- Swiss Bearings
- Swiss bearings, identifiable by the “SWISS” laser etched into the edge of the outer bearing ring, are made in Switzerland. With exacting standards, a long history of bearing manufacturing, and good quality control measures, Swiss bearings are typically faster, stronger, and longer-lasting than bearings manufactured elsewhere.
- Here’s a major finding: it doesn’t matter which company you get your Swiss bearings from. If it has “SWISS” etched into the side of the outer bearing ring, it will be as good as any other Swiss bearing. Known genuine “SWISS” etched bearings: Bones, Element, Lucky, Pig.
- Watch out for bearings that say they are Swiss but don’t have the “SWISS” etching. Many companies offer bearings like this, and the quality is not as good or as consistent as the “SWISS” etched bearings
- Seismic Tekton bearings
- These are bearings that have built-in spacers and speed rings. These work for all wheels except some of those marked as Slim, Skinny, Thin, or something similar. Seismic bearings have the advantage of being able to firmly tighten the axle nuts. Firmly tightening the axle nuts means gently tightening the axle nut until it stops turning, then backing off about 1/8 to 1/4 of a turn, but not so much that the wheel wobbles on the axle again. I wiggle the wheel in a rotating motion side-to-side while I’m tightening, and when I feel the wiggle movement diminish and the wheel get tight and square on the axle, I know I’m tight enough. I spin the wheel, and I look for it to spin with very little noise. If there is squeaking or crunching, it is too tight, if there are rattling or hollow sounds, it is too loose. When the axle nut is at the right tightness, the wheel spins quietly and smoothly.
- I used to ride my wheels so they slid back and forth pretty freely on the axles. With most bearings, I felt this was out of necessity because even if I put them a little tight, they bind and don’t like to spin. However, with spacers and good speed rings, the personal advantages I have found with firmly tightening the axle nuts are numerous:
- I don’t bend my truck axles as quickly or as extremely
- My board sounds solid under my feet, giving me confidence
- I can powerslide easier with less flat spots
- My wheels don’t cone nearly as quickly
- I can place my wheels more precisely without fear of slop, this helps especially with grinding, manuals, carving, and some of the “off-road” obstacles I like to ride (like big rocks)
- As quickly as they popped into the marketplace, Renegade started exiting it. Social Skateboarding is selling Renegade bearings at very good prices, and if you order enough stuff from them in one order, they might throw in a set of Renegade bearings for free.
- The performance of these bearings is on par with any other steel ball bearing out there. Pretty consistent with Bones Red, for instance, or Lucky ABEC 7.
- I found the inner races sensitive to paint on the axles or irregularities on the axles, making it difficult to put the wheels on the truck. A little axle sanding fixed it quickly
- Good bearings at a good price that are on par with other standard steel ball ABEC 7 bearings.