Why Do People Remove Dust Shield on Skateboard Bearings?

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Last Updated on November 17, 2022

All skateboard bearings include a small metal shield covering their ball bearing core, and when new, that shield makes the entire bearing look shiny and clean. Removing the dust shield on their bearings is a must-do for many skateboarders.

So, what’s the purpose of taking off this small, seemingly insignificant piece of metal? As it turns out, there are a few good reasons for doing so. Removing the dust shield on their bearings is a way to improve the performance of their boards. Dust shields can cause friction and slow down the bearings. Some people also believe removing the dust shield can help the bearings last longer.

In this article, I will show you the reason why you should remove the dust shield from your bearings or not. Also, I will discuss the benefits and drawbacks associated with it.

Why Do Skateboarders Remove Bearing Shields?

Skateboard bearings are one of the essential parts of a skateboard, and the dust shield is there to protect them. However, some people remove the dust shield from their bearings for different reasons.

Increases Speed

Some people also remove the dust shield because they think it makes the bearing spin faster. There’s no evidence to support this claim, but it’s possible that the shield does add a tiny bit of friction.

Removing the shield might give you a slight performance boost, but it’s not likely noticeable. While this may be true, it also means that the bearings are more likely to get dirty and will need to be cleaned more often.

Reduce Friction

Removing the dust shield helps to reduce friction. The dust shield can add a small amount of resistance when the wheel is rolling, and by removing it, the board will roll slightly faster and smoother. This is most noticeable when the skateboard is going downhill.

Looks and Feels Better

Some people think that the bearings look better without the dust shield. While this may be a matter of personal preference, it is essential to remember that the dust shield is there for a reason, and removing it can cause problems.

Many skateboarders like to personalize their skateboards by changing the color of the bearings. So, they remove shields to change the color of the bearings.

Also, few riders prefer the feel of riding without bearing shields. This is also a personal preference, and there is no right or wrong answer.

Ultimately, it’s up to the riders to decide whether or not to remove the shields from their bearings.

Makes It Easier to Clean

Bearings are made to last, but they can get clogged with dirt and grime over time. This can cause them to slow down and eventually fail.

It’s important to clean them regularly to keep them running smoothly. Some people choose to remove the dust shield on their skateboard bearings to make cleaning easier and also allow the skateboarder to inspect them for damage.

If you decide to remove the dust shield from your skateboard bearings, be careful not to damage the bearing. The shield is thin and delicate, and it’s easy to bend or break if you’re not careful.

Once the shield is removed, you can clean your bearings with soap and water or a special bearing cleaner.

Adjust the Bearing

Some skateboarders also remove bearing shields to adjust the tightness of the bearings. The tighter the bearings are, the faster the skateboard will go.

But, if the bearings are too tight, they can cause the skateboard to vibrate or shake. This can be dangerous for the skateboarder and can cause the skateboard to break. 

Corroded Bearings

When new, that shield makes the entire bearing look shiny and clean. As they age, yet, this shield tends to get rubbed off, and you end up with a discolored, badly greased, and dirty wheel. Because of this, many people remove the shield.

Easier to Lubricate

Removing bearing shields makes it easier to lubricate the bearings. This can help the skateboard roll more smoothly and make it easier to do tricks.

Nonetheless, they need to be lubricated to keep them working correctly. The bearings can seize up without proper lubrication and cause the skateboard to slow down or stop working altogether.

The downside of lubricating bearings is that it can make them more likely to attract dirt and debris, so it’s important to keep them clean regularly.

What Is the Purpose of a Dust Shield on a Skateboard Bearing?

A dust shield is a small metal ring that is placed between the inner and outer races of a skateboard bearing. The shield is usually made of stainless steel or another material that is resistant to corrosion.

Sometimes these shields rarely get corroded, only if they were abused and not taken care of properly.

Keep It Clean

The purpose of a dust shield on a skateboard bearing is to keep the bearing clean and free of debris. In addition, the shield helps to prevent the bearing from getting clogged with dirt and grit, which can cause it to wear down prematurely.

A dust shield also helps to protect the bearing from water and other contaminants.

Prevents Malfunctioning

A dust shield keeps dirt and debris out of the bearing, which can cause it to malfunction. A well-functioning bearing is critical to a skateboarder’s performance, so a dust shield is integral to maintaining a skateboard.

Increases Bearing Lifespan

Bearing shields are vital to maintaining your bearings and increasing their lifespan. By keeping debris and other contaminants out of the bearing, shields help to prevent premature wear and tear.

In addition, bearing shields can also help to protect against shock and vibration, further prolonging the life of your bearings.

Are There Any Risks Associated with Removing the Dust Shield?

Considering removing the dust shield from your skateboard bearings, be aware of the potential risks involved. It’s always best to weigh the risks and advantages and consult with a professional before making any changes to your skateboard setup.

Prevents Premature Wear

Bearings are designed to spin quickly and smoothly, but they are more susceptible to dirt and debris build-up without a dust shield. This can cause the bearings to become less effective over time and lead to premature failure.

In addition, without a dust shield, the bearings are more likely to be exposed to moisture and water, which can cause rust and corrosion. If they get wet, they become unusable.

Prone to Damage

Bearings can become damaged more efficiently without the dust shield. The shield helps to protect the bearings from impact and other forces that can damage them.

Without the shield, the bearings are more likely to be damaged if the skateboard is dropped or hits something hard.

Bearings Can Split

Without the dust shield, the bearings are more likely to come apart, which can lead to dangerous riding conditions.

Prevents Lubricant from Leaking

A dust shield helps to prevent lubricant from leaking. It is typically used in bearings where there is a potential risk of dust or other particles contaminating the lubricant.

The dust shield works by acting as a barrier between the grease and the outside environment. This helps to keep the grease clean and free from contamination.

Helps to Keep the Debris Away

One of the most significant risks is that the bearings will become more susceptible to dirt and debris. Without the dust shield, the bearings are exposed and can more easily become clogged with dirt and debris.

This can ultimately lead to the bearings becoming damaged and needing to be replaced more frequently. Removing the dust shield can increase the risk of failure and potentially cause injuries.

Voids Bearings Warranty

It can also void the warranty on the bearings if you remove the dust shields. Many manufacturers will not warranty bearings that have had the dust shield removed.

If the bearings become damaged after the shield is removed, you will have to pay to replace them.

How Often Should You Clean Your Skateboard Bearings?

If you’re a skateboarder, then you know that keeping your skateboard in good condition is important. One of the essential parts of a skateboard is the bearings. Bearings are what allow your wheels to spin, and if they get dirty, they can slow you down or even cause you to fall.

So, how often should you clean your skateboard bearings? The answer to this question depends on how often you skate. If you skate every day, you should clean your bearings at least once a week.

If you only skate occasionally, you can probably get away with cleaning your bearings every couple of weeks. Here’s a step-by-step guide to cleaning your bearings.

To clean your skateboard bearings, you’ll need a few supplies.

The Supply List

  • Some Bearing Cleaner / WD-40
  • Rag or a Paper towel
  • Small Brush or Toothpick

Step 1: Remove the Bearings

Start by removing the bearings from your wheels. You can do this by popping off the wheels with a skate tool or simply unscrewing the axle nuts with a wrench.

Step 2: Soak Them in Solution

Once the bearings are out, please place them in a bowl or cup of bearing cleaner. Let them soak for a few minutes. Or you can soak them in mineral spirits overnight. This will dissolve all the dirt and grime that’s built up on them.

Step 3: Use WD-40

To speed things up, or if you don’t want to use any solution, then spray WD-40 on the bearings and let the chemicals do their job for a few minutes or an hour.

Step 4: Clean the Dirt

Then use the brush or toothpick to remove any dirt or grime that’s built up on them.

Step 5: Dry Them

Once the bearings are clean, dry them off with a rag or paper towel.

Step 6: Lubricate the Bearings

Put a drop of bearing lubricant or light oil on each bearing and spin them around. Now, put them back on the wheels. 

Step 7: Reassemble

Screw the axle nuts back on, and you’re good to go!

Tips for Taking Care of Your Skateboard Bearings

Skateboard bearings are one of the most critical parts of your skateboard, and if you want them to last, you need to take care of them. Here are some tips to help you keep your bearings in tip-top shape–

Keep the Bearings Clean

Dirt, grime, and dust can all build up on your bearings and cause them to wear down prematurely. To keep them clean, you should regularly wipe them down with a clean, dry cloth or clean them using soap and water. You can also use a bearing cleaning solution to help dissolve any build-up on your bearings.

Lubricate the Bearings Regularly 

Lubrication is key to keeping your bearings in good condition. It would be best to regularly lubricate your bearings with light oil or lubricant. This will help keep them running smoothly and prevent them from drying out and becoming damaged.

Like any other moving parts, bearings need to be lubricated to prevent them from drying out and damaging. You can use a bearing lube or even WD-40.

Store the Bearings Properly

When you’re not using your skateboard, it’s important to store your bearings properly. You should keep them in a cool, dry place where they won’t be exposed to excessive moisture or heat.

Additionally, you should make sure they’re stored in a bearing-friendly environment, such as a storage bag explicitly designed for bearings.

Protect the Bearings from the Elements

Bearings are made of metal, so they can rust if moisture is exposed. To prevent this, you should store them in a dry place and avoid riding in the rain.

Inspect Them Regularly

It’s a good idea to inspect your bearings every few months to ensure they’re in good condition. If you notice any damage, such as rust or cracks, it’s time to replace them.

Don’t Over-Tighten Them

Don’t over-tighten the nuts when you put your bearings back in after cleaning or lubricating them. This can damage the bearings and cause them to fail prematurely.

Final Thoughts

All bearings have deep grooves and tiny balls that move quickly within the tracks. When you try to push your skateboard in the solid wind or across a rough surface, the ball bearings help the board to move.

People remove the dust shield from their skateboard bearings to clean them more efficiently and improve performance. Still, some think the dust shield can slow the bearings and cause friction. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether or not to remove the dust shield from your bearings.

But if you decide to do it anyway, then you must need to beware of the risk involved with it. It may allow the bearings to spin a bit faster but also reduce their lifespan. So always clean and lubricate your bearings to keep them in better condition and avoid malfunctioning.

Taylor Jensen

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