Monday, November 28, 2011

Deez Nuts!

Hi!  I'm Q and I'm one of the mechanically declined folk of the world. Are you?  If so, skate maintenance may be a fathomless mystery to you.  Being one of the declined skaters, I often follow around and bother people who are proficient with mechanical issues.  At first I used to do it just to get them to "help" me (by having them do it for me), but now I actually want to learn junk, and stuff.

Let's talk about axle nuts; everyone has eight of them to contend with, and most of us don't think twice about them until something goes terribly wrong with them.  The reason we don't really have to think about them is that axle nuts keep our wheels on, until they don't.  The inside of an axle nut has a nylon layer that deforms around the axle to keep the nut from being shaken loose by any kind of vibrations and jarring we put our skates through.  Unfortunately, the nylon gets less grippy each time we change our wheels out.  Now, think about that.  How many times have you changed your wheels out in the last six months?  I've cleaned my bearings three times in the last six months, and changed out my wheels at least twice.  So, what does that mean?  Should I change out my nuts or not?
Who says they're no nuts in derby?

Yeah, I said nuts.

According to Sin City Skates, you should change out your axle nuts after changing your wheels ten times, but other experts suggest that if you can put your axle nuts on by hand, then it is time for new axle nuts.  If they have ever fallen off while you were skating, then it is beyond time to change them! 

The good thing about axle nuts is that they're cheap, like six dollars a set cheap!  If you have the 8mm axles, your local skate shop should have a set in stock; even your skating rink might be able to sell you a set.  If you have the 7mm axles like I do, you will have to plan ahead.  If you want to get fancy, they have some colored nuts you can order called Astro Nuts.  Ooh look! They have purple!  Sorry, I still get distracted by the shiny.

Astro Nuts

So, go inspect your nuts and see if you need to put some fresh ones on!  Please don't overuse your nuts!


  1. I get my 7mm axle nuts from Ace Hardware for approx $2, including tax, for a set of eight.

  2. Yes! They can be a bit hard to find though. I had to ask someone in there and the guy (I think he was new) didn't know what I meant about nylon until I showed him one.

  3. Try Burke Brothers Hardware on Hillsborough Street just past the fairgrounds. They should have what you need if you need them. I can actually take you right to where they should be since I used to work there. They are a quick trip and open during bout time at Dorton if anyone ever needs some...and the nuts are commonly called NyLocks, fyi.

  4. I try to overuse my nuts, but keep getting turned down