When I first got my skates a year and a half ago, I played with different ways to adjust them to improve my agility. At the time, the most obvious way for me to achieve fast wheels with quick turning was to adjust the nuts on my wheels slightly loose so they had a little wiggle action, like this:
It seemed like a good idea at the time and I’ve been skating with my wheels like that ever since.
What I didn’t realize, this seemingly harmless adjustment was damaging my axles. It wasn’t until Rollercon, when I showed my skates to one of my instructors, that she pointed out my wheels had way too much wiggling in the wrong direction and I should inspect my hangers and possibly get new ones.
Wiggling like this…
Even with the nuts as tight as they could go, this is what my wheels do.
Rollergirl to the rescue! She got me some bright and shiny new hangers and it wasn’t until I compared them side-by-side that I saw how much damage there was to the axle.
So here’s me taking apart my skates to replace my hangers. If you ever want to replace your skate cushions (also called bushings) this is the process you use!
Before you get started…
Write down your truck settings. Similar to adjusting your toe stops, your truck settings can be personalized as well. If you like where they are at, measure the distance of the nut with a tape measure or count the threads.
Your skates are meant to be taken apart, so don’t be afraid!
Using your skate tool, loosen and remove the two nuts on your truck.
Pull off your first cushion to reveal the hanger, then pull out the hanger. Then remove the second cushion on each axle.
Easy, right? Don’t forget to take this opportunity to clean your parts ‘n pieces!
Then put everything back on in the opposite order, adjusting your truck nuts how you like them. (I will talk about truck adjustment and choosing cushions in another post)
Finally, put your wheels back on and tighten the wheel nuts so you get maximum spin but no wiggling in your wheels!