If you are a big fan of longboarding, you need to find the best equipment for your practice. To choose a good longboard, you need to make sure it has reliable bearings. In this article, we will mention a few features that the best longboard bearings should have.
Things to consider when buying your longboard bearings
Bearings of longboard include balls, inner and outer races. Aside from that, they also come with retainer cages and shields.
You will find different types of longboard bearings in the market. That’s why it’s important to know which material you prefer beforehand. Balls are one of the most important parts of bearings. And there are two main materials for the ball: steel or ceramic.
If you want to buy the best longboard bearings, they will need to have quality balls. These balls allow you to have great spin, ensure your good speed, and precision when longboarding.
No matter how you use the longboard, for cruising, for riding, or for racing, you need to find the longboard bearings that work best for you. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages. Details are as below:
Steel balls are suitable for low-budget longboards and it works for people who are just beginning to learn about this sport. Steel bearings remain cool while you ride, enabling elasticity under a heavy load. Besides, longboard bearings made of steel balls are also resistant to cracking.
On the other hand, ceramic balls work well for experienced riders or downhill racers. The high-quality ceramic balls of the bearings ensure your safety while racing because they are not affected by heat. However, the price of ceramic bearings can be a little bit higher than steel ones.
ABEC Rating System
The best longboard bearings should have good rates. When picking bearings for your board, you need to pay attention to the ABEC Rating. This is a popular rating system for both longboarding and skateboarding.
The Annular Bearing Engineers Committee rating system lets you know how good your machine bearings are. When it comes to the bearings of skateboard and longboard, you should opt for ones with high ABEC. Because that means your longboard bearings have a great revolution per minute of the wheel.
However, this system doesn’t let you know how good the spinning speed or the acceleration of skateboard bearings are. That’s why some brands don’t use this system, but their own one which meets the standards of skateboarding and longboarding.
Meanwhile, there are still a lot of companies in the market that use this system. So if the longboard you are looking at is one of them, make sure to choose the higher rating of the bearings.
There is a standard size for longboard bearings. They usually come in the size of 22 x 7 x 8 (mm), respectively outer diameter x width x axle. This is the most common bearing size in the market that fits well on your longboards and skateboard axles. If you don’t have any special requirements for your boards or don’t intend to do any unique tricks, this is the right size for you.
Other crucial parts of the longboard bearings are spacers and washers (speed rings). They help make the axle and truck of longboards or skateboards more clear. Without them, the longboard bearings might have to rely on wheel hubs for placement.
Not to mention, your spin will be optimized thanks to washers and spacers and your bearings will be tight which prevents crooked bearings. So what is the best size of spacers? Our recommendation for you is the one that measures ½ inch because it will fit most longboard and skateboard axles.
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This feature is quite similar to the above one. They are both needed to ensure that your longboard runs smoothly. There are plenty of different lubricants for you to use on your bearings. Sometimes, you need to lubricate your equipment as a form of maintenance. If you do it well often, your longboard bearings will last long.
You should opt for a thin lubricant that won’t cause too much friction. Otherwise, it can slow down your wheel. In case you buy pre-lubricated longboard bearings, just use the same style of lubricant that your bearing set has already used before. It saves your time and makes it easier for you when it comes to choosing the right lubrication.
If you want to replace a new bearing, check out how to remove bearings from skateboard wheels safely?
In the market of longboard bearings, you will find that most of them are pre-lubricated. That means they will spin faster immediately. When you take it out of the box, it’s ready to impress you.
If your bearings are new, you don’t need to lubricate them before installation. But you can always enhance the smooth level of your bearings by having them pre-lubricated. You will find a lot of lubricant options so make sure your bearings can roll comfortably.
What is a bearing shield? For those who don’t know, the shield of bearings is a wall made of rubber or metal that keeps debris and dirt from getting inside. The best bearings usually come with a double shield so that they are protected well from the elements. If you check carefully, you might still find the best bearings with a single shield. In this case, you must consider other factors as well before making your decision.
Besides, you can choose the bearing shields based on your preference or their performance. But there is one thing that you should keep in mind. If you choose bearings with rubber shields, you can remove them from the bearings and clean them thoroughly. Meanwhile, metal shields don’t allow you to do so, making it difficult to maintain.
As you can see, choosing the right longboard bearings is extremely important. Not only do they help you improve your skills and performance, but you will also have a lot of fun longboarding experiences and enjoy your practice in a safe way. All you need to do is to consider every factor that is mentioned in this article before choosing the best longboard bearings for your practice.