders use plastic spacers for the tight fit of the bearings. These should also be removed and kept safe for later use.

A total of eight bearings are present on each skateboard. All of these shall be removed or replaced by following these easy steps.

Initial Installation

First of all, the new skateboard bearing shall be placed at the right spot on the skating board. Usually, the side with the colored shield is placed on the outer edge. The fit is tight, leaving some part of the bearing out from the wheel. This is pressed gently from the metal rim in the downward position, so no space is left in between. The colored shield and the center of the bearing are not touched. All the eight bearings should be fixed one by one. Make sure that spacers are put on every wheel during this process.

Addition of Washers

As you add spacers between the bearings and the skateboard, washers can also be used. They can help in the fast and efficient spinning of the wheels and reduce friction. These tiny metal rings fit on the sides and play a significant role in performance. The usage of washers is an optional step and depends entirely on the personal preference of the skateboarders. There were a pair of washers, one on the axle and the other on the wheel at the end of the installation.

Placement of Wheels

When the bearings are set at their specific locations, the placement of the wheels should be done very carefully. The side of the wheels can be set according to what you like, graphics either on the inner or outer side. A set of nylon lock nuts comes with a board; if not, a set is readily available on any hardware store. These locks reduce the risk of water damage, thus keeping the bearings and the board dry.

Tightening the Wheels

Tightening each nut is an essential step of the installation process as it pushes the bearings down, hence fixing them nicely on their positions is necessary. A tool might be included in the box with the skateboard; if not, a socket wrench can be used as a replacement. Screw the nuts until they stop moving and fit snugly into the designated area.

Adjustment of the Nuts

The last step is an essential trick, and once you get hold of it, you can change the whole skating game. After the nuts have been fixed and wheels are placed at their positions, the nuts shall slightly be jiggled in back and forth motion. A clacking sound can be heard from the wheels while you play around with the wheels. This helps the wheels rotate smoother and faster, hence maintaining balance. Please read about ABEC 7 vs. Bones Reds Bearings.


Which way do bearings go on a skateboard?

The colored side of the bearings is usually kept on the outside during the installation process. A space will be left between the bearing and the wheel as it has an extremely tight fit.

Should bearings be press fit?

The bearings should be slightly pressed downward from the middle part of the metallic rim. This makes the bearings fit tightly, but pushing too hard can lead to cracking and failure of the internal clearance area.

What is the tolerance for a bearing?

All the bearings have a specific tolerance level that helps measure the performance. The bearings with high-speed rotation fall in the P4 and P5 tolerance classes.

Why is bearing clearance important?

The bearing clearance plays a vital role in distributing the load, vibration, and weight equally. It also helps to determine whether the wheels will move smoothly or faster.

How do you put bearings on a skateboard wheel?

Installation of the bearings on a skateboard wheel is an effortless and straightforward process that only takes a few minutes. Five easy steps can be followed for the installation process.


Bearings are a dominant part of the skateboard that helps the smooth and faster movement of the wheels. Like all other equipment, the bearings also need maintenance and replacement with time. A simple wrench and a few minutes are required for following the five-step easy installation given in the article above. They help the skateboarders to move at higher speeds because of the reduced friction.

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