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Guide to Skate Bearings - 2018

Posted by Carly Quick

Guide to Roller Skate Bearings


What is your Favorite Brand of Bearings?

  •   Bones/RollerBones
  •   Qube
  •   Bionic
  •   Kwik
  •   Moto (Antik)
  •   Yolo

Bearings are what allow roller skates to turn, spin, and rotate on the axle of the wheel. Roller skate bearings are essential and protect against metal grinding on metal within the wheel. Even though bearings are small, don’t be fooled! They play a huge part in how fast and how smooth you skate. Choosing the best bearings is very important for competitive skating sports like speed skating or roller derby. If you have old or dirty bearings, you are going to roll super slow and loud! There are two bearings on each wheel, so a pair of quad roller skates will have 16 bearings total. For inline skates, you wheel need twice the total wheels on your skates, so if you use 3-wheel inline skates, you will need 12 bearings. For inline wheels, you will also need spacers to go in between the bearings in each wheel. Different materials suit different types of skating and skater preferences.

To better understand standard Abec bearings vs. Swiss bearings, please read our articles What are Swiss Bearings? and What are Ceramic Bearings? These are a must-read to understand how to choose the bearings that are best for your needs.

Heavy use and fast skating increases the friction between the wheel and axle, as far as bearings are concerned. This friction can make bearings heat up enough to expand and even ruin the bearings. In order to maintain your bearings and make them last longer, it is important to maintain them by cleaning, lubricating, and drying them after each use. Check out our articles on How to Clean Skate Bearings for great information on bearing maintenance!

Check out our recommendations below as well as our full selection of skate bearings and you will be sure to find the best bearings to suit your needs and level of skating! If you're looking for skateboard bearings, you can check those out here!

Bearing Information and Recommendations

Standard Bearings (Abec & ILQ Rated)

ABEC (Annular Bearing Engineering Council) uses a system to rate bearings. Their rating doesn’t include how fast bearings are, but are a fairly accurate indicator of a bearing’s quality and also factors in how precise the manufacturing process of the bearing is. A higher ABEC rating means better bearings for a manufacturer, comparatively. For example, if you choose a bearing rated ABEC 1, they would be less smooth and have less “roll-out” than a bearing rating ABEC 7. ILQ (InLine Qualified) bearings were designed by TWINCAM and trademarked in 2002.

Standard steel bearings are the most common bearings used in skating and are usually assigned an Abec rating. Steel bearings are circular with flat sides, and normally are equipped with seven or eight ball bearings. The idea behind these bearings, used in both roller skating and skateboarding, is a design that evenly distributes weight and eases tension between the wheel and the axle so that they don’t grind.

Steel is a durable, economical metal. Steel metal bearings are lower in price than other types of bearings and are perfect for recreational and beginner skaters. The reason steel bearings are ideal for recreational skaters, or skaters that don’t skate for extended periods of time, is that steel bearings are dependable when used under normal skating conditions and are generally inexpensive. When purchasing Abec rated bearings, make sure they are properly cleaned, broken-in, and oiled. Yolo bearings are known for being great out of the box.

Bionic Abec 7 Bearings

Bionic Abec 7The Bionic Abec 7 Bearings are some of the best bearings on the market. They are lubricated with speed oil before they are packaged so they are ready to put in your wheels the moment you get them and require no break-in period. These bearings would be great for skaters of all experience levels!


RollerBones Bearings

RollerBonesThe RollerBones Bearings are extremely popular for skaters and skateboarders. These low friction bearings are pre-lubricated with Bones Speed Cream so there is no need to add anything before putting them in your wheels. These bearings are also super easy to clean since the retainer and shield are removable.


Seba ILQ9 Pro Bearings

Seba ILQ9 Pro BearingsThe Seba ILQ9 Pro Bearings are favored by pros everywhere. Superbly engineered by TWINCAM AND Seba for a super smooth ride. Put these bearings on your wheels and lead the freestyle pack.



Yolo Abec 7 Bearings

Yolo Skate BearingsYolo Abec 7 Bearings are also a solid choice. These bearings are made and designed by some of the world's best skaters, specifically for the high performance and longevity demanded by true competitive skaters. All Yolo Bearings are ultrasonic cleaned, pre broken-in, oiled, and packaged by hand so you can install them and go.


Swiss Bearings (Ceramic or Titanium)

First, what is a Swiss Bearing? "Swiss" bearings are ideal for intense skaters who want a low-maintenance bearing that outperforms other bearings with lesser quality manufacturing and materials. Ceramic or Titanium bearings, when compared to steel bearings, encounter less friction, don’t need as much lubricant, and don’t expand when heated by friction. Avid skaters tend to prefer a more heat-resistant material when choosing bearings. Heavy use and fast skating on a non-heat resistant bearing can cause friction between the wheel and axle. Swiss bearings are popular due to their ability to accelerate faster and roll farther than traditional steel bearings. These bearings also handle dirt, moisture, and rough surfaces better because they are hard and chemically resistant. They are typically smoother than most other types of steel bearings.

Swiss bearings are often made from a silicon nitride compound or titanium. These materials make for an even, smooth skate bearing that is not affected as much as steel or other metals by heat or dirt.

Bionic Swiss Bearings

Bionic SwissThe Bionic Swiss Bearings are made of titanium and roll forever! These bearings have deeper grooves, double honed races for smoother, faster and longer lasting bearings. They also utilize shields to protect the internal parts of the bearing from dirt and liquids, enhancing their longevity.


Bones Swiss Ceramic Bearings

Bones Reds Ceramic SwissThe Bones Swiss Ceramic Bearings are most likely the best selling bearings on the market today. These bearings have the same frame and cage as the Bones Swiss, but the steel ball bearings are replaced with a compressed ceramic compound making these bearings roll much smoother and faster.


Yolo Ceramic Bearings

Yolo Skate BearingsWith precision ceramic balls made in Japan, double honed inner and outer races, and deeper grooves specifically for skating, these Yolo Ceramic Bearings will last. They are ready right out of the package and easy to clean too!


Recommended Bearings for Roller Derby

If you plan to skate at a high speed in your derby jams or when you're racing around the track, then you need bearings that will allow for it. Derby requires bearings that will hold up to the rigorous skating the players are involved in and choosing the right bearings for your needs is important. We highy recommend inexpensive, durable, quality bearings for derby players. Roll-out is a factor of bearing performance. If a bearing is said to have a good “roll-out”, then you will skate rolling farther with each stride – so you don’t have to take as many strides to keep ‘rolling’. Basically, you can skate faster and with less effort to get farther with more roll-out. Some derby tracks and rinks are certainly more smooth than others, and if you need a smooth roll, then you also need to focus on keeping your bearings clean.

Bionic Abec 7 Bearings

Bionic Abec 7The Bionic Abec 7 Bearings are some of the best bearings on the market. They are lubricated with speed oil before they are packaged so you'll be ready to get in the game in minutes. These bearings would be great for derby players of all experience levels and will last for seasons!


Bones Reds Bearings

Bones RedsThe Bones Reds Bearings are great bearings for a great price! Some of the best skaters in the world roll on these bearings because they perform much better then some of the other high priced bearings. Just like the Rollerbones, these are pre-lubricated with Bones Speed Cream so they are ready to skate on right out of the box.


Yolo Swiss Bearings

Yolo Skate BearingsYolo Swiss Bearings are a great choice for a high-end bearing. These bearings have precision steel balls, deeper grooves specifically for skating, nylon retainers, and non-contact rubber coated steel shields which make them great to skate on and easy to clean.


Moto Deluxe Bearings

Moto DeluxeThe Moto Deluxe Bearings are built to the highest specifications and constructed from the best parts available. These bearings are tested and skate rated, meaning that they will withstand the roughness skating brings. Like all Moto Bearings these are pre-spun to ensure there is no funky break-in period.



Recommended Bearings for Skateboarding

If you plan to skateboard we have the bearings for you! We carry a variety of awesome skateboard bearings that our customers just love. Check out a few of our favorites below and then check out our full link of skateboard bearings!!

Andale Daewon Song Donut Skateboard Bearings

Andale Daewon Song Donut Skateboard BearingsThe Andale Daewon Song Donut Skateboard Bearings are Pro Rated and Tested by Daewon to withstand the daily abuse we know skateboarders put on their equipment. The higher quality steel races, balls, finish, shields, and retainer will make these your go to bearings. Please don't try to eat them...we know they look tasty, that doesn't mean they're food. They will help you with some sweet tricks though so pick some up today!!


Andale Skateboard Bearings

Andale Skateboard BearingsThe Andale Skateboard Bearings are Premium Swiss Bearings built with precision, higher quality steel races, better quality and grade balls, and a superior surface finish, single, non-contact, removable rubber shield, high speed nylon ball retainer, and high impact tested.


Shake Junt Skateboard Bearings

Shake Junt Skateboard BearingsYou'll definitely get where you need to be quickly with these awesome Shake Junt Skateboard Bearings! Choose from OG'S Abec 5, Triple OG'S Abec 7, and Reynolds Pro Bearings and go as fast as you want to for a price you'll love. The Triple OG's Abec 7s are a customer favorite and seriously, who wouldn't want dollar signs on their bearings!? Use your new speedy roll to hit those tricks with extra speed.


Spitfire Skateboard Bearings

Spitfire Skateboard BearingsThe Spitfire Skateboard Bearings are designed specifically for skateboarding so you know you'll get what you need. The removable shields will allow you to keep these bearings super clean so they'll last you countless hours of serious board time. For those of you that run through wheels and bearings like water, grab a few sets of the cheapshots for an unheard of price!



Suggested Bearing Maintenance for Indoor and Outdoor Skating

Just a reminder! Whether you are Fresh Meat or a seasoned skater, we want to remind you to clean and check your bearings regularly! They will last longer, remain smooth on the track, and even help you skate better. With just a few minutes of cleaning and lubricating bearings after each use, or as often as you can, you maximize the lifespan, durability and speed of your wheels.

Bearings are small, but essential to the quality of your derby jam! DevaSkation is dedicated to offering the highest quality skate gear to assure your every skate goes smoothly – whether on the track or for leisure. Feel free to contact us with any questions or comments and don't forget to vote for your favorite brand above!

Outdoor skating is popular and a lot of fun. Wheels are bearings are incredibly important if you're going to skate outdoors often because, unlike indoor skating, outdoor skating causes your bearings to gunk up faster. Wherever you are skating, you’re going to need to clean your bearings occasionally. Check out our articles on Guide to Skate Maintenance and How to Clean Skate Bearings for even more great information! If you are going to skate outdoors regularly, you might want to pick up a PowerDyne Dual Purpose Bearing Tool for removing the bearings and inserting bearings back into wheels.

Devaskation Bearing Maintenance Package

Devaskation Bearing Maintenance PackageThe Devaskation Bearing Maintenance Package is a great, affordable way to keep your bearings in top condition. This package includes Bionic Bearing Cleaner, Bionic Bearing Oil, Bones Bearing Cleaning Unit, Roller Bones Bearing Tool, 3-Way Tool, a Devaskation Lanyard, and a Devaskation Sticker!


Powerdyne Skate Maintenance Package

Powerdyne Skate Maintenance PackageThe Powerdyne Skate Maintenance Package has everything you need to take care of your skates! First, choose a PowerDyne Bearing Puller/Press or a PowerDyne Bearing Tool to take out and put in your bearings. Then, choose a PowerDyne Y3 Tool or a PowerDyne Y4 Tool to make adjusting toe stops and wheels a breeze. Now you can choose all the other things you need to show your skates some love and you'll get an Awesome Devaskation Drawstring Bag to keep it all in!

Roller Bones Bearing Clean And Lube Maintenance Package

Roller Bones Bearing Clean And Lube Maintenance Package The Roller Bones Bearing Clean and Lube Maintenance Package makes it easy to take care of your bearings! This package includes everything you need to remove your bearings and clean them: Bones Bearing Cleaning Unit, Roller Bones Bearing Tool, and Bones Speed Cream.

Bearing Test - Video

We know, we know...there would be a dozen more structured tests we'd need to do to find the best bearings. We just couldn't help being curious about which ones would spin the longest straight out of the box. None of the bearings in this video were adjusted in any way from the box to the wheel. It does make us want to put a set of Moto Deluxe and Yolo Ceramics in our skates and see if we can feel the difference though!




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