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If you have to struggle in buying a skateboard deck because there are numerous sizes on the market, you won’t encounter that problem when buying a set of skateboard bearings. Though these rotating rings are pretty small, they play an important role in keeping your wheels rolling as fast as they can. 


A typical skateboard bearing consists of several parts and each part is crucial for the smooth operation of the whole bearing. Therefore, skaters are advised to understand the construction of skateboard bearings to pick the highest-quality product. 


Since the size is no longer a matter, your attention should be drawn to the quality and material. I don’t recommend any riders go for a cheap model of bearings since they are likely to break within some sessions or dirt and debris can easily enter and ruin your bearings. 


Like the other components of a skateboard, the price of bearings also goes wildly depending on whether you choose a steel or ceramic set, the rating of the products, etc. If you are feeling lost in buying a decent set of bearings, you have come to the right place. In this thread, you can find valuable information about how to choose the best skateboard bearings with the advice taken from pro skaters. 




First thing first, we have to get familiar with the components of a skateboard bearing before moving on with the buying guide. Moreover, all parts, even the smallest piece, are important to the operation of the bearings so skaters need to know what is missing when they come across any problems. 



The little rings making your wheels rotate smoothly include 7 pieces: the rubber seal, ball retainer, steel balls, inner and outer rings, bearing shield, and the C-ring. The rubber seal locates on the outermost of the bearings to protect them from dirt or any contaminating substances. The seal works like a little shield protecting the rotary structure from intruders. 


A typical bearing has from 6 to 7 steel or ceramic balls lying in the ball retainer which holds each ball in place. Your bearings won’t be capable of turning if they don’t have proper balls and these small balls are what make up the price. 


Next are the outer and inner rings that make the room for all the above pieces to stay together and the inner rings are where the axles go through your bearings. Lastly, the bearing shield works just like the rubber seal by preventing dirt and contaminating material from entering the bearings. However, the bearing shield is held in place with the help of the C-ring fitting into a groove. 




There is a standard for measuring the quality of skateboard bearings called ABEC rating. The scale of this rating runs from 1 to 9 and only takes odd numbers. The higher the ABEC rating you can get, the better your bearings will be. 


While the ABEC 1 is the cheapest model but less accurate, the ABEC 9+ is the fastest and usually used for downhill skating which requires insane speeds. Unfortunately, some factors like handling capabilities, materials, lubricant, noise, vibration, degree of balls, etc are not included in the ABEC rating. 


See also: best lubricant for skateboard bearings




Steel bearings are the most common but the quality of steel bearings varies from brand to brand. An inexpensive bearing usually lasts for a couple of weeks while the pricey one lasts so much longer. Moreover, cheap models tend to become rusty easily once they make contact with humidity or water. 



The premium option for skaters to have an extremely smooth ride and less friction must be ceramic bearings. Despite costing about $70 to $100 for ceramic bearings, these bearings last longer and won’t expand in the heat as compared to a $15 set of steel bearings. 


Don’t misunderstand that all parts in a ceramic bearing are made of ceramic but just the balls. Other components like the inner and outer rings are still made of steel but the quality of steel used for this type is definitely better than usual.


From what I know, ceramic bearings offer smoother rides and require less maintenance than steel bearings. However, skaters need to consider their needs carefully because a $100 expense for skateboard bearings is not a small amount of money. 




Speed washers and bearing spacers are additional parts for your bearings; however, it is not compulsory to attach these items to yours. If you intend to skate at high speeds or require an extremely smooth ride or evenly distributed weight while performing, these optional complements will be great supporters


In case these parts sound strange to you, you can spend some minutes reading the brief explanation at SkateAdvisors about the structures of them as well as how they work in supporting your bearings. 


Information of SkateAdvisors:


- Phone: (1) 646-707-4551

- Address: 902 Avenue C, Brooklyn, NY 11218, United States

- Email:
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