From Connor circa1990
The best bearings: The truth behind the secrecy.
The truth behind the best brand is...
IT DOESN'T EXIST!
Read this first
Lets lay down some basic info here:
- ABEC rating means nothing in skateboarding, only in manufacturing, automotive or other industry with high rotational speeds
- Materials used are far more important than ABEC rating for impact and longevity
- The grease or oil you use will affect you more than the materials or ABEC for speed
- Proper spacers and speed rings are 100% recommended in your setup and without them serious injury can occur (see below for explanation)
I'm not going to explain ABEC because google will do a better job than me so go look it up.
Skate rating means nothing as well because there is no standardized engineering society looking after it. What nobody seems to realize is that 608 bearings ARE NOT SKATEBOARD BEARINGS. They are in fact a standard size and shape that skateboards happen to use!
For materials the thing is that companies will not tell you what they are using...
but basics wise Chrome steel is the best, Carbon is second best and please don't use others including ceramic.
Ceramic materials are too hard to be used in impact driven sports like Longboarding and I know someone will say "not true man mine are awesome!" I'm happy for you but ceramic materials are too hard with not enough modulus to be effective against random impact and sidways forces. They have a tendancy to sieze, fracture or explode more often than metal bearings (Plus they are expensive and do almost nothing for you for the price). Ceramic bearing were made for the manufacturing and automotive industry for stationary parts only undergoing rotational forces. Ceramic 608 bearings are not made for us to use.
If your actually curious about which grades of steel are best for bearings heres a list from highest to lowest (stars indicate chance of corrosion from 1 to 5):
Ultra-High Content Carbon Steels *****
314*** (Cannot get a definitive answer from engineers on this one)
Clean your bearings often if you want to go fast
For the ultimate speed use bearing oil with Molybdenum diSulfide or dry lubricant with it.
Use standard bearing oil if you need it wont hurt anything.
For longevity use grease
The best grease uses Polyalphaolefin, also known as Polyolefin.
Lithium or fine synthetic is common and easy to find.
The best cleaning combonation you can use is to wash in Acetone (Toxic fumes warning) and then rinse in Isopropyl alochol (>93%). The acetone will harvest the dirt and oil from your bearings but will remain unless you rinse afterwards.
It is recommended to assemble your bearings with spacers and speed rings. Sliding can explode your bearing by popping out the inner race otherwise.
The cheapest bearings are bulk. My preference is for basic 608 chrome steel with nylon cages double sealed.
I use these because they have nylon cages which are awesome!
100 ABEC-7 skateboard/inline Skate Bearings:Nylon:Sealed:Ball Bearings:VXB
I like em and so do my friends they ship quickly and for pretty cheap (This coming from a Canadian ordering from California)
a cheaper CHROME STEEL
100 ABEC-7 Sealed Skateboard/inline/Rollerblade Skate Bearings:Ball Bearings:VXB
rustacular CARBON STEEL
100 608-2RS Skateboard/Inline Skate/Rollerblade/Hockey Bearings:Ball Bearings:VXB
Bam! Your now a pro.
Information on 608 bearings and materials thanks to mechanical and materials engineers
Lubricant and Cleaning solvents thanks to chemist professor
All names witheld upon request