After every rollerblading session, the different components of your rollerblades encounter some wear and tear, even if it is negligible and not visible to the naked eye. Your rollerblades may require a good tune-up now and then. In fact, it is a good practice to check your rollerblades every time for signs of wear and tear before you put them on for an enthralling session of rollerblading in the rink.
If you feel your inline skates require some mending, you can either take them to a shop for being fixed by a professional. You can get your wheels changed, brakes replaced, bearings cleaned or whatever it takes to get the skates ready for the next rollerblading session. Otherwise, if you feel handy and have a little know-how, you can grab basic tools like an Allen key to finetune your inline skates all by yourself.
Changing the brakes of your inline skates is some of the basic quick fixes that you must know to fix your skates. Apparently, the primary step to install your brakes is to first figure out the type of brakes in your rollerblades. Your inline skates may have 4D brakes, standard brakes, or brakes with a pin.
Based on your specific inline skates model, you can browse online to select the appropriate brakes designed for your particular skates. Once you have the new brakes, all you need is an Allen key to remove the screws holding your brakes in place. Do not forget to properly tighten the new brakes on your skates before you head out for a test run.
Skate Brake Replacement Things to Know
It is important to periodically check your brakes to figure out when is the time to replace the brakes on your inline skates. You should replace the brakes before they become a problem during rollerblading. A rule of thumb is to inspect the brakes before each skating session. Anytime you find visible signs of strong wear, you should get the brakes replaced without further delay.
Moreover, if you experience difficulty stopping while rollerblading, it is a red flag behavior indicating that your brakes may require replacement. Your rollerblade brakes always come with a wear-line on them. Once your brake whittles down to that line, it is time to replace them with new ones. Not all brakes may be replaced the same way. However, you will require a Phillips-head screwdriver for completing the replacement and installing the rollerblade brakes.
Two most common methods for brake replacement are:
- Vertical Brake Attachment – For this approach, take your inline skates and turn them over. Locate the hole with a screw at the bottom of the rollerblade brake. You can use a Phillips-head screwdriver to remove the screw so that the brake comes free. Gently remove the old brake and place a new one. Place back the screw in the brake and fasten it tightly to the skate. And voila! You are ready to rollerblade with the new brakes on your skates.
- Horizontal Brake Attachment – For this approach, take your inline skates and turn them over. In this case, if you cannot locate a screw attachment for the brake at the bottom of the rollerblade, the brake is possibly positioned horizontally towards the top of the rollerblade. Remove the screw using your Phillips-head screwdriver so that the brake comes free. Remove it and place back the new one. Get ready to roll once you have successfully replaced the screw and fastened it in place.
Installing Rollerblade Brakes: Step By Step
Rollerblade brakes allow you to stop on point when you are skating fast and want to come to a halt. You may find a wide range of different high-quality brakes and brake pads in the market, which ensures a safe and easy stopping mechanism for different types of rollerblades.
Irrespective of whether you are a newbie getting your first steps in the arena of rollerblading or a pro cruising the streets at an impressive pace, you require a reliable braking system that guarantees a safe, convenient, and effective way to stop.
This makes brakes an essential part of your safety equipment. You can find three primary types of brakes in the rollerblades with the same standard brake pad attachment [source]. These include:
- Standard brake
- Brake with pin
- 4D Brake
The procedure to replace the brake pads is more or less the same for all types of brakes.
- Step 1– You will require a 4mm Allen Key for removing the 4th wheel axle, the wheels, and the two brake housing washers. A Phillips Head screwdriver may come handy for removing the brake mounting bolts inside the brake.
- Step 2– You need to gently pull out the brake pad from the brake housing so that the hardware on the inside of the brake pad falls onto your work surface.
- Step 3– Next, install the brand new brake pad. Gently slide the nut followed by the brake pad to place back into the housing.
- Step 4- Finally, replace the washer into your rollerblades brake pad. You may need to replace the brake mounting bolt and tighten it into the brake pad. Make sure that the nut is properly lined up inside the brake housing with the bolt.
- Step 5– Place the rear wheel back onto the frame and insert the washers onto each side of the brake housing. Once done, gently slide the wheel axle through your brake housing assembly and properly tighten it in place.
Many skaters, especially the starters often feel skeptical about how often to replace their brakes. Well, the answer is straight forward. Whenever you feel that the brakes are not performing with their utmost capacity or you have any trouble while coming to a halt, it is time for a quick inspection.
If you find any visible signs of wear and tear, you should install a new set of brakes in your rollerblades for a pleasing rollerblading session.
Swapping Your Heel Brakes
Most rollerblades come with a brake on the right skate [source]. Sometimes, if you have a dominant left foot, you may need to swap your heel brakes from the right onto the left skate. But before that, you should know which foot is the dominant one.
Well, it is easy to figure out. Your dominant foot is the one that leads whenever you pull up your pants, climb up a stairway or simply kick a ball. In some cases, an injury may cause a skater to change original habits leading to cases where right-handed sportspersons turn up left-footed skaters.
Finding your dominant foot is extremely important if you are a first-time skater. The majority of new skates have brakes mounted on the right skate, which can be a problem for the left-footed beginners.
Swapping the brake can help them easily learn the essential safety skills for using the brakes and preventing unwanted speed. You can easily swap the brake from right to left skate by the following steps:
- Get an Allen key of metric size 4. One often comes packaged with your rollerblades.
- Remove the bolts, wheels, washers, and brake mount from the right skate. Some rollerblades often have a tiny metal pin to secure the brake mount onto the wheel frame. You need to remove the pin with a slim nail and a hammer.
- Gently remove the rear wheel from the left skate. It may have a shorter bolt with or without any washers.
- Carefully fit the brake mount as well as the wheel onto the left frame. You need to hold the wheels horizontally in place so that the floating bearing spacer aligns with the center.
- After finishing the left skate, you need to install the wheel on the right skate. The left skate in different rollerblade brands including K2, Rollerblade, and Salomon can easily house the brake mount. However, some other models such as Rollerblade ABT Lite may not allow the brakes to be swapped.
Are All Rollerblade Brakes the Same?