Bearings are part of almost all kinds of machinery. These are used to reduce friction of all kinds. In skateboarding bearings are metal rollers or balls that bear the load of the skater to allow for a smooth spin.
Skateboards come with 2 bearings. If you feel you need a smoother spin you can fill the gap between the two bearings with a spacer. The spacer is a small metal cylinder hold the bearings in place when tightening the axle nut. Most skateboard bearings are compatible with almost every model. This makes selecting bearings a smooth task.
Where do bearings fit in?
In the wheel the bearings sit in the hanger, wheels, axle, speed ring, spacer and axle nut.
What is ABEC rating?
All kinds of bearings including the skateboard bearings come with an ABEC rating. The rating indicates the tolerance level of the bearings. You can find this mark on the bearing or sometimes on the package that the bearing comes in. There are 5 levels of ABEC rating – ABEC 1, ABEC 2, ABEC 3, ABEC 5, ABEC 7 and ABEC 9. Although bearings have this rating, you need to know that it is exclusive to industrial machinery and of not any importance to skateboard bearings. The ABEC rating does not guarantee greater speed.
When do I need new skateboard bearings?
You will need skateboard bearings if you feel you ride is getting rough. Sometimes if you feel like the skateboard is slow even after a cleaning it means it’s time for replacement. But the funny things is most bearings won’t slow you down unless they are completely trashed. Slow speed can result from other factors such as an over tight axle.
You need new skateboard bearings if
- The bearings have rusted. This happens when you don’t clean them after skating in wet conditions.
- The bearings have become rough and too difficult to be cleaned
- If you feel a new set of bearings will improve your skating
When it comes to skateboarding you don’t need another person to tell you if you need to change anything about your board. This is entirely intuitive and experiential. Only you can tell about the ease and comfort of skateboarding. If you feel that there is room for improvement in the design you can invest in quality bearings to enjoy a faster and smoother spin.