Everyone wants metal core wheels because of their superior strength, performance, and durability. However, they have one disadvantage over plastic core wheels: they are much more difficult to get bearings in and out of because they do not flex at all. There are some tricks to removing bearings from metal core wheels and I'm going to show you one method that utilizes the bearing spacer.
"But ScooterDad, what if I don't have a bearing spacer in my wheel?" Well, then you haven't been paying attention when I say ALWAYS use a bearing spacer in your wheel! :o) But don't worry; I'll give you an optional trick for this later on in the article. You really should have bearing spacers in your wheels. If you don't now, take the opportunity to order some heavy duty bearing spacers from Inward Scooters and install them the next time you have bearings out of your wheels. Or, if you buy Phoenix Pro Scooters wheels, then your wheels come pre-loaded with bearings and spacers!
Regarding the tools listed below, I can't stress enough that you should not be using L-shaped allen keys to work on your scooters. These are the biggest cause of stripped bolts due to their inability to apply proper pressure and leverage on the wrench at the correct angle to the bolt head. You can buy a full set of T-handle metric allen keys for less than $10 at Harbor Freight and I highly recommend that you do so.
Holding the wheels and wrenches in place while hammering can be tricky. Be careful and have a parent help you if you're having difficulty.
The following instructions describe a potentially dangerous procedure and should not be performed by children or anyone not comfortable with tools. If you are a kid, have a parent do this for you. Improper use of tools could result in severe injury. Always follow tool instructions and wear safety equipment.
Please read all of these instructions and watch the video before attempting this technique.
In order to remove your bearings using this method, you'll need a few things:
Here's how you can remove your bearings from metal core wheels using the spacer trick, also shown in the video below:
If you don't have a bearing spacer, you can use a similar method shown in this video, but you'll have to start at step #4 and at step #5 you'll have to place the T-handle at an angle inside the bearings so that it goes through the first bearing and catches on the edge of the down-side bearing. This can be difficult to do, but hopefully you have a spacer in your wheels already and you won't need to use this method.
Did I mention that you should be using a bearing spacer? Okay, okay, I know. I'm driving the point home because it improves performance and longevity of your bearings and makes it a lot easier to remove them using this trick. Removing bearings shouldn't be a nightmare but rather a quick step in the overall maintenance of your scooter. Be sure to share this tip with your friends!
Good luck and have fun!