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