Skateboarding is a great way to get around and have fun. From easy tricks like the ollie to advanced grinding of new parks.
It’s something that you can do no matter how old you are or what type of terrain you ride. But when it comes to skateboarding, an important part of skating is making sure your wheels fit correctly.
You might be asking yourself – do skateboard wheels need spacers? Well, the answer isn’t so cut and dry as many skaters wonder if they should rely on spacers or if they’re necessary for riding safely.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at why some people recommend using them and why others think they’re a waste of time and money.
Read on to learn more about skateboard wheel spacers and how they affect your setup!
Quick Answer: Yes, skateboard wheels do need spacers. Skateboard wheel spacers are small metal pieces typically made of aluminum or steel with a slightly wider diameter in the middle than its ends that provide a space between the wheel and the axle nut.
Do you really need spacers in skateboard wheels?
Skateboard wheels can be a key component in riding safely and comfortably as they act as a fulcrum for the transfers of weight from the deck to the ground.
As such, spacers become essential to ensure these axles line up properly. Spacers for your skateboard wheel help ensure that your truck axle lines up evenly with the wheel on both sides so you don’t experience any wobble performing tricks and maneuvers.
Wheel spacers also prevent damage that could come from placing a wheel onto an axle without them and an unevenly place wheel can lead to great stress on your bearings, making them wear out quicker.
Although spacers may not be needed for standard cruising around, adding them even just once puts you in good stead when it comes to getting technical performance out of your skateboard.
Installing spacers on skateboard wheels:
Before you start, make sure you have all the supplies that you need. You’ll need the following items to complete this task.
• Skateboard truck (with existing wheels)
• New wheels
• Spacers (usually included with new wheels)
• Socket wrench
Remove Old Wheels and Spacers
The first step is to remove your existing wheels from the truck.
To do this, use a socket wrench to loosen the nuts that are holding them in place.
Once they’re loose, pull off both the wheel and spacer from each side of the truck.
Install New Spacers
Once your old wheels and spacers have been removed, it’s time to install your new ones.
Start by placing one spacer onto each wheel hub of your truck.
Make sure that they are securely in place before proceeding to the next step.
Install New Wheels
Now that your spacers are securely attached, it’s time to install your new wheels onto your truck hubs.
Make sure that they are seated as far down as possible before tightening them into place using a socket wrench.
When finished, check that each wheel is properly tightened before proceeding with skating.
What happens if I don’t use spacers on my skateboard wheels?
Not using spacers in skateboard wheel setups can lead to a variety of issues:
Reduced Ability to Turn
One of the biggest dangers of not using spacers is reduced turning ability.
When your wheels rub against each other without a spacer in place, they create friction that makes it harder for you to turn your board.
This increases the risk of losing control while riding and potentially falling off your board altogether.
Increased Risk of Bearings Seizing Up
Additionally, not using spacers increases the risk that your bearings will seize up while riding due to excessive friction caused by contact with the wheels.
This means that your wheel will no longer spin freely as it should, significantly reducing its performance level and putting you at risk if you are unable to stop quickly enough when needed.
Increased Risk of Wheel Damage
Without spacers separating your wheels from their axles, there is an increased risk that they could become damaged over time due to rubbing against each other or the bearings themselves. This can cause cracks or even complete breakage in extreme cases—which again puts both your safety and performance at risk.
Reduced Performance Level
Finally, not using spacers reduces overall performance level since there is more friction between moving parts which causes them to work inefficiently compared to when all parts are properly spaced apart from each other as intended.
This leads to slower acceleration speeds, reduced maneuverability levels, and poorer braking power—all of which can make skating more dangerous than usual.
Bonus Tip: If your wheels still feel too tight even after you’ve installed the spacers, try adding a bit of lubricant (such as WD-40) to the inside of each wheel before tightening them down. This will help reduce friction and make it easier for your wheels to move freely when skating.
As you can see, using spacers on skateboard wheels is essential for both your safety and performance level.
Not only do they keep the wheels from rubbing against each other, but they also help to prevent damage to the bearings as well as reduce friction between all moving parts.
They are quick and easy to install, so there’s no reason not to make sure they’re in place before you start riding.
So the next time you go out for a skate, make sure to check that your wheels are properly spaced apart from each other using spacers—your board will thank you for it.