When this product came out we stood there holding it in our hands and muttering in amazement:
“It pops your bearings in and out in a matter of seconds like a full size bearing press… but it fits in your pocket…. it works on aluminum hub bed wheels…. but it fits in your pocket…. it’s only $15… and it fits in your pocket.”
You get the idea.
I don’t need to say much about this revolutionary gadget except that EVERYONE who owns a pair of skates and plans of changing their wheels should own one. Blog end.
Well maybe I will go over quickly how it works:
To remove bearings:
1. You hold the bearing press in your hands and mutter “it fits in your pocket?!??….” (pictured above)
2. You press the button on the top of the tool which pulls in a pin at the bottom. Then insert the tool into the center of your bearing.
3. Release the pin (pictured above) and pull the bearing out of the wheel (also pictured above)
4. Press the button at the top to release the bearing off of the tool and continue onto the next one at step 1 again.
To insert bearings:
1. Do the reverse of removing the bearings.
It’s really that simple. Too simple. It almost feels wrong that it’s not more work….
The only downside is that it only comes in 8mm and does not yet come in 7mm version. To those of you who have 7mm bearings the only thing I can say is… buy new skates. ((juh kuh))
Buy it here before they run out of stock again: NEW BONES BEARING TOOL
Gather round, children, I’ll tell you a tale… of Roller Derby of lore. Once apon a time, approximately 5 years ago, Roller Derby was fledgling. Yes. It’s true. If the Roller Derby leagues of today sat down and talked with their own Roller Derby leagues 5 years ago we would probably say, “you really had no clue what you were doing… You were kinda just making things up as you went along huh?” and we most certainly would say “Holy crap… you have NO idea what you are doing with your gear!! I can’t believe you did that to your skates!”
There was no “local skate shop.” There was no local. Every State did not have a league and most states only had 1 league. The neighboring league was hours away from each other. When we ordered skates we ordered online and when we called we usually couldn’t find anyone who had any idea what Roller Derby was let along someone who knew how to adjust our skates for our sport…. so again we made things up.
Now we get to the meat and potatoes of our story and the point of this blog. Cushions. Yes! Turning! Cushions are what “cushion” your trucks while you turn providing recoil and reaction. The softer the cushion the easier it is to turn. This are essential to roller derby. You want to see someone next to you and turn your skates into them and “WHAM!” you don’t want to see them next to you, try to turn into them and not turn and watch them go by. Turning is essential for crossovers, backwards skating, form, etc.
Soft cushions make it so easy! It’s really THAT simple. Well… we didn’t know that 5 years go (or maybe some of you awesome people did… but no one told the lot of us.) The cushions that came in our skates were mostly hard plastic. Hard is not a good recipe for recoiling and turning. So what we did was loosen the bejesus out of our trucks until they flopped from side to side! It worked…. sort of.
“Hallelujah! I can turn!” we exclaimed in unison* (*not an actual event)
Years went by and we found we were snapping kingpins, breaking trucks, enduring pointless ankle injuries and basically putting needless wear on our gear. We thought we were just adjusting our gear to our sport. This was just the way we did it. Then we told others to do it. Everyone was told to do it this way, and so it was.
If the me that skates now hung out with the me that skated 5 years ago I probably would have imparted 3 pearls of wisdom.
1. “Don’t ball your fists up and bend your elbows at 90 degrees. You look stupid.”
2. “You were right. Jammerless jams were in fact ‘sort of ridiculous.’”
3. “Spend $15 and get a set of soft cushions.”
The first 2 are self evident, however the last one would need some convincing. I’m sure the me 5 years ago would have said something like “I got this… self” and tried to skate off in a clunky huff. However the me now would explain that this $15 purchase would make a world of difference in my skating.
Here’s what I would say:
The floppier your trucks are the easier they will turn to one side. What they will not do is recoil and spring you back in the other direction. So you are making it easy to turn, yes, but not easy to turn back to the other direction. You are in fact making it a little harder to turn back in the opposite direction. Since Roller Derby is to be played laterally on the track what you want is a softer squishy urethane cushion (not your hard plastic cushions) tightened down so your trucks are not floppy. This will help you when to turn you left, it will squish the cushion, then when you are ready to turn right the cushion will spring back helping you turn right. It is indeed magic. Your skates working WITH you instead of AGAINST you. Riedell and Suregrip are both on board with these magical urethane cushions.
I would also say that the floppy truck syndrome is causing unessesary force to be placed on your kingpins, your trucks and on your ankles. It’s really harsh on these pivot points when something is being rammed back and forth on it. You are going to break your gear! Evolve. Learn from the evolution of the derby skater. We used to try to force our gear to do what we wanted, now we work in symbiosis with our gear to make them extensions of ourselves. It is literally the best and most inexpensive upgrade you can make for your skates instantly making you a better skater.
So that’s the end of the blog…. in summary. If you want your gear to react to you, you need to both adjust the gear properly and to have the right parts. That’s it! oh wait! The story! The story needs a happy ending… that’s right.
Ok… so the me from the future went back to the future where she belonged. The me from 5 years ago realized that the me from the future was right about everything. She got some urethane cushions and immediately her skating improved and her gear was SAVED! She stopped balling her fists up tightly as she skated and WFTDA 4.0 came out and everyone lived happily ever after.
In the beginning there was nothing. Then Riedell said, “Let there be skates” and then there were skates on the Derby Girls’ feet. And it was good.
So… Do you ever wonder where your skates came from? I’ve put together some really cool little blog about how your hand-made skates came to be. Watch this great video from Riedell:
A pictorial Guide of skates being made:
Picture 1: Skates get cut out of the different leather
Picture 2: then they use templates to mask out where they want different parts of the skate to be sewn together.
Picture 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7: Then they sew the skate together in large leather sewing machines. Blades on the edge of the machine cut away excess leather.
Picture 8: They are then put on a machine called a “LASTER” which shapes the skate to different sized feet. If you have a wide foot they put it on a wide last.
Look at this crazy machine!
Here is a picture of Skates “in queue” to be put in the laster:
Then they nail the leather to the bottom of the skate with this machine:
When they come out they look like this:
Then a cement gets applied and heated by this heater which activates a glue so they can cement the sole to the skate.
Here is a picture of some skates getting ready to be soled:
Once the sole is cemented on then they must sew the sole on with an industrial sewing machine that can get through all these layers!
The whole process takes approx 4 weeks and when you are done you have an amazing set of rollerskates made in the U.S. from the Riedell factory in Redwing, MN. Thanks Riedell! Keep making awesome skates for us.
Here is a link to their build your own custom skates. If you are interested in having Bruised Boutique help you build your dream skates, then please feel free to save them as a pdf and email them to: firstname.lastname@example.org for a price quote!
NOW GO SKATE!
Your skates are different than they used to be. You don’t know why, but they are just different. Maybe a little floppy loosey goosey. They just aren’t reacting the same. What’s that you say? You haven’t really adjusted them in the last two years? They skated fine until yesterday? Well in these installments we are going to look over some inexpensive and easy ways to tune up your skates.
Todays installment: Pivot Cups
This is your pivot cup. It sits between your plate and your truck where the point of your truck meets the plate. Pivot Cups cushion the truck when it moves (pivots) and creates a safe haven for friction so you don’t wear down the metal or nylon on your plate. When your pivot cups wear down your skates feel a bit out of control. They are loosey goosey. The pivot pin should sit snugly in this little cushion, without movement. If there is movement like below you should replace your pivot cups:
Also if they are no longer round shaped and look kind of oval they are wearing out. Here I’m holding up a new pivot cup next to the old pivot cup.
When they wear out too much they can cause seriously damage to your plates or your trucks can pop off completely.
The good news: They are easy to replace and only cost $1 for all 4! You should check them often, a few times a year for wear. You can purchase them here: http://www.bruisedboutique.com/onlinestore/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=77_95
Instructions for changing your pivot cups
1. Unscrew your kingpin nut with your skate tool
2. Take off the top cushion and the truck
3. Pop that sucker out with a screwdriver or something long and small
4. Pop your new pivot cup in its place
5. Put your truck and Cushion back on
6. Screw the kingpin nut back on.
That’s it folks…. next installment: Cushions: Regaining Control of your Skates by changing out those ratty stock cushions with soft derby style cushions!
That’s all for now! Thanks and see you next week!
Pink Color lab skates. We find these to be pretty darn cute…. but badass. We love to make custom skates. Call us and we will design you a pair. It’s affordable at $60-90 more. 603-821-1311
Custom made “colorlab” boots in green. Takes about 4-6 weeks to make a custom pair of skates… but they come out very nice and very original. We love building colorlab skates! www.Bruisedboutique.com and pick out some Riedell handmade skates that we can colorlab for you!