How to Press Bearings in an Aluminum Hub
You bought new roller skate wheels, and you are so happy because they have aluminum hubs! This is so great! OH NO! The bearings will not fit in the wheels! WHAT DO I DO? Is this you right now? No worries, you are not alone! This is very common. Here are some tips for installing roller skate bearings into your new alloy hub wheels.
#1 Make sure that you are pressing the bearing in straight. If one side of the bearing starts to go in more than the rest, this can result in the bearing getting stuck. Making it best to do this on a flat surface. You can use your standard method for installing bearings just make sure you keep the bearing straight as you insert it into the wheel.
#2 You can use a small amount of bearing lube on the outside of the bearing outer race to make it less likely to get stuck. Be very careful to not accidentally get this on the outside of the wheel though, for this can make the wheels VERY slick when you attempt to skate on them.
#3 If you get the bearing wedged in there in a not correct way, it is best to completely take the bearing out and start again. Do not try to straighten once it is in there if it is stuck, this will most likely not work and brings more frustration than anything else.
#4 Super important. Do this patiently and slowly.
#5 More often than with nylon hubs you may notice that once you do get the bearing installed that it may drop out easily. This is okay, as long as your lock nut is in placed on your skate axle the bearings will stay where needed.
Most importantly, enjoy your new awesome wheels!