Biltin Bearings Are The Coolest Thing Since Sliced Awesome

This just in: Biltin bearings rock. The Bustin shop just started carrying these a few weeks ago, and I haven’t quite figured it out yet, but no matter how much I tell people how sweet these bearings are, they want Bones. And I have nothing against Bones bearings; they make a great product. But the only time I have ever experienced a performance difference between bearings was when I did my first downhill race a few weeks ago and was getting left in the dust by guys on ceramics. And you could really tell a difference. Some of the guys you’d ride right along with. Then there were a couple who would start down the hill, us all at the same speed, and even when I’m sucking behind them in a draft, they’re pulling away from me at about a foot per second.

So I’ve talked myself into ceramic bearings for racing now. But for every other ride, I stick with Biltins. Why? Because they are pretty cheap ($30 here at the store vs Reds at $20 or Super Reds at $26, and significantly cheaper than any of the Bones Swiss lines), they are super strong, there are virtually no parts to screw up, and they make everything easier.

Biltins have a built-in bearing spacer. Each one has an extended inner race, which, when you add two together, fit right in the wheel as if you put a 10mm bearing spacer in there. They also extend in the other direction, meaning you no longer have to worry about losing those tiny little speed rings when you’re switching wheels out. Also, when switching your wheels, you don’t have to do the jiggle to try and get the bearing spacer in line with the bearing holes to fit everything around the axle. You just put the wheel on, tighten down the nut (all the way, mind you), and go.

All this said, I haven’t found our standard 10-dollar ABEC-7 bearings to be any slower than Biltins or even Bones Swiss. The one thing I’ll give to the Swiss line is that they have really nice shields in them and will last you a long time, and the Super Swiss 6 line has the advantage of being a 6-ball bearing, which means less surface area touching the raceway aka less friction and more speed. The only unfortunate thing about the Super Swiss 6 is that they’re fairly expensive.

So rather than worrying about what bearings to buy, I get the bearings that make my life the easiest, and I protect my choice by knowing how to clean them, because that makes the biggest difference. Keep buying the Bones if you like. I’m not here to argue, just to inform, and we got them Biltins baby!

Til next time,

-Wiggler

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7 thoughts on “Biltin Bearings Are The Coolest Thing Since Sliced Awesome

  1. Leopoldo

    Agree. Biltin bearings ride very well. I do not see any difference with the $10 ABEC. Now, I bought new wheels and when I was trying to put the ABEC inside the wheel and pressed too hard and mess them. Wheels were not turning good. I also lost a washer in the dirt. That was around when you started selling the new ABEC biltin which I bought since they were not expensive and the marketing looked good. No washers !
    I put them easily in the wheels. No need for tricks for installation.
    I recommend them to any rider that changes wheels frequently and do not want to deal with missing parts, more than 1 minute per wheel change and frequent cleaning bearings.
    Best product for lazy people like me who do not want to spend much time fixing, installing, etc but riding.
    Nice product !

  2. Jeff Post author

    Abec11, the wheel company, produces Biltin bearings. There are built-in bearings available online from sources such as VXB, and they even make ceramic built-in bearings, but I’m currently trying to find out where they’re made, and I’m not sure they’re designed to work without speed rings yet. I just need to get my hands on some to eye one up close.

    I read an article from Rockin Ron (skateboard bearing maker) that said to stay away from Chinese bearings because they don’t have the same quality control as the Swiss or German made bearings. He was really touting the Bones 6-ball bearings in that article for their novelty and precision. I can’t find where Biltin bearings are made, either, but I can speak from personal experience that the product is excellent, and I think they actually get faster after their first cleaning and lube.

  3. jamieson

    I ride the ceramic built ins from vxb, and they’re a step up from the standard biltins for sure. I’ve ridden them back to back with standard biltins and the ceramics are definitely nicer. A few weeks of abuse and they still feel great so I’m not concerned with the quality control. VXB makes a great product.

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