Do roller skates need spacers?
Roller skating is a fun and exciting hobby with tons of health, physical and social benefits. The fun is never complete without a pair of roller skates in good condition. Spacers are among the crucial considerations when assessing roller skate performance.
Here’s the thing if you’re wondering if roller skates need spacers. Roller skates need spacers to provide a surface for smooth bearing rollout. Without them, bearings wear out quickly due to friction. Spacers also align roller skate wheels for efficient performance.
This is only the scratch on the surface. I cover details in the rest of this guide, and you don’t want to miss out. So, I urge you to keep reading. Let’s get to it!
What are Roller Skate Spacers?
First things first! What are roller skate spacers? Simply put, roller skate spacers are small cylinders that fit into roller skate wheels on the axles between the two bearings.
They’re mostly made of metal, but some are made of plastic. Metal roller skate spacers are sturdier than plastic spacers, making them more durable and reliable.
Spacers come in different sizes, depending on the axle size. So, they can be 6mm, 7mm, or 8mm. You should choose the best one for your roller skates based on axle size.
Why are Roller Skate Spacers Important?
Roller skate spacers play a crucial role in roller skating. Without them, you’re more likely to have a less exciting skating experience. More importantly, you risk injuring yourself if you fall while in motion.
Below are the specific benefits of roller skate spacers!
1. Provide Surface for Smooth Bearing Rollout
Roller skate bearings are only effective when they have a smooth rollout. This way, they can rotate efficiently for hassle-free propulsion.
You don’t have to struggle to attain high speed when the bearings are rolling smooth. Besides that, you won’t have to use energy to push yourself. You can only achieve these goals by using roller skate spacers.
2. Absorbs Shock from the Axle
Roller skate bearings are crucial in every roller skate. Their primary role is to facilitate wheel rotation. Without them, propulsion would be daunting.
They can also be pretty expensive, especially when buying premium bearings like ceramic or Swiss bearings.
It’s crucial to take care of the bearings to enhance roller skate performance and to save on the cost of acquiring new ones.
Roller skating without spacers can exert pressure on the bearings, especially the inner race, which is in direct contact with the axle.
Sadly, once the inner race is compromised, it jeopardizes other bearing parts. Before you know it, you have a defective bearing.
This can be prevented by channeling the pressure and shock somewhere else. This is where the spacers come in handy.
So, instead of your bearings taking all the body shock from the axle, they’ll be transferred to the spacers. This way, you protect your bearings, making them more effective and durable.
3. Align Roller Skate Wheels in the Right Position
Properly aligned roller skate wheels have no play and rollout smoothly. They also make roller skates go faster, especially for skaters who want more speed.
They’re also safe to roller skate in because it’s unlikely they’ll come out while in motion. Properly aligned roller skates can be hard to come by without spacers.
Remember, spacers fill the space between the two roller skate wheels. Without them, the wheels aren’t properly aligned, which causes play. Unfortunately, wheel play can lead to serious accidents, especially when skating fast.
4. Prevent Direct Rubbing Between the Axles and Bearings
Direct rubbing between the axle and bearings can wear them put sooner than you expect. This wears out the inner race, especially after a long period of use.
The only way to protect your bearings from wearing out is by using roller skate spacers.
Types of Roller Skate Spacers
The primary types of roller skate spacers are for 6mm and 8mm axles. But some roller skate axles are 7mm and should only use the appropriate spacer size.
You’ll want to check axle diameter to know the right spacer size for your roller skates. How can you tell a 6mm spacer from an 8mm spacer without measuring tools?
The 6mm spacers have a ring in the middle, and they best fit with a 6mm diameter axle. On the other hand, 8mm spacers don’t have a ring in the middle, and they fit best with an 8mm diameter axle.
Besides the 6, 7, or 8mm spacers, some roller skates use mini/micro 688 bearings. These bearings are pretty smaller and require special spacers.
If you aren’t sure, you should ask an expert at your local roller skate store for the right spacers. It’ll save you so much money and the pain of disappointments.
Also, some roller skates don’t come with built-in spacers, especially entry-level roller skates. This is pretty common in roller skates with AB bearings.
If you want to use roller skate spacers, you may have to swap these bearings with new ceramics or Swiss bearings. There are many benefits of using spacers, and you don’t want to be left out.
Please Check out these Quad Skate Spacers on Amazon
Do Roller Skates Need Spacers? FAQs
1. What do spacers do for roller skates?
Spacers fit inside roller skate bearings, providing a surface for smooth bearing rollout. They also absorb shock and weight from the axle, prolonging bearings’ longevity.
2. Are spacers necessary for bearings?
Spacers are necessary for bearings because they help align bearings for optimum performance. They offer a resting surface and take in the pressure and shock from the roller skate axles.
3. Do I need spacers for quad skates?
Quad skates’ wheels use bearings, and anything that moves on wheels requires spacers. It’s crucial to get the right spacers from your quad skates as they enhance performance efficiency.
Do Roller Skates Need Spacers? Wrapping Up
Do roller skates need spacers? Absolutely yes! Roller skate spacers provide a surface for smooth bearing rollout, absorb shock from the axles, align roller skate wheels in the right position, and prevent direct rubbing between the axles and bearings.
You need roller skate spacers if you want an exciting roller skating experience. There’s no doubting it. That’s it! I hope you found this guide helpful.