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Best Skateboard Bearings 2018 Update

best skateboard bearings

What Is The Purpose Of Skateboard Bearings?

Skateboard bearings are metal pieces that fit to the axle on skateboards. They allow the wheels to move without jamming. Without bearings, the modern skateboard simply could not function. It is important that the quality of a skateboard’s bearings be considered before purchasing the board itself. Alternatively, bearings can also be purchased separately and fitted to a skateboard. Some of the best skateboard bearings are designed to deliver better acceleration and movement of the skateboard. They are normally the same in size but can differ in value and condition. Many bearing companies will also lubricate their bearing parts before they are shipped to retail stores.

What to Look for When Buying the Best Skateboard Bearings

Bearings are typically sold in eight sets, with each wheel needing two a piece. They are measured using a standard known as an ABEC rating. If the bearing has a high ABEC rating, it will be more precise and accurate in its performance. Grades on the ratings system include scales of 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9. The ratings system does not determine the carrying capacity of the wheels and bearings. Density of the metal and ball accuracy is also not measured. Each rating number is described as the following:

ABEC 1 – These bearings are inexpensive but deliver the least amount of accuracy. The steel used in such will consist of lower quality and will need to be replaced faster than others with higher ratings.

ABEC 3 – They are slightly better than ABEC 1 bearings yet remain similar in longevity and durability.

ABEC 5 – This is the standard rating for most skateboard bearings. They allow the wheels to move at accepted speed and will be affordable to most consumers seeking a replacement.

ABEC 7 – Bearings get faster and smoother at this level. The average price could be higher than what is typically found in ordinary bearings.

ABEC 9 – Bearings of level 9 or higher are the best in precision, speed, and hardness of the steel. They will excel when traveling on the board and are great for skaters who are accustomed to going fast.

It should be noted that some bearing manufacturers do not list ABEC ratings on their products. For those that do not, potential buyers should research the best skateboard bearings in question to ensure that it is of good quality. In its premise, the ABEC rating simply shows the process quality in which the bearings are manufactured.

Skateboard Bearing Components


Bearings are small and lightweight but very complex in design. Before they are bought, it is recommended for consumers to familiarize themselves with each individual part so that installation will be easier. Listed are common pieces that make up the bearings:

Bearing shield – These are found on the sides of the bearings and block sediment and grime from collecting inside the ball bearings.

Balls – Ball bearings are in sets of six to seven ceramic or steel balls and are located on the inside of the ball retainer. They are the pieces that make the casings spin.

C-ring – It goes into the crevice on the outer portion of the bearing and attaches to the shields.

Outer bearing ring – All of the bearing components will go into this piece.

Inner ring – Found inside of the outer ring, this is the smallest out of the other three ring pieces. It also goes through the axles when setup is being performed.

Rubber seal – Protects the bearing insides from debris and dust. It goes along the exterior of the bearing.

Bearing Types

Additionally, bearings can be made of two types of materials that each have an advantage over the other:

Steel bearings

Steel bearings are common on most skateboards and are strong and long lasting. However, due to intense friction around the axle and wheels, steel bearings have a tendency to become hot. This results in expanding the bearings overtime. Proper maintenance and cleaning will slow the rate of expansion and add years of life to the metal bearings and their small individual pieces. Owners should be sure to never use water when cleaning, an easy route to the bearings becoming inundated with rust that will make them unusable.

Ceramic bearings

Not all bearings are prone to heating. Those made of ceramic materials are not affected by heat and use silicon to produce a smoother ride for the owner. Friction can be less than steel bearings and they will not expand in the same manner as their metal counterparts.

Best Skateboard Bearings:

Yellow Jacket Premium Skateboard Bearings

Best Skateboard Bearings 2018 Update

Yellow Jacket Premium Skateboard Bearings come in many different colors and have good precision during fast moves and curves. They can be used in both skateboards and longboards. As with most bearings, they come pre-lubricated with racing lubricant and have low friction. The seals are engraved and colored so that dirt can be easily seen when cleaning is needed. These are built for skaters who like to go fast. Furthermore, Yellow Jacket inspects each set before the product is shipped. They claim that the bearings will last longer than their competitors and will not rust under moist conditions. If users like bearings that have a rainbow of shades, these should add lots of flair to the look of any skateboard.

ABEC Rating – 9

Longboard Compatible – Yes

Pre-Lubricated – Yes

Heady Shake Pro Skateboard Bearings

Best Skateboard Bearings 2018 Update

Heady Shake Pro Skateboard Bearings are top shelf and include eight bearings, four spacers, and stickers for the board. While they are marketed for use with roller skates and longboards, skateboarders will surely see better (and faster) results once these are placed on the axles of any board. Lubricated before sold, they have quiet rotation that will not move loudly yet retain a high rate of spin. Regular use coupled with periodic maintenance will enable them to last for a long time. They are designed in either a gold/bronze or black exterior fitting; easy on the eyes and matched with exemplary functionality. For professional and beginner skaters alike, Heady Shake Pro has created highly rated bearings that will look and feel exquisite on any skateboard.

ABEC Rating – 9

Longboard Compatible – Yes

Pre-Lubricated – Yes

Bones Reds Bearings

Best Skateboard Bearings 2018 Update

Bone Red Bearings are among the bestselling skateboard bearings in North America. The rubber shields are easy to remove when cleaning or repairs are needed. They have little friction and will perform well at high speeds. The bearings are also lubricated before being sold and retail at a good price for the level of precision they will allow during high-speed movements downhill. If affordability is a top concern, Bones Red Bearings offers a solid bearing set and will satisfy the everyday skater. Even without an ABEC rating, reviews have been mostly positive from those who have used these bearings to upgrade an old set.

ABEC Rating – No

Longboard Compatible – Yes

Pre-Lubricated – Yes

About the author

James

James

James is a fitness expert who enjoys biking, swimming, and weight lifting. He is training to complete his first triathlon this fall!