There are plenty of people who enjoy souping up their cars with aftermarket parts to bolster performance. But have you ever thought about doing the same thing with your inline skates? Did you even know it was possible to do that? For those of you who didn’t know it was possible, we’re talking about upgrading your skate frames, wheels, and bearings.
The aftermarket for inline skate parts consists mainly of wheels and bearing sets. You can choose to replace bigger components, such as adding a lighter frame or a frame made from a different material, but with proper maintenance, wheels and bearings are the only parts of your skates that will have a direct correlation to increased speed and skating efficiency when replaced.
As we’ve discussed in other blogs, different bearing assemblies vary based on the levels of polishing and tolerances inside the bearing. If your skates originally came with a lower quality. loose bearing, it would make sense for you to upgrade to a higher quality bearing with lower tolerances. Upgrading to a better quality bearing will be tighter initially and take some time to loosen up, but if it is properly maintained it will perform at a greater efficiency and speed for a longer period of time. Your skates will glide smoother, roll longer, and it will also reduce fatigue. If you’ve had the choice of upgrading your skates from a Ford Fiesta to a Ford Mustang, wouldn’t you want to?
Video Tutorial: How to Upgrade Your Inline Skates
When you buy new skates, the wheels that come included may be right at the time, but the type of skating you plan on doing may change, and your wheels will need to change as well. Wheels come in all different shapes, sizes, and durometers (hardness). If you notice that you wear down your wheels very quickly, it’s probably a wise idea to look into buying a new set of wheels that have a higher durometer (harder material). This will allow them to last longer and also increase your skating speed and efficiency. If your skate frame allows, you can also look into getting a larger or lighter wheel. A wheel that is a few millimeters larger can make a huge difference in your accelleration and speed during longer skating ventures.
Aside from wheels and bearings you can also look into buying replacement boot liners, new laces, and even lubricants for your bearings. Boot liners have a tendency to wear down over time, so if you can replace them, it will improve the comfort level inside the boot. Often times you can order new boot liners to replace your old ones, which is cheaper than getting a whole new skate setup. Check with the manufacturer of your skates to see if this is a viable option for you. Laces can also be replaced and they are the cheapest component you can replace. They may not have as much of an effect on the performance of your skates as bearings or wheels, but having your foot firmly secured in the boot will help you with your skating stride.
There are hundreds of different aftermarket parts you can buy to make your skates faster. One of the nice things about inline skating is that regardless of your ability level, better equipment will almost always improve your skating experience by making your ride smoother, faster, and more efficient.