Bearings are an important part of any set up. Fortunately for riders, bearing development is a pretty strong industry outside of skateboarding alone and because the machinery exists to create just about anything, we’ve gotten some great products in return.
One thing you will notice right away when browsing through the choices of bearings is the word Abec. What is Abec? Is it a wheel? In this case, no. Abec 3, 5, 7 and 9 are ratings. They rate the precision of the ball bearings. The higher the rating, the more precise it is – with Abec 7’s being the standard in the industry. Paying attention in science class, we know that the more precise the bearings are, the smoother they’ll roll, because the parts work together better, making them faster. Going along with that, if you want a slow beginner bearing for your small child, go with an Abec 3, and if you want to win the championship race, go with the Abec 9’s.
Most people ride steel ball bearings because they are affordable, strong and have a good heat tolerance. Steel bearings come stock in pretty much every complete set up and we even have our own the Daddies Bearings to go along with all the other brands that we carry. Now, if you are looking to contribute to your high performance set up than you may want to go ahead and start looking at ceramic bearings.
Ceramic bearings have a much higher heat tolerance than steel ball bearings and they’re used commonly in the racing world. Although at first sight they are more expensive, their benefits outweigh that.
Factor in high speed and high heat situations where wheels are likely to get very heated such as freeriding long hills in hot climates, and skating on ramps for long periods at a time.