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Inline Skate Wheel Maintainence: Lubricating the Wheels - Perhaps Rotation

Updated on July 30, 2016


It feels so odd to call these skates Inline Skates, since I come from a simple mentality and I call them Roller Blades.

I was born and raised a roller skater. Roller skates are different, as the wheels are on a truck and have two wheels mounted side by side on the front and two more wheels mounted side by side on the back.

My preference is roller skates, since 30 years ago, I used to roller skate six days a week at the local rink, but then I had to give it up for marriage, kids. But, now, my youngest child is an avid roller blade [excuse me Inline skate] person and we are going to take a trip up to the Duluth area and roller blade our way around instead of walking.

The problem is, I purchased some used roller blades at a Thrift Store and the wheels do not spin as well as they should, so I am going to take them off and hopefully lubricate them with something that will make them spin better. Maybe just cleaning will help.

Removing Wheels

This is a tricky one. They have older, Philips head screws holding the wheels in place, but the screw seems to be connected to the screw on the other side, since as I have been successful in getting the screw to turn, the head on the opposite side is also turning.

That's going to be a fun ordeal. I need to somehow figure out how to put a screwdriver in both sides and hold it steady while I turn.

I don't think so. There must be an easier route to do this?


I confess. I need to watch a Youtube video to see how they suggest getting those screws out. I wonder if there are any.

You'd think that there would be a lot of maintenance videos, but, then again, I purchased my blades at a Thrift Store for a couple dollars, so perhaps people don't maintain at all. Maybe this is my new hobby.

I can see it now, my new store. Char's Wheel Store.

Can you think of a catchy slogan for it?


Let's look it up.

Top Puck seems to be the most informative video series. How to Properly Clean and Speed Up Bearings was the video that I watched.

I need some ATF and a bottle. The bottle he used was a wide mouth Gatorade bottle. I may just sacrifice a plastic storage box since I don't drink Gatorade. I can just reuse it later. After you put your bearings in the ATF, you let them sit and then, remove them. He sprayed his with Liquid Wrench. I have ATF fluid, but I may just have to go to the store and invest in the spray lubricant.


I watched Top Pucks video and started to work on my own skates.

I found that his video was for wheels with bearings and spacers. My Thrift Store skates only have a screw/insert screw assembly and aren't quite as complicated as far as taking the wheels off. However, I did have some difficulty removing the screw, as the person who assembled them to start with, put some blue stuff on the threads and it unscrewed very hard. I suppose it is some sort of silicone, something to keep the screw from turning and unscrewing itself.

Bladerunner 2000

We have three pairs of blades in our household. Two pairs belong to my granddaughters and I have been learning to skate with them.

I'm embarrassed to report that their wheels do not turn very well.

Magic Method

Since I purchased my skates at a Thrift Store for next to nothing, I find that I am not as particular about what fancy oils that I use on the wheel bearings.

The video I watched showed that his bearings came out and he put them in a bottle of transmission fluid, which cleaned the dirt off the bearings. I also noticed that he poured the dirty fluid back into his original bottle of ATF.

I was too lazy to walk the 200 feet to the shop to get some ATF, so I looked in my kitchen and thought about using my Oil Spray. You know, the can of Crisco Cooking spray that my hubby uses on his egg pan.

Crisco Cooking Spray

I sprayed it on the wheel bearing. I spun it around. It only took a few seconds for me to find out that it worked very well.

Actually, I have a confession to make. The reason that I used it at all, was because I was having trouble getting the wheels off to start with, and was dreaming up a tool to use to remove the wheels. The tool involved a C clamp, a Phillips bit for an insertable screwdriver and I was going to fashion some sort of screw driver attachment for the opposite site.

Well. My clamp was sticky. I used the Crisco Spray on the threaded rod on the clamp. It took about 5 seconds and the threaded rod started to turn a little easier. I sprayed the section of rod that was inside the clamp. By the time I had screwed and unscrewed the threaded rod on the clamp a few times, it was very, very, very loose.

Well. When I got to the point that I had two wheels removed from my first skate, I found that they were very sticky and the bearing was imbedded in the wheel. I don't think that they come out, so I sprayed it with cooking spray. I held the center of the wheel between my thumb and my finder and started to turn the wheel around.

It took about 5 seconds and the wheel started to free spin. I sprayed it on both sides and the more I spun, the faster and easier it got.

Two Wheels Left

At this point, with two wheels off and two wheels on, I thought, will it spray on the bearings that are still mounted on the blades?

The answer is YES. It did spray on the bearings and as I spun those wheels that were so sticky that they weren't turning, they started to spin faster and faster.

I'm going to fall down when I put these on, I'm sure, since they now spin very fast.


I had a total of eight wheels that I had originally intended to remove and swish in ATF.

Well. My cooking spray, was effective enough, to loosen up the remaining six wheels without removing them from the skate.

Other Skates

I have two pairs of skates that my granddaughters have been learning on.

I picked up them and inspected the wheels.

They did not turn hardly at all. Sorry kids, it's a heck of a note when your grandma expects you to use something so dumb. No wonder my four year old kept telling me that I needed to buy new skates for her, instead of these skates that didn't turn. She's a smart one. Sorry kid!!!


I know, you're expecting me to tell you that I simply picked up those kids skates and sprayed their wheels and voila, instant success.

NOPE. Their wheels aren't as easy. I sprayed them. I tried to get them to work by simply spraying them. Nope. Did not work. I have to remove them.

The only problem that I have now, is that they are not screwed on with the same screw system. No, these are both Allen wrench screws. So, I need to walk out to the shop and procure two wrenches that fit the screws. Actually, I may need to get four allen wrenches, since I do not know if the two skates have the same size screw holes.

At any rate, I need one for each side of the wheel.


I'm still pondering the invention of a unscrewer tool that will hold the skate, and use a fixed bit on one side and a crank system on the opposite side.

Especially, if I decide that this is my new vocation. Restoring roller blades to usable. Could I sell them on eBay if I get them to work better?

I bet so.

For now, I ended up using a pliers on one side and a Phillips screw driver on the other side. I had to wedge the pliers on side of the screw and on the inside against the wheel just the keep the screw steady while I unscrewed from the other side. Then, after I got a few turns, I gripped the screw head with the pliers and unscrewed the other screw.


For fun, I'm going to go to the search page on eBay and see how many wheel replacement kids are being sold on eBay today.

Kids Skates

I need to find some allen wrenches for their skates, so, that's my next project.

My skates are spinning quite nicely now!

I went to eBay to check out rollerblade wheels and I really like those rainbow wheels.

They're pretty...and lights...they have lights!!!!

This Seller Does Well on Ebay

This is what the seller calls his wheels:

Outdoor Rollerblade Inline Hockey Fitness Skate Wheels (76mm / 83A) + Bearings

Allen Wrenches

If you place one Allen wrench in the hole of the screw and another on the opposite side in the other screw, you can get the one to turn and then you can remove it. Counterclockwise to remove. For those of you who don't know clockwise, its up and to the left. To tighten, up and to the right. Righty-tighty, lefty loosy.


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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Interesting read.


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