Longboarding is referred as sidewalk surfing. While longboards are designed and constructed to withstand pressure and environmental elements such as water, heat, and dirt, its parts need to be maintained for maximum longevity. Proper periodic maintenance of your longboard lets you make the most out of the money you have paid for the sports equipment. One part of the longboard that you need to inspect for maintenance necessities is the wheels. You should know how to clean longboard wheels to ensure a safe and quality cruising around town or extreme terrains.
The entire process of cleaning your longboard wheels is divided into three parts namely, the detachment of the parts, cleaning the wheels, and finally, the re-assembly of the removed parts.
1. Removal of the Longboard Parts
You will need to detach the wheels and the parts connected to it so that you can clean the wheels thoroughly. You will need to remove the following parts:
- Metal Nuts
- Metal washers
- Longboard Bearings
- Metal Spacers
You will need the following tools and materials to detach these parts:
- Half-inch socket wrench
- Flathead screwdriver to pry out parts
- Small container for detached pieces
When you have prepared the things above, you can now proceed with the removal of the parts of your longboard.
- Lay down your longboard on a durable, flat surface: Flip the longboard over such that the wheels are facing up. Put the longboard in a position where in one of the wheels is near you and directly below your best vision.
- Using the ½-inch socket wrench, remove the nut from the wheel closest to you: Put the open end of the wrench over the nut, rotating in counter-clockwise movement. You will observe that the nut is loosening and will eventually detach from the bolt. Place the nut in a small container. Repeat this step for the remaining wheels of the longboard.
- Detach the metal washer by hand: Before the first set of bearings, a metal washer is placed. Remove this part by sliding it off. Place it in a small container. Some longboards do not have a metal washer, so this step is optional.
- Pull the wheel from the longboard: Remove the wheel from the longboard axle so that you can clean it thoroughly.
- Detach the second washer by hand: Do the same process that you did on the first washer. Again, some longboards may not possess a metal washer. You can proceed to the next step.
- Detach the bearings using a flathead screwdriver: You need a flathead screwdriver as an efficient level so you could pry the first set of bearings from the wheel. Using other types of screwdriver can make the detachment of the bearings more difficult.
- Flip the wheel over to remove the metal spacer: The metal spacer, if present, should fall into your hand when you flip over the longboard wheel. Put it in the small container for detached longboard hardware.
- Turn the wheel over its other side again: Pry out the second set of bearings using a flat head screwdriver.
2. Cleaning the Longboard Wheel and Its Parts
You will need the following:
- 2 tbsp. Dishwasher soap
- Clean Cloth (1 damp and 1 dry)
Steps in cleaning your longboard wheels and its connected pieces:
- Using a clean damp cloth, wipe away dirt from the wheels as well as the other hardware in the small container: Remove any dirt from the small container as well.
- Fill a bucket with clean, warm water mixed with two tablespoons of dishwashing soap: Put some of this solution in the small container where the longboard hardware are placed. Put the longboard wheels in the bucket with the solution. Keep all the wheels and its pieces in the solution for five minutes.
- Remove the wheels and its pieces from the solution: Wipe these with a clean dry cloth. If there are stubborn gunk on the wheels and its pieces, you can rub it off using a damp cloth and some more dishwashing soap. Wipe it dry again using a clean dry cloth. Remove any excess moisture or water from these parts then air dry them for some time until you are sure that they are completely dry.
- Inspect the wheels: Check if there are any dirt, rocks, or debris inset on the wheels. Remove these with the use of tweezers.
Tips and Precautions in Cleaning and Maintaining Longboard Wheels and Its Parts
- Even if the longboard is constructed to withstand environmental elements, you still need to employ some level of caution to preserve the longevity and quality of the longboard and its parts.
- Wipe away dirt and dry the longboard deck and wheels when it is submerged in rain or mud puddles. This will avoid damage on the bearings and other metal parts.
- When cleaning the bearings, wheels, and metal parts of the longboard, do not reassemble if the parts are not completely dry. This will stimulate rusting, affecting the quality and durability of your longboard.
- Never use strong and abrasive cleaning materials such as gasoline and strong soaps in cleaning longboards wheels and its metal pieces. Dishwashing soap will suffice.
3. Reassembly of the Wheels and Hardware
You will need the same tools and materials you used in the detachment of these parts.
- Lay the wheel on a sturdy, flat surface: Get one set of the dry bearings. Center these on top of the wheel’s middle hole. You should know if it is in the right facing position of the color shield is facing outwards. You can install the old bearings that you cleaned or you can put in new sets.
- Apply pressure on the metal ring of the longboard bearings while pushing it down the wheel: The pressure you apply must be steady yet gentle. The bearings must be pushed down the middle of the wheel. You will hear a click sound indicating that the bearings have been properly position onto the wheels.
- Flip the wheel over: Now, insert the metal spacer, if there is any, by sliding it onto the wheel’s middle hole. This should be positioned on top of the first set of bearings.
- Place the second set of bearings: On top of the metal spacer, place the other set of bearings. You should hear a click sound to signal you have placed the part properly.
- Place the metal washers back between the wheel and the axle.
- Put the wheel back to the longboard.
- Slide the other metal washer back, on top of the bearings.
- Using a wrench, place the nuts back to the wheel.
- Flip the longboard over such that the wheels are facing the ground: Remove the longboard from your working surface then put it on the ground. Test-drive the longboard to see if the parts have been installed properly. Observe if your turn and moves using the longboard has improved. Ensure that your longboard is still stable. If you think that your longboard seems to be a bit wobbly, check if you have placed all the parts back or if you have tightened the parts enough. If you think that you have problems with the wheels and other parts, flip the longboard over again to a sturdy and flat surface to make a thorough inspection and adjustments.
Beside have a best longboard brands, then longboard need periodic maintenance to keep it durable and stable. While it is similar to skateboards, their function and use differ. Longboards are not meant for skateboard kick flips and tricks. There are maneuvers and movements suitable for longboards. This sports equipment is perfect for cruising and maneuvering on a variety of terrains, ranging from flat streets to adventurous hills. With proper use and maintenance, your longboard will last for several years.