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Do you know about ABEC 11? What do you think about it? For me, I was confused a bit as ABEC is a scale for the tolerance of a ball bearing, and the highest level is only 9. Then, what does ABEC 11 mean? Is it the largest scale for bearings? Let’s find out everything you need to know about ABEC 11 below.
What does ABEC 11 Mean?
You may have heard about ABEC 11 and wonder what it really is. Is it a standard? Or is it a product/ brand name?
Actually, ABEC 11 is a brand name, and it doesn’t mean anything regarding scale or quality. This brand name was founded in 2000 by a group of skaters who are a team driven, too. They sell mostly longboard wheels in Huntington Beach, CA, and even on Amazon, eBay, and other e-commerce webs.
ABEC 11 is considered and reviewed as a great longboard wheels supplier, who majors in these series: ABEC 11 Big Zigs, “Classic,” Flashbacks, Flywheels, “Retro,” and Superfly. They have unique technology to produce a wide range of sizes, shapes, and durometers of skateboard types.
ABEC 11 indeed is not a standard because ABEC 9 (we will explain more about this word in the following part) is the largest scale for the tolerances of a ball bearing. Accordingly, in our opinion, ABEC 11 is just a word implying that the product is outstanding and exceeds the common standard. This is also a good way of branding and promoting products widely.
So, ABEC 11 is a brand name of longboard wheels and also a group of skaters based in Huntington Beach, CA. There is no official standard that shows ABEC 11 is a tolerance scale.
Is 11 the Highest ABEC Bearing?
First, we must know what ABEC is. ABEC stands for Annular Bearing Engineering Committee, who developed the scale for the tolerance of ball bearings. This scale is made for manufacturers to produce the bearings which meet the standard of precision in the specified class.
There are totally five levels of tolerances: level 1, level 3, level 5, level 7, level 9. Higher class or level comes with higher precision, efficiency, and speed capability. As a result, ABEC 9 is the largest scale that gives bearings to be the most precise, efficient, and faster.
As you can see, the ABEC scale doesn’t have level 11; instead, the highest one is ABEC 9. ABEC 11 is just an implying sentence for branding and advertising, which means the quality of the product is beyond the standard.
However, as we see on ABEC 11 products, most of them are labeled as ABEC 9. This proves that their products are all qualified and excellent, with the largest scale for the ball’s tolerance. You should also know that there is no low price for these high-end products.
Then, the answer to the question on the heading is, “No, it’s not.” ABEC 11 is not a tolerance level, and it’s not the highest ABEC bearings, either.
Is Higher ABEC Better?
As mentioned previously, we have five classes that measure bearing precision: ABEC 1, ABEC 3, ABEC 5, ABEC 7, ABEC 9. Technically, higher ABEC shows higher accuracy, efficiency, and speed. However, is it necessarily better when you use the bearings with higher ABEC? In other words, how do you define “better”?
When using high precision bearings, you will see the wheels go smooth and operate at a higher speed than those of standard bearings. But remember, many factors impact the speed of the wheels: loading capability, terrain, and riding environment. If you only care about the speed of the wheels, the ABEC scale is not enough.
This is to emphasize that precise bearings don’t make the wheels go faster. They can only allow the machinery to operate at a higher speed than standard bearings can do. Some people think that the highest precision bearings offer extreme speed, but the truth is not. Every standard bearing has a limit speed, while higher ABEC only increases efficiency and accuracy.
What about ABEC 11 products? They are all marked with ABEC 9, which means they have the highest precision bearings. This allows the wheels to operate at top efficiency and speed capability. Meanwhile, the bearings are made to meet the highest standard of tolerance and show the best performance.
Is ABEC 11 an excellent product? Yes, it is. But is it better when you use ABEC 11 instead of ABEC 3 or ABEC 1 bearings skateboards? ABEC 11 is indeed a great product, but unless you are a professional skater, you shouldn’t go for it. Why? Because this series is most suitable for experts, professionals, or wealthy people.
Dimensional specifications are just the numbers, and they are only correct under certain conditions. Then, if you are not an expert, you will hardly feel the difference when riding the ABEC 11 bearings skateboard and the ABEC 3 one. More things can affect the quality of bearings, and they will also impact your experience more than the ABEC scale can do.
Therefore, regarding dimensional specifications, the larger ABEC scale offers better quality. But practically, you may ride on the ABEC 3 bearings skateboard and feel better than on the ABEC 11. So let’s make clear of your purpose before deciding which is better.
How do ABEC Ratings Work?
Before going to this part, we must say not all ABEC ratings are necessary for skate application. ABEC 11 is excellent enough for skateboarding thanks to its high quality and performance. Following is what ABEC ratings work.
There are five ABEC ratings, and each of them indicates different specifications:
- ABEC 1 is similar to ISO P0
- ABEC 3 is similar to ISO P6
- ABEC 5 is similar to ISO P5
- ABEC 7 is similar to ISO P4
- ABEC 9 is similar to ISO P2
Accordingly, higher ABEC ratings demonstrate more precision of ball bearings. ABEC 11 products (labeled as ABEC 9) works with higher efficiency than those ABEC 5 or 7 products. They give an awesome ride on small cracks, gaps, and rocks on the surface with minimal vibration. If you can feel the bearings, the speed is stunningly at very high performance.
However, there are many factors to be considered when it comes to precision, and we will show you one example: the error of the track in the ring inside bearings. For ABEC 1 scale, the error number is 0.0075 mm; meanwhile, ABEC 9 bearings have an error of only 0.0012 mm. But can we calculate this practically?
The fact is that you won’t feel those little affections after five to ten minutes riding, and then, $100 ABEC 9 bearings will not be much different from $30 ABEC 1 ones. As explained previously, ABEC ratings are only correct under ideal and certain conditions, but in real life, you will hardly feel the difference.
Thus, ABEC ratings only provide a standard scale for manufacturers to follow and design their products. If you are a skateboarder, you don’t have to care much about this much. ABEC 11 products, in this term, are designed with the finest technology and ensure the high quality, excellent performance. However, these products are a little expensive that you should consider before buying them.
How to Choose the Right ABEC Rating for Your Bearing
So, which grades of bearings should we choose for our wheels? ABEC 1, 3, or ABEC 9.
When scrolling to this part, you must probably know what ABEC ratings mean and which is the largest ABEC scale. You will partially know which is the best for you: high ABEC bearings or normal ones. Here we give you more information to make your choice easier and better.
First, you should let go of this idea: the higher the ABEC, the faster the wheels. Higher ABEC bearings don’t offer the super speed on your wheels; they just give higher precision and efficiency than standard ball bearings.
Second, if you are an amateur or inexperienced skater, don’t go for it. Let’s imagine you are riding ABEC 3 bearings and ABEC 9 bearings without feeling any difference, what would you think? Moreover, it’s not affordable at all if you purchase a high ABEC scale product, which usually costs more than a hundred dollars. Thus, let’s save money until you are professional enough to ride on ABEC 9 bearings.
Lastly, if you are a skateboarder, ABEC 1 or ABEC 3 is good enough. Since we usually ride at a speed of 20 to 30 mph, there is no need to purchase the ABEC 9 bearings with more than 240 mph speed limit. Additionally, we won’t notice much difference between riding the higher ABEC bearings and lower ones.
Above is everything you need to know about ABEC 11. As you can see, it’s not a scale level or standard, while ABEC 11 implies the excess quality and performance of the products. After this article, you will also know the necessary information about ABEC and can now make your choice for ball bearings you are going to use. Should you have any difficulty? Let’s comment below.