EXPERT SERVICE FOR BALL BEARINGS FOR SKATERS
How many bearings do you need for inline skates?
Per wheel two ball bearings and One spacer are required. Sometimes it still happens that fewer bearings are ordered than needed for the number of wheels.
Almost all wheel sports equipment, such as inline skates, roller skates, skateboards, longboards etc. use two bearings per wheel.
|NUMBER OF WHEELS
||NUMBER OF BEARINGS
||NUMBER OF SPACER
The structure of inline skate ball bearings
Ball bearings consist of the following components.
Outer ring & inner ring
Both the outer and inner rings contain the running surfaces in which the balls run.
The cage holds the balls and is responsible for the even distribution of the balls as well as for their guidance.
Due to the even distribution, the forces in the bearing are optimally absorbed.
The balls of the bearings provide the actual rotation. They run inside the running surfaces of the outer and inner rings. There are ball bearings with different numbers of balls.
The fewer the balls in the bearing, the larger the balls usually are.
The seal provides protection against dirt and moisture. In the section Sealing/covering you will learn everything about the different sealing options.
Dimensions & Standards
All common ball bearings in the skate sector have the Standard 608.
This standard describes the dimensions of the bearings. In the case of the 608 standard, the dimensions are as follows.
Inner diameter: 8mm
Outer diameter: 22mm
In addition to the 608 standard, micro ball bearings with the 688 standard were also used in the past.
These ball bearings are smaller than the 608s, this is no longer the case today, all current inline skates are delivered with ball bearings according to the 608 standard.
Nordic skating, especially skates with 200mm tyres, use ball bearings with the 6001 standard. These are larger than the 608 standard and serve to better handle the stronger forces.
The precision: ABEC, ILQ, SG & SKATE RATED
The accuracy of the bearings is mainly measured with the ABEC-SKALA
stands for Annular Bearing Engineers Committee, an agreement between manufacturers regarding manufacturing tolerances.
The higher the number on the ABEC scale, the more precisely the bearing is manufactured. The classification of ball bearings into Abec3, Abec5, Abec7, etc. is falsely
to be the decisive quality criterion
, but it is not quite as simple as that. Theoretically, an ABEC-7 ball bearing can also be made of wood, but this bearing would not be skateable.
Therefore, it is just as important to pay attention to high-quality bearing materials
In addition to several other geometric dimensional accuracies, the ABEC designation also specifies the maximum permitted radial and lateral runout of a ball bearing.
The differences between an Abec5 and an Abec7 ball bearing are, for example, only a tiny 0.002 millimetres in the radial run-out.
Of course, high precision during production contributes to very even running characteristics, but these extremely fine differences are rather insignificant in riding practice, as especially the bearing seat of the rollers
has much higher tolerances.
Even top riders therefore often use "only" Abec5 bearings.
ILQ ball bearings for inline skates
ILQ is a modified standard, which was developed especially for skating by the company TWINCAM
, ILQ stands for InLineQualified. ILQ bearings use only 6 balls instead of the usual 7.
is another standard mainly used by the Rollerblade
The manufacturer Bones Bearings
also uses its own standard, called Skate-Rated
Ball bearing seals
To ensure that the ball bearings are optimally protected against dust and dirt, they are sealed.
There are different designs of seals; the following is an overview of the most common types:
= one-sided sheet metal cover with gap seal
2Z and ZZ seal
= Double-sided sheet metal cover with gap seal
= Plastic seal on one side
= Plastic seal on both sides
= Single-sided, non-contact rubber seal
= Double-sided, non-contact rubber seal
Basically, it can be said that plastic seals such as the RS and RZ seals protect better against dust and dirt than metal seals.
Therefore, bearings with plastic seals are the perfect "everyday bearings".
The Z seals (metal) do not protect as well against contamination, but they are contactless and therefore have a better freewheel.
For this reason, the ball bearings in the racing sector in particular tend to be fitted with metal covers.
The most accessible ball bearings in inline skating
are the single sealed bearings
, these are easier to clean and maintain.
Ball bearing material
Ball bearings for inline skates are manufactured in the following materials.
Steel bearings are the most commonly used ball bearings. You can find them in most complete skates, for example. The ball bearings are stable and robust, but they need to be lubricated regularly, otherwise there is a risk of rust.
Stainless steel ball bearings are the perfect everyday ball bearings. They are a little more expensive than normal steel bearings, but they last longer because the bearing cannot rust even in damp conditions and without immediate care. However, regular cleaning and lubrication is still necessary.
Hybrid bearings, which feature a material mix of steel (running surface) and ceramic (balls), are particularly popular among competition skaters. The reason: balls made of ceramic deform much less than steel balls and thus ensure very stable concentricity even under high pressure loads. Hybrid ball bearings are very fast.
Like any bearing, this type should be cleaned and lubricated regularly.
Pure Racing: The noble variant of ball bearings. Full ceramic ball bearings are up to 40% lighter. This reduces the centrifugal forces so much that the bearing can rotate 20-40% faster. Thus, ceramic bearings offer the best running properties with the lowest running resistance.
Ceramic bearings are (shock)-sensitive and should only be used for "straight skating". There is a risk of breakage in case of jumps and hard load.
The correct cleaning of ball bearings
After a certain time, every ball bearing needs some love and care in the form of cleaning and new lubrication.
The lubricant in your bearings wears out and dust and dirt prevent the small balls from running smoothly.
Even a shower of rain can lead to flash rust on an unlubricated ball bearing, which considerably impairs the running characteristics or even makes the bearings unusable.
But even when skating on dry roads, dirt collects in the bearing interior after some time. Therefore, the bearings should be cleaned thoroughly on a regular basis.
When does a bearing need to be cleaned?
Unfortunately, there is no general indication, such as the ball bearing must be cleaned and lubricated after X kilometres.
The best indicator is the noise generated while skating or when turning the skate in your hand.
As soon as there is dirt in the bearing, you will hear it very clearly by means of crunching or rattling noises.
The bearing should be cleaned so that the running surfaces of the bearings do not extend unnecessarily and damage the bearing.
The following cleaning steps require a little manual skill, but can be done by anyone and will extend the life of your ball bearings enormously!
Remove the wheels from the track by loosening the axles.
Remove the bearings from your castors. For castors with 8mm spacers, use a suitable tool to pull the bearing out of the castor. By slightly tilting the bearing, it will come out of the castor.
2.1 With 6mm axles, the spacer can simply be pushed out of the roller with the tool.
Now the seals must be removed so that the bearing can be cleaned. If the ball bearings are sealed on both sides, open them at least on one side:
a.) Ball bearing with metal cover (z-seal) and snap rings:
Remove snap ring (red circle) with a needle and remove bearing cover.
b.) Ball bearing with plastic or rubber cover (RS seal):
Carefully lever out the cover with a small needle or similar.
3. Put the opened bearings into a special cleaning bath (see category care products) and let them soak for some time. If necessary, rinse thoroughly with a brush.
Blowing out with compressed air is also ideal so that even the last dirt particles can be removed.
4. The clean bearings must now be lubricated.
Lubricant for inline skate ball bearings
Every ball bearing that is made with metal needs lubrication.
Lubrication in the bearing ensures less friction, the heat generated can be better processed and dust and dirt cannot enter the bearing as quickly.
Which lubricant is right for inline skate ball bearings?
There is no general answer to this question, because the different lubricants also have different properties. The following overview shows the differences.
+ Immediately ready for use
+ Easy application
+ Low rolling resistance
- Shorter dwell time in the warehouse
- Regular cleaning & relubrication necessary
- Less protection against dirt and moisture
+ Long dwell time
+ Less maintenance
+ High protection
- Longer running-in period necessary
- More complex cleaning
- Higher rolling resistance
+ Short running-in time
+ Easy application
+ Low rolling resistance
- More expensive than oil or fat
Oils are suitable for skaters who value the best performance without break-in time and who clean and lubricate their bearings regularly.
For sporty fitness skaters and speed skaters.
The perfect lubricant for occasional skaters and skaters who are also out in bad weather, such as Nordic skaters or for rain wheels.
Dry lubricants combine the good properties of oils and greases. However, they are more expensive in comparison.
Suitable for all types of skating.
5. close the ball bearing again (if desired, one side can also remain open, which is then mounted in the inside of the roller).
a.) Ball bearing with metal cover (Z-seal) and snap rings: Place the bearing sealing and insert the snap ring into the groove provided.
b.) Ball bearing with metal cover without snap ring: In this case the bearing cannot be closed again. The open side must face the inside of the roller during subsequent assembly. The bearing is then sufficiently protected from dirt by the spacer and the axle.
c.) Ball bearing with plastic or rubber cover (RS seal): Carefully press the cover back between the races.
EXPERT ADVICE FROM SKATERS FOR SKATERS
With the large number of skate products, questions may occur. Of course, we are also happy to help you by e-mail or telephone.
Phone: Request a callback
Are you interested in our skate experts?
Check out our About Us.