If you’re a keen roller skater, you’ll know how exhilarating it can be, whizzing along with the wind in your hair. There’s nothing like it, and if you’re a serious skater you probably want a perfectly smooth and quiet action from your roller skates.
One of the key components that achieve this effortless action is roller skate bearings. But what are they and how do they work? If you’ve never used them before you may be confused as to how they make a difference to your skates.
The fact is if you want a smooth and silent ride, bearings are a super important part of your roller skates. They allow your skates to move on the hub of the frame, giving you that coveted smooth ride.
But which ones do you choose? To make that decision easier we’ve rounded up the 10 best roller skate bearings for you to browse through. Hopefully, once you’ve read through this helpful buyer’s guide you’ll know exactly which bearings are right for you.
But if you’re still not sure, we’ve got a useful FAQ section below to answer any burning questions you may have. First, let’s look at what bearings are and why they’re important!
What is the importance of bearings?
Roller skate bearings sit inside each wheel hub and allow the wheels to roll. All of the wheels have two bearings in them, so if you have quad skates or rollerblades / inline skates you’ll need 16 bearings altogether.
Many skate bearings are given an ABEC rating to determine their precision and efficiency, but it really doesn’t matter for skate bearings. I’ve written before about why ABEC doesn’t matter for skate bearings. The idea is that the higher the rating, the more precise the bearing is and thus the faster it will roll. But this really only applies for heavy machinery – not skates or skateboards.
The bearings are a very important part of your skates. They help you to make quick turns, spins, and other cool moves, effortlessly.
They’re also vital for protecting the wheels from grinding against the metal. They may seem small but don’t underestimate their efficiency, they play a huge role in allowing you to skate along smoothly and silently.
Because of this, it’s super important to choose the right ones, so you can have as much fun roller skating as possible! Now let’s take a look at the top 10 roller skate bearings!
The 10 best roller skate bearings
First on our list are these bearings from Bones. Bones needs no introduction and their Reds line of bearings are some of the best on the market.
They’re also a very affordable option and these Super Reds bearings are of superior-quality and last longer! Made from high-quality steel races, improved quality balls, and an exceptional finish. This makes the bearings super fast but smooth and quiet.
To avoid friction, these bearings also feature non-contact, detachable rubber shields. They’re quick and easy to keep clean and thanks to their nylon, high-speed ball retainers they give your skates more strength.
The Super Reds also have laser engraving and a black shield to give them a different aesthetic to the original Reds. They’re also pre-lubricated with the effective Bones cream and your purchase comes with a lifetime warranty! I use Bones Super Reds in all of my skates.
A second product feature from Bones will probably tell you how good this brand is! This exceptional reputation is down to 25 years of high-quality products and excellent performance.
Their products are made for skaters by skaters so you know you can rely on them to deliver superior results and these Super Reds ceramic bearings are no exception.
Ceramic bearings are lighter, stronger, waterproof, and last longer than even the most expertly-crafted steel ball bearings. The non-contact, detachable rubber shield reduces friction and makes them easy to clean.
The high-speed ball retainer delivers strength and speed and they’re also ready-lubricated with Bones’ own racing cream. As with all Bones products, these ceramic bearings are covered with a lifetime warranty.
Ceramic bearings are especially nice for outdoors as they provide a smoother ride. They are a little more pricey, but if you want the smoothest ride possible, then this is your bearing. I have these in my Atom Pulse 78A outdoor wheels. The soft wheel paired with a ceramic bearing make for the smoothest roll you can get on asphalt / concrete.
Looking for high-speed and highly precise ball bearings? Then these from Yellow Jacket are a perfect choice. They can be used with inline skates, rollerblades, and skateboards, making them super versatile.
They come ready-lubricated with ultra-fast lube for the highest speed and less friction. The yellow shield seals the lubricant inside the wheel and the bearing for maximum results.
The brightly-colored engraved seals offer protection from dirt, dust, and damage from rocks, prolonging the life of the bearing and maintaining its precision.
Yellow Jacket bearings are designed for speed and durability without the high-end price tag. All Yellow Jacket products are thoroughly inspected before they’re packaged to ensure customers receive only the best.
Next on our list are these roller skate bearings from Rollerbones. With 16 bearings in one pack, you’ll have enough for one pair of roller skates.
They’ll arrive pre-lubricated with Bones’ low viscosity speed lube and the removable nylon ball cages give high-speed and precision. Skate-rated materials, tolerance, and clearances offer maximum performance and durability.
These bearings are also long-lasting, easy to clean, and will ensure you can skate as fast as you want! If you want to look great as well as performing great, these are the bearings for you!
Unlike any other bearings at this affordable price point, these Fireball Dragon bearings come complete with two Labyrinth shields for exceptional protection from elements such as dirt and bad weather. The shields also retain the lubrication for better results.
This lubricant on the exceptional quality steel ball bearings provides a fast but smooth ride. When you buy Fireball Dragon bearings you can be sure you’re getting a product that’s built to last.
Each skate bearing is constructed from high-grade steel and features a nylon ball cage for reduced friction. Dragon skate bearings can be used for skateboards, inline skates, roller skates, and more!
On top of all those great features, Fireball offers a lifetime warranty on all of their products, for a worry-free purchase!
TURNUP is known for designing and manufacturing excellent quality and innovative products such as these roller skate bearings. These size bearings can match most skate wheels available and they’re made from excellent quality chrome steel.
TURNUP skate bearings provide speed and less friction, as well as being long-lasting, giving you great value for the money. The bearings will come complete with a coating of grease and will be ready to use.
These 608z bearings can be used on skateboards, mount spinners, inline skates, and many more so that the skate wheels rotate smoothly for longer.
The bearings feature metal seals all around and they work to prevent the bearing oil from leaking out. This oil protects the skate wheels from dirt, stones, water, and other outdoor elements.
It can also withstand high-speeds and harsh temperatures, giving your skates a longer life.
KVENI bearings feature a number of balls manufactured from excellent-quality chrome. Enjoy a faster, smoother roller skating experience with these affordable bearings.
These standard size bearings will fit the majority of skates on the market today and are compatible with a variety of types such as inline skates, fidget spinners, skateboards, and many more.
They are quick to disassemble which makes it easy to clean your bearings and they also come pre-lubricated. This prolongs the life of your skates and will give you a faster, more precise ride.
KVENI also has great customer service if you have any problems or queries about your skate bearing purchase.
Are you a roller skating hobbyist? Looking for the perfect set of bearings that will give you a fun, fast ride? These bearings from RADECKAL Blue are a great choice. Each 608RS precision rated skate bearing is lubricated with Bones bearing oil for superior lubrication.
These bearings are suitable for inline skates, skateboards, scooters, etc. Each skate bearing is highly-precise so you can pick up speed easily.
Whether you’re speed skating in the park or racing against your friends, these bearings are sure to give you a great ride!
If you want to impress your friends and skate in style, these are what you need! The ready-lubricated bearings will give you an ultra-even and fast ride, perfecting for performing cool tricks and stunts in the skate park!
Heady Shake bearings provide superior balance, quiet wheel rotations, and a fast wheel spin speed for an efficient, professional-level ride.
Long-lasting and durable, they can be used on a variety of different products including inline skates, roller skates, and skateboards, making them versatile.
Not only do these bearings look cool and sleek, but they come complete with a waterproof sticker and 4 skateboard spacers. These spacers help to reduce the amount of weight that’s distributed on each bearing.
Live your best roller skating life with these skate bearings from Neal Precision. Designed with the skater in mind who wants to have fun but not upset their bank account. Take your skate experience to the next level with Neal Precision’s titanium, ceramic or swiss bearings.
These titanium bearings offer smooth roller skating thanks to the excellent quality materials and low viscosity oil. Beat your competition with these fast, smooth and quiet bearings that also last for ages!
The removable rubber shield also makes it super easy for you to clean your bearings. Adrenaline junkies will love the added strength and speed from the nylon ball retainer.
The high-grade balls, steel races, and polished look mean that these bearings are good-looking as well as practical and functional. Your purchase will come complete with 4 spacers and Neal Precision’s trendy sticker.
Probably the most important factor to consider is the cost. Decide what your budget is and look for bearings that fit it. As our top picks suggest, you don’t need to spend a fortune to get good-quality bearings. At the time of this writing, our top choice is less than $60. Ceramic bearings will set you back about $150.
Steel and other metal material bearings are the most affordable type, but they are prone to rust if you are in a humid area. Ceramic and swiss bearings are more expensive, but they will last a little longer and they do provide a smoother roll.
When friction is reduced, the bearings can work a lot more efficiently, so materials are an essential factor to consider. The more affordable bearings are made from steel that’s durable but budget-friendly.
On the other hand, ceramic bearings can offer superior resistance, performance, and durability. They’re regarded as some of the best bearings you can buy.
Ceramic bearings don’t rust and can last a long time if properly maintained, making them an exceptional value for the money. They’re also much lighter than steel or other metal material bearings and are tougher.
As mentioned before, the other great benefit of ceramic bearings is that they provide the smoothest roll. I like them for my outdoor wheels because outside surfaces are usually super bumpy. This helps reduce some of that bouncing.
Like ceramic bearings, swiss bearings are more resistant to rust and are longer-lasting. If you’re a seasoned skater and you want to invest to get the most out of them, either swiss or ceramic bearings are good choices.
Next, you’ll need to decide if you want serviceable or sealed bearings. Serviceable bearings have removable shields or retainers that enable you to easily clean your bearings and re-apply lubricant. Most bearings today come with removable shields. However, there are some bearings out there that don’t allow you to remove the shield. In those cases, you’ll have to throw them out and get a new set if they get dirty on the inside.
Most skate bearings are serviceable so you can maintain optimum results and prolong the life of each bearing. On the other hand, sealed bearings have a non-detachable shield that protects the bearing insides from dust, dirt, and other debris. However, dust and dirt still eventually make it into all bearings, so it’s best to get non-sealed bearings and clean them regularly.
Most bearings used for skates are made to fit 8mm axles. These are called 608 bearings because they’re the standard size, whereas 627 bearings are 7mm, and they’re not commonly seen. You will find them more often on artistic skates or special speed skates. Some advanced / old school skaters swear by the 7mm and claim they are better. I personally have never felt a difference.
99% of all bearings (and wheels) out there fit the 8mm axle, so you shouldn’t have to worry too much about the bearing size.
Finally, there are also micro bearings – which are also rare. For best results, it’s recommended to buy the size that fits your wheels and axles – which will almost always be 8mm.
What are the best roller skate bearings?
There are lots of good bearings brands available today for many types of skating disciplines. Every one of the brands on this top 10 list of bearings is of excellent quality and rated by skaters.
With that said, choosing the right set is important if you want to get the most out of them, and have the most fun!
I prefer the Bones Super Reds because I like the overall quality. I’ve used them to speed skate and do some basic beginner artistic skating (small jumps and spins). As far as price, they are a little more expensive than some of the other brands on the list, but not the most expensive.
For a super smooth roll and a longer-lasting bearing, try out a pair of Super Reds Ceramics. I really like my set that I use in my outdoor wheels. However, priced at $150, it’s tough to put ceramics in every set of wheels you have (if you are like me and have over a dozen).
What are the fastest skate bearings?
I get this question a lot. The fastest bearings are a clean bearing. While I have a list of 10 bearings above and I like the Super Reds the best, the most important thing to make a bearing fast is to make sure it’s clean. This means to regularly take your bearings apart and clean them using an approved skate cleaning solution.
How often should you clean them? It depends on how often and where you skate. I usually skate a few times a week (both indoors and outdoors) and so I clean mine once a month. I also have many sets of bearings, so I usually clean multiple sets at one time.
Keep your bearings clean and lubricated and your bearings will be fast. I use the Sonic Bearing Wash kit to clean my bearings. It works pretty well.
Speed has a lot more to do with a skater’s ability, the surface you are skating on, and your wheels. A harder wheel will be faster, but will be harder to control. A taller wheel will maintain it’s speed longer, too. You can find out more about wheels here.
So if you’re like most advanced skaters, you’ll definitely want a pair of bearings that will allow you to whizz around effortlessly. Bones Reds bearings are one of the number 1 choices amongst skaters because they’re reliable and affordable.
They have gained an excellent reputation in the skate world thanks to their reliable and long-lasting bearings.
Do I need to lubricate my bearings?
To keep your bearings looking and performing their best, it’s essential to maintain them regularly. Although many bearings come ready-lubricated, they will need to be reapplied routinely.
Keep in mind that cleaning and lubricating are two different things. Cleaning should always be done before lubricating.
Why? If you lubricate the bearings before you’ve given them a good clean, you’ll end up trapping dirt and grime and you’ll have a really hard time cleaning it! The dirt and grime are what can ruin your bearings, so make sure you clean them first.
You can get a special bearing cleaner that will get rid of any dirt and harmful particles. Once you’ve cleaned them, don’t rinse them with water as it will cause rust. Skate bearings and water are not friends!
Once you’ve cleaned the bearings, air dry them and wait until they’ve completely dried before you apply a lubricant like Bones Speed Cream. It’s recommended to use a heavy lubricant as it will last longer and you won’t have to go through the cleaning and reapplying process as often.
I hope you enjoyed this article on roller skate bearings. While it is an important part of the skate, remember that a clean bearing is the most important thing. Check out the Super Reds. I know you’ll like them. And, have fun out there skating!