I’ve written about my Eagle Creek Tarmac ES 22 before, talking about the handle screws coming loose. Now I want to talk a little bit about another thing I’ve discovered about the bag I love to travel with.
One thing I’ve noticed is that the wheels don’t quite track in the same direction with the bag. Each of the wheels (if looking from the wheel side) point out which causes some uneven wear on the wheels as you can see in the picture below. Notice the lighter color on the wheel which indicates this is the part that makes contact with the ground.
Because of this, I’ve taken a bit of proactive maintenance on my Tarmac 22 bag. Since I live in dry and dusty part of the United States, every so often, I take the wheels off to clean and lubricate them. I also note which side of the wheel was on the inside so I can flip the wheel to wear on the other side.
Removing the wheel involves using a set of pliers and a 5mm allen wrench to unbolt the wheel (you also have to unzip the bag liner). The wheel is held in place by a bolt and a lock nut (nut with a plastic part to keep it from accidentally coming loose). I use the pliers to grip the nut since it’s a tight fit.
Once the wheels are off and marked, I clean them with a penetrating lubricant like WD-40. This clears out any dirt and dust and helps the ball bearings to move freely again. You will typically find all kinds of dirt and hair on the wheels when you remove them. Pictured below is a dirty wheel and one that has been cleaned. Also don’t forget to clean out the wheel well too (pictured above without a wheel).
When all the cleaning is finished, just reverse the procedure to install the wheels. Remember to flip the wheels so they start wearing on the other half of the wheel.
With a little bit of preventative maintenance you can make the wheels on your Tarmac 22 last as long as possible. If the bearings ever wear out, I’m sure Eagle Creek will gladly replace the wheels since there is a lifetime guarantee on the bag.