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Skateboard bearings are an integral part of the skateboarding experience. Without them, skateboards couldn’t function properly and we’d all be stuck pushing around on foot. But what are these small metal circles made from, and why do they keep us rolling?
Though our favorite skaters make it look easy, there’s a lot of physics, engineering, and technology that goes into making the wheels spin smoothly. You may be surprised to learn that different types of bearing metals can actually affect your speed or maneuverability.
In this article, we’ll answer the age-old question: “What are skateboard bearings made of?” We’ll discuss Titanium bearings, steel and ceramic bearing materials, and which type may be right for your style.
What Type Of Skateboard Bearings Are There?
There are three main types of skateboard bearings, each with its own unique benefits and qualities. Steel is the industry standard and is both economical and durable.
Ceramic bearings are more durable than steel and will remain unchanged even when under pressure. Lastly, titanium is lightweight, rust-resistant, and incredibly durable.
No matter which type of skateboard bearing you choose, they all must meet certain standards set by the International Manufacturing Association. This ensures that all skateboard bearings on the market provide a reliable ride in terms of speed and performance.
Ultimately, it just comes down to your personal preference when choosing the type of skateboard bearing that works best for you.
What Are Skateboard Bearings Made Of?
Skateboard bearings are made from a variety of materials. The most common material used is steel, which is relatively inexpensive and long-lasting. It’s composed of balls, shields, inner and outer races, bearing spacers, and retainers. Some skateboards will also use ceramic bearings which are faster but more expensive than steel ones.
Ceramic bearings are particularly appealing as they have an increased lifespan before needing to be replaced due to their improved durability compared to steel bearings. Ultimately though it depends on your preferences as many skaters prefer the feel of metal over ceramic when it comes to how smoothly their boards ride!
Skateboard Bearing Materials
When it comes to skateboard-bearing materials, there is only one choice – steel. Forget about titanium or ceramic because steel is the best material for skateboard bearings. Quality steel should be your goal when looking for a good set of skateboard bearings.
That said, there are still some misconceptions and disadvantages that you should know before buying a set of skating bearings. Bearings themselves aren’t expensive to make, which means they can have huge margins when sold as a product, so keep that in mind when making your purchase.
Steel bearings are becoming more popular among skaters due to their affordable price and durability. They may heat up faster than other kinds of bearings, but this usually doesn’t make too much of a difference when skateboarding.
The biggest downside to steel bearings is that they are prone to rust, which means you’ll have to take good care of them and avoid riding in wet, dusty, or salty conditions if you want them to last.
Fortunately, quality brands like Bronson G2 and Bones Reds also offer steel bearings that won’t put too much strain on your wallet – 30 dollars for a set is more than enough for most skaters.
No matter if you choose the expensive ones or the cheaper options – steel bearings will last as long as any other material in most cases. Sure, if you’re doing tricks like ollieing down 7-stairs regularly then you might have to get higher-grade steel, but besides that, they perform just as well as their pricier counterparts.
Ceramic bearings have been gaining in popularity over the last few years, mainly due to marketing and the appeal that they offer. But when it comes down to performance, they are not actually faster than quality metal bearings – only a small 0.5 mph difference has been observed. The material and type of bearing used have less of an effect on speed than the type of wheel chosen for your skateboard.
Ceramics might have some benefits though, such as delivering long-term speed over time and being able to resist wet conditions slightly better. However, even after riding them under wet conditions for an extended period of time, we found that these ceramic bearings still eventually squeak and rusted.
The extra cost you pay for ceramic bearings probably isn’t really worth it – if you believe it’s helping your speeds then great, but in reality, there’s no evidence that they’re improving anything outside of your perception.
And importantly, they are weaker than metal bearings and may break more easily when subjected to hard impacts – so hardcore skaters beware!
Titanium bearings are an attractive option for skateboarders looking for a longer-lasting solution. Compared to steel, titanium is lighter and stronger and it also offers a rust-free surface that can stand up to the toughest conditions.
These titanium bearings are made with an alloy coating that is harder than steel, providing extra durability and protection. In addition, they feature high micro finish grade 10 titanium balls which ensure smooth operation even in wet weather.
Personally, I never skated with titanium bearings before, but after learning about their features, I’m going to give them a try. And with prices ranging from $15 to $65 dollars, it’s definitely worth giving them a shot.
Skateboard-bearing material quality
When it comes to skateboard-bearing material quality, there are a few factors to consider.
Steel bearings are an important part of every skateboard setup. They’re used for speed, reliability, and stability, so choosing the right set is essential. Steel bearings come in various shapes and sizes, and with different grades of steel.
When it comes to quality, you get what you pay for. Cheaper bearings tend to be made of lower-grade materials that are more susceptible to rust and dirt.
When stopping on your board, you can feel the difference between cheaper versus higher quality steel bearings; they may screech or stiffen up when coming to a quick stop due to poor sealing and fewer inner ball bearings. Investing in high-quality steel bearings is well worth the cost!
Ceramic bearings are giving skaters a performance boost in the skateboarding world. These bearings come with ceramic balls, which produce incredibly smooth rides and require minimal maintenance. And while they may cost more than regular steel bearings ($70-$100 compared to $15), they offer a clear advantage if you’re serious about your skateboarding.
The secret to ceramic bearings is that they combine both ceramic elements and higher-quality steel. The ceramic elements, lightweight but strong, create less friction when riding, while the steel adds strength and increased durability. Not only that, thanks to their resistance to rusting, ceramics don’t need replacing nearly as often as steel bearings do.
Skaters who have switched to ceramic bearings are hooked on the precision performance it offers as well as less upkeep required – a winning combination for any skater! Whether or not you decide to invest in these special types of bearings comes down to your budget and how often you’ll be using them – this could determine if investing in ceramics can be beneficial for you or not.
Skateboard Bearings Maintenance
Skateboard bearings require maintenance if you want them to work their best. Regular cleaning and lubrication can help keep your bearings in top condition. However, many people find that the process of maintaining skateboard bearings is more trouble than it’s worth; after cleaning, the grease may disappear, and dirt quickly come back, meaning the process needs to be repeated all too soon.
If you choose to maintain your skateboard bearings regularly, the first step is to remove the shield(s), but do not take apart the balls and container inside. Then, use nail polish remover or alcohol and submerge your bearings for about 30 minutes. Use a container to shake off any excess dirt before wiping it with a tissue. Finally, make sure they are dry before applying silicon lube using just a few drops.
Maintaining your skateboard bearings can be a tedious job – if you don’t have much time or experience with them it’s usually better to simply buy new ones as needed rather than put yourself through the hassle of regular cleaning and lubrication routines.
How Long Do Skateboard Bearings Last?
Skateboard bearings can typically last for six months to one year if used sparingly, but trick riding and frequent use will shorten their lifespan to a few months.
What Kind Of Bearing Do Skateboards Use?
Skate bearings are usually made of either steel or ceramic, both with distinct advantages. Steel tends to be more cost-effective while ceramic offers superior quality and requires less upkeep.
What Makes A Good Skateboard Bearing?
Generally, the costlier the skateboard bearings are, the better they are made. Inexpensive bearings often utilize cheap materials while pricier skateboard bearings tend to feature superior sealing, a larger number of inner ball bearings, and finer metals.
In conclusion, skateboard bearings are an important component of every skateboard. They are typically made of high-grade steel or ceramic and come in a variety of sizes, styles, and bearing grades to meet different needs. Steel bearings are long-lasting and are generally less expensive, versatile, and durable than ceramic.
Ultimately, the decision of which material is best suited for your skateboard will come down to budget, skill level, and personal preference. With all the options out there, it’s best to do your research and choose the right type for you to get the most out of your skating experience!
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