Skateboard bearings are the most precision component of your skateboard, playing a big part in how your board performs. Want to learn more aboutskateboard bearings? We’ll answer all your questions here, including a diagram with the parts of a bearing, what ABEC & Skate-rated means, and how to care for bearings for long-lasting performance. By the end, you’ll understand what setsskateboarding bearingsapart so you can decide on the perfect bearing for you. In the Titus Online Skateshop, you’ll find a huge selection of skate bearings with different classes and price ranges. From the classic ABEC 3, ABEC 5, and ABEC 7 skate bearings to high-end Swiss skate bearings. You’ll even find some super-premium options like ceramic skate bearings. Many bearings we sell are skate-rated, meaning they were developed exclusively for maximum skate performance. In the Titus Online Skateshop, you’ll find the perfect bearings for your board. Discover a wide range of skateboard bearings from brands likeBones Bearingswith their Bones Reds and Bones Swiss Bearings, Bronson Speed Co., and many more. We carry a complete range of quality skateboard bearings for beginner set-ups to high-end bearings for those who demand the best.
Design and compatibility of skateboard bearings
Skateboard bearings play a major role in determining how fast your skateboard will roll. Simply put, they are the connection between your wheels and the axle of your trucks. Here’s an explanation of what’s found inside a skateboard bearing.
Skateboard bearings contain anInner ring(C),outer ring(A) andballs(B). The balls are held in place by grooves/a track found in the inner and outer bearing rings. In addition, they’re held in place by aBall cage(D) that keeps them properly lined up. There are generally 7 steel balls in a bearing, however some bearings may use 6. One or both sides of the bearing will have a metal or plastic shield that covers the bearing, protecting the inner balls from dirt and grime. Due to the inner balls generally being made of steel, they are prone to rust if exposed to wet conditions. Some skateboard bearings include 4 spacers in their package. These spacers can be placed in the center of the skate wheel between the two installed bearings. Spacers can help protect the bearings from being over-tightened during installation, as well as for improved stability during curves, slides, or unstable landings. They can also ensure an even installation in soft wheels without an inner core. All skateboard bearings are a standard size. Therefore,all skateboard bearings are compatiblewith all skateboard trucks and wheels.
It gets more exclusive? Premium-quality skate bearings and special features.
Nowadays, even skateboard bearings get quite high-tech. Skate bearings manufacturers are always keeping performance and longevity in mind when designing bearings. They utilize different materials or slightly differing designs to improve in specific performance areas and the prices of said bearings will vary rightly so. The balls found inside every bearing are steel by industry standard. However, special bearings can be found with ceramic balls or even rust-resistant steel. These special options can be especially interesting for longboards or cruisers that don’t want to slow down when the roads are wet. Bearings with integrated spacersoffer optimal protection against breakage during slides and from being tightened too far down. This also speeds up the process of installing spacers in new wheels and some riders swear that they are faster due to less parts in contact with the truck axle when compared to separated spacers. A standard skateboard bearing contains 7 balls. However,bearings with 6 ballsexist. 6 ball bearings have slightly larger steel balls which allows for a technically higher top speed and impact resistance than 7 ball bearings could allow. The titleSwiss Bearingswas established in the 1980’s and has since become synonymous with a “premium-quality” bearing. Many skate bearing manufacturers use this title to distinguish their more expensive and higher performance line of bearings. If you prefer to skate the best of the best and price is no option,ceramicscould be for you. As the name suggests, the inner balls are made of ceramic. Therefore, they are completely rust-proof and scratching will not affect the inner balls in the same way as steel.
What are ABEC and Skate-Rated bearings?
You may have noticed that nearly all skate bearings are “ABEC” or “skate-rated”. ABEC stands for „Annular Bearing Engineers Committee“ which tests the tolerances of bearings. The higher the ABEC rating of a skate bearing, the more precision the bearing has been machined and the higher rotations it can feasibly handle. While many consider ABEC 7 bearings to be superior to ABEC 3, the reality is that skateboarders generally do not reach the speeds that an ABEC 7 tolerance level would be required for. So, many skaters will swear by the greater quality of a high ABEC rating, but it’s very unlikely that you would need this tolerance level for skateboarding. Nowadays, ABEC ratings are not quite as prevalent as before. Many manufacturers now refer to their bearings as “skate rated” or “skate tested”. This indicates the fact that the bearings were specifically designed and manufactured for skateboarding. These bearings are made to sustain the impacts and side forces that are stressed on skate bearings during modern street and transition skating. However, even though skate-rated bearings are an excellent bearing option, ABEC rated bearings are still perfectly suitable for today’s advanced skateboarding and are designed by established skateboard companies. You can find both bearing options in the Titus online shop. Keep in mind that the performance of your skateboard is largely influenced by both the bearings and wheels of your skateboard. New bearings alone won’t do much good if your wheels are very poor quality or too used. Check out ourskateboard wheels.
How are skate bearings installed/removed?
Once you’ve done it,installing skateboard bearingsis easy! Here’s how to do it without any special tools. We’ll assume that you have a package of bearings, wheels without bearings inside them, and skateboard trucks with the axle nuts taken off. First, place a skate bearing on a truck axle with the outer shield facing down. Now, take a skate wheel and place it over the axle and over the bearing while the skateboard is on it’s side. Press down evenly on the skate wheel, pushing the bearing on the axle inside the wheel. This can sometimes be quite hard, simply press down with your body weight and be sure to keep even pressure. Repeat this process for all wheels, making sure that the outer shields are installed facing the outside of each wheel. Toremove or clean your skate bearings, there is another, similar process. Remove the axle nut from your trucks and take the wheel off the axle. Now, place your skateboard on its side. You will now use the truck axle without a wheel or nut as a lever. Place the skate wheel with bearings inside just over the axle so that the tip of the axle isinside of just one bearing. You will now press the wheel to one side and effectively “peel” the bearing out of the wheel using leverage from the axle. Once the bearing is out, you can clean it or replace them.
Cleaning and maintenance will help your skate bearings roll faster and longer!
Before we start, remember that skateboard bearings should not come into contact with any water. Cleaning your bearings will result in faster bearings that last significantly longer than if they are never cleaned. After cleaning, you must apply a skateboard bearing lubricant to bring the bearings back to their original state like they came from the factory. Once all your bearings have been removed from your wheels, you can begin the cleaning process. Begin by carefully removing the outer shield of your bearings, making sure not to bend the shield. Some bearings may have shields on both sides of the bearing. This is best done by placing a needle under the shield and prying it up. Now, the inner balls should be visible and the bearing can now be cleaned. Fill a container with a non-water-based solvent such as acetone or carburetor cleaner. Place the bearings in the solvent and move them around, flushing and dissolving the dirt out of the bearings. Bones Bearings also makes a “bearing cleaning unit” that will make this process faster. In addition, the shields of your bearings should be cleaned too. If you shields are made of plastic/rubber, this is the only part of your bearing that can be cleaned with soap and water, just be sure to dry them at the end. After removing the bearings from the solvent and drying them,you must apply skateboard bearing lubricant. Apply 2-3 drops of lubricant to each bearing but do not apply too much lubricant or it will attract dirt while skating. Press the shields back onto each bearing and reassemble them into your wheels. Done! Not every lubricant is suitable for skateboard bearings. Some oils such as vegetable or motor oil will even attract dirt to your bearings. Therefore, you must use skateboard bearing lubricant as it features a specific viscosity for skateboard ball bearings. Bones Bearings “Speed Cream”, Bronson “High Speed Ceramic Oil” or Titus “Titus x Ravenol Bearing Fluid” are all suitable options for skateboard bearings.