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How to Put Wheels on a Skateboard? – Scooterlay

How to Put Wheels on a Skateboard
Written by Kevin Gerard

Tired of your bumpy and uncomfortable skating sessions? It’s time to change the wheels.

Once you have the right tools and equipment, you can easily do it at home. Here’s a quick and easy guide to go about the process!

How to Put Wheels on a Skateboard?

Step 1: Gather tools

  • Bearings
  • Trucks
  • Wheels
  • Skate tool
  • Axle nuts
  • Speed washers

Step 2: Remove the old wheels’ nuts

These metal pieces are thick, hexagonal, and hold your skateboard’s wheels into place. Below the nut, you will find a thin piece of metal called a speed washer that also needs to come off.

How to Put Wheels on a Skateboard - Remove the old skateboard wheels nuts

Step 3: Save the washers to use later

Remove the nuts and washers with a skate tool or wrench and then place them aside.

Step 4: Remove the old bearings with a bearing press

Use a bearing press to remove the old wheel from the trucks. Be careful not to break the bearing shield and make sure you grab the bearing edges with the tool instead of the surface.

How to Put Wheels on a Skateboard - Remove the old bearings with a bearing press

Step 5: Place the wheel on the axle of the truck and push it to the side

When attaching each wheel, slide on the first washer, then slide on the bearing wheel. finish up by sliding on the second washer.

A lock nut completes the wheel setup, locking the wheels into place. As soon as the wheels are on to one side, flip them over and repeat.

How to Put Wheels on a Skateboard - Place the wheel on the axle

Step 6: Rethread the axle with a tool (Optional)

The first step is to remove the axle nut and wheel.

The die tool should get mounted on the axle. Rethreading the axle should be threaded flat, parallel to the axle.

Be sure to keep the die flat as you twist it. This will help avoid cutting new threads that are off-center and do not match the original threads.

You will feel resistance when turning the die clockwise. This occurs as the die removes the metal chips blocking the threads. The die penetrates the mangled threads and rejoins the original one

Step 7: Install the new bearing on the truck so that the shield faces the outside

Each truck has two axles, and each axle has four bearings. Place a one-speed washer on each axle. Examine the bearings on both sides.

When one shield is present on a bearing, mount it with the shielded side (next to the hanger). The exposed side should face out.

How to Put Wheels on a Skateboard - Install the new bearing on the truck

Step 8: Put the wheel onto the bearing and press it down with two hands

It’s time to get your wheels rolling. Take one wheel in each hand and hold them outward, facing each other. Place the hubs of the wheels (middle of the wheels) on the outside bearings.

Try to push them inward together so they click into place.

How to Put Wheels on a Skateboard - Put the wheel onto the bearing

Step 9: If your wheel comes with a spacer put it in the middle (Optional)

Slide one spacer onto each axle next.

If your wheel comes with a spacer put it in the middle

Step 10: Install the second bearing as you did the first

Repeat the same steps you did before for the first one.

Step 11: Before putting the wheel back on the truck, make sure there is one washer on it

Wheels should have washers on either side to help them spin freely. To attach the wheels, place the first washer on the wheel, followed by the bearing and the second washer.

Step 12: After you put on the wheel, don’t forget about the second washer

On the outside of each wheel, cover each axle with speed washers.

How to Put Wheels on a Skateboard - put the second washer

Step 13: Tighten up the wheel nut with a wrench tool

Tighten these nuts down using a socket wrench until they are tight. You don’t want them too tight so that they prevent the wheels from turning.

Tighten up the wheel nut with a wrench tool

Step 14: (Option 1) If your bearings are spaced, tighten the nut until it doesn’t go any further

Well-constructed skateboards have spacers in the wheels. most will have speed rings within the axle and hanger face. You can tighten these completely without affecting your rolling speed. You need to tighten them up all the way and then roll the board around (not too far) to fully seat the bearings.

Step 14: (Option 2) If bearing spacers are not available, leave a small space

If the wheel doesn’t have a bearing space, the wheel and nut need spacing apart to prevent the wheel from stopping.

In a freewheel, the wheel spins for an extended period before stopping. Though it might seem good, it isn’t the best idea since this may put a strain on the bearing and increase friction.

If bearing spacers are not available, leave a small space

Step 15: Test the wheel spin with your hand

Make sure the wheels are spinning freely. The motions should not be tight or shaky.

Step 16: Do the same for the remaining wheels

Follow the same steps to complete the remaining wheels.

Things to avoid when you put skateboard wheels

  • Bearings and wheels cab be lubricated and made faster by adding speed cream.
  • When the wheels are rattling, or your balance is off, tighten them slightly
  • If something doesn’t feel right, test and tweak it until it does.
  • Don’t use your fingers to push the wheel bearings! The seals and shields can bend, causing poor bearing performance.

Skateboard wheel maintenance tips

  • Fix flat spots

Wheels lose diameter as they work, and rough surfaces can also cause flat spots.

  • Rotate your wheels

It is good to rotate your skateboard wheels periodically to ensure even wear. First, remove them and rotate the wheels X-wise. For example, the left rear wheel needs to go in the right front wheel spot.

Likewise, the right rear wheel needs to go to the left front wheel.

  • Clean your wheels

Dirt and rocks can accumulate on your wheels and bearings. This will result in a less-than-smooth ride. Cleaning when you carry out regular maintenance on your board is important.


1. How do I know if the axle nut is on tightly enough?

Ans. The wheel should be able to rotate freely without wriggling.

2. Why do some skateboarders put wheels on backward?

Ans. This is because performing stunts is sometimes distracting with the graphics on the wheel. It also keeps the graphics from wearing out.

3. Are spacers necessary?

Ans. If you aren’t putting a lot of pressure on the boards, you won’t need them. They are best used for those who do a lot of ticks, including slides.

4. Can skateboard bearings fit longboard wheels?

Ans. Standard 608 bearings are interchangeable. The wheels can go on longboards as well as skateboards.

About the author

Kevin Gerard

I started off my career as a mechanical engineer at a scooter manufacturing company back in 2012. I’ve been into kick scooters and swimming since the early years of my life. Over time, I quit the latter for the love of the former and soon started to be recognized as a kick scooter expert!

I wanted to take scooter designing professionally but my family forced me to study engineering. Luckily, I decided to study mechanical engineering! That made way for me to work in the field of kick scooter designing as a core researcher and developer.

I am one of the founding members of Scooterlay and I contribute to the website as the head of the research team. I am currently working on my first book on the basics of kick scooter riding. This is a guide for beginner riders that will soon be published by Warner House Press, Arizona.

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