Bearings - Buying advice
To put it simply bearings are what enable your scooter, skates or skateboard wheels to turn. They are the round metal part in the middle of your wheels and nearly all wheels hold 2 bearings, one on each side. Bearings work by allowing the wheel to rotate around the bolts on inline skates and scooters or on a skateboard the trucks.
We offer a huge choice of bearings and this guide will help you understand more about them, a key point to note is that all the bearings we sell are a standard size (608) and will fit all of the Inline Skates, Rollerskates, Scooters and Skateboards found on our website and 99.9% of all other skate products out there.
How many bearings do I need? (remember 2 bearings needed per wheel)
- Inline Skates and Rollerskates – As most pairs of skates have eight wheels you will need a set of 16 bearings or two sets of 8 bearings.
- Skateboards and Longboards – Most boards have four wheels so you will need a set of 8 bearings.
- Scooters – Most scooters will have two wheels so you will need a set of 4 bearings, a three wheeled scooter will need 6 bearings so buying a set of 8 is usually the best idea.
How are bearings different
- What they are made from - Most bearings are made from steel and have seven or eight balls inside, these balls let the outside of the bearing spin round and help disperse the weight that the rider puts on the wheels. The bearings contain high quality oil which allows them to spin smoothly. The other type are Ceramic bearings, the balls inside are ceramic as a pose to steel. Ceramic bearings handle heat better than steel so will last longer, all bearings get hot as they spin which is what damages them over time. A better quality bearing last longer as it stands up to regular and hard use.
- Speed – Most bearings are given a speed rating most commonly called the abec rating, the higher the abec rating the better quality and the faster the bearing tends to be. The Abec range goes 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 with 9 the best. It is worth noting that some companies like Bones do not include an abec rating with their bearings so the price will be the best guide to quality.
- Quality and cost – As mentioned above usually the price is a good indication to the quality of a bearing for example a really cheap set of abec 9 rated bearings may not be as good as a slightly more expensive set of abec 7’s. With bearings you get what you pay for.
- Skill Level – All the bearings we sell can be used by any level of skater or scooter rider but more experienced users will benefit more and feel the difference of a high quality bearing.
- How long they last – A better made higher quality bearing will always out last cheap ones, they stand up better to harder and longer use.
Looking after bearings
Bearings in time will slow down this can be caused by heat during use, impact from riding and stunts and also from the weather. To make bearings last longer you can look after them, they don’t need to be cleaned all the time but a bit of care will keep them running well.
- If bearings get wet or dirty try to wipe them clean with a cloth and dry them out as quickly as possible.
- INever leave equipment outside overnight as wet and cold is no good for bearings
- ISalt is really bad for bearings, when the roads are gritted in the winter avoid getting it in your bearings at all costs. If you skate near the sea front look after your bearings more regularly.
- Clean and oil your bearings from time to time but not during the first month of use as new bearings always contain good quality lubrication.
- INever use WD4O spray oil as this ruins bearings, it is too strong and damages them. It is always best to buy proper skate bearing oil such as Bones Speed Cream.