Hey everyone! Today we’re going to slow down…. actually the opposite – we’ve got new bearings, they go FAST. For a long time now, bearings have been the mysterious little metal things inside you wheels. Many people underestimate their importance, and we STILL get people who don’t realize that they’re absolutely necessary (literally, a skateboard won’t roll without them). So I figured we’d take a little time to look at our new bearing offerings and try and de-mystify them a bit!
Our Abec 7’s are our classic, no muss, no fuss, grab-and-go bearings. The Abec rating actually refers to the machines that make the bearings, rather than the bearings themselves. An Abec 7 rated machine will mill parts to within 0.000098″ of accurate – in other words: CRAZY accurate. This level of accuracy means that you’re never going to feel inconsistencies or discrepancies in the roll of the bearing. With a $10 price point, included bearing spacers, it’s a no-brainer on a budget.
For those who are looking for just a little more precision: the Abec 9’s. Going back to that good ol’ machining standard, Abec 9 machines are built to cut parts even more accurately than Abec 7 machines. Over time, small flaws in a bearing can slowly become exasperated and will cause the bearings to begin to noticeably flaw. This means that as a bearing ages, it WILL slowly break down and work less and less efficiently. A higher level of accuracy at the point of fabrication vastly prolongs the life of a well maintained bearing, and having been milled to within 0.000047″ of true. A number so small it’s hard to conceptualize.
This is, in this humble author’s opinion, the new standard of skateboard bearing. “Bearings” is a term that just means a mechanical rolling device. Bearings are used in countless applications from skateboarding, to automotive, to machining, and everywhere in between. If you need something to roll, or turn, or spin, there’s probably a bearing involved somewhere. When bearings were brought to skateboarding, it was quickly discovered that if you put a small tube of metal in the wheels, a bearing SPACER, the bearings would sit MUCH more level, and perform MUCH better. For years this spacer was an after-market part. An additional piece to lose, or forget, or damage. A Built-in bearing takes the concept of the flimsy metal tube spacer, and attaches it to the bearing itself. The ensures that the spacer will never crush, become inaccurate, or fall out of place. This is the classic Bearing, built SPECIFICALLY for the skateboard application!
Do you feel the NEED? The NEED, for SPEED?!?! Then you probably should pick up a set of our 6-ball Built-In bearings. Standard skateboard bearings are built with an inner ring, an outer ring, and between the two, 7 ball bearings which make the bearing actually roll. The Bustin Built-In 6-Ball removes one of these ball bearings. The result is 6 instead of 7, slightly larger ball bearings inside. What this does is a couple of things; it decreases the surface area in contact with the inner and outer races, reducing friction, additionally, the larger ball bearings will maintain more momentum for longer than a smaller one. This means that a 6-ball bearing is actually physically faster than a standard bearing. Plenty of people claim how fast their bearings rolls or for how long. 99.99% of the time this is due to maintenance and bearing lubricant. A 6-ball bearing IS ACTUALLY FASTER.
Finally, we come to ceramic. The Bustin Built-In Ceramic bearings keep the incorporated spacer and speed ring of the Built-In’s and the 6-Ball’s. The main difference here is again the ball bearings. These are ceramic instead of a steel alloy that is typically used. Ceramic, even though it’s technically glass, is actually STRONGER than steel. Meaning the ball bearings in these bad boys will pretty much never break or crack. Pieces of Sand vs Ceramic; Ceramic wins. Dust vs Ceramic; Ceramic wins. Dirt vs…. you get it. The ceramic ball bearings are actually so strong and tough, that they will tend to PULVERIZE grit and use it to polish the inner races of the bearing, maintaining the life of the bearing WELL beyond a steel bearing of the same make.
Well, that’s all I got for you this week! Have an awesome Thanksgiving weekend if you celebrate it, and a great weekend if you do or don’t!