Bearings are essential parts of our longboards. They may be small but they have a significant impact on our ride. Bearings can dictate how smooth and how fast your ride will be and it is vital to select the bearings that can provide the optimal riding conditions for you. Here we have created a list of the best longboard bearings available so that you will have an easier time choosing yours!
Our Top 5 For Longboard Bearings
Bones Bearings REDS Bearings – 8 Pack
Bones is one of the top bearing brands in the US. Their bearings come with a non-contact and removable rubber shield. Having such a shield makes cleaning your bearings easier. Rubber also minimizes friction and can help prolong the life of your bearings.
In addition to the rubber shield, Bones REDS bearings also have high-speed nylon ball retainers that provide additional strength and speed. These bearings are pre-lubricated with Speed Cream racing lubricants before they are shipped so they shouldn’t be require lubrication for some time.
Unlike most bearing manufacturers, Bones doesn’t use the ABEC Rating. They have their own rating system called Skate Rated, as a means of assessing the quality of a bearing.
Aside from the standard 8-pack, they also offer a set containing two 8-packs. They also have bearings that you can purchase with spacers and washers, as well as bearings with Speed Cream bundled in.
Yellow Jacket Premium Skateboard Bearings, Pro Longboard Bearings, 608, ABEC (Pack of 8)
The Yellow Jacket Premium Skateboard Bearings are versatile bearings that can be used not just for longboards but for inline skates, rollerblades, and electric skateboards as well. They ship out pre-lubricated and with high-speed racing lubricants to reduce friction.
The lubricant is contained in the shield seals to help guarantee high speeds. Another feature of the Yellow Jacket is their engraved color seals. The seals not only add color to the bearings, but they also double as protection from dirt, rust, and dust.
With the reduction of such debris, the life of your bearing may be prolonged and the precision maintained. These seals can also provide waterproofing to your bearings and help protect your bearings from extreme weather conditions.
Fireball Dragon Precision Bearings for Skateboards and Inline Skates
One thing that immediately stands out when you get a Fireball Dragon bearing is the fact that it has two shields built in. Most of the other bearings have just one shield and while they are enough to keep the bearings protected, two shields will always offer more protection. This might be a useful feature for those who frequently ride in areas where there is a lot of mud or dirt.
Fireball Dragon prides itself in having consulted both expert bearing designers and skate artists in designing and creating their bearings. This was done in order to create bearings that are not just durable in construction but can also deliver optimal performance.
These bearings come with one of two types of lubricants depending on the need of the rider. The one they call RACE uses a light oil that is used to maximize speed. This oil has low viscosity that allows bearings to roll easily and quickly.
The other lubricant is called ENDURE and it is a higher viscosity lubricant that requires little maintenance. It’s not as easily washed out and protects bearings for an extended period. This is the recommended oil for longboards since longboards are not known for high-speed rides.
Zealous Bearings for Skateboards and Longboards (Steel)
This is a value for money option for bearings. They have built in spacers and built-in speed rings. These are parts that frequently get damaged or are easy to lose when you’re changing your wheels or bearings. The bearings are made of steel and they have rubber material for the inner and outer seals.
The seals are in place to prevent debris from getting into the bearings and damaging them. They also help keep water away from your bearings and keep corrosion at bay. Zealous Bearings use a unique lubricant that they call Nanoceramic Grease.
The lubricant gets into the deformations in the bearing and fills them out. The nano ceramic compound is then heated through friction and hardened to repair the damaged area. By eliminating these deformations, friction is reduced and the efficiency of the bearings is significantly improved.
The grease also has low water washout and will stay in your bearings longer than other lubricants. This is a helpful feature and can reduce the number of times that you have to lubricate your bearings to keep them in tip top shape.
Heady Shake Pro Skateboard Bearings – Fastest Premium 608rs Titanium – Longboard, Skateboard, Kick Scooter, Inline and Roller Skates, 8-Pack
If you like to ride fast then the Heady Shake bearings might be a good fit for you. These high-end bearings promise smooth and fast rides. They use a unique type of lubricant that lets the bearings roll faster while eliminating friction.
These versatile bearings can be used in longboards, skateboards, kick scooters, inline and roller skates. They also have an ABEC-9 rating as further proof that these bearings are high-end.
This is also a good brand if you like to add more style to your longboard. Aside from the bearings, they also have stylish waterproof stickers that help deflect water and dirt so they don’t damage your bearings. And they have spacers to help your bearings turn smoother and extend their life.
Another noticeable thing about these bearings is their noiseless rotation. Most bearings emit spinning noises at high speeds but the Heady Shake bearings managed to eliminate those noises.
Their bearings come in two colors (gold or black), and you also have the option of getting your bearings with speed oil included. Heady Shake guarantee satisfaction with their bearings and they promise a full refund if you are not 100% content with their products.
Among the bearings listed above, the one that impressed me the most is the Fireball Dragon. For one, I love that they have two built-in shields. I live in an area where the ground easily gets muddy after rain, and extremely dusty when the sun is out.
The Fireball Dragon shields are a great help in keeping dirt and mud out of my bearings and this can help to extend the life of my bearings. I also like that the bearings were designed with the help of riders like myself. The bearings deliver excellent performance and it is evident that they were designed with riders in mind.
The lubricants are also great additions. They help make the bearings roll smoothly. I prefer the Endure lubricant since I like low-maintenance products and the oil helps the bearings to run smoothly for a more extended period.
I don’t mind that the Endure makes the bearings slightly slower because I like cruising at lower speeds. If you like your ride to be on the faster side, you always have the option of getting the Race oil.
Longboard Bearing Buying Guide
What are ABEC Ratings?
ABEC stands for Annular Bearing Engineers Committee and ABEC Ratings is an industry accepted standard for tolerances of a ball bearing. Most bearings use the ABEC Rating. A higher ABEC Rating means that the bearing is more accurate and precise.
However, ABEC Ratings do not measure other crucial factors like load handling capabilities, materials, material hardness, lubricant, noise or vibration. Not all bearing manufacturers use the ABEC Rating. An example is Bones Bearings, who use their own rating system called Skate Rated.
What is the best material for bearings?
The most common material for bearings is steel. Most of the bearings that you will see in the market are made of steel. The quality of steel varies from one manufacturer to another.
You also have to consider the quality of the seals and the interior ball bearings. There is no foolproof way of determining which brand uses the best quality steel. One giveaway is the price of the bearings.
More expensive bearings tend to use higher quality materials. The less expensive bearings also tend to corrode or get rusty.
Ceramic is another material used for bearings. They are smoother than steel. They also produce little friction and they don’t expand in the heat. They are pricier than steel bearings but they also require less maintenance.
Ceramic bearings don’t mean that they are entirely made of ceramic. The inner ball bearings are made of ceramic but all the other parts are still made of steel. Aside from the price, another disadvantage of ceramic bearings is their tendency to break when the exterior of the ball gets damaged.
In the end, both of them are suitable materials and the decision may come down to your budget. The ceramic bearings can cost up to 6 times that of a steel bearing.
What are the leading causes of damage to bearings?
Having too little lubrication on bearings is the most common cause of damage to bearings. Lubricants help the inner bearings move smoothly. If there is not enough lubricant inside, the inner ball bearings will rub against each other and they will end up causing damage.
The worst case scenario is that the bearings will become brittle and collapse. Metal to metal contact can also raise the temperature and this can warp your bearings.
Contaminants are the foreign matter that gets inside the bearings. Dirt, dust, debris, and water can damage the surface of the bearing. Water is particularly damaging and even a small amount can significantly reduce the life of your bearing.
Small particles like dust can accumulate and clog up your bearing. These clogs can prevent your bearing from rolling smoothly and eventually damage them. This is one reason why shields are essential. Having a shield in your bearing is your first line of protection against contaminants.
They prevent debris from getting inside your bearings. They also provide waterproofing so you can avoid rusted bearings.
When you remove a bearing for inspection, it is essential to clean and dry them properly before replacing them.
Most bearings have information on their packages that specifies the load that they can carry. It is paramount that you stick within the prescribed load limit to avoid damaging the bearings.
Overload also refers to the bearing’s limit concerning temperature and speed. The higher the overload, the shorter the life of a bearing will be. Overload also leads to warping of the bearing or fractures in the bearing material.
Bearings are often overlooked when we consider all the parts of our longboards. But they play a significant role in our longboard’s performance. For this reason we should be very careful in choosing the bearing that we use. For me the best choice is the Fireball Dragon.
With the Fireball Dragon, the steel that they use is of high quality. The bearings are not just strong, but they also deliver a more optimal performance. Having a dual shield is critical in prolonging the life of your bearings. With the help of the these shields, you can avoid contaminants that can cause significant damage to your bearings.
The lubricants used are also of high quality. Their oil not only helps the bearings run smoothly, they also help to extend the life of the bearings. Add to this the fact that Fireball Dragon keep their bearings at an affordable price, and you start to understand why these bearings are a cut above the rest.