Did you know that inside a set of 4 skateboard wheels there is a total of 8 skateboard bearings! Just like most moving machinery, the skateboard uses ball bearings to keep the wheels rolling smoothly. Each wheel has 2 bearing units inside. The units are most commonly made from high quality steel and houses 7 ball bearings. Fresh out the packet the bearings are pre lubricated and you can also buy special skate speed cream for maintenance.
A packet of bearings contains 8 skate rated bearings and are Available in a range of durability, speed and colours. No matter which brand you choose, skateboard bearings come in a universal size ('608' / 22mm outer diameter) and will fit in all reputable skateboard wheel!
There are a few different reasons why you’d want to replace your bearings. Over time, skateboard bearings will wear down as they age, becoming less effective. This can be due to repeated use of your skateboard during wet conditions as they are not waterproof. Such conditions will cause rust and grime to collect and build-up within the bearing, as well as washing out the lubricant increasing wear and tear between the ball bearings and the casing. This can also occur if your skateboard is exposed to dirty environments such as mud, mulch or sand as the particles can get caught inside the bearings - causing erosion. If you do not be wary, after time it is possible that bearings can explode often causing the entire wheel to fall off the skateboard!
There are methods that can be used to slow the ageing process (regular maintenance of the bearing which includes removing grime and replacing lubricant). It is inevitable that as time goes by the bearings speed will decrease, at some point you will want to get replacements.
If you've never seen it before, you may be wondering: 'How do I remove / insert skateboard bearings?'
The video below demonstrates how to correctly remove old bearings and re-insert to your skateboard wheel.
As you can see it may be difficult to remove old bearings if the wheels have hardened over time.
When removing the bearing try to hold the end of the truck axel within the bearing itself and not further into the middle of the wheel (See photo for reference).
Traditionally bearings are sold with 10mm spacers, however modern wheels have built in bearing ridges (pictured above) to hold the bearing securely in place.