If you’re a skateboarder, you know that wheel tightness is an essential part of your setup. Too tight, and they’ll be hard to turn, too loose, and fly out from under you. But what’s the right amount of looseness for skateboard wheels? Finding that sweet spot will make your riding more enjoyable and stable. This post will discuss how loose should skateboard wheels be. Let’s get started!
There are three parts to every skateboard wheel, including the core, urethane, and contact patch. The core is where it all starts; cores are available in many different shapes that help determine how fast or slow your wheels will be. Once you settle on a core, it’s time to choose the urethane.
A Detailed Guide on How Loose Should Skateboard Wheels Be
The tightness or looseness of a skateboard wheel affects the performance of any deck, so it’s essential to understand how to adjust them. It is also vital that riders learn how different bearing seats can affect the feel of their set-up.
Let’s examine the three factors that determine how fast or slow a skateboard will ride. For discussion, we will refer to them as tightness, bearings, and wheels. Tightness measures how fast a skateboard will accelerate under a rider’s weight. Truck Looseness In Different Scenarios:
1. When Going Downhill
If you’re going downhill, you want the trucks as tight as possible. This will prevent your board from leaning too far and pushing into a wheelie or nose-wheelie. A nose-wheelie can be very dangerous because it causes you to lose control of your board and flip back onto the road.
2. When Carving On Flat Ground
Carving on flat ground is the most common way of riding a skateboard. You will want your trucks relatively loose to avoid wheel bite or snap off too many speed bumps at high speeds. Bearing tightness is one of the most challenging things to explain in skating because it’s more of an “eye of the beholder” situation that depends on rider preference.
Remember, bearings are not just about rolling fast for acceleration purposes! They also play a significant role in controlling your board at high speeds, so no two freestyle riders have the same preferences when it comes to bearing tightness.
3. When Going Around a Corner
Doing a turn, you want your deck’s turning radius to be as large as possible for maximum speed. To do this, loosen the trucks slightly so that they lean further. How much they should be reduced depends on how tight they were initially, but riders usually need only loosen them marginally – about 1/16th of a turn is enough – if there is room to lean your deck.
If you can’t lean your deck far enough, the trucks will be too tight, and you won’t turn as sharply. When they’re in a wheel, bearings don’t affect tightness. However, when they’re in a bearing seat (the pink part that goes into the truck), they play a significant role in how loose or tight your board feels.
4. When Cruising
When cruising at moderate speeds, tighten the trucks slightly to make your ride faster and more responsive. How much you pull them depends on how tight they were initially, but riders usually need only tighten them by about 1/16th of a turn if there is room to lean your deck.
When they’re in a wheel, bearings don’t affect tightness. However, when they’re in a bearing seat (the pink part that goes into the truck), they play a significant role in how loose or tight your board feels.
Depending on the type of terrain you’re riding on, there’s no one-size-fits-all method for setting up your ride; some trucks can become too loose or too tight even without changing the kingpin (the bolt that holds everything together).
5. For Skate Ramp
For skate ramps, you want to tighten your trucks for maximum stability. How much you tighten them depends on how tight they were originally, but riders usually need only tighten them by about 1/16th of a turn if there is room to lean your deck.
Bearings are the second factor determining how fast or slow a skateboard will ride. Bearings determine the smoothness of the ride and acceleration in all directions, including when you go in reverse.
They can be difficult to change because they tend to be held inside the wheels’ centers with tiny screws – it’s almost always easier to buy new wheels than mess around changing bearings!
However, if you wish to replace your stock bearings with higher-quality ones, first check your wheel’s seat to make sure you can adjust the bearings. The wheels on some boards will not accommodate an upgraded bearing size, so it is essential to find out before replacing them with larger ones!
6. For Flipping
To flip your board, tighten the trucks very firmly – this sets up a stable pivot point for doing ollies or kickflips. How tight you tighten them depends on how tight they were originally, but riders usually need only tighten them by about 1/16th of a turn if there is room to lean your deck.
Trucks too tight will slow you down slightly because of the added friction of being stiffer but won’t necessarily decrease stability at high speeds. Of course, how tight you tighten them depends on how tight they were original. Still, riders usually need only tighten them by about 1/16th of a turn if there is room to lean your deck during turns without affecting stability.
7. When Boardwalk
Boardwalk requires that you tighten your trucks as much as possible without making it impossible to lean your deck. How much you tighten them depends on how tight they were originally, but riders usually need only tighten them by about 1/16th of a turn if there is room to lean your deck. It’s essential not to loosen the trucks because it will prevent you from balancing on the board and make it wobble.
How To Loosen Skateboard Wheels Without Tools
Step 1: Determine How Loose Your Wheels Need To Be
Your bearings should be entirely covered by wheels on the top and the sides but shouldn’t touch on the bottom. You may need to loosen or tighten your wheels depending on how they are currently sitting inside your skateboard trucks.
Step 2: Get The Right Equipment
You will need to use a skate tool or wrench to loosen the nuts on your wheels. You may also consider using some lubricant on the sides of your bearings if they are too tight.
Step 3: Remove The Nuts Of Your Trucks
Use the skate tool to loosen your truck nuts. You won’t need to remove these nuts altogether, but make sure they are loose enough for you to move your wheels where you want them.
Step 4: Tighten And Loosen Your Wheel Nuts As Needed
If your wheels are too tight, use the skate tool to tighten them using a clockwise motion. Turn them counter-clockwise with the skate tool to loosen them if they are too loose. Make sure not to tighten or loosen your wheels so much that they can’t be undone after completing this step.
Step 5: Add Lubricant To The Bearing Side Of The Wheels If Necessary
Use the lubricant on the bearing side of your wheels if they are very stiff and don’t roll freely. This will help make them looser and less likely to lock up while you’re riding around town or at your local skate park.
Step 6: Find the Balance Point Of Wheels
The balance point is the center of the wheel where you can set your board. If your trucks are tight, this point will be closer to the middle of the board. However, if your trucks are loose, they will be closer to the edge.
You Can Check It Out to Fly with A Longboard
Step 7: Move The Wheels Into Position
With one hand behind your back, use the other hand to grab your nuts and slide them along the threads of the rivets until they are in a spot where you can tighten them again later. Again, make sure only one wheel is loose so that both don’t come off at once! You will also want to make sure that when you tighten these nuts again, they are snug enough, so your wheels don’t move around, but not too tight, so you can’t move them slightly if needed.
Step 8: Tighten The Nuts Again
Use your skate tool to tighten the nuts on your wheel’s base plates. You will want to tighten them just enough to spin smoothly without too much effort, but not so tight that you can’t move them when needed.
Step 9: Repeat Steps 4-6 For The Other Wheel
Use your skate tool to tighten the nuts on both of your wheels. You should be able to slide the trucks back into place, and they should stay if the nuts are tight enough and in balanced positions for both of them.
We hope now you know how loose should skateboard wheels be. Looseness depends on the rider and the terrain. Riders who are just starting or skating on flat surfaces can get away with wheels that are tighter, while those who are more experienced and skating on rougher terrain will need looser wheels to maintain stability.
As a general rule, you should start by loosening your wheels about two full turns from their tightest position and then adjust accordingly depending on your riding style and conditions. Now that you know how to change your wheel tightness go out there and practice some sick tricks!
You may also read: How Tight Should Longboard Wheels Be