Many inline skates are equipped with rear brakes. Brakes are good for beginners and fitness skating, but they hamper trick skating and are often prohibited in hockey. It may be a better value to buy standard skates and remove the brakes than to purchase specialized skates that don't include brakes (for hockey or tricks) Once the brakes are removed, it's important to get used to skating safely without them before you use them in a different capacity. Also, be aware that using your wheels to stop will cause them to wear out faster, according to London Skaters.
1. Turn the skate upside down so the wheels, not the boot, are facing you. This is important because you can also take a closer look at the wear on the wheels and may chose to rotate them as long as you already have your Allen wrench or screwdriver handy.
2. Unscrew the fastening screws on each side of the brake using the Allen wrenches or, if applicable, a screwdriver. Some models have one vertical screw holding the brake in place as opposed to two horizontal ones. In some models, the brake may be attached to the back rear axle, so you may be required to completely remove that wheel from the frame before the brake can come out.
3. Inspect the area of the frame around the brake for wear, damage or rough edges. In cheaper models, brakes don't always protect the bottom of the skates from grinding. This is the appropriate time to apply adhesives, paint or complete minor repairs on the frame (like filing down a rough edge) and boot before you begin a different skating style without the brake.
Items you will need
- 2 Allen wrenches
- Determine how you will use the skates after the brakes are removed and buy the appropriate replacement parts. With hockey, for example, you may also need softer wheels that can grip the rink surface better and help you slow down and stop without the use of brakes. The front and back wheels may also need to be raised to a "rockering" position so that the skate is better designed to slide. For aggressive skating, you'll want the smallest wheels available that will fit your skates (when the frames are lower to the ground, brakes are cumbersome).
- If the brake is attached to the rear wheel, the rear wheel screws may be longer than those for the other wheels. The skate may have adjustable screw holes on the frame so the wheel position can be adjusted slightly after the brake is removed. If not, you may need to replace the rear screws with something that matches the other wheels' screws.
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