“What are bearings?” you ask? They’re responsible for generating speed on vert ramps and riding down hills or just pushing around town. There wouldn’t be any smooth riding or rolling around town without them. In fact, without the these little balls situated inside every single wheel, your daily routine as a skater would come to an immediate halt! So, what are the best skateboard bearings?
In the case of a prebuilt skateboard, you might not need bearings at the start, but if you are assembling your skateboard or find your most recent trick ending with ball bearings scattered on the floor. Then you might need some best skateboard bearings available in the market. We’ve done the hard work for you and compiled a list of best bearings for skateboards and longboards after 100 hours of testing in different circumstances. These are all proven to be some of today’s most popular, high-quality, fastest skateboard bearings that will provide smooth rides without costing an arm or leg!
Top Skate Bearings
What are the Best Skateboard Bearings?
Want to ride like the pros but don’t have their talent to burn up the road or the skate park? There is a variety of bearings available in the market to choose from. Some might be better than others, depending on what you’re looking for in terms of speed or style. Steel vs. ceramic bearings generally affects how fast they roll away, while titanium ones reduce weight by minimizing material use without compromising strength too much, which means longer lifespan.
The size of a skateboard bearing is standardized to avoid any compatibility issues between skateboard wheel brands. Therefore, the standard skateboard bearing size is an 8mm inner race diameter.
When purchasing the skateboard bearings, you might consider following three factors.
- Budget ( minimum $ 15 )
- The Quality of the bearings’ materials and design.
- Your style (Skateboarding, cruising, or longboarding )
Best Bearings for Skateboards
Who doesn’t want their board to glide smoothly and bear the impacts of skate tricks? Here are some of the best bearings for skateboards and longboards that won’t disappoint you.
Bones bearings are the legendary and the most popular bearings for skateboards. For decades, Bones bearings have been the first preference of skateboarders worldwide.
Bearings are an inconspicuous yet vital part of your skateboard. Bones Reds bearings are significantly less costly than other Bones’ products but are loved by skaters for their performance. These are manufactured in China to the Bones Skate Rated specifications. Boasting a combination of quality and performance, Bones Reds promises lightning-fast speeds for all types of skateboarders at an affordable cost.
Bones don’t use an ABEC rating for their bearings because they use their skate-rated system. The company ensures the quality check twice before delivering their bearings to the customers. In addition, these bearings come pre-lubricated, therefore, ready to roll smooth and quick.
These bearings have a removable outer rubber shield and Nylon ball retainer for greater strength and speed. If these bad boys get dirty, just pop off this rubber shield and clean them up with some Bones speed cream or replace them with a new set. After all, they don’t cost you a fortune.
To sum up, these are one of the best bearings suitable for skateboarding applications from longboard cruising to street and transition skateboarding. Anything you’re doing, even if you hit a rock on the street, the little balls inside the bearings aren’t going to go pop out easily. After testing them in our Bones Wheels , we have concluded they are excellent bearings for the price.
Bronson Speed Co. skate bearings are proven the fastest, strongest, longest-lasting, longest spin skateboard bearing ever made! These bearings are relatively new to the skateboarding world but deliver top-shelf performance with affordability in mind.
We highly recommend these bearings for those who want reliable bearings for a fair price. These bearings are sealed/shielded on both sides compared with the Reds- one side is shielded. Moreover, the Bronson Speed Co.’s G2 bearings are designed with deep groove raceways to reduce damage from side impacts, reducing the possibility for breakage when jumping downstairs or other streets gaps!
Straight Edge Frictionless Shields of these bearings fit deep in the inner race edge to reduce oil leak and dirt/moisture intrusion. Whereas, the removable shields enables easy cleaning without damaging the races or rubber shields. In addition, these bearings come pre-lubricated with Bronson’s high-speed ceramic oil, for increased velocity of your skate wheels. These bearings are perfect for those who patrol the streets on their boards.
From my experience, there is no noticeable difference when riding (speed, acceleration, etc.) other than how quiet the ride is. I currently ride 92a Rictas, and the board glides quietly -no rattles. I was pleasantly surprised with how fast and smooth they were right out of the box.
During our testing, G2’s lasted longer than Bones Reds, and they handled the dirt and water better than the Reds . Moreover, these bearings are packaged in nitrogen-filled shrink-wrap – reduces metal and oil oxidation until ready to be ridden.
If you are on the fence between these and Bones Reds, get these. You wouldn’t be disappointed.
These premium ceramic skateboard wheel bearings are the elite bearing in the skateboarding industry and come with four bearing spacers. The Bones Swiss Ceramic are made in Switzerland, and the ball bearings are made of ceramic instead of steel. These ceramic balls are much lighter, stiffer, stronger, and long-lasting than the finest steel balls.
The ceramic balls are waterproof as they won’t rust when exposed to moisture, making these bearings an excellent choice for the street along with Spitfire Bighead wheels.
These bearings are more expensive than the regular Bones’ bearings on this list as they are made of highest quality raw materials. Bones Swiss has Nylon ball retainers and is pre-lubricated with Bones Speed Cream for a sustained ride.
Bones Swiss ceramics are the best there in the market as they accelerate faster, roll faster and farther, resist dirt and moisture better. One thing I notices when I got these was that straight out of the box, Bigheads Wheels spun for 90 seconds with these bearings. Now that they are wearing, they spin for even longer. These are expensive, but they work brilliantly. They’re an investment but definitely worth the cost.
If you want to roll really fast, quietly and far, this is the best one. Use bones speed cream to keep the ball bearings clean and lubricated. We noticed that these bearings provide significantly more speed and less friction at higher speed than Bones Reds.
The best bearings for your board! These high-quality bearings can give you a smooth ride no matter what terrain it is going on. Do yourself a favor, get these bearings if you’re setting up a board you hope to bond with for years.
These durable, high-quality bearings are designed for various skate products. They are pre-lubricated with Premium speed oil to ensure smooth rolling right out of the box. Heady Shake Pro bearings are lighter and stronger than regular steel bearings. These bearings have seven chrome steel balls and gold titanium coated inner and outer rings, making these rust-resistant. A single rubber shield is removable for easy cleaning.
You’ll have more stability, quiet rotation, fast spinning speed, and long-lasting durability with these bearings. These high-quality Heady Shake Pro bearings are suitable for roller skates, longboards, skateboards, and kick scooters. Their sleek appearance will surely make your wheels look stylish especially on iconic Vision Psycho Stick Deck .
I’ve been using them for about two months now, and they still give me the same results -smooth, fast cruising. At 255 lbs I expected them to lag a little behind, but instead, it did better once installed into a board and skated on. In addition to that ,the gold is an excellent accent with my wheels. Moreover, the container packaging is awesome and holds all parts nicely. The bearings outer shell looks appealing in case that matters.
To sum up ,if you are new to skating and want upgraded bearings Heady Shake Pro are an incredible choice. They roll so smoothly quietly and are especially good if you’re on a budget. Most importantly, they come with a 100 percent money-back satisfaction guarantee. With just a spin of the hand, they spin AT LEAST 3 times longer than any old bearing. If you have some extra money to spend on replacements, these would be perfect .
These Super Swiss six Skateboard Bearings are great for any skater, featuring six larger diameter balls bearings instead of seven tiny ones! These are designed to offer higher speed, faster acceleration, and greater strength and durability.
For an extra edge, Swiss 6 precision-grade bearings have single removable rubber shields for easy cleaning, Pre-lubricated with Speed Cream racing lubricant. The bearings are Skate Rated for the best performance and durability. Moreover they have Nylon ball retainers for extra speed and sturdiness. Swiss Bearings carry a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.
Over the years, I have ridden several sets, and these bearings are excellent, fast, smooth, quiet, and durable. You’ll spend less over the long run and have a much flossier glide with these bearings. You can use Bionic locking nuts to prevent damage to the bearing shields. Swiss bearings are known for their exceptional performance and durability. They last twice as long as low-cost alternatives, making them an excellent choice if you want the best equipment possible!
Recently I upgraded my wheels from a Bones Red to Bones Super Swiss 6 ( running with Shark wheels). I went for a Skate in the early hours this morning, and to be honest, I had forgotten that I had changed out the bearings last night, so there was no placebo effect. Straight away, I felt that the board was running smoother. I tried these bearings on a concrete park, and my board was flying. Even my Cruiser rolls much farther and faster with every push. Don’t ride these bearings in wet as they’ll rust.
Lastly, it’s hard to go back once you ride a skate with Swiss bearings. These high-quality parts last much longer than low-cost alternatives and always provide smooth gliding action on every push of your feet down the road!
Bronson Speed CO. G3 – Best Bearings for Street Skating
Bronson Speed Co. continues to impress the skaters with another set of skate bearings, G3, having the same great features as the G2 but with extra speed and durability. The brand put many thoughts in the packaging to impress the customers and deliver bearings without any damage. Bronson has earned a loyal fan following due its high quality bearings.
Most importantly,G3 bearings have a better and stronger cage design ,which gives impact protection hence, prolonged lifespan. These are pre-lubricated with high speed ceramic oil.
Bronson G3 skateboard bearings are designed to roll faster and resist impacts better than regular bearings.
As you know, skating is my passion, and I love to try different skate products available in the market to keep you updated as well. Therefore I tested them and found them fast, smooth, and strong . What I love the best was their shields that go all the way to the inner race to keep that sand & dirt out.
Less maintenance & have not had even one wrecked bearing in 2 years after many miles of beach skating. Smoother, faster, quiet, and for not much cash. Nicely packaged, and these are high-quality steel ball bearings. These bearings are sealed in nitrogen filled shrinkwrap packaging. Also included were spacers and a Bronson sticker. They came in a nice tin container with a slide-on lid.
All in all, I would recommend the Bronson Speed Co. G3 bearings to anyone, regardless of terrain or riding style. Fast, quiet, durable, and possibly the best bang for the buck on the market.
Bones are a fast and precise bearing at an excellent price point—Skate Rated design. As the name suggests, the Bones Big ball bearings contain six balls that are 17% larger like Bones legendary Super Swiss 6 bearings to roll faster and last longer. Bones BIG BALLS are a mixture of the Bones Super Swiss 6 and the famous Bones REDS Bearings.
Speed is precisely what many longboarders and bowl skaters are after! Compared to other regular bearings, the 17% larger six steel balls let your wheels roll faster and keep rolling right through the dirt, whereas standard bearings slow down due to little bearings balls. Therefore, BIG BALLS is an excellent choice for skaters looking for more speed and long-lasting bearings.
The design is well balanced, and having six evenly spaced bearing balls with a deeper race makes these smoother and less susceptible to dirt, debris and impact. They have greater strength, are easy to clean, and are lightweight due to thinner inner and outer races.
For the testing, I had the Bones Bearings BIG BALLS in my setup for about six months (with shields). I skated my longboard on dusty spots & uneven terrain, and I was amazed how they continued spinning without slowing down. I learned from my experience that even though these bearings are pre-lubed with Bones Speed Cream, use two drops of speed cream when you install these in your wheels. That will increase the speed, and the bearings will last for years.
Overall, the BIG BALLS are an affordable alternative to the Bones Super Swiss 6. These are ideal for skaters who don’t do much setup maintenance. We highly recommend these big, dirt-resistant ball bearings for your cruisers and skateboards.
Noteworthy Mention – Skateboard and Longboard Spacers
Fireball Dragon Precision Aluminum Spacers and Washers Set flawlessly fit on a skateboard or longboard and improve bearing performance, guaranteed.
We all know how expensive skateboarding can be. After purchasing your board, you still may need to pay for safety equipment and proper footwear before getting started! Many skaters look for low-cost options for their hobby without breaking the bank.
Spitfire is known for quality wheels, skateboard tools, grip tape, soft goods, stickers, and accessories. The Spitfire Cheapshots is the ideal affordable bearings available, especially for beginners. Excellent for beginners or for practicing slow-rolling tricks.
Cheepshots are typically ABEC 3 or 5, while Classics are 5, and burners are 7. Spitfires do use an ABEC rating. Most ABEC 3 or ABEC 5 bearings have steel races (shell of the bearing) with hardened steel ball bearings. They come with a black removable shield for easy cleaning and maintenance. Plus, they come pre-lubricated and ready to ride.
These bearings offer a smooth and better skating experience at a low tag.
Cheapshots bearings will get the job done when introduced to skateboarding. You can pair these bearings with Powell Peralta Rat Bones Re-Issue wheels and Moose Blank Deck if you are a beginner .
Super Reds is a superior bearing, using higher quality steel races, better quality and grade balls, and an excellent surface finish. Basically, an upgraded version, where we get upgraded steel, so it’s faster, firmer, and smoother. Therefore these are as fast as REDS™ but quieter, smoother, and longer-lasting.
These bearings contain a high-speed nylon ball retainer and removable rubber shields for easy cleaning and less friction. They are an excellent choice for mini ramps, transition, and indoor park skating (as they are swift and can get up to incredible speeds) but fragile to harsh weather such as rain that you encounter in street skating.
When your bearings get wet or submerged, you’ll need to clean them immediately; otherwise, the bearing will rust! With these bearings, the wheels roll faster, so it would be a little challenging for beginners.
Super Reds bearings are fast and durable, definitely recommended over the traditional reds. These bearings make a massive difference for your skateboard or longboard ride. One of the best upgrades you can make.
These quality bearings come in various colors and pretty cool packaging to serve up a swell. The Yellow Jacket Pro Bearings offer excellent quality and performance — but where they shine is speed. These premium bearings are hard to beat if you want to ride fast.
The product’s high precision and speed make it perfect for skateboards, longboards, inline skates, electric skateboards, or any other type of board you may want to use.
These bearings come in a set of eight with washers and spacers included. The steel used for Yellow Jacket is the highest-end steel available globally. Any other bearing can not match the precision and smoothness of their spin. Yellow Jackets are durable, high-performing, and most importantly, easy on the wallet. These bearings have premium chrome steel balls, a high-speed Nylon retainer, and stainless steel roller cages for smooth gliding and optimal performance.
The most noticeable thing about these bearings is engraved color seals designed to keep out all dust, rocks, and particles that will slow your bearings down over time. With the Yellow Jacket engraving, everyone will know the bearings you are rolling!
We tested these bearings against all other big-name brands, and not only did they last pretty long, but they glided further distances at higher speeds. We mostly skated mini ramp and transition parks, so we did lot of pumping, and we felt these performed outstandingly.
Buying Advice For Best Skate Bearings
When you purchase bearings for your skateboard, you’ll never have to worry about the size of your bearings since they’re all similar! Skate bearings are a “608” that refers to the dimensions (7 x 22 x 8 mm Ball Bearing), and they should fit in your skateboard, roller skates, scooters, and power tools.
It would be best if you looked out for the quality of the bearing’s material and design when choosing, as they will considerably impact how the wheels will roll and how fast your ride will be. We recommend getting the best-quality ones at first glance; cheaper or low sealed Bearings might get deformed quickly under pressure from skateboarding which could lead directly into problems such as dirt clogging up any openings in between driven parts, making skating more difficult than before (or even causing a complete stop).
Note to Beginners
As a beginner, you might not be sure about the ABEC rating and what it has to do with the skateboard bearings. ABEC rating is dimensional tolerances of a bearing, meaning how precise the bearing is. ABEC rating is not the speed rating; it’s just a measurement.
A higher ABEC rated bearing may be more precise in its design, but for skateboarding, it is not the deciding factor of speed or quality of a bearing. I would suggest getting proper skate bearings by a good skate brand rather than going after an unknown company’s higher ABEC rated bearing.
We recommend getting the regular ABEC 5 bearings for beginners, which will provide you with a reasonable price/performance balance. If your wheels stop rolling after just one ride because of cheaper materials used in its construction, then it is not worth buying! So please don’t go for the cheapest bearings like ABEC 1 . Don’t try to get GREEDY by purchasing relatively expensive ABEC 7 or 9 bearings because an inexperienced skater could misuse them and might break them.
What is ABEC Rating?
When you buy bearings, the first spec you might notice on the packaging is ABEC rating. The Annular Bearing Engineering Committee of the AFBMA (Anti-Friction Bearing Manufacturers Association Inc), better known as ABEC, is an industrial rating that measures the bearings’ tolerances and physical limits. All quality brands worldwide manufacture their bearings to at least the ABEC1 standard set by this organization!
Does ABEC Ratings Matters?
It is just a myth that the higher the ABEC rating, the better and faster the bearings. Keep in mind ABEC standards do not rate significant factors such as the impact from jumping downstairs or lateral stress from power sliding, starting torque, speed, durability, axial load, surface finishes, lubricants, or Clearance. It only measures dimensional tolerances – meaning how precise the bearing is made. That means a higher ABEC rating doesn’t necessarily make the bearing better.
The ABEC scale grades each ball bearing tolerance from 0 to 9, with higher numbers meaning more precise and efficient components but not necessarily greater speeds.
Here are some specifications about the different ABEC levels of the bearings that will give you a pretty good idea of how they will perform once mounted on your board.
The ABEC rating starts from ABEC 1, which is the worst rating a bearing can get. – which means they are poor quality bearings. You will find these bearings so low-quality skateboards. You might not want these bearings.
The ABEC 3 rating bearing spins faster than ABEC 1, which is more commonly used in roller skate and skateboards. The higher the rating, the longer it will spin in your wheel, resulting in more glide or push off when you are skateboarding road.
ABEC 5 bearings allow a reasonable amount of speed at an affordable cost. You might see a pretty big jump three to five ABEC rating. This bearing is usually the choice of recreational skaters, and indeed, these bearings are more precise than ABEC 1 & 3 bearings.
High-speed applications call for an ABEC 7 rating, not just because it lasts longer but also performs better. ABEC 7 is your best bet if you need a super precise bearing with high performance and endurance in harsh conditions! But ABEC 7 bearings are high-speed, smooth, and cost slightly more.
ABEC 9 is the best for speed and downhill skating. These are the fastest, most precise, and most expensive of all ABEC-rated bearings. It is useless to use ABEC 9 and higher bearings in a skateboard unless you’re doing downhill luge-style skating or something else where your goal is to go insanely fast.
Skate Rated or Skate Tested Bearings
Initially, the ABEC rating was for industrial bearings that roll way faster in a clean environment, unlike skateboard bearings. While in skateboarding, you apply forces differently from industrial bearings, and they encounter dirt and water during the ride. Hence, specialist brands of bearings don’t even mention it anymore.
Skateboard bearing manufacturers like Bones Bearings have their rating scale to rate their bearings. These companies have developed and built their bearings specifically for skateboards.
These bearings are specially designed to withstand the impact or pressures of skateboarding.
If we don’t use bearings, our wheels would have tremendous amounts of friction rubbing on the axle. With rolling-element ball bearings, we nearly eliminate all of the friction.
Interestingly 99% of the bearings available in the market will fit every skateboard truck and skateboard wheel, hence no sizing is involved.
When we open small looking bearing, we can see it has many parts.
A C-ring is a thin ring that holds a removable metal shield in place on the outer race or ring.
Inner and Outer Rings:
Each bearing has a shorter ring on the inside, and then on the outside is the outer ring or race. A C-ring holds a removable metal shield in place on the outer race or ring. These rings form the track for the metal balls to roll and also create the inner and outer walls of the bearing.
The rotating and rolling balls are the crux of how the bearing works. Typically six or seven steel balls roll freely between inner and outer rings. A cage spaces these balls, also called a retainer, to avoid hitting bearing balls into each other. Fewer balls mean less friction and more speed.
The steel balls are spaced out by a nylon ball retainer or sometimes by a metal cage. The retainer keeps the balls in place at equal distances from each other to reduce friction and enable the casing to spin on the axis smoothly.
Shield or Rubber Seal:
All of these are closed by a shield- a tiny plastic ring-shaped part on top of the bearings. Shields cover the sides and protect the balls from dust and debris. You can easily remove that plastic shield which comes in handy, especially when you lubricate or clean the bearings.
Many skaters use open bearings without shields for skateboarding because they enjoy the louder sound of their wheels rolling. Keep in mind if you skate open bearings they tend to get contaminated with dirt and debris as the shields do not protect the balls, which will eventually lessen the life of your bearings.
Some bearing sets come with small cylindrical spacers installed between the ball bearing itself and an axle nut to keep everything aligned properly while also making it easier to tighten up without restricting wheel spin. They are optional for most types of skating.
Furthermore, spacers ensure that your bearings remain parallel with each other. Using spacers can be particularly prudent for those with soft wheels or so-called “non-core” wheel installations that may otherwise suffer from misalignment due to uneven wear on one side.
If you are a casual skater who likes cruising or a longboarder, you might not worry about the bearing spacers as you will not put much pressure on the wheels, unlike skaters who do tricks and are pros.
Installation of Bearing Spacers
Bearing spacers are not optional; you need them if you want to slide, do cool tricks, and skate smoothly. Bearing spacers doesn’t cost you an arm or leg. They are inexpensive and are made of steel or aluminum.
The installation of spacers is basic and quick. Insert the first bearing in the wheel, and after that, flip the wheel and push the bearing spacer in. The bearing spacer needs to be secured firmly in the wheel core, and there should be no rattling sound or any movement after installation.
TIP: In the case of powerslide on softer wheels, using bearing spacers will reduce vibrations and make your slides much smoother and easier to control. You can use plastic spacers, and they won’t cost more than 2 bucks.
It would be best to take care of your skateboard bearings to keep them in good shape. They will grease or rust if you don’t, and the different components won’t work efficiently with inevitable dirt buildup.
A regular schedule for cleaning wheels and bearings is strongly advised -make sure it gets done regularly because clean bearings are the fast bearings. Remember to lubricate the bearings with skateboard bearing lubricant for smooth rolling.
Skateboard Bearing Material
Steel Bearings ( Stainless vs. Chrome/Carbon Steel Bearings)
The most commonly bearing available in the market are steel bearings. There are three metal parts of a skate bearing – the inner race, the outer race, and the balls. All these are made of steel, and the balls inside the races are silver.
In carbon or chrome steel bearings, all the three parts made from are Chrome Steel. On the other hand, in stainless steel bearings, the balls and sometimes the races are made from Stainless Steel rather than Chrome/Carbon steel. Stainless Steel doesn’t rust as fast as Chrome Steel, so it’s great if you skate in the wet. However, on the other hand, Stainless Steel bearings are softer than Chrome/Carbon Steel, so Stainless skate bearings don’t last as long. Stainless steel bearings are a little more expensive than carbon steel.
For steel bearings, the overall quality of the steel ( the races and the interior ball bearings ) varies from brand to brand. It is believed that more expensive skateboard bearings contain better sealing, more inner ball bearings, and higher-quality metals than inexpensive bearings made from cheap materials. Cheap bearings that are more susceptible to rust or clog the dirt that slows down the wheel or make annoying screech, or it’ll stiffen up.
The downside of steel bearing is that they tend to rust when exposed to moisture. If you want your bearings to last, keep them well-oiled avoid rolling through puddles or skating in the rain.
Higher grade steel used in bearing makes them faster and more durable. Therefore, it is recommended to get some good quality and relatively expensive bearings that offer better sealing, more inner ball bearings, and premium-made metal rings.
Ceramic Skateboard Bearings:
If you want to up your skateboarding game, get a set of ceramic bearings. So far, quite a few companies offer these quality bearings. Ceramic bearings are actually hybrid bearings, meaning that the balls are ceramic-that are black, but the inner and outer rings are still steel. These ceramic bearings are for you if you like to skate in the rain because ceramic balls don’t rust when exposed to moisture. Therefore great for cruisers and rain boards.
Ceramic bearings are slightly more costly than standard metal bearings but are considered very high quality and don’t require much maintenance. Although the ceramic balls are resilient to rusting, the metal rings can still rust. Therefore, avoid using them in wet if possible.
Ceramic vs. Steel Bearings:
There is debate in the skateboarding world if it’s worth buying ceramic bearings instead of steel bearings because many skaters find the price gap between them pretty high. Ceramic bearings are harder than steel bearings. They are more durable, lasting anywhere from five to 20 times longer.
The ceramic bearing is more efficient, faster, and smoother running than its steel counterpart. Essentially, the decreased friction and smooth ride you get with ceramic bearings are due partially to the ceramic balls inside and the higher quality steel outside. Because of high-quality steel rings and sealing, ceramic bearings tend to be pricer.
Ceramic bearings never rust and are high-temperature resistant. Therefore they don’t expand and cause less friction which eventually offers high speed. But steel balls never get hot enough to deform or affect performances.
Finally, the ceramic bearings are lighter than steel bearings because the ceramic is less dense than steel. But the weight difference is so minimal that you won’t notice.
The downside of ceramic bearings is that ceramic itself is rigid and is susceptible to breaking, cracking, and chip if skated under high impact. Ceramic bearings have lower load capacities than metals and are sensitive to thermal shock. Hence they are not suitable for street skating wheels or transition wheels used for tricks, skating gaps, or stair sets.
Skaters loyal to ceramic bearings prefer them because they require less maintenance. They think of it as an investment since one set of ceramic could outlast 2 or even 3 of the steel mid-range price!
In Titanium bearings, the balls and the races are not made of Titanium; instead, they are made of steel but coated in Titanium Nitride. Titanium is lightweight, durable, and highly rust-resistant due to Titanium strength and resistance to corrosion. It is way tougher than steel but, unfortunately, way expensive as a raw material.
One downside of Titanium is that the coating will wear off gradually, and you’ll be back with old usual steel bearings, Titanium bearings need to be lubricated for high efficiency like other regular bearings.
Speed washers are tin metal rings, and usually, the skate bearings need speed washers or speed rings to stop the bearing from fouling on the axle nut or the hanger face. These rings are installed on the truck’s axel after the bearing and before the nut. At the same time, it’s in between the hanger and the bearing as well.
As the name suggests, speed washers play a vital role in reducing friction so the wheel can roll faster. For spacer, you only need to consider the axel diameter, and for skateboarding, you need 8 mm diameter speed washers. Some trucks also don’t have enough thread on the axle to tighten the nuts down if you don’t have speed rings. You might overtighten your axels without a bearing spacer for the inner race. That will slow down the bearings and wear them out super fast! Spacers also protect the bearing from damage if you tighten the nut hard enough.
If you don’t use spacers, you might lose the axle nut a bit for the wheels to spin freely. The wheel will be noisy during the ride, and the bearing will wear off quickly because the side-to-side play becomes too much for the bearing to take. Eventually, the bearing would explode, and the wheels fall off.
It is essential to put the bearing spacers in your wheels as they make bearings last longer and roll smoothly and quietly. Probably you won’t need to buy new ones for a long time as you can reuse them with a new set of bearings as well.
Skateboard Bearings Maintenance
If you have a low-priced bearing, cleaning them is a waste of time. A bearing cleaning set is almost as expensive as a new set of bearings. It’s better to replace them with new bearings. After all, new bearings are fast bearings.
If you are not sure how to clean the bearings, please refer to our complete guide on cleaning Wheel and Bearings. Avoid using WD40; it only attracts dust and removes the grease. Preferably re-lube your bearings with any silicon-based lube.
Skateboard Bearing: Assembly & Removal
If you are unsure how to mount your wheels on the trucks and how to install the bearings into your wheels in our Skateboard assembly, please refer to the comprehensive video below. Please ensure that you don’t use excessive force when inserting your bearings to avoid damaging the wheel core or bearing.
How TO Pry the Bearings Out OF Skate Wheels:
If your wheels are flatspot, but your bearings are still in working order, you can get them out from your wheels in a few easy steps.
- Firstly, place your deck on its side so that the axel points upwards.
- Next, loosen the axle nut and remove the top speed washer.
- After that, take the wheel off the axle and slightly reinsert it at an angle. You would be able to pry the bearing from the wheel core.
- Try not to apply too much force to avoid any bearing damage. It might take a little muscle, though.
Hopefully, this guide has discussed all the factors that would help you choose the best skateboard bearings for the price and your skateboarding style.
If you are a beginner or a casual skater, you might not need to invest in expensive bearings. Just buy quality, low-priced, ABEC 5 rated steel bearings as you are still learning and might damage the bearings.
Here are our top budget recommendations.
- Bones Reds – Best Value Bearings for Beginners
- Bronson Speed G3– Best for Street Skating
- Bones Big Balls Reds– Best Bearings for Longboard
- Heady Shake Pro– Good Bearing for Cruising
However, if you are a pro or do technical skating like sliding rails or ollieing, investing in some good quality expensive bearings wouldn’t hurt.