The thrill and excitement that comes with inline skating start the moment you push off. The speed of the wheel, and how long the wheel spins before you make another push adds spice to the thrill. However, the fun dies off the moment you push and notice that your wheel isn’t rolling out as fast as it should. At this point, if you are an experienced skater the first place your mind will go to is the bearings of your skates. Hence, it is essential to have basic knowledge of bearings for skates should yours become faulty and you want to change, you will know what to look out for.
Roller skate wheel bearings are the brain behind the rolling out of Inline skates. They are found within the wheel hub of inline skates as they allow the wheels it to roll. Each roller wheel consists of two bearings. That is to say, the Inline skates will have 12 to 20 bearings in it. Which means two bearings per wheel. The most common 16 bearings for 8 wheels.
Generally, bearings consist of five components which include the shield, inner race, balls, retainer, and outer race. The shield protects the bearing from dirt, the inner race is the inner diameter of the bearing, the balls enable the bearing movement, the retainer holds the ball in place to prevent it from falling off whenever the bearing is unsealed, and the outer race is the external part of the bearing that connects with the wheel.
Previously, the precision and tolerance of all bearings were rated based on the Annular Bearing Engineer’s Committee (ABEC) standard. However, the case is different now. Not all bearings are measured using the ABEC standard. Some are measured using the International Standard Organization (ISO) standard, while some others are measured using Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN). The difference in the three standards is the region they operate. While ABEC is the American standard, DIN is the European standard, and ISO is the international standard. However, they all work to achieve a similar goal, and no one is superior to the other. There are also great bearings of TWINCAM brand with their own standard ILQ.
Guidelines for buying Inline bearings
The quality of your Inline wheel bearing determines the duration in which your wheel can roll out. Hence, it is very important to select the bearing for your inline skates carefully. Here’s a list of key factors to note when buying a bearing:
Material:Steel and ceramics are the two major materials used in the production of bearings. However, steel bearings are more common. Although steel is a good material, bearings made from hard carbon steel and beaten metal sheet are inferior and will not last long. The suggested steel types for producing bearings are Chrome, Swiss, and Titanium. Ceramics bearings are made from Silicon Nitride an industrial ceramic. Ceramic ball bearings are resistant to corrosion and are stronger than steel bearings.
Tolerance rating:This is the precision rate of the bearing. Most brands use the ABEC standard to rate the precision of their bearings. However, brands like bones are exceptions. When calculating the tolerance rate of bearings using the ABEC standard, the greater the ABEC number the better the efficacy and speed. ISO and DIN are the opposite of ABEC. The lower their number, the better their efficacy and speed.
Size:Older bearings are 7mm while the most recent ones are 8mm. To simply identify the different sizes, 7mm bearings have 627 written on them while 8mm have 608 written on them. Don't worry, all bearings on our website are 8mm (the only size that is used nowadays in inline skates and most popular for roller skates).
Lubrication:Bearings make use of grease or oil as lubricants. Using Oil as lubricant produces great speed but needs maintenance regularly while using grease results in lesser speed with little or no maintenance. This is because grease is more resistant to water and dirt than oil. So, the choice is yours to make. However, note that bearings should never be out of oil to avoid loss of speed, melting, or complete blockage.
Shield:Inline skate bearings are made from metal or Nylon shields. Bearings made from metal shields are most times sealed and that makes it difficult to clean and lubricate. However, nylon shields are removable and easy to clean. Hence, they improve the efficiency of the bearings.
When it comes to choices, people choose things for different reasons. We’ve listed the guidelines on buying Inline wheel bearings. Now it’s up to you to decide which you want to buy. Note that the greater the quality of the Inline wheel bearing, the higher the price.
Our Inline Wheel bearings
If you are still confused about where to get quality Inline wheel bearings, check out some quality and budget-friendly wheel bearings online from our list of rollerblading accessories and skate parts. Affordable brands, and worldwide shipping.