For those who are confused of longboard bearings, they can make the wheel turn which forces the longboard to move. These tiny steel or ceramic balls act as the connector between the fixed trucks and spinning wheels. Despite their modest size, bearings have an undeniable effect on speed, precision and flexibility of maneuvers when using longboards. With an average investment about two numbers, choosing the best longboard bearings always is a difficult task for any players.
Although almost bearings have the standard size to fit any kinds of longboard, there still are many types of bearings on the current market. The wide range of choices can make the buyer undecided to pick up the suitable ones. That’s why we are here to expose you to the details of how to find out your best bearings for longboard:
- Bearings materials
- Rule to have good bearings for life
- Suggestion for bearings of different styles riding
Remember it is never easy and quick to choose your own perfect bearings. So please read the review and then consider my recommendations carefully. Hope my understanding can help you.
Battle of materials – Steel vs Ceramic
Before anything else, let me introduce the main features of bearings. Every longboard bearings are shaped in the form of the rings with tiny steel balls inside which work in unison with the fixed axle of the truck and the inner hub of the wheel. They have 5 parts: shield, inner race, balls, retainer and outer race. An outer and inner race holding the 7 balls which are put in retainer cages are protected by a rubber or metal shield.
The most important part is the balls and most of them are made of steel or ceramic. The battle between two materials has gone up for a long time. Ceramics are at advantage over steels for some factors. First, they are less affected by heat which allows the wheels to spin at higher speeds. Second, ceramic bearings producing friction at lower level can make players ride more smoothly. Third, ceramics usually have longer life span than steel. The only downside of this material is its astronomical price – around $100.
Meanwhile, steel bearings seem to fit the majority of longboard community with their low cost, fast spinning and disposability. Despite being indispensable part of longboard, basic bearings with acceptable price will do fine. If you are trying to break the world record, investing in the highest quality like ceramics is better option.
Rule of thumb to have your best bearings
1. The ABEC rating system: The ABEC rating is described as the measure of the tolerance of longboard bearings. Bearings with higher tolerance means a greater revolution per minute (RPM) of the wheel. The ABEC scale has five scores of ABEC 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 with an ABEC 9 bearing being the best. It is regarded as the helpful tool for players to pick up right bearings.
However, in fact, the ABEC rating system is probably the most misleading quality of the bearings market. The scale is often considered a standard measurement of the tolerances of a bearing, it is not the case if the bearing is able to spin faster or accelerate faster. For example, people may think that the ABEC scale that an ABEC 5 bearing is worse than an ABEC 7 bearing due to the smaller number; when in fact these bearings would make no differences in a skateboard whatsoever. Even the ABEC bearings may as well cause to odd feelings when used in the skateboard. Consequently, some companies famous for their high quality products, Like Bones Bearings, relay on their own classifications.
Therefore, you must be careful when using ABEC system. Consult it but do not depend entirely.
2. Bearing Spacers: Almost all bearings come with spacers. Spacers which keep the balls stay inside the grooves, not only allow you to tighten down the axle nuts well but also make the wheels spin smoother and quieter. In addition, it can somewhat reduce the stress on bearings and wheels when you ride that prolong the life of longboard’s features.
So, as the mission of bearings is to bring the least amount of friction, spacers are key parts you need to have better speed and smoothness. Do not skip thesecomponents if you want to enjoy great experience of longboard riding.
3. Bearing Lubrication: Best bearings are all about maintaining minimal friction. So it probably makes sense by this point that quality racing lubricants designed to work with the material of the bearing will result in a smoother and better performing ride. Remember that higher quality bearings are supposed to last longer special attention is always in need for top performance of the bearings. Therefor if you don’t want to change the bearings too often, regular maintain is on effective way to put into your personal note.
THE BEST BEARINGS FOR CRUISING
As I have said above, unless you have no intention of following the professional way, basic bearings are the right choice. On the other hand, pay attention to the longevity of longboard and pick up the durable bearings.
Here are some suggestions for you:
1. Bones Reds Bearings
Bones Reds are the head and shoulders skate bearing brand in the USA that allowsyou to ride on any terrains. The bearings feature single, non-contact, removable rubber shield for easy maintenance and less friction; with a high speed nylon ball retainer for improve endurance and speed.
Besides, the set are impressive with Speed Cream racing lubricant, added to a set of eight, manuals and logo sticker.
There may be some higher performing bearings for your choice, but Bones Reds is the best at this price-point. This true classicwill never let you down.
2. Seismic 8mm Tekton Bearings
Seismic Bearings are designed with top speed spinning wheels due to the precise contact patch between the bearings. One set contains 8 ABEC -7 rated bearings with integral flanged half-spacers. For each bearings, there are steel ball, nylon retainers, black outer casing, removable rubber-coated steel with printed graphic, and proprietary lubricant for oil and grease.
THE BEST DOWNHILL BEARINGS
Like the bearings for cruising, any expensive ceramic bearings are out of my top choices. Besides, I recommend some acceptable bearings with good spacers.These bearings require the least amount of parts and have remarkable endurance.
1. Bones Reds Race Bearings with spacers built in.
Made from the top quality steel, Bones Reds Race bearings are the best for and speedsters. The bearings are equipped with removable high-speed nylon ball and non-contact rubber shield. Additionally, they have extended race replaces to make it easy to clean and lubricate. Extended race also contributes to perfect alignment for greater speed and axle reinforcement.
2. Zealous Built-In Bearings
The new set of 8 Zealous bearings will make you the champion down the hill with their 8mm axle hole and ArchoilNanoceramic Grease. The most outstanding feature of the bearings is their Green rubber seals that keep dirt and debris on the outside of the bearings, while the inside is perfectly protected from all kind of erosion.
THE BEST FREERIDE BEARINGS
In my opinion, Bear Space Balls Bearings would suit you anytime, because they are so smooth, and yet so endurable. Their non-contact labyrinth seals keep the dirt away from the bearings, while minimizing drag. Besides, they also have built-in spacers for better alignment and stability.
The wide range of bearings makes it practical impossible to lean on only one brand for every event. You should bear in mind that Bearings are indispensable in longboard, as they can improve your riding experience to peak. Hope that review can useful for you on the way to find your own perfect longboards