DIY : Replacing Rollerblade TRS buckles

When fixing or customizing skates, a very common problem is having to deal with riveted parts. Rivets are cheaper than screws, and are a lot less likely to loosen up with vibrations, which is probably why most skates have some (most) parts riveted. If I had anything to say, everything would be only bolts and screws, like on most Seba skates… it’s repair and customisation heaven!

But let’s see how to deal with those rivets. The most common riveted parts needing to be changed are buckles, so here’s how to proceed :

  • Make sure you have access to drill through the rivet. Ideally, the inner side, since it’s usually the one where the drill has most chances of staying straight and not slip off. This is not always easy, especially when dealing with skates with non removable liners such as K2 skates.
  • Make sure you have screws which can replace the rivets you are about to remove. Finding the right screws isn’t always easy. Just make sure there are no obvious problems, such as an end sticking out and ready to deteriorate the liners.
  • Choose a drill with a diameter much superior to the rivet’s. This will quicken the task at lot, since this is about brute force much more than it is about precision.
  • Prepare the part to drill, making sure it won’t move or bend in problematic ways while drilling… then go for it!

It’s quite common to be replacing a rivet with a screw of a superior diameter, in which case you will also need to widen the hole with a small metal file or with a drill of the right diameter.

The photos here are an example of a Rollerblade TRS cuff, on which the original buckles rarely last more than a year before the spring inside dies. Replacing them is non trivial because they are riveted, but a quick drill and a small Seba screw do the job!

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