As you ride your longboard, the wheels experience wear and tear over time, which eventually reduces their performance and safety. Therefore, it’s essential to know when to replace your longboard wheels to avoid accidents and enjoy an excellent longboarding experience. In this article, we will look at the signs you need to replace your longboard wheels, factors affecting their lifespan, and how to choose the best replacement wheels.
What Are the Signs That You Need to Replace Your Longboard Wheels?
Several signs indicate that it’s time to replace your longboard wheels. These include:
a) Uneven wear: if your wheels have uneven wear patterns, it’s time to replace them. Check for flat spots, coning, or ovalization on your wheels.
b) Reduced traction: as your wheels wear down, you may notice reduced grip or traction while riding. This could lead to accidents, especially when going downhill.
c) Vibrations: worn-out wheels often cause vibrations, making your riding experience uncomfortable and less enjoyable.
d) Squeaky sound: if you hear a squeaky sound while riding, it could be a sign that your wheels are worn down or need to be cleaned.
e) Cracks or chips: if your wheels have cracks or chips, they are no longer safe to use, and you should replace them immediately.
What Factors Affect the Lifespan of Longboard Wheels?
Several factors affect the lifespan of longboard wheels, including:
a) Riding style: aggressive and fast riding styles tend to wear down wheels more quickly than cruising or commuting style.
b) Terrain: rough surfaces, such as concrete, gravel, or asphalt, wear down wheels faster than smoother surfaces, such as wood or tile.
c) Weight: heavier riders put more stress on their wheels, causing them to wear out faster than lighter riders.
d) Weather: extreme weather conditions, including rain, snow, and high temperatures, can reduce the lifespan of longboard wheels.
e) Maintenance: proper maintenance, such as cleaning and lubricating your wheels, can extend their lifespan and keep them performing optimally.
How Often Should You Replace Your Longboard Wheels?
The lifespan of longboard wheels varies depending on several factors, as discussed above. Generally, you should replace your wheels every six months to one year, depending on your riding style, terrain, and weight. However, it’s essential to inspect your wheels regularly for signs of wear and tear and replace them when necessary.
When choosing replacement wheels for your longboard, consider the following factors:
a) Durometer: this refers to the hardness of the wheel, and it’s measured using a durometer scale ranging from 0 to 100. Softer wheels have a lower durometer rating and absorb shock better, making them ideal for cruising and commuting. Harder wheels have a higher durometer rating and provide better traction and speed, making them ideal for downhill and freeride.
b) Wheel size: the size of your wheels affects your speed, stability, and maneuverability. Larger wheels provide more speed and stability, while smaller wheels offer better maneuverability and control.
c) Wheel shape: wheel shape affects your grip, speed, and sliding ability. Rounder wheels provide better grip and maneuverability, while square wheels offer more speed and sliding ability.
d) Brand reputation: choose wheels from reputable brands that design high-quality and durable longboarding gear.
How Do You Replace Longboard Wheels?
Replacing longboard wheels is a simple and straightforward process. Here’s how to do it:
a) Remove the old wheels: use a skateboard tool to unscrew the nuts and remove the old wheels from the trucks.
b) Clean the bearings: remove the bearings from the old wheels and clean them thoroughly. You can use a bearing cleaner or rubbing alcohol to clean the bearings.
c) Install the new wheels: place the new wheels on the trucks and screw the nuts back on.
d) Install the bearings: place the cleaned bearings back into the new wheels and align them with the trucks.
e) Test ride: take your longboard for a test ride to ensure that everything works correctly.
Replacing your longboard wheels is essential for your safety and enjoying an excellent longboarding experience. Be sure to inspect your wheels regularly for signs of wear and tear and replace them when necessary. Choose replacement wheels based on your riding style, terrain, and weight, and opt for high-quality and durable wheels from reputable brands. By doing so, you’ll enhance your longboarding experience and reduce the risk of accidents.