Getting to Know Your Skate Bearings

By February 19, 2014Uncategorized

Moto bearingsDo you love to roller skate? If you skate regularly at your local rink and want to be able to skate outdoors as well, buying and maintaining your own skates is a great idea. Here at InterSkate, not only do we offer indoor roller skating fun, but we’re also home to the world’s largest roller skating retail store! 

Knowing the parts of your skates is important to keeping them in good shape, and some of the most important parts are the bearings. Read on to learn the basics of roller skating bearings, and stop by the InterSkate Skate Outlet to buy new skate bearings, wheels, tools, and more.

What do skate bearings do?

Roller skate bearings are small metal or ceramic balls that allow your wheels to spin. The balls are held in a retainer, surrounded by the outer races and a shield. The axle passes through the central hole of the bearings. This diagram from Bones Bearings gives a good idea of how the setup works.

What kind of skate bearings should you buy?

  • Material- Roller skate bearings are made from steel and ceramic; the one you choose depends on your budget and needs. Steel bearings are the most affordable and durable, but can warp over time as the friction of your wheels heats up the metal. Ceramic bearings won’t expand over time and are much harder, but they are also more expensive. If you’re a beginning to intermediate skater, you’ll be fine with steel bearings.
  • ABEC Rating- The ABEC rating system is a scale developed for rating ball bearings for machinery, and thus does not give a complete picture of a bearing’s performance for skating. The higher the ABEC rating, the more precise the bearing is; however, at the speeds you will be skating, other factors like the wheels and axles make far more of a difference in the performance and speed of your skates.

Photo via Low Price Skates

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