Types of Bearings Used in Inline Hockey Skates: A Guide

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Written By Mark

A seasoned inline hockey player with over a decade of experience, Mark has competed at the amateur level and has a wealth of knowledge to share.

What are the different types of bearings used in inline hockey skates?

If you’re an experienced inline skater or a novice, you may be wondering about the various types of bearings used in inline hockey skates.

The truth is, understanding the ins and outs of skate bearings can feel like a daunting task. But it’s crucial to your skating performance.

Knowing what are the different types of bearings used in inline hockey skates, their unique characteristics, and how they impact your ride can take your skating game to a whole new level!

The Importance of Bearings in Inline Skating

Bearings are the heart and soul of your inline skates.

They play a crucial role, allowing your skate wheels to spin smoothly and efficiently.

Inline skating, whether for leisure or competitive speed skating, relies heavily on these tiny components.

The Role of Friction & Pressure

In an active sport like roller skating, friction is inevitable.

This can cause bearings to heat up over time leading potentially to damage if not managed correctly.

It’s essential that you understand how different materials used in bearings, such as steel or ceramic bearings, handle this pressure.

Maintenance: The Key To Longevity

Regular maintenance is critical when it comes down bearing longevity.

Keeping them clean after each use will help keep their performance at peak levels.

Proper lubrication ensures they continue spinning with minimal resistance which ultimately results into smooth roll while reducing wear from friction.

Now let’s delve deeper into understanding what exactly ABEC rating system means for your inline skates’ performance…

Decoding the ABEC Rating System

The ABEC rating system, standing for Annular Bearing Engineering Committee, is a scale used to rate skate bearings.

This measurement system primarily focuses on bearing performance and efficiency in high-speed machinery rather than inline skating or roller skating.

Comparing ABEC Rated Bearings with Swiss or Ceramic Bearings

In terms of speed and durability, both swiss bearings and ceramic bearings often outperform their counterparts rated by the ABEC system.

The construction materials of these types significantly contribute to this superior performance.

If you’re an advanced skater seeking optimum performance from your inline skates, consider choosing either swiss or ceramic over those with higher ABEC ratings.

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Choosing the Right Size Bearings for Your Inline Skates

The size of your skate bearings significantly influences how your inline skates perform.

Common sizes include 7mm or 8mm bearings, but understanding your wheel hub size is crucial in choosing the correct size bearings.

How Many Bearings Do You Need?

In terms of quantity, each wheel on an inline skate requires two ball bearings.

This means you’ll need a minimum of sixteen roller skate bearings for a standard pair of quad skates and eight if you’re using modern wheels designed specifically for inline skating.

Bearing Sizes: A Closer Look at Micro Bearings

If speed skating or racing skates are more to your liking, consider micro-sized options that can spin faster due to their smaller dimensions.

With this information under our belt, let’s delve into different types of serviceable vs. sealed, another critical aspect affecting both beginners and seasoned skater’s choice.

Serviceable vs. Sealed Bearings

In the world of inline skating, you’ll come across two main types of skate bearings: serviceable and sealed.

The Pros and Cons of Serviceable Bearings

Serviceable bearings are designed for maintenance.

You can dismantle them, clear out any dirt or muck, re-lubricate the components, and then put it all back together.

This not only extends their lifespan but also enhances your inline skates’ performance by ensuring a smooth roll every time.

  • Maintenance keeps these roller skate bearings in top condition.
  • Prolonged lifespan due to regular care reduces overall costs over time.
  • A smoother ride results from well-maintained ball bearings on modern wheels.

An Overview of Sealed Bearings

If we look at sealed options, they’re just as they sound – completely enclosed.

This design protects against moisture or dust that could affect the bearing’s performance negatively. Once worn down, these sealed options must be replaced as there is no other way to repair them.

  • Greater resistance to environmental factors like water and dust thanks to the seal.
  • Reduced need for frequent cleaning makes these suitable for outdoor skating enthusiasts.
  • Once damaged though, replacement is usually necessary since repairs aren’t an option.

Bearing Maintenance: A Key Consideration Regardless Of Type You Choose

No matter which type you choose, serviceability or sealing, it is essential always to keep your bearings clean.

Regular lubrication ensures optimal speed when racing with friends during weekend games using quad skates, indoor rinks, and outdoor parks alike.

Best Brands for Skate Bearings

For intermediate skaters looking for quality and performance, Bones Reds Bearings are a great choice.

Bones Reds Bearings

A popular choice among intermediate skaters, Bones Reds offers high-quality steel construction at an affordable price point. These roller skate bearings deliver a smooth roll and durability, making them ideal for various inline skating styles.

Swiss Bearings

For advanced skaters or those involved in racing disciplines like speed skating, Swiss bearings come highly recommended. Known for superior speed and longevity, these ball bearings can significantly enhance your inline skating experience.

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Ceramic Bearings

Last but not least on our list is ceramic bearings. They offer low friction which allows them to spin faster than most other types of bearing materials – perfect if you’re looking to optimize your performance as a seasoned skater. The reduced friction also means they heat up less under pressure thereby increasing efficiency during outdoor skating sessions.

This concludes our roundup of top-notch skate-bearing brands.

The next section will explore how different materials used to create these products influence each type’s overall functionality.

The Role of Materials in Bearing Performance

The materials used in skate-bearing construction – such as bronze, titanium, and ceramics – have a major influence on performance due to their impact on friction, which significantly affects the inline skating experience.

This is largely due to how these materials interact with friction – one of the critical factors affecting your inline skating experience.

Reducing Friction for Increased Efficiency

The primary purpose of any bearing is to reduce friction between moving parts. This reduction allows for smoother motion and increased efficiency during inline skating.

Different materials have varying degrees of success when it comes to reducing this resistance. Two common types that you’ll find are steel bearings and ceramic bearings.

Steel vs Ceramic Bearings: A Comparison

In terms of strength at an affordable cost, steel has long been a popular choice for roller skates or quad skates alike.

Thanks to their robustness, steel bearings can withstand substantial pressure while maintaining smooth roll on modern wheels, making them suitable even under demanding conditions like speed skate or racing disciplines.

Ceramic options, on the other hand, offer less friction, resulting in faster spinning than their steel counterparts which makes them an ideal choice not only for advanced skaters but also for those who prefer outdoor skating activities where they need optimal speed.

Achieving Smoother Roll With Ceramics

If we talk about seasoned skaters looking forward to optimizing his/her performance, then nothing beats the low-friction nature offered by ceramic bearings. These enable wheels to spin faster, thereby providing a seamless ride across different surfaces, whether indoor rink or outside park.

When Should You Replace Your Skate Bearings?

Bearings are an integral part of your inline skates, contributing significantly to a smooth and efficient skating experience.

Bearings can be subject to wear and tear, similar to any other mechanical part.

Signs That It’s Time for New Bearings

A noticeable decrease in spinning efficiency or excessive noise during movement could indicate that it’s time to replace your bearings.

Regular maintenance, such as cleaning and lubrication, can prolong their lifespan but won’t prevent eventual wear and tear.

Deteriorating Performance

If you notice a drop in speed while roller skating despite exerting the same effort or if your skate wheels don’t spin freely when rotated by hand; these might be signs of worn-out bearings.

Noise During Movement

The presence of unusual noises is another telltale sign. If you hear grinding sounds when turning corners on racing skates or squeaking noises from quad skates under load – consider checking the condition of your bearings.

See also  How to Properly Lubricate The Bearings in Inline Hockey Skates
Maintaining Bearing Efficiency

In order to maintain optimal performance from sealed or serviceable types of skate bearings, regular checks should become routine, especially after outdoor skating sessions where dirt accumulation is common.

Tips For Replacing Inline Skate Bearings

Removing old, worn-out ball bearings from modern wheels without causing damage requires using a special tool designed specifically for this task – often referred to as a “bearing puller” or “bearing tool.”

Once removed, new ones can be inserted, ensuring they fit snugly into the wheel hub without forcing them in. This may cause unnecessary strain on both components, leading to reduced performance longevity and overall stability in inline hockey play.

To safely remove old worn-out ball bearings from modern wheels without causing damage, use a special tool called a “bearing puller” or “bearing tool”.

For more information on safely removing and replacing your skate bearings, check out this bearing tool guide.

Key Takeaway: Is it time to replace your skate bearings? Like any mechanical component, they wear down over time.

Signs that it’s time for new bearings include decreased spinning efficiency and excessive noise during movement. Regular maintenance can help prolong their lifespan but won’t prevent eventual wear and tear.

If you notice a drop in speed or if your wheels don’t spin freely when rotated by hand, these might be signs of worn-out bearings. Unusual noises like grinding sounds or squeaking under load are also indicators.

Regularly check the condition of your sealed or serviceable skate bearings to maintain optimal performance, especially after outdoor skating sessions where dirt accumulation is common.

FAQs in Relation to What Are the Different Types of Bearings Used in Inline Hockey Skates

How do I choose rollerblade bearings?

Consider factors like the ABEC rating, material (steel or ceramic), whether they’re serviceable or sealed, and your skating level and style.

What is better ABEC 7 or 9?

An ABEC 9 bearing offers more precision than an ABEC 7. However, for inline skating, this increased precision may not significantly improve performance.

What are rollerblade bearings?

Bearings in rollerblades allow the wheels to spin smoothly and efficiently. They come in different types including steel, ceramic, Swiss among others.

What are SG7 bearings?

The SG7 is a type of bearing used in some Rollerblade models. It’s designed for durability and smooth rolling with good speed capabilities.


The world of inline skating is diverse and exciting, with different types of bearings playing a crucial role in enhancing your performance on the rink.

Whether you’re an advanced skater seeking to maximize speed or a beginner looking for a smooth roll, understanding inline skate bearings can make all the difference.

What are the different types of bearings used in inline hockey skates?

One common type found in roller skates is steel bearings.

Ceramic bearings are popular among seasoned skaters due to their ability to reduce friction significantly, enabling them to spin faster.

Bones Reds Bearings has earned a reputation among both intermediate and experienced players for delivering top-notch serviceable qualities at affordable prices.

A favorite amongst speed skaters, Swiss-style ball bearings deliver exceptional precision that translates into enhanced control over your skate wheels’ movement.

In choosing between these various types of roller skate wheel hub fittings, factors such as your personal skating style, whether you use quad or modern wheels on your inline skates, should be considered alongside aspects like size.

Remember: larger ones might offer more stability but may not necessarily provide greater speeds.

Whether you’re a seasoned skater or just starting, the right bearing can significantly impact your inline skating experience.

Here at World Inline Hockey, we aim to provide all the information you need on this topic and more. Keep reading our articles for more tips and tricks!