I’ve talked before about how I have an affinity for using things for something else once their primary purpose has been fulfilled. For example, making rubber bands from old bike tires. We all have too much crap, and too much of it is wasted so any time something can get used twice is pretty cool. Sometimes a second use is functional, sometimes it’s just fun. Bearing rings are somewhere in the middle.
I’ve been making these since high school, usually any time I changed bearings on my board. I actually haven’t been skating much at all in the last many years so I haven’t done this in a while. I’ve been trying to teach Ripley to skate and realized the bearings I had were beat to shit and it was time for some new ones, and I thought maybe some folks didn’t know this trick. So here it is.
First step, get your new stuff. This will destroy your old bearings so you want to make sure your new ones are good to go.
Now pull the old stuff off your board.
And pop the bearing out. If you’ve done this before you know it takes a little work. If you’ve never done it before, be warned it takes a little work.
Once you’ve got your bearing out, take a close look at the sidewall.
These are a set of Black Panthers which are rad because they will make cool black rings. If by chance you have some super ghetto crap bearings then you may be out of luck here, but chances are you have been riding something reasonable so you should be good to go. The sidewall is likely made of rubber and cam be popped off for easy cleaning. Use a little knife or wedge of some sort to get in there and pop it out.
It’s pretty easy.
Now look at your bearing again. There’s a little plastic ball holder thing that keeps the ball bearings equidistant from each other.
Use your knife and pop that bad boy out too.
OK, now you’re going to need to push all the ball bearing to one side. When they are all spaced around evenly they hold the center piece in place, but if you push them all over to one side like this:
Then you can apply some pressure to the center piece and then presto!
Once you’ve got everything in pieces, I recommend giving the outer band a deep scrubbing so the grease and dirt and shit doesn’t get all over your finger, but the only thing left is finding a finger that it fits on.