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Skateboard bearings are a very important part of your skateboard. They allow the wheels to spin smoothly and with ease, which is crucial when you’re trying to do tricks on your board.
Skateboard bearings come in all different sizes and shapes for just about any style of skating that you can think of, so it’s important that you get the right ones for what type of skateboarding you’ll be doing.
What are skateboard bearings?
Skateboard bearings are a set of round metal balls that fit into a skateboard’s wheel hubs. These bearings allow the wheels to spin freely on the axles, so your wheels will turn as you ride your board – no matter what type of surface you’re riding over.
In order for this to work properly, the ball bearings need to be kept clean and well lubricated. Lubrication is essential for keeping your bearings from grinding away at the axle, which will eventually ruin your board.
Fortunately, new bearings come with a set of bearing spacers. Bearing spacers help protect your bearings by lifting them off the axle slightly so that they don’t make direct contact.
How do skateboard bearings work?
When you roll on your skateboard, your wheels turn. That’s what makes a skateboard move forwards – applying force to the wheels while they’re in motion forces them to turn and create forward momentum.
The turning of your wheels is enabled by bearings, which allow all the parts of your board (wheels included) to move freely.
If you’ve ever ridden a skateboard without bearings, then you know that it’s nearly impossible to push with any amount of speed because the wheels just don’t have the ability to spin freely enough to propel you forward.
types of skateboard bearings
There are two main types of skateboard bearings. These are standard ball bearings, which are the most popular for all-around skating, and ceramic bearings, which are typically favored by street skaters who need to go fast without pushing.
People in the skateboarding community tend to have strong opinions about whether standard or ceramic bearings are better – but the only difference between the two is that ceramic bearings are made from a different material.
The composition of both types of bearings is exactly the same; it’s just the material that they’re made out of that sets them apart.
sizes and shapes of skateboard bearings
As you can probably imagine, there are many different sizes and shapes of bearings to accommodate the different sizes and shapes of skateboard wheels. Standard, longboard and cruiser bearings come in many different colors and sizes because they all need to fit a wide variety of board setups.
Skateboard bearings are available in sets ranging from eight to thirty-two pieces; your ideal number will depend on how often you want to replace your bearings.
A skateboard’s standard bearings come in either an ABEC 3 or ABEC 5 rating. The higher the ABEC, the better the bearing is at keeping itself clean and well lubricated – which keeps you rolling quickly without resistance.
Standard bearing sizes are measured by millimeters across. Skateboard bearings range from around eight millimeters wide to a little over thirty-two millimeters wide.
You can find standard bearings in nearly any size you need for your skateboard wheels.ABEC 3 bearings are the industry standard for all types of skating, including cruising, carving, and downhill.
Why should you replace your skateboard bearings?
If you’ve had your bearings for years, it’s probably time to replace them. Bearings aren’t meant to last forever – they’re more like an engine than a car, and you need to be prepared to change them on your board occasionally.
Skateboard bearings rotate constantly (less than one minute per rotation), which means that they need to be properly lubricated in order to work at their best. If you replace your bearings when they get worn down, they’ll last a lot longer and keep rolling just as smoothly.
How do I know if my skateboard bearings need to be replaced?
The easiest way is to listen for any grinding or bumping sounds while riding on your board. If you’re hearing any sounds from your bearings, it means that there’s not enough lubricant to keep them rolling smoothly.
how to change skateboard bearings
There are two main ways to change your skateboard bearings – with a bearing press, or by using the “blow out” method. Either technique will work perfectly fine; it just depends on what you have available to you at the time of your bearing replacement.
For most riders, the blowout method is easier and more practical because it doesn’t require the purchase of any tools.
- Remove both wheels from your board using an axle wrench. Once you’ve taken off the wheels, put them aside and get ready to pop out your bearings – starting with the front wheel.
- Carefully pry out your old bearing either by hand or with the help of some pliers. Be careful not to bend the metal shields surrounding your bearing while you’re working on it.
- Put one thin coat of lubricant inside the front wheel, and around two drops in the back wheel for each new bearing you’re installing.(I enough) Put lubricant on your bearings so that it can get in between the inside metal rings and roll smoothly.
- Gently slide your new bearings into place – be careful not to push them all the way in, or else you’ll damage the shields surrounding your bearings. If you feel like they’re stuck at any point, try applying more lubricant to make sure that they’re rolling smoothly.
- Once your new bearings are in place, but the wheels back on your skateboard and tighten them down using an axle wrench.
Safety tips for replacing your skates board bearing
It’s very important to remember that your bearings are precision pieces – if they’re not carefully replaced on your board, the weight of the truck will cause them to eventually fall out on their own.
This can be dangerous if you aren’t on your skateboard; you could end up injuring yourself or someone else. When you first pop off your old bearing (before you replace it), make sure that the shield is intact and isn’t bent.
If your shield is damaged, you’ll need to buy a whole new bearing instead of replacing the shields on an existing bearing.
Maintenance Needed For Your Skateboard Bearings
How often you need to replace your bearings varies from person to person. If you’re a heavier rider, your bearings will wear down faster because of the added pressure on them.
The standard skating lifespan for a skateboard bearing is anywhere between one and six months, depending on how often you ride and what kind of riding you do.
Take care of your skateboard bearings, and they’ll take care of you. Remember that bearings are expensive to replace, so it’s important to keep yours well lubricated in order to prevent unnecessary wear.
Cleaning skateboard bearings
If you need to clean your bearings properly:
- Take them out of the wheel and use methylated spirits or nail polish remover on a cloth.
- Ensure there is no excess liquid before popping them back into place.
- Wipe down any metal parts such as spacers and bushings, which can also benefit from a quick clean.
Ensure you apply enough lubricant to the bearing and allow it to settle in before putting your board back together.
You can also give your bearings a quick clean with methylated spirits or nail polish remover and wipe dry if you feel they might be too dirty to apply new lubricant prior to use. Please note; that this is only if you feel that your bearings are not rolling smoothly.
Excessive lubricant can slow down the speed of your board, so it’s important to remove any excess before hitting the streets. Ensure there is no excess liquid after inserting the bearing into its respective spot (wheel, truck, etc.). If you do use too much lubricant, make sure you wipe it off.
In the article: How Do Skateboard Bearings Work. I hope you get all the required information. In Short, Bearings are pushed together by the pressure from each truck.
They should be replaced when they no longer have a smooth radius or when they get stuck rolling. If you replace your bearings every few months, not only will they last for a long time, but also your wheels and other hardware will wear down less quickly.
It’s important to lube your bearings so that they roll smoothly. Otherwise, you risk damage to the shields. Bearings should be replaced if there are any visible signs of cracks or damage.