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What Are Inline Skate Bearings?

Skate bearings or roller blade bearings are small cylindrical pieces that fit between the axle and the core of the wheel. Every inline skate wheel is equipped with two bearings and a spacer between them. Bearings are made of a large outer ring and a smaller inner ring. Small steel balls can be found between these rings. These are what enables wheels to move freely on the skate. Covers called “shields”, prevent the bearings from getting dirty.

Choosing New Inline Skate Bearings

For all types of inline skates, wheels will need two bearings each. Roller blade bearings can fit in every standard wheel, so you don’t have to worry about the size. The quality of bearings depends on a range of factors - material, precision (ABEC), lubrication, sealed or open (with or without shield).

If you are mainly skating outside, sealed bearings lubricated with grease are the best option. Indoor riders can use open bearings that spin fast and are easy to clean. Speed and long-distance skaters might be interested in high precision bearings lubricated with oil. They spin fast and are easy to clean, but dirt can damage them quickly.

When to Replace Inline Skate Bearings?

On average roller blade bearings last between twelve to eighteen months. Material, quality and good care of your equipment is the biggest factor determining how long bearings for inline skates will last. In general, if your wheels are making noises even after cleaning or your bearings are rusty, it is time to replace them. Remember, skate bearings should always be quiet and spin freely.

Would you like to know more about bearings? Read our complete guide for Buying Bearings.

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