Which Wicked Bearings are best for me?
The WICKED brand is focused on producing top-quality, reliable bearings for all rolling activities and all skill levels, from beginners to top professionals. At the heart of the WICKED brand is an unmatched bearing collection that has been meticulously developed to meet and exceed the needs of rolling sports.
Wicked have something to offer to everyone. From beginners who just need a reliable skate bearing to athletes that need the highest in quality and performance. Let’s have a deep dive into the selection that we stock in store so you know which Wicked Bearings is good for you.
Wicked ABEC 5, 7 and 9
Let’s start with the basics. The Wicked ABEC selection is a great place to start if you don’t need anything too specific. We have ABEC 5, ABEC 7 and ABEC 9. As we know from our bearings user guide, ABEC is the rating system used to determine how fast a bearing can spin. 5 being the slowest and 9 being the fastest. If you are just a casual skater looking to cruise in parks and by the beach then ABEC 5 would be absolutely fine. If you want a little extra speed then you could go for the 7s or the 9s. These bearings have a lovely low price and can keep cruising smoothly. These bearings are sealed and can be cleaned easily by simply removing the cover to access the balls inside.
Wicked ILQ5, 7 and 9
The next rating Wicked uses is the ‘Inline Qualified” (ILQ) rating. As the name suggests this simply means that these bearings are tested for Inline Skates specifically. ILQ is a rating system that comes from the company Twincam who have collaborated with Wicked to create these amazing bearings. Twincam collaborates with a few brands on the market like FR and Rollerblade for example to make inline qualified bearings. The ILQ bearings have ILQ5, ILQ7 and ILQ9 as options similar to the ABEC system. ILQ5 will be a little slower than an ILQ7 with ILQ9 being the fastest option. These bearings are shielded meaning that they cannot be opened and cleaned but less dirt and dust can access the balls inside. This in turn makes the bearings much stronger and less likely to break when jumping from height. This makes these bearings really popular with aggressive and urban freeskaters.
Wicked Titanium 8 Ball Bearings
A new release for the end of 2022 these are the Wicked Titanium 8 Ball Bearings in a set of 16. Designed to be fast and resistant titanium 8 ball tech is the selection of smaller balls to allow more load with low friction. This would make a great bearing from those heavy landings and high impact aggressive skating. The surprising free spin of the 8 ball bearing is enhanced by the Titanium treatment and the rainbow colour.
Wicked Pro Bearings
Lastly we have the new Pro collection from Wicked. Wicked have one serious team with world champion speed skaters and huge names in the aggressive skating scene. Some of these riders are lucky enough to have bearings that are specifically designed for what they do personally and these bearings are available to you here at Slicks.
- Bart Swings
- Nick Lomax
- Nicola Torelli
- Felix Rijhnen
- Nicoly Machaddo
Wicked have a huge team. Every single one of these names are very well known and successful in their own skating category. They are experts in their field which is why it is great to get feedback from them to create the perfect product for their use.
All the models in the pro range were designed by the skaters themselves, with the help of our designer Christine
— Wicked Bearings
For example, take Bart Swings. This guy can skate 26 miles in under an hour.. Maybe this is helped along by his seriously fast bearings from Wicked. The Bart Swings bearings are the fastest Wicked bearing with 7 balls inside. These bearings are made from high quality ceramic causing them to have little friction to help you fly through the streets. These bearings are perfect for speed skaters who compete in races or marathons.
We also have the Felix Rijhnen 8 ball bearings available too. Here is a little inside about 8 balls from Wicked themselves:
Why 8 balls and not 7 balls?
When a bearing has more balls we adjust the size of the ball to get less friction per ball. The advantage of more balls is that the repartition of the weight is better on the bearing and thus improves the durability.
The Rijhnen, Lomax and Torelli bearings are all titanium treated, which improves their performance compared to a standard abec bearing. This treatment is close to ceramic but with time the titanium treatment will lose its efficiency, whereas ceramic doesn't.
For Bart's bearing we used 7 balls because it's the main standard so we're able to offer them at a lower retail price. The goal of this bearing is to use all the best materials possible (same ceramic as record 5 balls) but offer this performance at an affordable price, for people to get ceramic high quality bearing. Bart's bearing also has an additional titanium treatment as well as the ceramic.
Machaddo's bearing is of a similar quality to a twincam . She chose a metallic shield bearing for more resistance. This bearing doesn't have a titanium treatment to stay more affordable
What you like about it compared to others etc
Titanium is a great choice to upgrade the quality compared to abec 9 and stay cheaper than Ceramic.
This line of bearings supports our top athletes
Their designs bring more colour to the wicked range.
And a quote from Felix:
I wanted a bearing which not only rolls fast when you spin it in your hands but actually gives you a great skating feeling. The downside of bearings with 5/6/7 balls can be that they got great free spin but because of less contact points between balls and cage they have quite some lateral movement. This can lead to less enjoyable and less efficient skating. With 8 balls I sacrificed some free spin but put more emphasis on not wasting any energy to the sides. On top of that 8 balls have less friction per ball and therefore last longer. The titanium coating has very similar characteristics to ceramic but is less expensive. This makes the FR bearing affordable and durable at the same time which in my opinion is a great combination. My oldest bearings are from 2009 and still going strong! I hope my FR’s last me till the end of my career!
— Felix Rijhnen
So to sum things up. If you are a novice skater who needs something to just get you rolling then maybe a standard ABEC 5,7 or 9 is good enough. If you don't like to clean your bearings and you like them to be a little stronger then go for the ILQ collection. If you want your bearings to be at a pro level then you can go for one of Wicked's high quality options by choosing the bearing based on the athlete they are designed for. If you need it to be strong choose a name like Nick Lomax who does huge jumps and if you need them to spin fast then go for either Bart or Felix's options as they are speed skaters.
Check out our Wicked Bearings collection here.