How tight to make wheels?

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How tight to make wheels?

Postby houston » Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:49 am

Apologies if this has been widely covered.

Bitd, my father, a mechanical enganeer, would tell me that washers and spacers are very important, and that the idea is to tighten the nut down so there is no play whatsoever. It should basically be a solid unit from the nut to the hanger. It is the job of the bearing to rotate around the inner race, so everything that connects to the inner race should be held firm. And that it doesn't matter how fast the wheel spins in free space, because bearings are designed to rotate under load, so without load is irrelevant.

I would expect this stuff would be pretty well figured out by now. Also that at least the higher-end bearing purveyors would be quite specific on their installation. But from what I can tell, having some play (which may maximize free spinning anyway) seems quite popular.

Anything to this? I suppose it should not be too hard to test, simply by taking a wrench to the next session. But I'd rather just do it "by the book", since it's probably 100-yo technology.
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Re: How tight to make wheels?

Postby wayne-ur » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:34 am

Your dad is my hero and is absolutely correct (I'm also a mech eng)
However, skateboards are not designed and built by engineers and are assembled by people with no understanding of tolerances. Hence the sloppy wheels on axles syndrome. Argument is always that the assembly is "good enough" for its purpose, which it probably is, it is a skateboard after all and not a space shuttle.
Not good engineering, but good enough for skating.
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Re: How tight to make wheels?

Postby fribby » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:43 am

Right... I am an Engineer also, so having a solid 'tight' sounding board has always been something I have been a bit OCD about.

However... with the advent of my new local bowl, this has now all changed, loose trucks and loose wheels (1/4 turn back from nipped up) have made all the difference to speed and carve-ability, so much so that I can even put up with the fact that my board sounds like a bag of spanners now :)
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Re: How tight to make wheels?

Postby Woody » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:56 am

Nipped up to the bearing, then 1/4 to 1/2 a turn back for me. Hate these boards where you can slide the wheels up and down the axle it des nt make them faster
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Re: How tight to make wheels?

Postby Tommy S. » Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:39 am

With most quality longboard wheels I can tighten them up till everything is snug and they still spin fine. Never had a pair of skateboard wheels (except Rainskates with the core) were I didn't had to back the nuts off about a 1/4 to have them spin absolutely freely without binding bearings. But yeah, I'll have them as snug as possible.
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Re: How tight to make wheels?

Postby Hagwag » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:33 am

I've only ever had Type-s and Rainskates (both cored) being happy done up fully tight.

Normally end up with the wheels binding.

I guess precision costs more to produce so most manufacturers don't bother as in the real World it doesn't matter. Annoys me though
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Re: How tight to make wheels?

Postby Ben-G » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:41 am

There isn't a lot of consistency re different manufacturers - I have some powell wheels that I use with spacers no problem, and some spitfire wheels where the hole in the middle isn't big enough for a spacer without it touching the wheel!
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Re: How tight to make wheels?

Postby wayne-ur » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:55 am

It's all about spacer length. Spacer needs to be a few thou longer than wheel core. If a wheel binds up then its too short and of no use. Wheel tolerances will be larger than spacer tolerances, throw in different manufacturers and its easy to see why it's difficult to design parts that will work with every wheel out there. The difference between an engineered "correct" assy and the "nip up and back off" is so small you can see why people don't worry about it. It irritates my engineering purism, but not so much that I do anything about it, like design wheels to accept proper taper roller bearings. If I had access to a lathe I might make custom spacers...
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Re: How tight to make wheels?

Postby Cookie » Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:50 pm

wayne-ur wrote:It's all about spacer length. Spacer needs to be a few thou longer than wheel core. If a wheel binds up then its too short and of no use. Wheel tolerances will be larger than spacer tolerances, throw in different manufacturers and its easy to see why it's difficult to design parts that will work with every wheel out there. The difference between an engineered "correct" assy and the "nip up and back off" is so small you can see why people don't worry about it. It irritates my engineering purism, but not so much that I do anything about it, like design wheels to accept proper taper roller bearings. If I had access to a lathe I might make custom spacers...

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Re: How tight to make wheels?

Postby andre » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:38 pm

wayne-ur wrote:Not good engineering, but good enough for skating.


this.

i think it's fun to geek out over this stuff, and, on paper, a more precise setup should yield a better skate experience.

but then there's always that kid with the beat-to-hell board, 1 different-sized wheel, bearings that he rides through puddles on the reg, and one tracker and one venture truck, who is KILLING in ways you never will. 8)
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Re: How tight to make wheels?

Postby engmofo » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:44 pm

Try adding a "speed ring" inside the wheel on the spacer............
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Re: How tight to make wheels?

Postby Tommy S. » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:48 pm

andre wrote:but then there's always that kid with the beat-to-hell board, 1 different-sized wheel, bearings that he rides through puddles on the reg, and one tracker and one venture truck, who is KILLING in ways you never will. 8)


That is too true!
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Re: How tight to make wheels?

Postby houston » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:56 pm

Tommy S. wrote:
andre wrote:but then there's always that kid with the beat-to-hell board, 1 different-sized wheel, bearings that he rides through puddles on the reg, and one tracker and one venture truck, who is KILLING in ways you never will. 8)


That is too true!

As if we really needed to be reminded...

Try adding a "speed ring" inside the wheel on the spacer............

Very interesting. If the spacer's too small for the core, just shim it. A little easier than trying to build custom spacers.

(When did washers become "speed rings" anyway?)
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Re: How tight to make wheels?

Postby HarryR » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:32 pm

This is beginning to sound like 'son of bearing thread'. :-D
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Re: How tight to make wheels?

Postby Dali Nude » Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:01 pm

My possibly contentious take on it;

Industrial standard "608" bearings have been fudged into skateboard wheels with a 'spacer' to try and compensate matters since the 70's

Hence, before Biltins and Siesmic Tektons, there was no such thing as a 'skateboard bearing' ....just alot of polished turds pretending to be.

I suggest you get skateboard bearings, lock en down as tight as you like, and forget about it.
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Re: How tight to make wheels?

Postby Brian S » Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:13 pm

Dali Nude wrote:My possibly contentious take on it;

Industrial standard "608" bearings have been fudged into skateboard wheels with a 'spacer' to try and compensate matters since the 70's

Hence, before Biltins and Siesmic Tektons, there was no such thing as a 'skateboard bearing' ....just alot of polished turds pretending to be.

I suggest you get skateboard bearings, lock en down as tight as you like, and forget about it.



Which one's do you recommend? :)
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Re: How tight to make wheels?

Postby Martin-d » Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:20 pm

engmofo wrote:Try adding a "speed ring" inside the wheel on the spacer............


Do you mean between the wheel and the bearing on both sides? Can you then run wheels nuts tight and still get the same speed?
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Re: How tight to make wheels?

Postby Krammer » Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:57 pm

Martin-d wrote:
engmofo wrote:Try adding a "speed ring" inside the wheel on the spacer............


Do you mean between the wheel and the bearing on both sides?



Yep: Hanger face > speed-ring > bearing > spacer > speed-ring > bearing > speed-ring > axle nut la la la ...

Can you then run wheels nuts tight and still get the same speed?
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Re: How tight to make wheels?

Postby bertslide » Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:20 pm

Dali Nude wrote:My possibly contentious take on it;

Industrial standard "608" bearings have been fudged into skateboard wheels with a 'spacer' to try and compensate matters since the 70's

Hence, before Biltins and Siesmic Tektons, there was no such thing as a 'skateboard bearing' ....just alot of polished turds pretending to be.

I suggest you get skateboard bearings, lock en down as tight as you like, and forget about it.



Ah yes. Industry proven bearings used in machinery that runs at speeds far far faster than any skate wheel will ever go and produced in the millions, vs a small time skate company getting some bearings knocked up in a far east sweat shop with pretty coloured shields and their name printed all over them.

having the "spacers" built in only works if the cores of the wheels are produced with some degree of accuracy, which they aren't, I've previously posted about the tekton beaings I purchased, they would practically lock up when fitted to venom sidewinders, so I shimmed the bearings to make them work.
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Re: How tight to make wheels?

Postby houston » Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:31 pm

So from what I've gathered, it's not really a matter that aircraft tolerances are required, so much as that the center section of the wheel's core can't be wider than the spacer. So even the core may be off by say, a full mm it's probably not a big deal. It can probably get away with being near 9mm, but should never be over the 10mm width of the spacer.

I just put my Powell reissues back into the mix for some horsing around the neighborhood, and noticed only they allow full tightening out of my 3 sets of wheels. I don't imagine being softer would come into it, so maybe that the newer-style wheels are a little over-exuberant in thinking they could hit 10mm accurately. Or perhaps they just assume that riders don't worry as much about spacers these days, and will just back off the nut.

I like the idea of an internal washer as a shim. Will try that on my newer wheels. I'm thinking that a fully-tightened setup is the better way to go. Having a little play in the wheel is probably fine for short term, but I would question the long-term effects it has on bearings by allowing more side loads.

Also was curious about bearings with extended 12mm inside races, and was considering the model of (relatively cheap) vxb ceramics with them. But also questioning if they're worth the extra $5. Is it much more than a convenience? Looking at the Seismics, their main argument seems to be the better contact area from the large face on the inside of their inner race (vs the thin extrusion of a standard spacer).
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Re: How tight to make wheels?

Postby Martin-d » Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:43 pm

Krammer wrote:
Martin-d wrote:
engmofo wrote:Try adding a "speed ring" inside the wheel on the spacer............


Do you mean between the wheel and the bearing on both sides?



Yep: Hanger face > speed-ring > bearing > spacer > speed-ring > bearing > speed-ring > axle nut la la la ...

Can you then run wheels nuts tight and still get the same speed?
Yep


Cool, thanks mate. Better get myself some extra washers!
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Re: How tight to make wheels?

Postby SNAKEBITE » Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:55 pm

houston wrote:(When did washers become "speed rings" anyway?)


A washer has paralell faces, a speed ring (should) have one curved face and one square to the bore face.
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Re: How tight to make wheels?

Postby HarryR » Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:20 pm

SNAKEBITE wrote:
houston wrote:(When did washers become "speed rings" anyway?)


A washer has paralell faces, a speed ring (should) have one curved face and one square to the bore face.

So, does that mean there's a right and wrong way round for speed rings?
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Re: How tight to make wheels?

Postby houston » Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:20 pm

Ah, so a washer that isn't flat on both sides. Although it seems many (if not most) washers are like that, so just assumed it's due to the mfg process.

Per Silverfish, the radiused side should go towards the hanger, as the interface may not be perfectly square:

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Re: How tight to make wheels?

Postby HarryR » Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:52 pm

This idea of putting a speed ring inside the wheel in between the spacer and the outer bearing, is that to make it wider than the bearing seat in the wheel to get around the loose manufacturing tolerances of the wheels? If so, doesn't that potentially introduce more lateral movement of the wheel on the bearing and the chance that the wheel might not spin true?

Or should we just not worry about it ;-)

Has anyone ever done an experiment comparing two identical setups where one has had all the components re-engineered to precise tolerances with metric axles etc and the other just using standard components. That would be the only way to settle this bearing bollox once and for all.
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Re: How tight to make wheels?

Postby Krammer » Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:30 pm

Harry Ramsden wrote:Has anyone ever done an experiment comparing two identical setups where one has had all the components re-engineered to precise tolerances with metric axles etc and the other just using standard components. That would be the only way to settle this bearing bollox once and for all.

Yep. :)
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Re: How tight to make wheels?

Postby Orbitfish » Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:28 pm

Krammer wrote:
Harry Ramsden wrote:Has anyone ever done an experiment comparing two identical setups where one has had all the components re-engineered to precise tolerances with metric axles etc and the other just using standard components. That would be the only way to settle this bearing bollox once and for all.

Yep. :)

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Re: How tight to make wheels?

Postby SimonB » Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:46 pm

houston wrote: Also was curious about bearings with extended 12mm inside races, and was considering the model of (relatively cheap) vxb ceramics with them. But also questioning if they're worth the extra $5. Is it much more than a convenience? Looking at the Seismics, their main argument seems to be the better contact area from the large face on the inside of their inner race (vs the thin extrusion of a standard spacer).


I have 2 sets of the VXB ceramics, with the extended inner race and they are brilliant (providing the size of the inner races matches your wheels). Highly recommended :D
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Re: How tight to make wheels?

Postby GoR64 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 1:33 pm

Just saw a set of skateboard bearings for $200.
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Re: How tight to make wheels?

Postby Ben-G » Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:11 pm

GoR64 wrote:Just saw a set of skateboard bearings for $200.

Mini logo bearings at about £10 a set do me fine! I need the extra cash to spend on expensive London sandwiches :wink:
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Re: How tight to make wheels?

Postby wayne-ur » Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:20 pm

Krammer wrote:
Harry Ramsden wrote:Has anyone ever done an experiment comparing two identical setups where one has had all the components re-engineered to precise tolerances with metric axles etc and the other just using standard components. That would be the only way to settle this bearing bollox once and for all.

Yep. :)



Did you notice any difference?
Thought not :-)

Nip em up, back em off till they spin free, go skate.
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Re: How tight to make wheels?

Postby dave allen » Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:41 pm

Woody wrote:Nipped up to the bearing, then 1/4 to 1/2 a turn back for me. Hate these boards where you can slide the wheels up and down the axle it des nt make them faster


I can't stand my wheels to be tight. I like my board to rattle as the wheels slide up and down.
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Re: How tight to make wheels?

Postby Trevenen » Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:27 pm

The only people likely to see much difference in any case are those downhill nutters pushing 70+ mph.. I bet they have some precision gear.
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Re: How tight to make wheels?

Postby HarryR » Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:41 pm

wayne-ur wrote:
Krammer wrote:
Harry Ramsden wrote:Has anyone ever done an experiment comparing two identical setups where one has had all the components re-engineered to precise tolerances with metric axles etc and the other just using standard components. That would be the only way to settle this bearing bollox once and for all.

Yep. :)



Did you notice any difference?
Thought not :-)

Nip em up, back em off till they spin free, go skate.

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Re: How tight to make wheels?

Postby bertslide » Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:06 pm

Seeing as this guy broke the world speed record on Seismic Tektons, which I've found to be shit, I doubt it makes much difference what you do.
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Re: How tight to make wheels?

Postby GoR64 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:00 pm

Them's some funky leathers though.

Where's the fastest talc for leathers thread at?
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Re: How tight to make wheels?

Postby Mike9000 » Sat May 11, 2013 11:29 pm

I tighten mine up fully and back off just a tiny bit. Works fine for me and I often end up going faster than my ability in my mid-30's allows me to :lol:

All this bollocks is the same as finish quality on trucks. Have you seen my trucks after a few sessions? :lol: :lol:
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