Bearings - Buying Advice
Skates.co.uk has the parts you need to replace or upgrade your scooter, skates or board. With wheel bearings for skates and scooters, our range is as individual as you are. Don't worry if your product isn't the same brand as the accessory you wish to purchase, most bearings come as a standard size (608) to fit any scooter, skateboard or pair of skates.ﾠ
What are bearings?Bearings are the seven or eight balls at the center of each wheel.
There are serviceable and non-serviceable bearings:
- Serviceable bearings have a metal shield with a removable "C" ring, or a plastic/rubber removable shield. These may be taken apart to be cleaned, lubricated or replaced.
- Non-serviceable bearings have a metal shield that protects them. These only need to be wiped off with a clean cloth.
We stock a range of Steel and Ceramic bearings:
- STEEL - Bearings are circular in shape with flat sides. Each one houses seven or eight lubricated balls (ceramic bearings have nine), which are designed to disperse the weight of a load and ease tension between the wheels and the axle. These balls are typically made of steel for durability and economical purposes. For most riders, steel bearings will work fine. Unfortunately, the energy caused by heavy friction between the axle and the wheels can heat up the metal, causing it to expand and render the bearings ineffective. Be careful to keep your bearings clean, lubricated and dry, and theyﾒll work better and last much longer.
- CERAMIC - Skate companies recognized a need for bearings that were less affected by heat energy and began offering ceramic bearings for more discerning riders. Ceramic bearings, made from a compound called silicon nitride, are smoother and harder than their steel counterparts. This means much less friction to begin with (these bearings have little need for lubricant); however, should friction occur, the ceramic material doesnﾒt expand, so there is no effect on the skateboardﾒs performance. As usual, higher performance comes at a higher price; but many skaters will tell you that ceramic bearings are well worth the premium.
What does ABEC mean and is this important?
Bearings often have an ABEC rating, and skaters are often confused about what this means.
An ABEC Rating refers to the grade of the bearing in reference to smoothness and noise (or lack of). ABEC stands for Annular Bearing Engineers' Committee, and is the American method for rating the accuracy and tolerance of bearings. ABEC standards are set by the American Bearing Manufacturers Association (ABMA).
Each bearing has an ABEC rating that indicates the precision of their manufacturing. The higher the rating, the more precise the manufacture and the better the performance and speed. The general ABEC range is ABEC-1 through to ABEC-9, although bearings are not always measured by ABEC.
Which one is right for me?
There are a wide range of bearings available; here are some important things to keep in mind when choosing yours.
- Sizeﾠ- 99% of all scooters, skates and boards use 608 sized bearings. All of the bearings we sell are this size.ﾠ
- Money - You don't want to spend more than is necessary, however the quality of a product can be discerned by the cost. The more expensive ones are actually made with a better sealing, more inner ball-bearings and higher quality metals. The higher the cost, the better quality you are likely to get, as with most things!
- Skill Level - All are suitable for beginners and recreational riders, but for anyone more experienced simply wanting to move along with less effort, we would strongly recommend purchasing a higher rated bearing.
Your bearings do not need to be cleaned after every use, but if they become wet or you find dirt / sand lodged in the bearings, they should be cleaned and dried.
Ability and Age
Every type of bearing is suitable for any age and ability level. Higher end products will tend to have higher quality bearings which are designed to take more of a beating.
You will need to notify us if there are any major defects when you first receive your product. There is typically a 90 day warranty on parts, this does not cover normal wear and tear. Once a product has been used the supplier will not usually replace the entire item. We will look at this on a case by case basis to determine the nature of defect or damage and make every effort to provide the best overall customer experience.