Best Longboard Bearings For 2020: Buying Guide & Reviews [Updated]
When longboarding, did it ever cross on your mind why you aren’t getting a smooth & enjoyable ride despite having high quality wheels or a great board? So here is the game changer. Only best longboard bearings can be trusted for a perfect riding experience.
In a Hurry? Here are our 3 Elite Picks:
#Champion: Bones Red
#Runner Up: Bones Super Swiss 6
#Most Valuable: Bronson G3
Best Bearings For Longboard Comparison Table
Bones Super Swiss 6
Bones Super Reds
Oust Bearing MOC 9
Bones Ceramic Super Red
Top Longboard Bearings Reviews
Our Rating: Best bearings for roller skates
1. Best bang for your bucks
2. Super furnished steel balls & races
3. Skate rated design
4. Simple cleaning & maintenance
5. Long lasting
1. No spacers included
2. Insufficient packaging
Bones reds skateboard bearings come from the best selling skate bearing brand in the USA. They are considered by many as the best longboard bearings for cruising.
What abec are bones reds? Instead of ABEC rating, Bones use the term “skate rated” to provide the highest quality skate bearings.
They make a great combination of performance, durability & low cost. You can expect clearances, tolerances, materials and lubricant to be at their very best so you can get the smoothest ride.
Let’s dig deeper into this Bones Reds Bearings review to get more insights.
The box includes a set of 8 bearings, instructions & a logo sticker. Unfortunately for you, there will be no spacers.
Nylon ball retainer is a great inclusion for high speed & greater strength. Single rubber shield does what it is supposed to do, reduces friction. Besides, it allows you to take the shield out of the bearings easily so you can properly clean them.
Although, reds skateboard bearings are pre-lubricated with speed cream, we still suggest you to purchase extra lubricants. Proper lubrication can greatly increase the shelf life of your bearings.
Pushing on your skateboard requires minimal effort. They are very easy to install.
It works well on all types of surfaces. Riding is super smooth. A bit of cleaning & putting some bearing lube can make sure they roll forever. Lubes are pretty cheap, so no worries.
If you’re looking to get the best bearings without spending a fortune on it then Bones reds bearings longboard is the winner.
You can use them for mini cruiser, skateboard & longboard, literally they roll well with any type of board.
Bones put on a “skate rated“ sticker on their packaging to prove their authenticity. Their products are thoroughly inspected before shipping.
Still, if you don’t find the sticker on it, directly contact with bones for help.
Our Rating: Best longboard bearings for distance
1. Long lasting & durable
2. Removable rubber shield for easy cleaning
3. Pre-lubricants used
4. Lifetime warranty
5. Skate rated bearings
6. Unique 6 ball bearing design
1. Pricey option
2. Fitting bones super swiss ceramic bearings straight inside the wheel can feel tough to some skaters. We suggest you to tighten your wheel nuts with a bit more force
If you’re looking for 3 attributes in your bearings: greater strength, faster acceleration & higher speed, Bones Super Swiss 6 bearings shall be your first choice then.
Such a drastic improvement in terms of performance, you will be able to feel the effects almost immediately. And the manufacturer deserves a standing ovation for such as innovative design.
Bones Super Swiss bearings use six larger diameter balls (8 mm).
Mostly, we get to see 7 balls used in 608 standard bearings. So this is a bit unusual but it helps. The larger balls help in minimizing the drag while retaining high speed.
Bones Super Swiss 6 competition skate bearings feature a rubber shield that is easy to remove and clean. You can easily wipe out all dirts and dusts that build up to cause damage to bearings.
Due to the fact that ball retainer is made of high speed nylon, it also allows for greater strength & speed.
Another good thing about Bones, they always lube their bearings with a racing lubricant. They make sure you can start skating straight out of the box.
Moreover, clearance, tolerance, materials & lubricant are all skate rated so you can get most out of your bearings.
Also keep in mind, there is lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.
Before finishing Bones Super Swiss 6 review, here is a little brief about what to expect from these bearings
Bones make the best bearings and that is for sure.
You can be someone who won’t be required to go to any sports store to change bearings for years, if taken proper care. They roll smooth, fast & quite a long distance.
Yes, it may take a while to break in but they are really fantastic.
To be honest if you compare with Super Reds, you will be able to break in Bones Super Swiss rather quickly. It generates less noise & you will experience lower rolling resistance.
Our Rating: Best longboard bearings for heavy riders
1. Reduced side impact damage & breakage
2. Linear microgroove surface improves lubrication, speed & spin
3. Balls out technology
4. Easy to clean
5. Straight edge frictionless shields
They are LOUD
When it comes to mentioning of technologically the most advanced bearings, Bronson Speed Co G3 bearings have certainly made a name for themselves at such a quick time.
With deep groove raceways, balls roll very deep into the channel. It reduces side impact damage & breakage. These grooves make sure the lubrication doesn’t pile up in front of each ball, instead it is evenly distributed around ball bearings.
The cage is designed in a way that the balls can retain oil underneath them. And frictionless shields with straight edge keep dirt & moisture away so you can count for an easy cleaning process.
Another good feature of Bronson G3 is the linear microgroove surfaces. They can improve speed, spin & lubrication to deliver the best performance.
There is also a technology called “balls out” which makes sure there is no contact between cage & shield when going for a fast ride.
These Bronson Bearings G3 will give you a smooth ride with zero headache. Not to forget, the design of the cage is for maximum impact protection & it won’t distort easily
Before closing out Bronson Speed Co bearings review, here is a little brief that might help you in taking decision.
Overall, they will be a pretty good choice if you’re searching for a bearing that comes with spacers & washers. Shields can keep sand and dirt out. Less maintenance is required.
No rough edges on the cage as it can prove to be a snag on the inner/outer race. They roll very fast with minimal friction.
Do you know Kyle Wester who had set the world record in downhill riding at 143.89 km / h (89.41 miles) used bronson bearings?
Our Rating: Best bearings for beginners
1. Unique 7 different color seals
2. 100% money back guarantee
3. Low friction
4. Smooth & fast spinning
5. ABEC rated
6. Long lasting quality
1. Can be noisy at times
2. Tightening bearings into the wheels require special attention. Double check to see if there is any wobble
Many of us fear if they go for less expensive bearing brands, they might need to compromise with durability & performance.
Well, it can be true at times but certainly not with these yellow Jacket premium bearings.
Not only they are durable & high performing but also come at a not so expensive price. And the credit goes to German manufacturing company, Yellow Jacket for introducing the most precision bearing in the world.
Yellow jacket skateboard bearings use premium quality steel material to maximize performance. The precision level of spinning is literally unmatched. As a result, it gives you smooth gliding irrespective of the terrain you deal with.
Ball retainer comes as pre-lubricated with high speed racing lube. So you can use them right out of the box, no lubing is needed on your part.
Bearings come with seals to protect themselves from all sort of impurities and it extends the shelf life.
Plus, don’t get fooled by the name, yellow jacket. It comes with 7 different color seals & you can choose according to your likings.
They go toe to toe with Bones Swiss Ceramics. Whereas most of the racing bearings cost pretty high but yellow jacket bearing comes at a good price that you can afford.
Besides, they last longer & glide further distances while retaining their high speed.
Customer service is excellent. They respect the opinion of their customers. If you’re not 100% satisfied with what you’ve been offered then you can return the product and get full refund. It is hassle free.
Overall, they run very smooth and improvement in speed is noticeable. They are ABEC rated bearings. Rolling time is quite longer so you will be able to reserve your energy.
Upon opening the package, when you get to see bearings are already lubricated, it will definitely please you.
Our Rating: Fastest abec bearings
1. Quality for the price
2. Suitable for all skateboards & longboards
3. Plastic steel shields give all round protection from impurities
4. Work well in various terrains
5. Speed lubricant for greater acceleration
1. Can make noise at times
2. Spinning is not perfectly smooth
3. Few complaints about ABEC rating
If you are low on budget, still want to get a quality longboard bearing set, ESKAPE ABEC-9 608-RS will be a great pick. They are quite popular for delivering reliable performance at an affordable price. It comes in a set of 8 bearings.
You will be glad to know about the versatility these bearings do offer. Infact, they work with all types of skateboards & longboards.
Plastic shield bearings are generally protected from all kind of harsh elements. You can easily remove them for cleaning if the need arises.
Moreover, the lube gives it’s users a much needed satisfaction in terms of durability and performance. The quality of the lube used certainly makes it suitable for various surfaces. You can travel faster thanks to the speed lubricant.
They offer super fast, smooth & quiet riding at an inexpensive price. It may not have the speed & quality of Bones Swiss but they work fantastically. You might need some time to get used to it.
If you want your little kids to learn this sport, it can be an ideal choice. With that being said, proper lubrication can sort out the sluggishness of your bearing.
Remember, these are ABEC-9 skateboard bearings & they are well made, roll for long period of time. For the price, these bearings are quite excellent.
Our Rating: Best bearings for penny board
1. The casing has a 6 ball design
2. Single, non-contact, removable rubber shield
3. Pre-lubricated with Speed Cream
4. Quick assembly
There is a break in period
Bones never fail when it comes to introducing premium quality bearings and here is another example of it.
Super Reds bearing from Bones has got all the qualities in the world to be hailed as one of the best rated bearings in the world.
Keep on reading this Bones Super Reds review to know why it is so much highly rated by skaters around the world.
Are Super Reds good for you?
These bearings are aided by high quality steel races, better grade balls & supremely polished surface.
According to Bones, these Super Reds are as fast as the original reds. But the ride is quieter, smoother & they last longer. The difference is also in the look. As a matter of fact, super reds use a black color shield & laser engraving.
A non contact, rubber made shield gives least amount of friction. As they are removable, you will be able to clean your longboard bearings quite easily.
There is also nothing to worry about the speed and tolerance of these bearings. High speed nylon ball retainer shall take care of that.
You will like the fact that it comes as pre-lubricated. So you can immediately use them after purchasing. A racing lubricant, known as speed cream is used by Bones.
With skate rated clearances, tolerances, materials & lubricant, you should get best performance & durability as possible.
Another notable feature is, these Bones Super Reds bearings feature a 6-ball design (generally we see 7 balls).
Yes, the casing is different from the usual bearings. Don’t think this is bad, because you can’t judge a book by it’s cover. Infact, these balls are bigger, have better resistance & spin longer.
So, it makes me no wonder why everyone is heaping praise on the durability & longevity these bearings offer. Difference in the speed & precision is noticeable as well.
The assembly is rather quick & easy, you don’t have to worry about that. You don’t require to put extra force while riding. Just one good push & you shall be able to travel quite a distance.
There is a “break in” period. You may need a few hours to get used to it.
Bones Super Reds Skateboard bearings come in a set of 8 bearings & instructions only. Yes, this may not be the cheapest of bearings available but the extra money is absolutely worth it.
Our Rating: Best bearings for cruising & commuting
1. Comes at a good price
2. Easy to clean & maintain
3. USA based brand
4. Unique MOC-9 seal design
5. Super smooth & really fast riding
1. No spacers included
2. Few users have complained about oil dripping from the bearings (use a paper, towel or dry rag and fix it easily
Oust bearings may not be a familiar name when it comes to popular longboard bearing brands. Nevertheless, they are made of high quality materials.
The design, included features & races are especially built for skating purpose.
Considering the kind of quality service they are providing at such an affordable price, you will be eager to compare them with other super expensive branded bearings.
In this oust bearings review, we are going to talk about it’s pros & cons for better understanding.
Oust MOC 9 Airr longboard bearings feature a U-channel design.
A labyrinth type of seal is placed in the outer race. The speciality of this type of distinctive seal system is not just in keeping the dirts out but also it can prevent leakage of lube from the bearings.
This is also quite useful for cleaning purpose. They protect the outer metal of the wheel when rolling around the hinge. In turn, you get a really quiet, pleasant ride with reduced friction.
To prevent slop, you should ride your board for 5-7 minutes after installing the bearings with spacers. It will help the bearing to sit perfectly. Now it’s time to tighten the axle nut and have a proper fit
You can feel a smooth rolling. Moreover, you can actually ride on them straight out of the box. They are not hard to push forward. Best of the lot is, you can rarely hear the wheels are rolling.
Many skateboarders even went one step further & compared it’s speed handling capability with Bones Swiss Reds & Ceramics.
If you can keep them clean & well lubricated, oust skateboard bearings should last longer than what you generally expect. Here is Oust Bearings Speed Clean Kit
We liked the versatility of these oust bearings moc 9. You should be quite pleased to know it is compatible with e-skatebaords, longboards, inline skates, roller blades & scooter.
If you’re looking for a replacement of your old bearings then invest on these Oust MOC 9 bearings and you won’t rue your decision.
Our Rating: Best bearings for downhill longboarding
1. Heavily lubricated to resist drag
2. Indestructible polished glass balls
3. Lube helps to extend lifetime
4. Super smooth & fast riding
1. Not cheap
2. You need to break them in with a few rides
Oldboy ceramic bearings may not be the cheapest option out there but considering the improvement in the overall performance of your skateboard, this is surely one of the best deals you can get.
Because they are versatile, you can buy it for slalom skating, bombing hills or long distance cruising. It comes in a set of 8 bearings.
Here you’ll push your longboard less & glide more. From the very first ride, you will be able to feel the difference.
Without further delay, le’s dig deeper into this Oldboy Ceramic Bearings review and get a more in depth look.
For us the selling point is the heavy lubrication used in ceramic ball bearings.
It resists drag that means your longboard won’t slow down. Not only it reduces friction but also makes sure there is hardly any wear & tear or damage by water.
The specification of these 608RS Zno2 ceramic bearings measure 7X22X8 mm. Each of the bearings comes with 7 white colored ceramic balls inside nylon cage.
Usually metal bearings are prone to rusting & eventually wear out by dirt.
But these bearings are made with super hard ceramic balls. Infact, indestructible polished glass balls are used to make this full ceramic bearings skateboard.
Now you don’t need to worry about rust or damage from dirt.
This is a one shield design bearing for easy cleaning. Did it ever cross on your mind, why we call them Oldboys? The density of ceramic balls used is 7.80 g/cm3. Also the thing it is rustproof, this will last longer than metal bearings.
Are you heavier than average skaters? Then, no worries. These bearings can take up to 364 pound feet of force thus showing great resilience.
As a matter of fact, they possess a basic load rating of Cor (KN) 1.62 and a dynamic load rating of Cr (KN) 3.96. So, it does not matter whether you’re riding very fast & hard, this nylon bearing cage won’t crack.
Instead, you will be skating like a pro at high speeds. On speed, it is par with Bones Super Swiss and coming at half the price.
It should be noted that you need to go through couple of rides to break them in. It shall disperse lubricant and your ride shall be smooth as ever, giving a hint towards high performance.
The look of this Oldboy Ceramic is also cool, especially the packaging. It is nicely packed in a pyramid box.
Our Rating: Best ceramic bearings
1. Pre-lubricated with speed cream
2. low friction
3. Cerbec ceramic balls are waterproof & long lasting
4. Easy cleaning
5. Comes with a warranty
If you are looking for a ceramic bearing that is performing quite well in the market, give these Ceramic Super Reds from Bones a shot. You are not going to regret your decision.
You might have bought the finest steel ball bearings. But with time, it has gone through plenty of wear & tear. Now they are in no condition to use.
But take a note, these Bones Super Reds Ceramic can be the last ceramic bearing you’ll ever need to buy again.
On other hand, these cerebec ceramic balls are much tougher & long lasting thanks to it’s high quality construction. They are lightweight, although it doesn’t take away the greater speed & acceleration these bearings do offer.
Reason these ceramic skate bearings are made waterproof, you can skate in rain & mud. They won’t rust & the shelf life doesn’t decrease at all. It gives an indication they are suitable for every condition.
Removable rubber shield means you can easily clean Bones Reds Ceramics bearing without any trouble. You will like the fact that friction is very much minimal here. Rolling speed shall please you.
As the bearings are pre-lubricated, there is no need to put lube on them. After purchasing, you can straightaway start riding.
The rubber shield is there to take care of all the impurities & even if some of them stick onto it, you can clean them anytime.
It is good to know, balls are made of ceramic materials & they polish steel races. You can be pretty much sure, the riding will be super smooth & fast.
Greater strength & speed of these Bones Ceramic Super Reds bearings can also be attributed to high speed nylon cage ball retainer. The speed retention is quite impressive and you get noise free gliding.
These bearings come in a set of 8 pack. Bearings are silver in color and balls are of ceramic, not steel.
As you know, Bones have the best reputation in skateboard industry and they believe in their products. With these Bones Ceramic Super Red, you will get a lifetime warranty from one of the best bearing manufacturers.
Our Rating: Best cheap skateboard bearings
2. Double shielded bearings
3. Easy installation & cleaning
4. Good for starters
5. Doesn’t heat up
1. few user have stated that they needed to lubricate to make it spin longer and smoother
2. Won’t give you premium quality performance
If you’re new to skating, you should look for a cheap way to get things started. Because, you are still learning how to skate, so there is always a risk you may damage your skating accessories badly.
Bearings are the part and parcel of skateboarding and in such scenario, choosing a bearing that won’t break the bank is the ideal thing to do.
Here are the VXB 608ZZ bearings that work well for simple skating, not for bombing or carving. These are double shielded bearings. They provide protection on both the side of the bearings and keep contaminants away.
At the same time, lubricants stay right inside bearings. It helps in increasing the lifespan of bearings.
RPM (revolution per minute) limit is 34,000.
The thing that manufacturer used carbon steel as material is quite praiseworthy. It gives VXB bearings such incredible resistance under heavy loads so you can be damn sure about they are going to last a long long time.
These deep groove ball bearings reduce rotational friction to a great extent and help in delivering a resounding performance.
VXB ball bearings are useful in many ways.
If you want to clean, these bearings are easy to take the shield off. You will require a small, flat screwdriver. They are easy to install as well.
Other thing we liked about these bearings, is they require minimal lubrication. Therefore, the performance is quite consistent out there. Very much silent riding, even if you go with high speed, temperature won’t rise.
It comes in a set of eight bearings and you can use for several application such as inline skating, skateboard, scooters etc.
Here is a suggestion if your bearing doesn’t spin long enough. Just open the center casing of the bearing, place in hot water for 2-3 minutes and then put some lube. It will work fine.
2. Skate rated
3. Low cost
4. Easy installation
5. Cleaning and maintenance is hassle free
1. Skate tool is required
2. No ABEC rating
3. Single shield bearing
These brand new Rollerbones bearings from Bones are 8 mm in size & come in a set of 16 bearings.
Generally, Bones bearings provide the best quality performance and durability. And these Rollerbones bearings are no such exceptions either.
Without further ado, let’s jump into Rollerbones Bearings review and see what it holds for you.
If you don’t know yet, Bones bearings are “skate rated”. They do not use “ABEC rating” as they believe it alone can’t be the only criteria for selecting bearings.
They manufacture bearings by keeping in mind various factors such as material, lubricant, tolerance, clearance between balls & races. Interestingly, ABEC rated bearings mostly ignore these valuable points.
These bearings come as pre-lubricated with low viscosity bones speed cream. It reduces wear & tear, makes sure there is less friction & roll the bearings faster than before.
Nylon cage is good for withstanding high stress. It also allows bearing to accelerate at a greater speed.
Overall, they roll very smoothly. It makes no noise. We liked the fact that, it is easy to clean and maintain. If you’ve already used ABEC-9, this one will give a similar feel.
You can also spin them right out of the box thanks to the pre-lubrication. The number of shields you get with these bearings is one. Installation is simple with a skate tool.
It may not have reached at a stage where you can compare them with traditional red bearings. The precision quality is not as good as yellow jacket either.
But for the price of skateboard bearings, they are quite good & glide smoothly.
You can use them for roller skating, inline & indoor skating. For outdoor skating, you will have to care a bit. Besides, you need to put some effort inserting them into wheels.
Our Rating: Best longboard bearings for speed
1. Price is absolutely worth it
2. Durable construction
3. Great speed
4. Comes with everything you need to install
5. Removable shield for cleaning & maintenance
1. No ABEC rating
2. Inconsistent spinning
3. If the stoked tool goes missing on the product you receive, you need to contact with the manufacturer
Who doesn't want high speed skateboard bearings?
You will find many bearings in the market but when it comes to construction, durability & performance then none is as good as Bones reds precision skate bearings.
Their speed is incredible and I can tell you it shall give ultimate satisfaction. These are one of the best selling bearings in the world.
Speaking of construction, Bones red bearings is a stainless steel bearing. Ball retainer is made of nylon material that allows for greater speed. It is removable as well.
Rubber shield keeps away dirts & other harsh elements. Good thing is that you can easily remove rubber shield for cleaning purpose.
Nylon made cover helps in reducing rolling resistance. This means they should last long.
It will roll smooth & fast. Heavy duty materials give them enough strength to withstand big impacts. You can use them immediately after purchasing because they come as pre-lubricated.
These bearings are available in standard 608 sizes and come with dragon spacers & skate tool.
Spacers are very much precise and they have a tolerance of +/- 0.02 mm. The width is 10.29 mm and they are especially manufactured for 8 mm axles.
The all in one skate t-tool is made from hardened steel with a chrome finish. Quality is visible in everywhere, you see?
The price is reasonable when you think about getting a stoked tool with these bearings. It would be a great deal for skaters. Customer satisfaction is on what Bones always gives priority.
Leave ceramics aside, they are quite reliable & easily the fastest bearings you’ll ever see.
Spacers and washers are quite decent alongside good packaging system. So, literally everything is well organized.
1. A decent entry level longboard bearing
2. Pre-lubricated bearing
3. Easy to setup & clean
4. Fast & smooth riding
5. No noise & less friction
6. Doesn’t heat up
1. Can wear out quickly
2. Packaging quality can be improved
If you’re skateboarding for quite sometime then it should not be unknown to you, Bones is the best selling skate bearing brand in United States.
Therefore, getting a sublime skating experience through the hands of Bones Reds Longboard Bearings makes me no wonder.
The package includes 8 top quality Reds bearings, instruction manual, Reds logo sticker & a skateboard t-tool. This tool is from one of the most reliable & iconic names in skateboarding, California Cheap Skates (CCS).
They spin quite nicely with very little to no resistance. They can spin right out of the box. You will be able to push into the wheels easily.
These bearings are noise free and you can rely on them. Besides, you are getting them without spending a LOT of money.
They have a non-contact, removable rubber shield. Not just it keeps the friction level as low as possible, you can also conduct a thorough cleaning process by simply removing them.
Although there is a nylon ball retainer to increase the strength & speed, it comes as pre-lubricated. Speed cream is used to make them super smooth and they work extremely well with different types of skateboards.
It comes with the ultimate skate accessory (CCS skate tool) to make the setup process easier. The instructions are there to help you out.
Overall, it gives a flawless skateboarding experience to the users. You can expect it to last for quite a few years.
If bearings have gone bad and you are looking for a replacement, these bones bearings can be cost effective yet a trustworthy option.
Our Rating: Smoothest bearings
1. Clear instruction to put together
2. Ceramic is lightweight yet sturdy
3. Long lasting
4. Precision grade swiss design
5. Pre-lubricated & comes with spacers
6. Lifetime warranty
Not for budget conscious skaters
If you’re a professional skater & the price tag isn’t a concern for you then just grab Bones Swiss Ceramic Bearings without any hesitation.
It comes in a set of 8 bearings, 4 bearing spacers & a sticker. Bones have also included an instruction manual so you can install bearings without any sort of trouble.
It is designed & built to deliver high performance skating experience.
Going through this Bones Swiss Ceramics review shall give you a closer look at it’s features, pros & cons.
Speaking of the design, ball bearings are made of cerbec ceramic material. Advantage of using this type of materials is, it is lightweight. But the lightness doesn’t make it easily susceptible to damage.
As a matter of fact, it is stronger, tougher & will last longer than some finest quality steel bearings.
Thanks to the nylon ball retainer, these ceramic bearings are capable of greater acceleration & can travel quite a distance on a single push. They are capable of handling dirt and moisture better than any other bearings on the market.
The lubricant shall offer you a smooth and sustainable ride no matter what surface you encounter with.
Bones do not like to mess with ABEC rating like other longboard bearing brands. With skate rated clearances, tolerances, materials & lubricant, you are guaranteed to have the best performance & durability possible.
Also you will have the option to count upon the lifetime warranty given by Bones if you find any manufacturing defects.
On my opinion, investing money in these Bones Swiss Ceramic skateboard bearings means, you won’t need to look for replacement for years.
They roll super smooth. It is already lubed with speed cream. Spacers are of decent quality. It is easy to clean and with detailed instruction, you can install them without any difficulty.
If you spin them once, bearings can rotate up to 15-25 seconds.
There is a short “break in” period but after that hands down, you will be telling to yourself these Bones Swiss bearings are the best skate bearing you can ever manage.
1. Maximum spin rating of 100,00 rpm
3. Smooth riding
4. Rubber shield
5. Great price
1. Not the fastest of bearings
2. Vibrates when spinning
Neal precision bearings are available in 3 different styles; Ceramic, Swiss & Titanium. Although other two options are good, we prefer ceramic bearings.
No one will argue, ceramic bearing is the best in terms of durability & performance.
The package includes 8 precision bearings, 4 spacers & a nice re-usable aluminum case.
These Silicon Nitride (Si3N4) hybrid skate bearings are 50% lighter & 40% stronger than steel ones. Replace your old bearings with these neal bearings and you shall feel the difference immediately.
They roll smooth & fast, straight out of the box. They do not require any “break in” period. Perhaps these are the features you wish to get in a quality set of bearings.
More importantly, smooth riding shall give you confidence & feel of a great bearing.
Nylon cage ball retainer gives you tremendous strength & acceleration. Single rubber shield bearing is useful for cleaning & maintenance purposes if needed.
Compared to other ceramic bearings, these neal skateboard bearings are quite cheap. If you compare it with Bones Swiss 6, it is actually half the price. Plus add to this their excellent customer service.
If you’ve any inquiry regarding their products or face problems, you can easily reach out to them & they’ll find a solution for you. It shows they respect their customer’s opinion.
When it comes to the drawbacks, these bearings do vibrate during attaching the wheels. Other than that, everything else is quite good. The pre-lubricant they’ve used is world class.
If you take proper care, these precision skate bearings should last forever. The quality of construction is truly unmatched. Not just for longboard, they also work well with skateboard, penny board, inline skating & scooter.
Our Rating: Best skateboard bearings for street
1. Cleaning is hassle free in shielded bearings
2. Tungsten coated raceways
3. Comes as pre-lubricated
4. Good packaging provided by manufacturer
5. Sturdy construction
1. It can be noisy
2. It can get dirty quickly
If you’re having trouble on removing shielded bearings for cleaning and lubrication then you may consider these Bronson Speed Co bearings.
They don’t have any shields. Shield free design means there will be no damage done to the shields anymore. Dust and dirt will no longer build up inside the shield of the bearings.
Yes, it’s true all the dirt may not breeze past the bearings. Some may just stuck into it.
Keeping this on mind, Bronson Speed bearings introduced a “stick & non stick” lubricant, tungsten coating to the raceways. This dry film lubricant has longer lifespan, low drag & a low co-efficient of friction. It will eliminate the possibilities of unwanted particle build up.
That eventually takes us to the most important point, shieldless bearings are easier to clean than shielded bearings (one or two).
Cage design is highly durable. It is super strong, further strengthened by fiberglass. Nylon cage keeps the balls evenly spaced in raceway.
Rolling resistance is very much minimal. Spinning is quite reliable thanks to the tungsten coated races.
It must be noted that there is no ABEC rating for these Bronson skateboard bearings. But according to Bronson, their products are taken fresh from the factory & full of quality.
They are well polished, solvent washed & inspected number of times before final packaging. As a matter of fact, they come in nitrogen filled packaging to reduce oxidation.
One thing might annoy you is the noise. Fully open, high spinning design & audible speed technology make these bearings noisy.
But tell me which bearing comes as 100% noise free? All produce a certain level of noise. Just like ABEC rating, sound of the bearing alone can’t be a criteria to judge any bearing.
There are some who like the sound that bearings produce when spinning.
Now that we have described everything in details in this Bronson Speed Co Raw bearings review, rest is up to you.
1. Shield doesn’t leak any lube
2. Easy maintenance
3. Excellent quality
4. Fast rolling
5. Lifetime warranty
6. Simple installation
1. No ABEC rating
2. Snug fitting into the wheel
This time we’ve come up with an innovative swiss labyrinth skate bearings from the legendary bearing manufacturer, Bones.
These Bones Swiss L2 bearings work extremely well with any type of boards. The friction is kept as low as possible & pro level skaters shall like the durability it offers.
Let’s dig deep into these Bones Swiss Labyrinth L2 Bearings.
Two unique labyrinth seals are used to keep dirt & grime out of the bearings. They are non-contact & removable. As a result, it adds no friction and you can easily clean them.
Nylon cage ball retainer helps to rotate balls systemically in the raceway and prevent contacts. They retain grease & allow for higher speed.
For pre-lubrication, Bones uses it’s own speed cream so you can start using them instantly.
Bones don’t give too much concern to ABEC ratings. Instead, these bearings are all termed as “skate rated”. Quality Materials, top notch lubricants, clearance combine together to offer durability against harsh impacts.
Most importantly, they value their customers. This is why they are offering a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.
Good thing about these labyrinth bearings is you can use them for quite sometime without proper cleaning. They rarely slow down or show signs of degradation. So, you have to understand the seals are doing great.
It may take you a while to break in but after that they ride smooth, fast yet quietly.
The speed is very much consistent. You can turn & curve with almost ease. A single push is all you need.
Installation is easy as well. Read the manual first and then setup. Noise free smooth gliding shall please you.
Bones Swiss Labyrinth is worth the money you are going to spent because they will run for several years if not more.
Hopefully, going through this bones swiss bearings review has given a good all round look about what to expect with these bearings.
Be sure you receive a completely sealed box and there is instruction manual.
Ultimate Guide To Buy Best Longboard Bearing
Getting a good bearing onto your longboard is essential to have a problem free riding journey. Longboarding is fun if you’ve the right set of equipment.
Many beginner riders do this mistake. They go for expensive longboards & wheels while completely ignoring the fact that bearings help wheels to roll effortlessly.
You can’t expect your longboard to perform well with some low quality bearings, or can you?
It can prove to be the huge difference maker in between a rough, noisy drag and an easygoing, pleasant ride. Purchasing below par or average bearings for longboard won’t come in any good
But do you know what is a bearing? Where to buy skate bearings? Which are the best bearing brands?
There are hundreds of bearing in the market. But they won’t give you the same performance.
Their construction is very crucial here. It is important to know what materials are used in their construction and the features such as ABEC rating, bearing shield, washer, spacer, installation, maintenance everything matter.
Some will say ceramic made bearings are best. Others will put steel bearings in the same level as ceramic. And you’ll also find some guys who believe steel bearings are indeed the best longboard bearings.
Lastly, did you hear about ABEC ratings? What is ABEC rating? Some even rank bearings with ABEC rating higher than any other. So, how would you find longboard bearings for yourself?
We know you’ve been hovering around the web for quite some time. But you are certainly not happy with what you’ve encountered.
Don’t worry, you are at the right place now. We’ll answer all your questions.
This longboard bearing buying guide has literally covered everything that you need to take into account before finding the most suitable bearings for your longboard.
What are longboard bearings?
A bearing is a machine that can facilitate a motion & determine it’s direction by reducing friction between moving parts.
There are quite a few different types of bearing.
Of them, these 6 types are most common: plain bearing, rolling-element bearing, jewel bearing, fluid bearing, magnetic bearing & flexure bearing. Their working principle is different from one another.
Generally, we get to see rolling element bearings in both skateboard & longboard. If we say more specifically, they are ball bearings.
The reason we call it ball bearings because here spherical balls are used as the rolling elements. It forms a ring like shape where the ball stays inside.
The word “bearing” comes from the verb “to bear”, meaning that it does allow one part to bear another. And trust me it is indeed true.
A ball bearing generally consists of 5 parts: shield, inner race, balls, retainer and lastly the outer race. They all play a crucial role in the overall performance of longboard.
How many bearings are there in a skateboard?
Each wheel is equipped with two bearings and you have four wheels in your longboard. Therefore, Bearings are generally sold in a set of eight. Without them, it is impossible to do longboarding.
What are the components of longboard bearing?
A bearing might be a small machine but none can deny, it has a great impact on the overall performance of the board. Their construction is a bit complicated.
But it is important to know about longboard bearing components and what their functions are.
This is to ensure you’ve a clear thought process on mind and there is no confusion when choosing best bearings for skateboards.
So, here are the components that make up the bearing:
C-ring: This thin ring is settled into a groove on the outer part of the bearing & locks the shield in it’s place
Outer ring: It is the round shaped metal exterior where all other bearing parts fit into
Inner ring: Compared to outer ring, it is a smaller metal ring. So, it fits quite nicely within the outside ring. The axles actually fit through the inner ring at the time of sliding your bearing/wheel setup onto the wheels
Balls: You can say, balls are probably most vital of all the components of a bearing. They ensure bearing casing spins systematically. Depending on the type of materials (steel/ceramic), the number of balls can vary
Ball retainer: The primary function of ball retainer is to hold the ball bearings in place. They are built in a way to maintain enough spacing between the balls. In pre-lubricated bearings, it also performs the duty of a oil reservoir. A ball retainer is also known as Delrin Crown
Rubber seal: A soft rubber ring shields the interior of the bearing. They are found on the outside of the bearing & so prevent the entry of dirt & debris inside the bearing
Bearing shields: When riding, it’s quite natural you‘ll be encountering stuffs such as dust, water & mud. This is where bearing shields come into play. They prevent those stuffs from getting into your bearing so that there is no messy situation. You can call them as the walls of your bearing
There are generally 2 types of bearing shields:
1. Metal shield bearing
2. Rubber shield bearing
With metal shields, it is not possible to clean dirts that somehow reach inside the bearing. Because, these sealed skateboard bearings are non-removable so you are not allowed to do that. Check out Zealous Bearings
With rubber shields, you can clean any dirt. You will also be able to remove the shield and put grease on the bearing balls. Check out Sackorange 608 ZZ
Some longboard bearings have got only one side of their bearing covered by shield. Although this will work fine but there is always the risk of getting dirty.
Therefore, we suggest if it is possible, go for longboard bearings that have 2 shields.
Types of longboard bearings
1. Standard longboard bearing:
In these bearings, you will need to add bearing spacers & speed washers separately. Their materials can be different, either it is steel or ceramic
2. Built in bearings:
The word “built in bearings” refers to the type of bearings that have everything built in. Usually, for a bearing to function properly, it requires spacers and speed rings.
But these built in bearings come with these additional components of the wheel. You will get an elongated inner ring in built in bearings. It can perform the function of both, spacer & speed rings.
It can make your life easier than you think. You can easily clean the bearings. Changing the wheel is not a troublesome work anymore.
Plus, you don’t need to worry about losing spacers & speed rings. Here is an example: Daddies Ceramic Built in Skateboard Bearings
Do bearing spacers slow you down? They are small metal cylinders. They sit into a wheel between the two bearings.
The effectiveness of a bearing depends a lot on the spacers. They reduce the weight of the bearings. They offer the support that bearing needs to deliver good performance.
They don’t allow them to get loosened and make them really stable. By this way, it extends the lifespan of your bearing and you can turn smoothly while riding.
You need to have the right stability, if you’re going too fast. Equally, a loose bearing system can be really harmful.
It keeps the bearings in a proper distance apart from one another but they are optional. Yes, you can install bearings with a spacer but we don’t encourage you to do so.
Without them, you can’t give guarantee that the bearings will stay in the correct alignment. Noisy wheels & messy bearing in the middle of a ride is even more dangerous. Correct alignment of the bearings shall help to spin better.
Do longboard wheels need spacers? They ensure balls in the inner ring rotate smoothly. It also protects bearing from excessive side load pressure. In turn, the longevity of both the wheels & bearings shall be increased.
Therefore, never buy any longboard bearing without thinking about the spacer. Your longboard riding is unsafe without spacer. And they are not expensive either.
Look for materials such as steel and aluminum for longevity & durability. Generally, the size of the spacer is around 8mm X 10mm
Here 8 is the number reflecting the diameter of the axle
& 10 is the number reflecting the overall width of the bearing
These thin metals are slipped over the axles, placed between nut & bearing and also bearing & hanger. It’s function is to reduce the friction and help wheels to turn faster. Lower friction shall present a smoother ride.
Besides, they also protect the face of bearing from any damage.
Similar to the bearing spacers, speed washers too are optional for a rider. It depends on the speed of your riding whether you will purchase them or not.
But they provide excellent performance and most importantly increase the life of your bearing. So never forget to include them.
The size of the speed washer depends on the diameter of the axle. And majority of the truck axles have a diameter of 8mm. So, this is the size you’ll probably require for your bearings. Speed washers are also known as speed rings/washers.
Longboard Speed rings:
How does a bearing work on longboard?
Speaking of longboarding accessories, the deck, truck, wheels & bearings are some of the various components of a longboard.
Inside the bearing, some tiny balls made of steel/ceramic tend to run on a circular track.
The bearing side with no balls is directly attached to the truck and the bearing side with balls is then attached to the longboard wheel. The stationary truck axle & shaft of the wheel join hands to work with balls & track.
The balls start to roll and it causes wheels to spin while keeping the truck motionless. As a result, you can ride with your longboard. In one words, bearing helps the wheel to move.
Do skateboard bearings matter? If there are no bearings, the rotation of the wheel would be against the axle and it will cause a lot of friction & disturbance in your ride. So you have to buy skateboard bearings.
What is the difference between a skateboard & longboard bearing?
Technically there is no difference between a skateboard and longboard bearing. The bearings are of the same size whether you’re purchasing for skateboard or longboard. The dimension of the bearing spacer makes the difference.
We’ve already mentioned about the measurement of a bearing spacer. It depends on two things; axle diameter & width of bearing.
The axle diameter remains the same for most skateboard & longboard. But longboards tend to have larger wheels than skateboards. For this reason, you see a bigger width in bearing spacers for longboard wheel bearings.
Skate bearings minimize the friction between axle and wheels. There is no argument to the fact that, balls are primarily responsible for the rolling ability of a bearing.
Therefore, it makes the balls an important consideration when you are about to choose a longboard bearing.
If you have a bearing with poor balls, you won’t get a smooth ride. Because the type of materials used in ball bearings will directly have an impact on your speed, flexibility, maneuverability & precision.
So choosing a quality ball material is essential as it can define the longevity & productivity of the bearing.
So what are the materials commonly used in the balls?
There are two materials that are hugely popular in longboard bearings: steel & ceramic
Steel: Usually, you’ll find 6 to 8 balls in steel bearings. The number of balls is actually beneficial to evenly distribute the weight of the load.
Even after putting so much pressure on it, they can still maintain the original shape thanks to the elastic & ductile nature of the steel.
1. Lubrication with grease makes then rust & corrosion resistant. They are also given protection against dust
2. They are cheaper than ceramic made ball bearings
1. It needs regular cleaning & lubrication to prolong the lifespan of steel bearings
2. It is not suitable for downhill riding. Doing so can generate excess heat on the axel and wheel. As a result, the bearing might expand greatly and it will come of no use then
Who will buy this: Someone who is short on budget but still want to get a durable bearing for longboard, steel is the way to go. Besides, players who are longboarding for fun shall love this option for economic reasons
Ceramic: Generally there are 9 balls in ceramic longboard bearings. Ceramic bearings use ceramic balls.
To make things absolutely clear, by referring to ceramic we are only indicating the balls. Inner & outer race are yet constructed of steel. This is why we also call them as “ceramic hybrid bearings”.
Compared to steel, ceramic balls weigh 40% less. Therefore, the force is greatly reduced. In turn, it minimizes rolling resistance as well. This makes them work 20% to 40% faster than any other bearing.
Three ceramics are generally found in ball bearings. There are both tough & soft ceramic designs
1. Zirconium Dioxide
2. Silicon Carbide
3. Silicon Nitride
Of the three, silicon nitride is the strongest & hardest ceramic material. They are most often used in hybrid ceramic bearings.
To be honest, ceramic balls are known for offering smooth & speedy riding experience. Their smooth design & precise craftsmanship contribute a lot in this regard.
1. It is stronger & smoother than steel
2. It lasts longer than steel balls
3. No impact by heat
4. Hardly requires any maintenance
They are more expensive compared to steel bearings but the extra cost is well worth it. It gives a superior performance.
Who will buy this: Serious longboarding enthusiasts shall pick this up without any hesitation. Yes, it may cost you a bit but you won’t regret your decision.
Ceramic bearings vs Steel bearings, which one is better?
This is a debate going for years now. To sum things up, we are not saying steel bearings are bad. Infact, you will find many good quality bearings that are made of steel. They also outperform ceramic bearings on some aspects.
It also slightly depends on the price. The higher price you go, the better quality steel ball bearings will get noticed.
ABEC is the shortened form of Annular Bearing Engineering Committee. ABEC scale is a standard for rating the tolerance of ball bearings. It was developed by American Bearing Manufacturers Association (ABMA).
How do manufacturers determine an ABEC rating?
It depends on few things:
1. The proximity of bore to be 8mm in microns (1 micron = 10^-6 m)
2. The proximity of outer diameter to be 22mm in microns
3. The proximity of width to be 7mm in microns
4. Rotating accuracy in microns
ABEC bearings scale offers a dimensional specification. Manufacturers also have knowledge about dimensional tolerances so they can design parts & accommodate bearing.
There are 5 classes of tolerances. They all come in odd numbers, skipping the even ones: 1, 3, 5, 7, & 9
ABEC 1: These ABEC skateboard bearings are the least precise of all types. Besides, they are cheap & often come with low quality materials
ABEC 3: A slight improvement from the earlier ABEC 1 baring. Still, they aren’t going to roll smoothly but not expensive either
ABEC 5: These standard quality bearings do offer a good performance and comes at a reasonable price. With quality materials, you’ll get a decent amount of speed as well
ABEC 7: High quality materials give a fast & smooth riding. Overall, the performance is quite great but comes at a high cost
ABEC 9: They are the best ABEC bearings. They are made with highest quality materials to provide insanely fast riding. As expected, the price is on the higher side. Don’t believe, if someone is giving ABEC 9 bearings at a cheap price, these are fake bearings
No doubt, the higher ABEC rating you go for, better precision & efficiency will come by. It also presents enhanced speed capabilities. You get smoother operating components. Revolution per minute (RPM) will be greater.
But to make things absolutely clear, components don’t move faster only because of ABEC rating.
Yes, ABEC rating is a major feature of the bearing. But if you’re only judging by high ABEC rating and coming into a conclusion that they are fast longboard bearings, it would be a mistake.
Because, this rating doesn’t give answers to many important facts such as materials, hardness, load handling capabilities, noise, lubrication and so on.
Still you should look to purchase highest ABEC bearings. Because, there will be better lubes & top notch quality materials. These are also important criteria if your bearing has to offer a good all round service in the long run.
But one thing to remember, don’t assume the functionality of a bearing solely based on the ABEC rating.
Other than the ABEC rating, a term “Skate-rated” is also used by few brands of longboard bearing (e.g Bones). It is different from ABEC scale.
If your longboard bearing is “skate rated”, this means it can cope with skateboarding environments. These brands apply various methods to test their products and then try to rate their bearings.
Even you will find bearings that don’t have any ABEC rating and still they are globally known as good skate bearings.
Beware that some companies don’t conform to the ABEC guidelines but still they use ABEC rating on their products. You can even find products with ABEC 11! Never trust on things that do not really exist.
1. ABEC 1 bearings are not precision bearings and their tolerances are way too loose
2. Low graded bearings will be perfect for skateboarding, longboarding, fishing etc (try to pick one with at least ABEC 5 rating)
3. High graded bearings are mainly for aircraft & surgical purposes
What size bearings do you need for your skateboard? Are all longboard bearings the same size? The size of the longboard bearing is another important consideration when choosing the best longboard bearing.
There are only two options for you: standard 608 & the non-standard sizes.
Standard 608 size is suitable for most longboards. Usually, it has a bore of 8mm (axle is found on the bore). The thickness & outer diameter are respectively 7 mm & 22 mm.
Then there are longboard bearings of non-standard sizes. They are different from standard skateboard bearing size.
Besides, you can find smaller sizes. In this case, the bearing has the same size as the axle but extra sleeve is needed to match the outside diameter of standard sizes. Generally, you have high ABEC rating in smaller size bearings. So more precision is offered to you.
Hopefully, now you’ve got an idea about skate bearing dimensions.
But our suggestion would be to stick to the standard size bearings. Because, we don’t want you to look at a bunch of number, measurement & specification. This can make you confuse. Moreover, there are so many benefits in using standard size bearings.
Benefits of using standard 608 size bearings:
1. You can fit into most longboard wheels
2. If necessary, removal of bearing is stress-free
3. Cost saving option
Longboard bearing lubes help to reduce friction. They will keep friction as minimal as possible. Because of that your longboard will perform better than before. Therefore, it is important to pay attention at lubes as well.
Two types of lube are really popular:
1. Nano ceramic grease
2. Speed cream
However, you can’t say a specific type of lube/brand will have the same effectiveness in every longboard bearing. Yes, there are bearings that actually functions well with a wide range of bearings. Because functionality can vary. Some lubricants may perform better on a specific bearing while the others are not that effective.
But choice of lubricant largely depends on the individual option of longboard riders. You can also experiment with several lubes & try to find out what works best.
Your ultimate goal is to find a lube that helps to get the most out of your longboard bearing. In the end, it is important to get the right fit.
Best lube for skateboard bearings: Bones Speed Cream
Friction slows down longboard. It can ruin all the fun. Therefore, proper lubrication is required to eliminate friction from your longboard. So, what if you purchase a longboard bearing that comes already pre-lubricated?
It gives guarantee, you can ride instantly. Your longboard will show improvement in terms of effectiveness & overall performance.
Well, it does not mean, no lubrication will be needed from your part. For proper maintenance, you will still need to lubricate bearings. So, figuring out the best lubes in market is crucial.
Simple tips: if you have a pre-lubricated bearing, try to purchase the same lubrication. Because, the manufacturer knows what works well with your bearings & they’ve already placed it.
But you are open to try out other options and see if a better choice exists or not.
This is an important criterion to differentiate a good bearing & poor one. The installation process of good skateboard bearings should be hassle free and it won’t take you hours.
Instead, you should be able to finish it rather quickly (less than 30 minutes). Best bearings for longboard shall help you to enjoy the ride. It won’t keep you busy in tinkering with the installation.
Yes, price is an important consideration regardless of the product you choose to buy. Everyone may not have the same financial ability. But it’s a good thing most longboard bearings come at a low cost.
You don’t need to spend a fortune for that.
So how much do skateboard bearings cost?
Standard bearings are quite cheap and they won’t cost you more than $10. If you’re looking for a bit more quality & precision in your bearings then go for a premium quality bearing/popular brands. Still you can get them around for $25-$35.
Yes, there are more expensive bearings (swiss reds or swiss ceramics) you can go for, if budget is not a concern for you. They will provide you high performance & super smooth longboard riding. The average cost will be around $100 then.
Needless to say, the price can vary depending on the quality, performance & number of balls you get with these bearings.
Don’t forget the spending limit that you’ve set on your head. If you have low budget, there is no need to go beyond that. Cheap skate bearings can still do your job.
Most of the high quality bearing brands do not provide any warranty. It is also true, they are widely known for delivering supreme performance & durability. Therefore, even without warranty, you can certainly rely on them.
Although, there is Bones Swiss bearings, it offers lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects. This should give the customers peace of mind they are looking for. Satisfaction of purchasing a quality product is right up there.
Difference Between Good & Bad Bearings
No need to apply
Whel rotation Rate
How to find the best longboard bearing?
1. Choose the material first. People may argue steel is better than ceramics. But ceramic is more durable & offers greater functionality compared to steel bearings
2. Next comes longboard bearing size. We recommend standard size bearings. Also keep in mind ABEC scale
3. Get quality bearing spacer & speed washer. They are important for enhanced performance & safety. Correct measurement of axle diameter & bearing width is crucial here. If you’re going for built in bearings then you can skip this point and straightway jump into the next one
4. Your bearing should come with 2 shields. If possible, avoid 1 shield bearings & metal ones. Pick up rubber shield bearings as they are easier to clean dirts
5. If your bearing has a nylon cage ball retainer, it gets increased strength to resist high stress. It reduces friction & in turn allows for greater speeds
6. Look for pre-lubricated bearings. It will reduce drag to a great extent. Choose a suitable lubricant for maintenance so that it gives you the same reliable performance even after long term use
7. It shouldn’t be overly expensive unless you are purchasing swiss reds or swiss ceramics. The price should be well in your reach. We suggest you to find a good deal on high quality bearings
8. Ask the seller if there is any warranty provided by the manufacturer. Inquire about the duration of the installation process. Good bearings never take long
9. Although we strongly oppose longboarding in rain, it will be better if you can get a bearing with waterproofing ability. It will be quite beneficial even for the cleaning purpose. This will offer an extra layer of durability to the bearings
What are the best longboard bearing brands?
Who makes the best bearings? Undoubtedly, Bones are amongst the top bearing manufacturers. But there are other skateboard bearings brands such as Magic, Zealous, Seismic Tektons that are also quite good. I’ve heard some nice compliments about them.
But if you personally ask me, I recommend you products of Bones. They are tough & roll quite smoothly. They last long. They are not among the most expensive bearings so you won’t need to break your bank.
What else do you need?
But the choice can vary from person to person. It is true every brand has got some fans & haters. Whatever you choose to go by, it has to be the correct match for your longboard. You want it to deliver the best performance.
So if you are confused, you can try out few brands, find out which makes your longboard riding smoothest and eventually settle with that particular brand. As I have said before, skateboard bearings are not too expensive.
How to determine your longboard bearing has gone bad?
Bearings go through a lot of wear & tear. It can slow down your riding. This is where you need to get a replacement. But what are the symptoms that give indication your longboard bearing has actually gone bad? And how will you identify then?
Well, we are going to talk about 3 different tests you can apply. At the end of it, you’ll be able to understand whether it needs a replacement or not.
1. Spin the wheels: take the longboard on your hand and gently try to spin the wheel. If it stops spinning almost immediately or extra force is needed to spin it, then my dear friend you should find a replacement.
Well, we are not saying, it should spin forever but it must start spinning smoothly without requiring too much of force.
2. Listen to the noise: now put some force on the wheel so that it rolls for quite some time. Now pay attention if there is any noise coming from the bearings.
If you can hear loud or strange kinda noise coming out from the bearings when spinning, then think about a replacement. Because good bearings don’t create noise during spinning.
3. Side movement of the wheel: try to move the board wheel quickly from left to right side & vice versa. Check if there is any movement by the wheel. Does it make a sound while moving?
If it is showing both the signs then the replacement is on the cards but don’t forget to tighten the longboard axle nut before executing the test.
Otherwise the movement can actually happen due to the looseness of the axle nut which may go unnoticed.
Despite saying all these tests you should apply, we still advise you to lubricate your bearings one final time. Then go for a ride.
If you are still experiencing the same problems then there should not be any question on your mind, longboard is asking for the new bearings.
So, aforesaid tests are for the experienced riders. They are longboarding for quite some time. What about the beginners?
How can a beginner know if their skateboard ball bearings are good?
Get answers to these questions & you won’t need anybody’s suggestion thereafter:
1. Can you see any rust or dirt?
2. Are your ball bearings dented or pitted?
3. Do you feel any vibration on your fingers while rolling the wheel?
4. Is it free of sand or water?
5. Does it give you reasonable amount of spinning time?
6. Is it able to carry you for quite a distance without any problems?
How to take care of the bearings?
Dust & debris gunk up inside the bearings. Bearings get jammed inside. As a result, they deliver poor performance.
Therefore, you need to clear bearings regularly to get desired results. The impurities that build up into the bearings must be removed. So here is how to clean bearings on a longboard:
1. Taking out the bearing from the wheel: the best way to clean the bearings is by removing the wheels and then take the bearing out of it
At first, you need to flip your longboard upside down, remove the nut of the axle using a wrench
Then slide the wheel and reposition at the end point of the axle. Now slightly twist at an angle so that the bearing can come onto the axle. Now you can easily take the bearing out
2. Opening bearing shield: for nylon shields, you can use a thin knife. There is a clasp on the inner side of outer race in few metal bearings. But generally, metal shields are non-removable. On the other hand, rubber shields can be removed with ease
3. Soaking the bearing with a cleaner: take some cleaning solvent (cleaning alcohol)/cleaner and soak the bearing for 3-5 minutes. Choose a cleaner that is unreactive to the material of bearing
4. Final cleaning: now remove bearing from the solvent, shake it well and ensure all the gunk leave the bearing. If any impurities are still there, use a small brush to reach to that
5. Washing and drying: now it’s time to wash your bearings and then allow it to dry properly. You can even use a towel in the drying process
6. Lubricating the bearings: now that you’ve cleaned up your bearings well, lubricate bearing to retain it’s greasiness
7. Put the bearings in place: you should put the shield back on the bearing. Then place the bearing and lock the wheel in position. Time to ride!
This is the best way to clean skateboard bearings. By this way, you can make your bearings spin faster & longer.
What is the best lubricant for skateboard bearings?
Lubricant you can use:
Lubricants you shouldn’t use:
1. Don’t use WD-40, 3 in 1 lube, motor grease or any thick lubricant. These lubricants can attract dirt. They are not made for longboarding
2. Traditional bearing lubricant is not a good idea either. They are too much focused on making your bearing incredibly speedy.
This is the reason they are generally used in heavy machinery and they hardly come in contact with dirt & mud
Keep in mind that wrong choice of lubricants can destroy your bearings.
Skateboard bearing lube alternative:
3. Liberty oil
1. Prefer non water based, thin lubes as they rarely attract dirts
2. The amount of lubrication you will apply is also important. You should look to fill 25-35% of the available space within your bearing
3. Avoid longboarding in the rain. Because metals rust and it can greatly damage your bearing
Waterproof longboard bearings: RUSH (Ceramic) all weather bearings
How to remove the bearing shields?
Rubber shield: it is fairly easy to remove the rubber shields
Things you need: Paper clip
1. Collect a small, thin object. It can be a paper clip
2. Now using that object poke about 1-2 mm inside of the inner ring
3. Try to lift it up along the inner ring and the rubber shield will come out
After finishing the cleaning process and lubrication, simply put the shields back into the bearings & gently push. They will easily pop into their original position.
You shouldn’t make the same mistake like me. Don’t use needles or razors as they can damage rubber flap.
Metal Shield: mostly, they are permanently fixed into bearing. So you can’t remove them. Still there are few metal shield bearings that can be removed. But you have to be a bit cautious while doing that.
Things you need: push pin, needle or razor blade
1. Can you see a little clasp/opening on the inner side of the outer race. The end of the C-ring of metal shield bearing is cut an angle
2. Use a push pin, needle or razor blade and stick it into the little opening area and pry it out
3. C-ring will come out and now tap the bearing on a hard surface to get the shield out
After you’re done with cleaning, just slide the shield back on top, put the both end of the C-ring first and then push to lock it into place.
What are the reasons of causing bearing failure?
1. Improper lubrication: insufficient lubrication, wrong choice of lubricants & degradation of lubricants due to high temperature can all cause bearing failure.
2. Contamination: foreign substances such as dirt, dust, debris, water can get into the bearings and it can leave your skateboard bearings damaged. They may even come from bearing lubricants, cleaning solution even from dirty hands or tools.
Bearing shield is the problem solver here. Also proper cleaning and drying can prevent contamination.
3. Misalignment: loose fitting & improper installation while putting bearings in skateboard wheels can contribute to the misalignment of your bearings.
4. Deterioration: excessive temperature, poor quality grease, moisture can cause deterioration. Using stainless steel bearings can help you avoid this unwanted situation.
5. Overload: keep in mind that every bearing has limitation to the amount of load they can carry. Therefore, it is important not to go beyond that limit.
If you put excessive load on your bearings, the lifespan of the bearing can decrease. You need to keep an eye on the running speed & temperature.
6. Excessive heat: you may notice overheating is somehow related to every other causes that we’ve mentioned here.
It is indeed one of the most common causes of bearing failure. It can degrade the grease, reduce the efficiency of lubricants and materials lose their integrity.
7. Improper storage: if you store bearings in areas where dusts are quite frequent and temperature runs high or too damp condition out there, it will reduce the shelf life greatly.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the fastest longboard bearings?
-Fastest bearings for longboards are lightweight yet quite hard & smooth. They are lubricated perfectly and have minimal rolling friction.
This propels them to accelerate faster & roll farther. They last long & deliver the best performance. Bones super swiss 6 skateboard bearings is one such example of that.
2. Is it OK to use WD40 on skateboard bearings?
-Andy Macdonald, the man who won the world cup skateboarding competition 8 times has an advice or two for you.
His suggestion is not to use WD-40. Instead, you can go for a silicone-based lubricant. The reason is WD-40 can actually dry out the bearings. So it is going to attract dusts & dirts then.
3. Are ceramic bearings worth it?
-Ceramic bearings are very well made. The properties of ceramic make them roll faster & smoother than steel bearings. They are tough, corrosion resistant & show little drag. They are also capable of handling the heat better than steel.
Not to mention, they are lightweight & require minimal lubrication. Only downside of ceramic bearings is they are pretty expensive.
4. Which household items can I use to clean skateboard bearings?
-You can use the following household materials to clean your skateboard bearings: nail cuticle removers, bike oil petroleum jelly, silicone based lubricants
These items also work well in fixing slow skateboard bearings.
5. How long does it take to break in bearings?
-Generally, best bearings do not need to break in at all. If you skate for about 30-45 minutes, you will get used to it. More than the bearing, it is actually lubricant that should be broken in.
If it is installed correctly and you give proper lubrication/pre-lubricated, bearings will be ready to go immediately.
If it gets loosened, please make sure the racers or all other nuts are tightened securely.
6. What can I do to get my skateboard bearings go faster?
-They should be as clean as possible. Proper cleaning and lubrication shall enable the bearings to deliver a consistent performance.
If dirts and dusts get jammed onto your bearing, your riding is likely to suffer rather sooner than later. You can use Bones speed cream.
If you’re not using a built in bearing then you must have bearing spacer & speed ring as well. This will provide a nice fitting to the bearings, thus it increases longboarding speed.
At the same time, you are ensuring longevity for bearings & wheels. This is how you can make skateboard bearings faster.
7. Do I have to clean the bearings everyday?
-The answer lies in how much you are longboarding and condition of your bearing. If you see excessive impurities then you should try to clear them straightaway after finishing the ride. Leaving the bearing full of dirt and dusts shall decrease the life of itself.
It also depends on the weather condition. Bottom line is, regular cleaning will do plenty of good for your bearings.
8. What are the best longboard bearings?
-Analyzing few things before purchasing any longboard bearings can help you in taking a call. It includes cost, durability, manufacturing brand & of course your riding style.
Judging by these factors, Bones Super Swiss 6 is the front runner. They are quite expensive though, so you can get Bones Reds. They will give you an all round performance, longevity is there & coming at a cheaper price shall please you.
9. How to grease skateboard bearings?
-After opening the bearing shield, soak it with a cleaner. Then wash and allow the bearing to dry. Now take the lubricant, put one drop on top of the bearing, then hold it & give some spin.
Now, it will be distributed evenly around the bearing. For ceramic bearings, you only need 1 drop and usually they require 2-3 drops for regular bearings.
10. How to replace longboard bearings?
a. first remove the nut & speed ring then you can pull the wheel off
b. you can use the end of the truck to pry out the old bearings out of the wheel
c. take new bearings and push firmly onto the wheel until the bearing is placed securely with seal facing outwards
d. put the small cylinder into the wheel & it should be facing up the right way
e. now push the last bearing with the seal facing outwards
f. put speed rings back on the truck and then place the wheel
g. final step is to put on the last speed ring and tighten the nut
Great! You’re ready to go now
11. How often should you replace your longboard bearings?
-To be honest, when your bearings are cleaned and lubed occasionally or immediately after rain skating, they should last for years. Unless there is any breakage (usually with the cage), you don’t need to replace them.
Still, if you want to put a whole new set in, you can replace them i8n every 1 to 2 years. Again quality of the bearings, maintenance & riding condition do matter.
12. How to go faster on a longboard?
Going in a tuck position can certainly improve your longboarding speed to a great extent. Let’s do this:
a. You will go in gymnastic tuck position, it gets more dynamic in the air
b. Keep your front foot at about 45 degree angle and same goes with the back foot
c. Get the chin low into your front knee
d. Put your hands on your back, you want your weight distribution perfect & weight is mostly on your front foot of the board
e. Put your back knee behind your front leg
f. Loosen your axle nut & tighten trucks (moderately)
g. Start riding fast
13. Do bearings make any difference in longboard?
-Underestimating the value of bearings in longboarding could prove costly. It has a big impact on the precision, speed & flexibility of the rider. Don’t believe me?
Let me tell you, the wheels turn because of bearings and without them even if you’re the Big Show of longboarding, the longboard will never move.
Bearings might be a small component of longboard. But it’s importance is far greater than that. Not only it enhances the performance but also ensures longevity of your longboard.
Your longboard will run faster & smoother than ever before. Stability of longboard also increases.
Sportszpro talking about their sorting method
However finding good longboard bearings are certainly not the most easiest task. There are so many options available.
Also all longboard ball bearing are not manufactured in the same way. The materials can be different. So anybody can get overwhelmed. It is important to pick one that gives you highest level of satisfaction while riding.
To make things easier for you, Sportszpro has taken the responsibility to come up with a list of top skate bearings currently going on the market. It will help you to make the best buying decision
And it does not matter whether you’re searching for the fastest bearings or the best longboard bearings for cruising, we’ve covered them all.
Plus, this in depth buying guide highlights the things you need to consider before shopping the best skateboard bearings.
The main purpose of this longboard bearing guide is to help you in buying bearings. We don’t want you to waste your valuable time & hard earned money on sub-standard longboard bearing.
Infact, we want you to get the most bang for your bucks.
On behalf of you, we’ve done the hard work already. We spent 30 hours on web research just to find out the best bearing products and all the latest developments related to this field. We reviewed their features, price, maintenance & durability.
Just a reminder, we are not representing any specific longboard bearing manufacturing brand here.
We carry out extensive research work through market analysis & field tests to collect authentic data and information so the readers can pick wisely.
We’ve done some one on one interviews with local longboard riders & enthusiasts. We asked a lot of questions. They were not satisfied with all the bearing they had used. Only few of them were reliable enough.
Then we spent almost a month doing filed tests. We also called some of our relatives & friends who are doing business in this industry and had a lengthy chat with them. We assessed their insights & valuable recommendations.
We didn’t forget to consider their speed and versatility as well.
Finally, after getting through all these procedures, we were able to make a shortlist.
The sequencing of the products is based on which one brings most value to your longboarding.
If one particular bearing is more expensive and offering a small edge over another bearing in terms of performance, the former will stay on top.
We have included pros & cons of each product. Now, you can quickly pick the bearing that meets your demand. To get more details about the product that makes your eyes lit up, you can read the full review.
And the last thing, we’ve tried our best to be fair with the rankings. We’ve assessed them closely at every possible angle, even more by putting ourselves into the shoes of customers.
So no offense if you can’t find your go to longboard bearing/bearing from most favorite brand here or is at the bottom on this list. Get the best bearing for longboard and start enjoying the ride.
In the end, if you are able to purchase the best longboard bearings for yourselves only then our satisfaction is achieved.