LowePro Roller Wheel Fix

Just released a video for the repair /replacement of the wheels (LowePro Pro Roller 3 in video). Other models are similar with different means of removing the liner. – I hope this helps:

Also…

I just added the kit to my eBay listings here:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/272467926842?

Joel-Spring-RxDesign_0059.jpgI’ve always been a fan of the LowePro line of products and have a wide variety as you can see by the collection in the photo above.  I’ve had them since I started shooting and some have begun to show the wear and tear of serious use. Recently my LowePro Rollers ( one of the smaller of the line ) had a blow out. The “tread” crumbled off the wheel causing it to gimp along as I pulled it with only one wheel intact. It was also very noisy when rolled along on hard flooring.

In the past the company has been great about simply replacing damaged items that were not the result of abuse.  On this occasion I was informed since the product line has been totally revamped they would be charging $150 to replace this model.

Click here for my DIY LowePro Roller handle repair / fix instructions.

The LowePro service department stated the part was not repairable but it seemed something could be done for it with a little effort.  (The new design does have “user serviceable” wheels)The main issue was the fact the wheel mounting axles were not designed to be removed, a little short sighted on their part.  The wheels were attached by a permanent rivet instead of a screw fastener. Some of the newer models had a clip requiring a special tool for removal (simpler and easier to simply grind away).

Required Tools:
Drill or rotary grinder w/stone
3/16″ Allen wrench / Hex key
7/16″ Open end wrench

Optional:
Small Hammer
3/16″ pin punch
Pliers

Parts for each wheel:
1 – 80mm skate wheel with 6mm Sleeve
1 – 1/4-20 x 2″ SS socket cap screw
3 – 1/4″ SS flat washers
1 – 1/4-20 nylon locking nut

After taking out the inner case with dividers the liner (if one present in your model) can be removed. Removal of the original wheels entails grinding off/removing the flared head and finding wheels and bolts to fit.  Wheels turned out to be simple and cheap enough – I located them(80mm replacement wheels for inline skates) on Amazon.  would provide a link but they come and go quickly – simply search for them and pay particular attention to getting sleeves with 6mm diameter holes.

Joel-Spring-RxDesign_0068.jpgA Dremel tool with grinding wheel is often easier than using an electric drill with stone attachment.

Rotary GrinderJoel-Spring-RxDesign_0067.jpg

The 1/4-20 socket head cap screw (2″ long), 1/4″ stainless washers(3) and 1/4-20 stainless stee nylon self locking nut were found at Home Depot / Lowes. These were a major upgrade over the original as they were all stainless steel and the wheels were made for serious usage plus the fact I have 6 more in reserve for my other “rollers.” I found “self locking” type nuts in the hardware bins that were less likely to loosen over time. If you cannot find this type of fastener you may use a longer allen screw (2 1/4″ long) and lock/jam two plain 1/4″-20 nuts against each other to prevent loosening. Add some thread locking cement(loctite) if you want to be safe.

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3/16″ Allen / hex key wrench and an 7/16″ open end wrench for installation.

_mg_0827A piece of tape is helpful when placing washers on either side of the wheel.

_mg_2138Clean up grinding debri to keep it from working its way into your gear.

_mg_0823Much better than new!

NOTE: I’ve had several request for a parts kit made up for this repair. Let me know if you think this would be helpful(add a comment). I’m not sure of the price point but I believe $28.50 US would cover parts. I just added the kit to my eBay listings here:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/272467926842?

_mg_2173Click here for my DIY LowePro Roller handle repair / fix instructions.

Behind the scenes photos –  Using Kessler CineSlider and Pocket Jib gear to make the video:

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14 Comments on “LowePro Roller Wheel Fix

  1. Pingback: Lowe Pro Roller case handle fix / repair / replacement | Joel Spring / Rxdesign Pro Media Services Blog

  2. Thank you for the instructions on the fix. I had the same thing occur to me while I was traveling abroad. It’s pretty hard to roll this case with a broken wheel. While I am capable of performing the fix, I shouldn’t have to. This is clearly a product defect in my book. I wrote Lowe Pro a note, saying “shame on them” for not offering more than a link to a site that shows how to make a repair. I’ll continue to be a Lowe Pro fan – I too have a lot of their gear and love it.

  3. Thank you for posting this article. The wheels on my PR1 case wore out and I was able to replace them in about an hour by following your instructions. I just wanted to leave some tips for other people who may want to do this. First, it doesn’t seem like Academy Sporting Goods sells inline skate wheels any longer, but they can readily be found on Amazon and other shops. The 80mm size will give you a little clearance, but I wouldn’t go any bigger. Smaller wheels will work fine. Fortunately, I had an old pair of inline skates and was able to re-use their wheels. I was also able to re-use the axle shaft, which made for a more compact build than the nut and bolt that you used. Best of all, I didn’t have to leave the house and the hardware cost was $0.

    • Glad you found a great solution. I’ve been getting wheels on amazon the last 2 times but they are difficult to tell if the shaft and sleeves are included or will work properly. Last time I received the Rollerblade wheels they did not have sleeves and were too loose. I ordered sleeves separately. Thanks for your post!

    • Hi, Are you still in need of a wheel kit? Where are you located. I can come up with a price to cover shipping and handling. Thx, Joel

      • Hi Joel, actually I am, the wheels on my roller are really worn. I am in Bern, Switzerland. If you send a kit, how much wuild it cost with shipping?

      • Let me see what options we have. I have gear on eBay and they have good rates. I’ll see about putting them there and you can review… out on assignment all week so plan to check it out on my return.

  4. Thanks – I am going to task my honey with this job…was hoping for a simple fix verses replacing something that still has a lot of life, as I have taken good care of the bag in general.

  5. Hi Joel,
    I am referred to you by LowePro’s main office in Petaluma CA. I need to replace a recently damaged wheel on my otherwise “like new” LowePro Roller 3.
    I am NOT handy with tools at all and have no one I know offhand to fix my wheels.
    I live near SF in CA . Where are you located ? Do you ever repair wheels on these bags for others, and if so what is your fee including materials?if not how can I order your kit?
    Laura

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