Skateboard Buyers Guide

Ball bearings

Buy skateboard bearings at Stoked

Without bearings skating is impossible. They are the rolling elements in your wheels. They connect the wheel to the axle and make sure your wheel can turn. You mount two bearings per wheel. Ball bearings have a uniform standard size, but are available in different brands, precision and colours. To ensure quality, the whole range is thoroughly tested and approved by the Stoked Team!

Properties of a skate bearing

A ball bearing consists of an outer ring and a ball cage containing balls. These are small balls that ensure that the entire bearing rotates. In the middle is an inner ring that fits perfectly around your shaft. On the side of the bearing is usually a shield that protects the balls from dirt.

All skateboards bearings you can find at Stoked are thoroughly tested on speed and durability. These are also called skate-rated bearings Also called skate-rated bearings. They are extra reinforced to absorb impact and more resistant to incoming dirt.

To get more out of your ball bearings, we recommend to clean them regularly with A Bearing Cleaner.

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What does the ABEC-value mean?

ABEC stands for Annular Bearing Engineers Committee. This is a standard for how finely the ball bearings are made. The higher the ABEC value, the lower the margin of error in their manufacture. This uniform measure is especially applicable to bearings used in machines. Here they make 20 to 30 thousand revolutions per minute.

In order to achieve this, you would have to skate at around 200 km/h. So the full capacity is never used. That is why, in addition to the ABEC value, the strength and durability of the bearing is also important. Factors such as vibration, noise, lateral and upward pressure and lubrication also play an important role.

Some manufacturers therefore use more high-quality and durable materials such as titanium and ceramic. These cost a bit more, but are more resistant to the impact of street skating.

What are skateboard bearings made of?

Most bearings are made of steel. To make sure they don't break down so easily, some manufacturers prefer other materials. Because of this, shocks, incoming dirt or rust will cause less damage to the bearing.

Steel

Most bearings are made out of steel. The strength and durability of the material varies from brand to brand. The rule of thumb is: the higher the quality of the material used and the more precise the manufacture, the more expensive the bearings. Cheaper bearings generally break down faster. Especially when skating hard with heavy impact. If you have been skating for a while, a higher priced skate is more than worth the investment.

Titanium

Titanium bearings are lighter, stronger and more durable than the usual stainless steel bearings. This ensures that the bearings can handle more pressure at high impact. Because of this, both the upward and sideways force can be better guided and absorbed. Besides that, titanium bearings are completely rust free. Titanium bearings are a bit more expensive, but you will get something for it.

Ceramic

The fastest and most durable bearings use ceramic material. This material is much stronger, rust free and provides less friction. These balls are a lot lighter, so you can accelerate faster and skate faster. Ceramic balls are also much harder than steel. Incoming dirt will not affect them. They are so hard that the bearing keeps polishing itself. In this way ceramic bearings provide themselves with a self-healing property.

Ceramics are also temperature resistant. They do not expand at higher temperatures, which ensures a smooth rotation.

In short, ceramic bearings are a bit pricier, but roll faster and last incredibly long.

What are Swiss Bearings?

Many manufacturers also have 'Swiss Bearings' in their product range. These skateboard bearings are made with more precision and care. Originally, Bones had their Swiss Bearings made in Switzerland, with extra precision and professionalism.

Over the years, several brands now use the name 'Swiss' to indicate their highest quality. This does not mean that they are necessarily made in Switzerland. Swiss bearings are often a bit more expensive, but loved by a lot of skaters who like to go fast.

Your favorite brands: Bones Bearings, Andalé, Shake Junt, and many others.

Good bearings are very important! They give you the necessary speed and resist enormous forces. That's why we only select high quality products of top brands.

Bones Bearings has been around for years and is a core skateboard company. Besides bearings, they are also known for their wheels and bushings. Because of the years of experience and true skate vision, many skaters swear by this brand.

Also Andalé, a young and dynamic brand, founded by Joey Brezinski and Paul Rodriguez, makes skate bearings of excellent quality. Speed and durability are their characteristics.

Companies like Shake Junt, Grizzly, Shorty's have also been on the scene for years with excellent skateboard bearings. Brands like Mini-Logo and Rush also have cheaper variants. Despite the fact that they are not as well known and cost less, they offer a decent price/quality ratio.

No matter which bearing you choose, you can't make a wrong choice from our range. We only work with bearing manufacturers that guarantee quality and that we are satisfied with. Tested and approved by the Stoked team.

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Spacers and washers - what are they and what are they for?

Some bearings come with spacers and washers. The latter are also standard on the trucks. Some skaters always use them, others never do. So they are optional parts with your bearings.

The spacersAlso called spacers, are metal cylinders that you put between the two bearings. They keep the bearings bearings in place at high speeds and distribute the pressure equally between the two bearings. Spacers are optional and not necessary for skating. We do recommend them if you have a harder skating style. Unlike bearings, spacers do not have a standard size. Some are a bit wider than others. So make sure the spacers fit your wheels properly. If not, it is better to leave them out. As said before, the use of spacers is a personal choice.

The thin iron washers that come standard on your trucks are called washers. They make sure that the bearings have less friction against the axle and the axle nut. This makes them accelerate and turn better. Therefore it is recommended to install these washers. When tightening the axle nut, it is also best to make sure that you have half a mm of play. This way you are sure that there is enough space so your wheels can turn perfectly.

Cleaning and maintaining bearings

If you want to get the most out of your bearings, we recommend you to clean them regularly. When you maintain them well, you can use the same bearings for years.
To clean them you should use a mineral, citrus degreaser or acetone. With the help of a cloth and cotton buds you can remove a lot of dirt, without damaging the bearing.

More questions?

Are there still things unclear? Do you still have a few extra questions? Don't hesitate to contact us via chat, phone or mail. Or come visit us in our shop.

Pieter-Willem Ots
Pieter-Willem Ots

Founder Stoked Boardshop • Loves Snowboarding, Skateboarding and always happy to help.

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