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​Your skates need love and attention too: Adjustable pivot pins and maintenance

 ​Your skates need love and attention too: Adjustable pivot pins and maintenance

We make them work for us, one, two, sometimes three or four times each week. We love them for it, so we should show that love by giving them some attention. So next to cleaning our bearings or changing our wheels, it’s good to look at your skates from the underside. The metal-plate-y-dirty-side ;)


Give them a wipe-down, take them apart and check all the pieces are still doing ok. Specially if you have amazing, high-end plates on your boots, with adjustable pivot pins and whatnot, it’s important to check those and make sure they are properly adjusted.


I talked about the anatomy of a skate in an earlier blog →


The kingpin on your plates is where everything is stacked on; the truck is attached to it through means of the cushions and so the trucks can move and you can steer. Putting your weight to one side of your skate will compress the cushions on that side and expand on the other side. That way your trucks move; one goes more to the back and the other more to the front. And voilà, you turn. This is a hard job and so we have the pivot pin to help it. This pin acts as a stabiliser, a support.




A lot of plates have just plain, non-adjustable pins that rest in the pivot cup. But better plates have adjustable pivot pins. These pins can be adjusted in length by screwing them into the truck and are then secured by a locknut.


The pivot is the stabiliser, it’s round head rests on the round bottom of the pivot cup. It can turn in the cup and at the same time give support. It’s like putting your hand on your friends shoulder when you are standing on one leg. Just by putting your hand there it will be much easier to stand on one leg. But if your friend is too far away, they are not helping and possibly making things worse, because you fall over trying to reach them. If they are too close they will push you over unless you adjust your arm length.


Same goes for the pivot, it needs to rest on the bottom of the cup, not hovering above it or being pressed in to it. There should be no tension on the kingpin from the pivot pin being too long and pressing into the cup. So that’s why an adjustable pivot is so important and why it needs to be the right length.


Even though we feel everybody should be familiar with the underside of their skates, we understand maintaining and servicing this part of your derby game might not be your cup of tea. So we now have a maintenance service for you! In other words: we do it for you.



You can drop off or send us your skates, we do the maintenance at an hour rate and you can pick them up again when they are done. We can also send them back for a small fee or, of time allows we can do the work while you hang around the shop. Send us an email for more details!

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