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BSB Speed Wash Review PDF Print
Written by Timo   
Monday, 05 September 2005

So there I was after getting home from a Wednesday Night skate looking at the mess and crud that was all over my wheels and bearings; also wondering why my wheels where making that crunching noise when then spun. So off I went to scour the Internet and looked at bearing cleaners. There are two products on offer, the BSB Speed Wash and the Sonic Turbo Wash. Here is what the site says for both:

BSB Speed Wash - £11.00 - speedy inline skate bearing cleaning

  • Self contained cleaning system for speedy skate bearing maintenance
  • Contains environmentally safe BSB Citrus cleaner
  • The bearing holding unit separates bearings in a position that allows cleaner to agitate freely around them

Sonic Turbo Wash - £13.00 - bearing cleaner for your inline skates.

  • The washing machine for bearings
    Dirty bearings go in, get agitated, and emerge spotless
  • Pre-loaded with Sonic Citrus Cleaner.
  • Cleans your complete set (up to 20) of bearings in one washing.
  • Leaves no cleaner residue.
  • The strainer tub fits both standard 608 and micro 688 bearings.

The Sonic Turbo Wash is simply a basket in which the bearings sit. Having seen lemmings one in all honestly I didn’t think much of it. The other thing that happened with this is that agitating this one all the cleaner seemed to be used up at one. Either lemmings bearings are really dirty or there is something not quite right with the complete design of the system. So I bought the BSB one…plus its cheaper ;-)

Skate Asylum delivered quickly and was informative like all good web based companies and delivered the package to my work. All was nicely packed and appeared in good order. So one free night I started on the task of cleaning my bearings.

So how's this process work: Well simply take the wheels off; remove the bearings and spacers; split the bearings open; put in washer and put everything back to normal…sounds simple yes?

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From first glance of the skate, they don't appear that dirty, closer inspection shows otherwise.
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Again this didn’t take long to get the wheels off the skates. Time take so far - approx. 3mins. Next step get the bearing out of the wheels.

There are multiple ways of doing this. The easiest thing to do is to use a bearing removal tool. With one of these you can just push the tool in and pull out the bearing housing. I would recommend this way as it is one of the safest ways of removing the bearings and you won’t wreck them when doing it.
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So with me bearings out is time to get out the BSB cleaner.
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Opening the white lid shows a silver safety lid which is easily removed. When you do remove it you are immediately struck by the intense citrus cleaner smell. The box says that this isn't hazardous but the smell makes you think otherwise. The other thing that you notice is the black plastic thing inside the tube.
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At first you sit there and think so how do the bearings go in here? Luckily the instructions of what to are clearly plastered around the side of tube.
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Time taken 3.03mins.

Looking at these instructions I noticed that I'd missed a step. I need to split the bearings into there little bits. Having only once done this before I know the nightmare that awaits me. The instructions show a simply take a pin to the outside of the bearing housing where the spring holder is and remove it. Once doing this all should just fall out…yeah right!

This takes some time. Make sure you do this in a confined place. The spring has a tendency to spring off somewhere. Many a time did I almost lose a spring to the carpet . Each bearing is made of the inner ball cage; the inner and outer and housing; two plates and two springs.
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To remove all of this can take anywhere from 1 to 10 minutes depending on how tired/annoyed/covered in grease you are. A safety pin is ideal in helping you remove this. Remember you have 2 per wheel and 16 in total. Time taken so far - 40 minutes; plus this is only one skate so far.
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Right once all the bearings have been broken up into there thousands of pieces, its time to finally use the bearing wash.
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So out comes the black plastic thing which appears quite sturdy. There are two slots each side which the bearings slip down quite easily. Once all are in there is a swizzling top which secures them in place.
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Everything looks quite simple here and yet I believe this will be quite effective. Unlike the Sonic Turbo Wash where the bearings are just held in a basket; you can see that the having the bearing stacked will allow each bearing to be fully cleaned.

The instructions now say place the holder back into the wash and leave 5 minutes.
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So that's what I did and made a cup to tea. 5 minutes passed well in about 5 minutes. The instructions now say rotate the tube not shake it up and down. Doing this you can see all the crud falling off the bearings to the bottom of the tube and not onto the other bearings. This is a good thing - don’t want to dirty something I’m trying to clean.

So all of this done I unscrew the lid and pull out the now clean bearings. You can even see them sparkle in the light. Looking at the bearings themselves, you can see that the grease hasn’t been removed but the crud that was inside it has now been removed. Even the grease now looks clean!
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Looking inside the tube you can see all the crud floating all around towards the bottom. This looks like it will be good for a couple of washes yet!

So now its re-lube me bearings; This is simply a case of closing one side and filling it up with the new lube and closing the other side. Simple eh? Well yes but its just as hard to put the bearing back together. Time-taken - 1hour 17mins... only one more skate today!

So in conclusion I'm really happy with this. It is certainly £11.00 well spent. The bearings looked great when the came out and now with new lube inside they spin like new again. So if you’re bearings are feeling old you might just want to clean them; its cheaper by far then buying new ones!

Discuss this article on the forums. (6 posts)

Last Updated ( Sunday, 20 November 2005 )
 
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