No one really knows how long skateboard bearings will last, because every bearing has different tolerances, dimensions, and speeds. It is not possible to say something concrete about the lifespan of a well-maintained bearing. The maintenance level is very important in order to get any useful data when trying to determine when you should replace your skateboard’s bearings.
Some people say that normal maintenance of your bearings will get you up to around 50 hours of skating, but it is not clear why they come to this number. Most skateboarders don’t know how many hours they actually ride per week, so it’s hard to make a good estimate on when you should replace them.
Another way to find out when you should replace your bearings is to measure the inner and outer bearing tolerances. If the difference between these two values gets too big (more than 50 microns), then it’s time to change them.
Another sign that you should change your skateboard bearings, is if they start getting rattly or noisy after a few hours of skating. If this is the case, then you probably need to replace them.
In general, it takes a lot of usages for a bearing to get really bad and needs immediate replacement. Bearing performance usually decreases slowly over time, at a rate that depends on how much you ride your skateboard and under what circumstances. For more information about these topics, please continue reading.
Further down this article, you’ll find some useful tips on how to maintain your bearings, in order to get the most out of them. If you don’t want to go through all of that though, then just remember that if your bearings are making noise or they seem very rough, then it’s time to replace them.
What are the reasons to fail skateboard bearing?
Skateboard bearings are one of the most important parts of your skateboard. If they fail, then you might lose control while skating and get seriously injured (i.e. snapped ankle, torn ligaments). The major reasons that people end up with bad bearings are:
- not cleaning them after riding;
- using dirty lubricant;
- riding in wet and salty environments;
- keeping bearings inside your skateboard for too long;
- using old or under-performing bearings;
- over-tightening the axle nuts;
- buying cheap quality bearings that aren’t designed for skating (i.e. normal ball-bearings);
- re-using old bearing spacers instead of replacing them after they’re worn out;
using bearing spacers that don’t match the bearings perfectly (i.e. using a small spacer with standard-sized bearings).
How to Extend Skateboard Bearings Life?
- – Buy highly rated skateboard bearings that are compatible with your wheel’s core, in order to avoid unnecessary friction. Highly rated bearings will last longer and they’ll perform better compared to cheap ones.
- – Check the outer casing of your bearings on a regular basis to make sure everything is okay. If you see cracks or deep scratches, then it’s time to change them.
- – When ollieing, try not to slam your weight onto the board and onto the wheels. This is because slamming can deform or damage the bearing spacers and outer casings of your bearings. Doing so will lead to increased friction, which will cause both premature wear and reduced performance.
- – After skating, take your bearing spacers out of the wheels, so that you can clean them thoroughly. You want to remove any debris stuck in there before re-lubing them because it will cause increased friction and faster wear during your next ride.
- – After about 10 hours of riding (or every week), lube your bearings using a highly rated lubricant. This will reduce friction and create a better environment for your bearings to perform in.
- – If you find that one of the wheel’s bearing spacers has gotten damaged, then replace it with an identical part. Don’t try to fix the defective spacer yourself, because you could damage another one while tampering with it. You want to have a perfectly balanced wheel, in order to get consistent performance and longevity out of your bearings.
- – For longboarders: If you take good care of your bearings (i.e. clean them after every ride; re-lube them; replace worn parts), then they might last you up to two years [Note: it is unclear how this statement relates to the main topic]. Bearings that are under increased stress (i.e. riding on rough surfaces) will wear out faster, which is why it’s important to pick the correct bearings for your riding style and environment. If you take good care of your longboarding bearings, then they can last up to 3-5 years.
- – Keeping your bearings clean is the easiest way to get increased longevity and performance out of these parts. It’s especially important to clean them after riding in dusty, wet or salty environments.
- – When cleaning your bearings, try not to use water. Even if you let them dry afterward, they’ll start corroding soon enough. Instead, use alcohol or an industrial-grade lubricant, such as Bearing Butter.
- – If you’re using standard bearings, then they will last for about one week under normal riding conditions. They’ll wear out even faster if you skate often and do a lot of slides and flip tricks. Professional skateboarders can get 5-10 days out of these bearings, but they ride much lighter and perform significantly better compared to beginners.
- – For those of you who don’t want to lube your bearings after every ride: Using a cleaner such as Bones Speed Cream will enable you to extend the life and performance of your bearings almost indefinitely (at least until the outer casings break). Even though the life span of your bearings will increase, you’ll still need to clean them regularly.
- – If you’re planning on storing your skateboard long-term, then remove the bearings for safekeeping. Doing so will prevent corrosion and it’ll keep debris out of the inner workings of these parts. Bearings should be stored in a dry environment at room temperature.
- – Most experts recommend changing your bearings once a year, even if you don’t ride that often. This is because the metal components inside will corrode and seize up eventually (regardless of whether you take care of them).
We all want to get the most out of our skateboards and their parts, which is why it’s important for us to know how long they last. Skateboard bearings are one such part that we need to replace periodically because after a while they will stop rolling smoothly on your board. Skateboarders should take care in order not only to extend these bearing life but also preserve them from damage by dirt or grime that could cause rusting. This blog post has given you some tips about extending your skateboard’s lifespan with proper bearing maintenance so read up!