Why Wheelchair Bearings
If you want your wheelchair to move faster, go farther and smoother, then you have to maintain your wheelchair’s bearings. Your wheelchair has bearings in three places, the front caster, front fork, and rear wheels. Most wheelchair manufactures says you need to re-grease or change your front caster bearings yearly and the forks and rear bearings as needed. This means you need the right tools to make it easy to do.
The problem is that without the right tools, you end up using a flat head screwdriver (brute) and a hammer (force). This can lead to serious problems like deforming your casters, which can either permanently rune them (don’t ask, I have direct knowledge, brute force = 1, Frog Legs and Spinergy wheels = 0, it was a painfully expensive lesson), or cause them to deform so much so that they roll funny, defeating the point to maintaining your wheelchair. Tools wise you will need a bearing puller (specifically a blind bearing puller) and a bearing installer or in the case of larger rear wheels a bearing press, a pin punch, not a flat head screwdriver, and a hammer. When you look for these tools, in particular, bearing pullers and installers, you will find some bearing puller sets in the automotive section at say Harbor Freight or you can find some very experience tools from the professional bicycle shops. The best case scenario is you spend a lot of money for a set of tools with sizes you don’t really need or worse since they are not designed for wheelchairs you will find they don’t really work without damaging your chair. Again ask me how I know.
There has to be a better way, I looked but could not find cost-effective tools so I made my own. We make three types of tools, blind bearing pullers, installers and or bearing presses depending on the size of bearing you want to install and pin punches made from brass and aluminum not steal so they reduce the risk of deforming your gear. The pullers, installers, and press are designed to fit bearings found in wheelchairs so you don’t have to buy a whole set of sizes you don’t need.