Why are my skateboard bearings slow? Dirt and dust build-up in the bearings cause friction resulting in a slower skateboard.
Exposure to dirt and dust causes sticking to the bearing internals. This causes your skateboard bearings to be slow.
Why Are my Skateboard Bearings Slow?
Why are my skateboard bearings slow? Skateboard bearings may be slow due to;
- Soft wheels
- Dirty bearings
- Small wheels
- Worn out bearings
- Overly tight wheels
- Too tight axle nut
- Cheap skateboard
- Poor pushing technique
- Not using a speed washer
- Pushing mongo
Let’s go through the common problems that may cause skateboard bearings to be slow and discover possible solutions. Read on!
1. Soft Wheels
When using soft wheels, they help absorb the roughness of the surface and produce a smoother ride and more grip.
Compared with hard wheels, they are quieter and absorb irregularities in the ground better.
They are mostly the best when skating on sidewalks and asphalt parking lots.
Soft wheels are not suitable to excel at tricks because they bounce a lot and stick to the surface.
If not interested in tricks but Interested in a bit of cruising, hoping a few cubs, or maybe commuting on campus, consider soft wheels.
It’s good to understand different types of wheels and how best they can perform. Soft wheels slide less than hard wheels and they are a bit slower.
2. Small Wheels
Small wheels are best for any type of street and transition skateboarding.
They are slow and do not pick up too much speed when learning to ride down the hills.
They have a low center of gravity and accelerate quickly when pushed.
3. Overly Tight wheels
A single nut is used to attach the wheel to the axles. The nuts should be tightened without impeding the spin of the wheel.
When moving the wheel from side to side you should feel only a minor amount of play.
If the wheels are overly tight, your skateboard will be slow.
Loosen the skateboard wheels but not to an extent of wiggling on the truck’s axle.
4. Too Tight Axle Nut
The axle nuts should be tightened as much as possible without preventing the wheel from spinning.
To check your skateboard wheel tightness, grab your board with one hand, and try to spin the wheel.
If your skateboard wheel fails to spin for around ten seconds, know that the wheel is too tight.
Adjust the spacers or washers on the hub slightly to loosen them.
A nut may adjust itself to be tighter or looser than was initially set. Always check and adjust.
With overly tight axle nuts, it’s easier to learn tricks. The board has a better grip and control since it is slow.
5. Cheap skateboards
Research on best quality skateboards before purchase. Just like any other staff, skateboards have reviews, check on them to ensure you get the best.
Some of the cheap skateboards are very slow depending on the quality. There is no single fix unless you replace its parts(i.e. wheels and bearings first) or purchase a new one.
6. Poor Pushing Technique
At times, your pushing technique is the problem. You insert all your energy on the board and you keep pushing.
At this point, you are the problem but not your board. Stop pushing the board the wrong way.
You should always use the front area of your foot when pushing and extend your push leg enough.
If you push the board in the right way, it will be faster and less effort will be required.
7. Pushing Mongo
Pushing mongo in skateboarding is deemed as an ultimate sin. Pushing mongo makes it more challenging to set up for a trick.
Using your front foot will take you longer to set up for flip tricks.
Also when you push mongo, it is harder to control your board if your weight is centered over the back truck.
Pushing mongo is simply using your front foot to push, instead, of using your back foot.
8. Worn Out Bearings
If one of your wheels stops before the others, know that your skateboard bearings are bad.
Try cleaning and re-lubing them before replacing them. If they fail to spin you can now replace them.
Worn-out bearings make you use more effort when pushing. They make a skateboard to be very slow.
If not well maintained worn-out bearings can easily cause an accident.
9. Dirty Bearings
If there is dirt in the bearings, they will cause pitting of your balls and races. The dirt will also increase friction and can cause extra heat, eventually causing the bearings to freeze up or stop rolling.
Always keep your bearings dirt-free, moisture free, and lubricated. Clean your bearings when they become dirty or noisy.
Use the most environmentally friendly cleaner you can find.
When using a solvent cleaner be in a well-ventilated area and ensure you use appropriate rubber gloves.
After cleaning your bearings, your skateboard should start moving faster.
10. Not Using a Speed Washer
Dirt and gunk that has built up cause the internal ball bearings to slow down.
Learn how to clean skateboard bearings correctly. Use the tiny rings (speed washer) placed on the outside of the bearings.
These tiny ring help in reducing friction between the axle and the axle nuts.
The tiny rings also reduce the build of heat and prevent bearings from wearing.
Without a speed washer, the axles may not tighten resulting in a slow ride.