People who are serious about skateboarding often talk about ABEC ratings on their bearings. Some of the most common in skateboarding are ABEC 7 bearings. What are these bearings about and should you buy them? First, it is important to understand what ABEC ratings are all about.
Most skateboard bearings have an ABEC rating that indicates how durable and precise they are. The higher the ABEC rating, the better the quality and faster the bearings.
Below is the ABEC rating system:
- ABEC 1: The least precise and most crude bearings for skateboarding.
- ABEC 3: These are what come in many inexpensive skateboards. They work ok but they will not roll very fast or smooth.
- ABEC 5: These are the norm for many skateboarders. They are reasonably fast and don’t cost a lot.
- ABEC 7: These bearings are great for skating as they are fast and smooth but they cost more. Many serious skaters like to buy ABEC 7 bearings and find the best ones on the market. But note that you can damage them if you skate aggressively.
- ABEC 9: Bearings with this rating are unrealistic to use in skateboarding unless you are doing serious downhill skating or something where you need to go as fast as possible. These are extremely expensive and no skateboarder will get their money’s worth with these bearings as no skateboard wheel can rotate fast enough for these bearings to be worth the money.
It is good to get high quality ABEC 7 bearings if you are into serious competitive skating, but there is more to bearings than the ABEC rating.
Another thing to keep in mind is whether you get steel or ceramic bearings. Steel bearings are the standard in the industry as they are economical and durable. The quality of the steel will vary even across one ABEC rating. Some say it is more important to have high-quality steel bearings that you keep clean and oiled rather than any particular ABEC rating.
The other option is ceramic bearings. They are harder than steel and will not deform under pressure. They also resist heat and expand less as they create less friction at high speeds. They also do not rust when they get wet, so many serious skaters choose ceramic bearings. Now that you know more about ABEC 7 and other types of bearings, you have a better idea of what you should buy for best skating result.