Tech Talk: Replacing Your Inline Skate Wheels & Bearings

Rollerblade Macroblade 100 Women's Skating

If you’ve been skating for a while, chances are you like to pick up speed. But as your wheels get older and more worn, that easy access to speed might be limited. What many beginner skaters don’t realize is that wheels need to be rotated and/or replaced the more you skate. Why? Because wear and tear is a real thing! Your wheel and bearing setup directly affect speed, smoothness, and general performance. That’s why old wheels can become a real problem as you put in the mileage.

Do Your Wheels Need Replacing?

Depending on the severity of the wear on your inline skates, it’ll be pretty easy to spot. Wheels that are scuffed up, misshapen, or damaged in any way should always be replaced. However, there are some other warning signs that might be a little more subtle, including:

Worn Inline Skate Wheels

  • Visible Wear: After skating outdoors, your wheels are going to get a little worn. However, if that wear is uneven or the wheels are literally decreasing in size, then they may have worn too much. While tire rotation can help prevent uneven wear, eventually a replacement is the only option.
  • Chips & Chunks: If you ignore your skate wheels for too long, they can deteriorate to the point where chunks are falling out entirely. Not only will this decrease your performance, but also it can lead to a bumpy ride even on smooth surfaces.
  • Decreased Performance: Whether it’s maneuverability, speed, or general comfort, old wheels lead to bad performance. Where you once used to glide smoothly, you’ll be stuck with a rough ride and no speed.

Not only will replacing your wheels be an improvement for your skates but in many cases, you can even upgrade wheel size for added speed and performance as you get more comfortable.

The Benefits of Upgrading Wheels

If you didn’t realize your wheels were worn, replacing them will be the easiest way to see a difference. With new wheels in place, you should see a boost in max speed, the smoothness of the ride, and improved grip. Although your mechanics mainly dictate your speed, newer, larger wheels can make getting to that top-end velocity a lot easier. Additionally, it can help smooth out your ride especially if your old wheels were missing chunks.

For a full guide on how to change your wheels, be sure to watch a video with our resident skate expert Ted:

How Do Your Bearings Come into Play?

Another great way to pick up some speed from your skates is by upgrading the bearings. We have written a full guide to wheels and bearings, but essentially, your bearings impact how fast your wheels can run and the smoothness of that ride.

Not only do we offer a wide range of options online, but also, we have a handy guide to help you swap them out:

If you’re skating habits are on the rise and you’re putting in a lot of mileage, paying attention to your wheels is key. Not only can it keep you comfortable, but also, it’s a great opportunity to add some performance as your skills progress too. As always, you can always check Peter Glenn or reach out for advice on choosing your next replacement wheel.