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What Do Skateboard Bearings Do for Your Wheels

04 October 2020 | 0 comments | Posted by Lillian Mclean in Athletes

Importance of skateboard bearings

One skateboard wheel usually comes with two skateboard bearings – round metal parts that fit inside the wheels to keep the skateboard functioning as smoothly as possible. Regardless of the wheel's size, bearings follow universal measurements of 8mm x 22 mm x 7 mm (core x outer diameter x width).

Skateboard bearings are an essential part of a skateboard, as this controls how quickly the wheels rotate. An entire skateboard would need one set of eight bearings since each wheel needs two. Having sensible bearings ensures a bump-free and safe ride.

When choosing skateboard bearings, beginners can opt for entry-level bearings. On the other hand, those with more experience and advanced skills can go for tighter and faster bearings that can allow them to ride as hard as they want. Bearings with higher quality and durability are often also more expensive, while entry-level ones are more affordable.

What Are the Components of a Skateboard Bearing

Skateboard bearings consist of one large outer ring, a smaller inner ring, and small steel balls in between. These tiny balls are what allows the wheels to turn. On the outer part, on both sides of the rings, are protective covers known as shields.

This feature prevents the whole mechanism from accumulating dirt. Also, within the skateboard bearing is a ball cage that keeps that steel balls in place. The outermost part of the bearing features a C-ring that holds the shield in place.

To summarize, the parts of a skateboard bearing are:

  • C-ring
  • Shield
  • Inner Ring
  • Outer Ring
  • Ball
  • Ball Cage
  • Shield

What are ABEC Ratings?

ABEC ratings measure the accuracy and precision of a given bearing. This rating system makes use of grades to determine the levels of different bearings. However, it is worth noting that this system does not consider quality factors like material Rockwell hardness, ball precision, ball and raceway polishing degree, load handling capabilities, vibration, noise, and lubrication.

ABEC grade levels are as follows:

  • ABEC 1
  • ABEC 3
  • ABEC 5
  • ABEC 7
  • ABEC 9+

ABEC 1 bearings are the cheapest, most crude, and inaccurate, while ABEC 9+ offers the fastest and smoothest performance. It is perfect for downhill and speed skaters. The ideal type of skateboard bearing for beginners is ABEC 5, while those who want to enjoy reasonable speed may go for ABEC 7.

When purchasing skateboard bearings, you can check out buying guides to help you choose the right product depending on your budget, riding style, and skill level. ABEC ratings shouldn't be the sole basis when buying, though. You must also check the overall quality and performance, speed, material, safety, price, and design.

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