Skateboard bearings are an integral part of the functionality of your skateboard and how it will perform. If you don’t have them attached right, you might find yourself falling instead of landing the trick you were hoping for. Here is how to knowing your bearings inside and out.
The bearings can be made of steel, titanium, ceramic, or a combination of different materials. The bearings may also be in many different colors to help you stand out and are mounted on the inside of the wheels and onto the truck axle.
Every skateboard is equipped with two bearings, and if you feel the need, you can add a spacer in between them.
Maintaining your skateboard’s bearings will help the board itself last longer. If you want to ensure that the bearings can hold up, properly maintain and lubricate the bearings with an oil-based lubricant or grease and clean them daily to avoid buildup.
When you skate, your wheels are running over dirt, mud, asphalt, and many other clogging things that can damage your wheels and cause accidents if left uncared for.
Chances are, you are moving quickly and trying to jump and land tricks as well. That causes more friction between the axle and the wheel, which causes a quick breakdown. When cleaning your bearings, remember never to use water.
It will cause them to rust. That is why it’s recommended that you never skate in the rain. Keep in mind that you should clean your bearings first before you oil them.
Have you heard of an ABEC rating? There are debates from every corner on whether or not the rating provides reliable information on skateboarding bearings and how long they will hold up.
While it is a standard for fine the rolling elements of the bearing are and delivers quality information, the rating has proven to be mostly irrelevant. No matter how high, the rating does not guarantee a longer-lasting bearing, which is why many companies no longer show the rating on their site.
Knowing when to replace your bearings is vital as well. If they are cracked and dirty even after cleaning, making noise, or have rust covering them, you will need to replace them right away.
As a rule of thumb, your bearings should be quiet and spin freely for the most part. They may not move quickly, but if the movement is free, you won’t have to worry about opening your wallet just yet.
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