Every part of a skateboard is essential to provide a comfortable riding experience. Though most newcomers know the wheels run the skateboard, the bearings inside the wheels rotate and generate all the speed.
Stick with me here as I discuss the functions and importance of skateboard bearing below.
Do bearings matter in skateboards?
Bearings are one of the most crucial parts of a skateboard. If might get away with a slightly smaller deck, but if the bearings are not suitable, it can significantly affect your riding experience. Every skateboard wheel is equipped with two bearing each.
There are so many small factors of a bearing that matters big time. For starters, if we take the material, a higher quality ceramic bearing has a faster spinning speed, rust prevention, and overall longer lifespan. If you want those benefits, what bearings you purchase should matter to you.
Next, we can talk about the paces. The spacers are the little metal cylinders between the two bearings of each wheel. If the spacers aren’t high quality, it can result in unsmooth turns and reduce the lifespan of the wheels.
Lastly, the ABEC eating of the bearing matters significantly in the skateboard performance. The higher the rating, the higher the precision and lower the tolerance. In short, higher-rated ABEC bearings rotate faster than lower-rated ones.
If all the factors are not up to the mark in a bearing, it can badly affect that skateboard’s riding experience.
What are the functions of bearings?
To understand what bearings do on a skateboard, first, we need to know the functions of bearings. Here is a glance at the critical tasks of the bearings.
- Retorting the wheel
The primary function of a bearing is the turn the wheels. So, how does a bearing do that? By rotating with the axle as you push the board with your feet.
- Make smoother rotation
The functions of a bearing don’t stop with just rotating the wheels. It makes the rotation smoother too. In theory, you could have ridden a skateboard without bearings too. However, with the balls inside the bearing, the wheels’ spin becomes much smoother.
- Help with momentum
Skateboarding is highly related to physics. Skaters conserve energy and angular momentum to go a long distance. The bearing does the job of preserving that energy and momentum.
Why are bearings important in skateboarding?
As I said earlier, the function of a skateboard bearing is not only to rotate the wheels but make the rotation smoother.
Each skateboarder has their own riding style and skillset, choosing their respective bearings. Now, if the bearing choice is wrong, it can affect the skateboarding potential of any rider.
A bearing comprises many small parts like a shield, outer race, inner race, retainer, and balls. Any change in these parts can drastically change how your skateboard wheel will react.
That’s why choosing suitable bearings is very important in skateboarding.
How can you change bearings in a skateboard wheel?
No matter which bearings you use, they are supposed to wear out at some point in time. Also, you might want to replace the current set of bearings and replace it with a better one.
Whichever the case, here is how you can change the bearings in the skateboard wheel.
- Step 1: First thing you need to do is remove the wheel. The bearings are installed inside the wheel, and there is no way to do that without removing them.
- Step 2: The wheels are secure to the axle with the help of single nuts on each wheel. A skate tool is the best tool to unscrew these nuts and get the wheels off. In case you don’t have one, a ratchet will do too.
- Step 3: Now that the wheels are removed, partially place the wheel back on the axle, like a hook. After hooking the wheel onto the axle, pry it off with slow but constant pressure. Repeat this with each wheel.
- Step 4: Next, grab the new bearing and place the bearing on the wheel and press it to secure the new bearings into the wheel. The colored shield of the bearing should be placed facing out.
- Step 5: Lastly, you must pace the wheel back on the axle with new bearings. Put the washer back if you use any. Then secure the wheels again on the axle with the nuts.
That’s a wrap for today. I hope my article was helpful enough to understand the functionality and importance of skateboard bearings. As you have seen, just a good set of wheels isn’t going to perform well without the support of quality bearings.
So, if you want your skateboard to suit your riding style, it’s high time you add the bearings to your list of considerations.
Hi, this is Jerry, a skateboarder, who loves to talk about micro-mobility and future of that industry. Coming from motion engineering background, I am very enthusiast about speed, motion, balance and technology. I have taken a mission to carry the fuel free, environment friendly micro-mobile industry forward by educating people about micro-mobile products especially skateboards and longboards. I love skating around very much and encourage people to do so. Its a fun believe me.