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Best Electric Skateboard Bearings (in 2020) – Keep Rollin’

What are the best electric skateboard bearings? If you don’t want to read my masterpiece on bearings and want a TLDR (Too long didn’t read) then here are my top 3 electric skateboard bearing choices.

The best electric skateboard bearings are:

1. RocknRon’s Rocket Skateboard Bearings

2. Bones Swiss

3. Zealous Ceramic Bearings

I seek but one thing in life and skateboarding. That is the truth. It is easier to find a needle in a haystack than the truth about eskate bearings. The amount of misinformation and marketing lies that surrounds the bearing is vast. It has frustrated me so much that in the past I’ve given up the search. But I decided to make one last journey down this road to save you the trip. I can’t promise that at the end of this article that you will have the euphoric answer you seek. I can promise that you will be as close to the truth on electric skateboard bearings as humanly possible. At least without getting an engineering degree.

Electric Skateboard Bearings Explained

Before I get into this article I want to go over parts of a bearing, because I will be referencing various parts throughout this review. You will also hear me make reference to Ron Foster A.K.A RocknRon. Ron has been a bearing engineer for over 2 decades. He owns a bearing company that makes bearings for all types of industries including Boeing and NASA. He also has a skateboard bearing company that I will go over later in this review. Any advice he has posted online throughout the years I assume is the gold standard unless I hear from a bearing engineer that says otherwise.

Interview with Ron: https://www.liveabout.com/truth-about-ABEC-skateboard-bearings-3002749

You will see a visual guide explaining Bearings. I want to credit Stephen Chick for the Images. We got them from this Reddit Post.

Image Credit: Stephen Chick, Reddit Post

https://imgur.com/a/jLKINCN#XXAtix5

Electric Skateboard Bearing Parts:

Image Credit: Bones Bearings
  • Shield: The Shield protects the inside of the bearing by slowing the amount of dust and debris that gets in. There are two types of Shields, rubber, and metal. All rubber Shields are removable. There is a type of rubber shield called a labyrinth shield used in certain bearings. These do an even better job of stopping dirt from getting in along with reducing the friction. When it comes to metal Shields there are removable metal Shields held in with a c ring. Pressed metal shields are also an option and are not removable whatsoever, at least not without breaking the bearing.
    How to remove shields:
  • Ball Cage or Retainer: The ball cage or retainer is what holds the balls in place. This keeps the balls equally distant from one another to put an equal amount of stress and friction on each ball. The steel cage creates more friction but gives more support. If you don’t want to do any maintenance and you plan on beating the hell out of your bearing, fill this puppy up with grease and you’re good to go. On the flip side, if you prefer speed, a nylon retainer is the way to go using a thinner lubricant. The nylon retainer requires more maintenance but creates less friction in the bearing.
  • Outer ring/race: The outer ring is the metal tube it is on the outside of the bearing. This is the part that you want to put pressure on while putting the bearing into the wheel.
  • Inner Ring/race: The Inner ring is the metal tube on the inside of the bearing that touches your axel. This is the ring you will have to put pressure on to remove the bearings, which will damage them in some capacity.
  • Balls: This part is pretty self-explanatory, these are the 6 or 7 balls in the bearing. They will either be steel or ceramic.

Image Credit: Bones Bearings
  • C-Ring This is a c-shaped ring, as the name implies. This ring holds removable metal shields in place.
  • Size:
    • 608: 608 is the size bearing used inside of the skateboard wheels. Sometimes you will see extra letters and numbers with the 608. Such as 608ZZ below is a list showing what each of these means.
    • 2RS1 = 2 Rubber seals
    • 2RSR = 2 Rubber seals
    • DDU = 2 Rubber seals
    • 2Z = 2 Metal shields
    • ZZ = 2 Metal Shields
  • Pulley Bearing Sizes: 6900 6903 and 6804. These bearing sizes are for a few of the drive gears on the evolve(6900), Boosted v1(6903) and Boosted v2/v3(6903). Honestly, I’m not even sure if the 6900 is the right size for the Evolve board as they don’t have the size listed on their official site. I found the size off another site that sells Evolve drive. I will be reviewing a few of these other sizes. Since the sizes change with every drive gear it is hard to find alternate options tested for e-skating.

What to consider before buying Electric Skateboard Bearings

ABEC Rating

Don’t pay attention to this rating at all it’s worthless, at least for skating purposes. On top of that even if it was useful there are no laws around using the ABEC label. Meaning that a bearing that says ABEC-9 on it could actually be in an ABEC-1 or not even ABEC rated. Don’t trust a skateboard company that tries to sell you their bearings using the ABEC system. Basically, they’re completely lying to you to try to make the bearing sound better. All of the bearings that I’ve listed in this review none of them claim any of their bearings are ABEC rated. On Rockets website site they have a big banner that says the ABEC rating is bullcrap.

Materials

Ceramic

I’ve mentioned it throughout this review but repetition helps us learn. To reiterate ceramic balls don’t corrode from water, they are lighter, harder and are better with friction at high speed. The two downsides are they are more brittle so they can’t take super high impact such as dropping off a 3-foot ledge as a steel bearing can. They are also more expensive than a steel bearing. Like a steel bearing, they do come in different grades and materials. You’ll just have to trust the company’s word on what those materials are.  Unless you’re going to send them to a testing facility and spend a lot of money to find out if what they’re saying is true.

Steel

Steel washers are the standard in ball bearings. They are cheaper and come in multiple different grades and qualities. They don’t handle friction as well and are prone to rust if water gets in the bearing.

Spacers and Washers

When it comes to spacers and washers you have two options. You can have the hardware separate or built-in toothy bearing. The advantage of having them separate is you can choose different size spacers depending on the wheel since all Wheels vary slightly. The advantage of built-in bearings is Convenience. You never have to worry about losing the little pieces when you pull them out to clean them.

Made in?

Where companies make a bearing is important but more important is which manufacturer makes it. RocknRon made a post explaining which manufacturers follow quality control procedures. And in turn, make a quality product. This post is several years old but these companies still exist. These companies are WIB(Swiss), GMN(German), GRW(German), and NSK(Thailand). WIB is the manufacturer that makes the Swiss line for Bones. Remember, Bones makes its reds in China. There are many different manufacturers in China. Some may be good but many don’t follow quality control standards so it’s hard to say which ones are better than others.

Price

Let’s talk about price. The cheapest price bearings are almost always manufactured in China. With that said, equality lower and bearing would be Zealous. Their steel bearing is around $14 and their ceramic is $25. You can find cheaper bearings than these, but these ones I have a big following and people enjoy them for the price. If you look at Bones Reds bearings their cheapest are around $19 While their highest(Ceramics) is $95. Oust prices range from $29 to $50 and that’s only steel balls, no ceramics. Rocket Ron’s bearings are currently on sale for $25($30 regularly) for his steel and $85($110 regularly) for his ceramics. Bones Swiss are the highest price bearings ranging from $62 for their steel to $160 for their ceramics.

Best Electric Skateboard Bearings and Brands

Let’s talk about brands. There are more bearing Brands than there are grains of sand on beaches in the world. Okay so that’s a bit of an exaggeration but you get the point. If you go on Amazon right now you can find numerous bearings you’ve never heard of before. All for fairly cheap and all of them made in China. The brands that I’m covering aren’t all expensive, in fact, some are quite cheap. Rather I’m covering brands but have a following of customers to swear by them. Some of these brands you’ve heard of before and others you probably have never heard of in your life. With this in mind let’s get to it!

Bones Bearings

Bones bearings are one of the most popular brands of bearings in skating. Lets separate Bones into two categories. The first is their Reds line, which they make in China. The second is their Swiss line, which as the name implies, they manufacture in Switzerland. Quick side note, if another brand says Swiss on their bearing it doesn’t mean made in Switzerland. There is no law against this. If a bearing website does not mention that they’re made in Switzerland then they make them in China. Another thing about Bones bearings is that they all have one single rubber shield on the bearings as opposed to two like most. Link to website: bonesbearings.com

Bones Reds

Reds are the most popular bearing out there. Ask anyone at a skatepark what bearing they are riding and there is a good chance it’s Reds. The hype of Reds is greater than the riding experience. I’ve ridden Reds and they cost too much for the cheap Chinese bearings they are. The only positive thing they have going for them is that they are affordable. At least that’s what people say. Really though if you want a decent made Chinese bearing this even cheaper than Reds and a lot of people say better go with Zealous bearings. They are $5 cheaper and have built-in spacers and speed rings.

Bones Super Reds

I know skaters who ride Reds. I know skaters who skate Bones Swiss. I’ve never met somebody who skates Super Reds. Bones claims that they use higher quality steel and balls as well as a better grade of the ball and a superior surface finish. The question is is it worth The 40% markup. On their website, many of the reviews say yes, but reviews are easily influenced by hype so take it with a grain of salt. Now you are saying “Ok wise guy what would you recommend instead?” I am so glad you asked. I’d go for the Rocket Bearings steel bearing. RocknRon makes them and as I mentioned before he  knows what he’s doing since he’s been making bearings for over two decades. Also, his bearings are slightly cheaper in price than the Super Reds.

Bones Ceramic Super Reds

The ceramic super Reds include grade 5 silicon nitride ceramic balls. They also use a higher quality steel race and Superior surface finish as the Super Reds. Once again these have good reviews on Bones website. At this point, I would like to note that every phone review on any of their bearings has five stars. What I’m getting at is that if there’s anybody that doesn’t like their bearings they don’t leave reviews, not even 4-star ones. Once again I would mention that a better quality bearing for a similar price range would be Rocketbearings. As I write this review the rocket bearings are $10 cheaper. Ceramic bearings can be a good choice for a bearing and I will go into this more later when I talk about bearing materials.

Bones Swiss

Now you might start to think based on what I said about the Reds line that I’ve got something against Bones. That’s not the case I just feel like the Reds line is an overpriced China bearing. However, here’s where the tune changes. When it comes to bearings Switzerland makes the best bearings according to my lord and savior RocknRon. what makes this bearing better than the Reds line is its precision manufacturing. This is the bearing that most Pro Skaters use because it has proven itself for over 36 years. This is one bearing I can personally attest to as well I got my set of bearings secondhand from a friend who’s been using them for years. Even used, these bearings ride amazing.

Bones Super Swiss 6

Once again unlike the Reds line the Super Swiss isn’t just a better version of bone Swiss using higher-end materials. Since Bones already uses high in materials bones super Swiss is actually different in design. Disappearing actually features 6 bearing balls as opposed to the usual 7in 608 bearings. What this does is creates a higher top speed, greater strength and durability. Since this bearing is essentially a redesign the price point is only a few bucks higher than bones Swiss. really this isn’t necessarily a better bearing Them Bones Swiss just a different design of equal quality.

Bones Swiss Ceramic

HOLY S**** THESE BEARINGS ARE $160 F****** DOLLARS! And the crazy thing that is that they’re sold out on Bones website right now as I’m writing this article. I guess these bearings must be good. They have a hundred and one five star ratings on their website. I’m going to be real for a second. During my research, I dropped $85 on Rocket ceramic bearings, because people said they were amazing. It pained me to spend that much on bearings but I wanted to see if ceramic bearings are worth the hype. If the Bones Swiss Ceramics are better than the Rocket Ceramics then I don’t want to know. Because I sure as spit can’t afford $160 bearings.

RocknRon Skateboard Bearings

Rocket bearings Are the company of RocknRon that I mentioned earlier. Months ago when I was on a skating trip with my friend Jerry he told me of an engineer named Ron that used to make bearings. During my research for this article, he resurfaced. I found a lot of good information about bearings through old forums he used to post in some almost two decades old. and within those forms, people wouldn’t shut up about how awesome his bearings were. Apparently, rocket bearings stopped selling bearings for a bit. So they haven’t been as consistent as big Brands like Bones. So if you like these bearings stock up on them. One thing that made me decide to pull the trigger and try his expensive ceramic bearings is that he has a money-back guarantee. Link to website: rocketsskateboardbearings.com

Rockets Skateboard Bearings

The one thing I do like about Ron’s bearings is that there is no fluff marketing or unknown buzzwords. He says that his bearing has a 3 microinch surface finish, and custom cages. He then puts it all together in a government-certified clean room with a custom-designed special lube. Also mentioned on his site is his deep Labrinth shield that helps keep dust and dirt out longer than a regular shield.

Ceramic Rockets Skateboard Bearings

The Ceramics have all the same features of the steel bearing with some added features. Ron claims that they are the world’s fastest skateboard bearing ever made and that he built specifically for himself to ride. They have 40% less rotating mass for ultimate speed and acceleration.

Zealous Bearings

If you’ve ever been on the longboarding subreddit then you will know that zealous bearings are the favorite bearing of that subreddit. And not without good reason. For the price point alone and what they offer they make a very good quality Chinese made Bearing. Link to website: zealousdownhill.com

Classic Zealous Bearings

Off the bat, the first nice feature of Zealous bearings is that it has the speed rings and spacers built-in. They are also filled with a custom nano-ceramic grease. This grease claims to fill in defamations in the bearing. It then goes on to claim that the heat caused by the friction of the bearing moving will harden these blemishes to essentially heal the damaged area. They also claim to have “extremely low water washout” making corrosion on the inside of the bearing nearly eliminated. the way they describe these bearings makes them sound like Wolverine from the X-Men. How much of what they claim is true? Who can say? What I will say is that for 14 bucks, it’s cheap enough that you can try them out and see for yourself. And as I said earlier they have a large following of people that swear by them.

Ceramic Zealous Bearings

These bearings offer all the same benefits as described in the classic model. With the exception that it uses ceramic balls. They claim that since they’re lighter, stiffer and smoother they can use a lower viscosity lubricant. This means that they should feel faster since they don’t need to warm up through friction like thicker grease.

Oust MOC Skateboard and Skate Bearings

MOC or Machine Optimum Clearance bearings are a series of bearings created by the company Oust Bearings. What is MOC? Your guess is as good as mine because Oust hasn’t published any requirements or standards for their MOC rating. They don’t give a detailed definition of what MOC means on their website, so for all intents and purposes, MOC is a marketing tool. I have a set of Oust MOC 5 Tech and MOC 9 Air bearings in my skatepark and long-distance setups respectively. I find them to be a quality bearing for the price.  I did have had issues with buying from them through amazon. The first package I got was empty. Literally an envelope with nothing inside. How high do you have to be to send an empty envelope as a package? That one still baffles me. On a separate occasion, my package only had the plastic bearing case with no bearings inside. In both of these situations they sent another package for free, but it was rather frustrating. Oust also sells its own brand of synthetic speed oil called MET-OL. It’s currently what I’m using to lubricate my bearings and it works pretty well. This is what all the bearings come lubricated with out of the package. Link to Website: oustbearings.com

Oust MOC 5 street

These bearings are for street skating. Oust claims they can take the impact that comes with ollies and high ledge drops. They back this claim up by the fact that they use a metal cage inside the balls. This is what you want for a bearing that’s going to take a beating. As I mentioned earlier metal cage retainers are better for durability but worse for speed. This bearing has a sealed metal shield that is unremoYetHowever, it does have a small hole in each bearing where you can add lubrication. Having a hole there also means debris can get in faster.

Oust MOC 5 Tech

The MOC 5 Tech is the same as the Moc 5 Street. The only difference is that it has removable rubber shields which make the bearings easy to clean. I own a set of these bearings and can say that they are good quality and I do enjoy skating them.

Oust MOC 7 Speed

The MOC 7 Tech is the bearing designed for speed. It uses a nylon retainer instead of a steel cage. It also has removable shields like the MOC 5.

Oust MOC 9 AIRRR…

The Moc 9 Air is like The MOC 7 in that it also uses a nylon sleeve. But, it has some added features. These include the high-quality USA made balls, a finer polish on the raceways and a special seal system. They don’t mention what that sealing system is. It could be something similar to the labyrinth seal used on Rockets bearings and some of the Bones bearings. I have a set of MOC 9 Airrrs on my long-distance board where I can feel the biggest differences in bearings. I will say that these Oust bearings perform very well. I haven’t ridden the MOC 7 bearings, so I don’t know if all this stuff is extra hype in comparison. I will say that considering the terrain I ride through on these bearings they do have far less dirt and debris in them then my MOC 5’s when I go to clean them.

These bearings offer all the same benefits as described in the classic model. With the exception that it uses ceramic balls. They claim that since they’re lighter, stiffer and smoother they can use a lower viscosity lubricant. This means that they should feel faster since they don’t need to warm up through friction like thicker grease.

Difference between Skate/ Longboard Bearings and Drive Pulley Bearings 

The only difference between bearings for your wheels and bearings for your Drive pulley is the size. Otherwise, they have the same parts and function the same. They even have a steel ball and ceramic ball options as well.

6900, 6903 and 6804 Bearings

This part is a little bit frustrating and that is that there is no Universal size for drive pulley bearings. In fact, even with a single company, such as Boosted, the bearing sizes can change depending on what version you have. This also creates a problem in finding Bearings provided by a third party. on most of the electric skateboard sites, I visited you can buy the pulley directly from the company but they don’t always tell you what the size is. This requires you to do some research based on whatever board you have. At the end of the section, I’ll list some possible alternate bearing companies that make various sizes. For all of the bearings in the section, I found zero opinions or reviews concerning electric skateboarding on how they function. Some of the size bearings are also used in cycling so most of the reviews I saw where in regards to that which doesn’t necessarily help us. My recommendation for whatever board you have is to find what size bearing it uses and then check with some of these companies to see if they carry it.

Best Electric Skateboard Drive Pulley Bearings

Flatland3D Pulley Bearings

This Company offers replacement bearings for size 6 903 and 6804. bearings come with a one-year warranty. They also include 2 bearing washers and 19 mm spacers. This is the key as it includes the extra hardware you might need. That you wouldn’t always get from other third-party sellers of these size bearings. They are also much cheaper than the stock replacements on Boosted’s website. On top of that on Boosted’s website, you also have to buy new wheel bearings at the same time. This product gives you the option. Check out Flatlands Pulley Bearings here on their website: flatland3d.com

Flatland3D Pro Steel Pulley Bearings

These bearings have chrome steel outer rings, steel balls, and cages. Which as we discussed earlier cages sacrifice speed for durability. The bearing also comes with two rubber-sealed Shields

Flatland3D Pro Ceramic Pulley Bearings

Here are some of the other name brands I figured I’d mention that could potentially fit in your drive. Once again I could not find any of these reviews from e-boarders. If they had any reviews they were from cyclists. These companies are Acer, Enduro, and SRAM.

Important Information on Installing Skateboard Bearings

During my investigation, I found that most skate videos give improper information on how to install bearings. Put bearings into a wheel by pressing on the outer ring. Almost every video tells you to place your bearing on a truck and press your wheel onto the bearing, this puts all of the strain on the inner ring. This can damage the bearing by brinelling(denting) it. In effect damaging your bearing before you ever ride it.

There are two ways I found that you can put the pressure on the outer ring to install. The first word to be to buy a bearing press. But some bearing presses won’t work for larger wheels used in e-skating. Another option is to take an old bearing and disassemble it so that only the outer ring is remaining. Then you can put the bearing on the outer ring and hammer it in with a rubber mallet. The bad news is there is no way to remove a bearing without possibly damaging it. Even bearing presses that have removers pull against the inner ring. This won’t always Brinell the ring but can cause microscopic damage.

Basically what this means is once you put a bearing in a wheel you should never remove it. This obviously would make it difficult to clean as you have to do it still within the wheel. Since no skate site knows this there aren’t any videos on how to clean a bearing in a wheel. I know that I’ll be experimenting trying to figure out the best way to do this and will update this article with my findings. 

In the meantime, it might be best to pull the bearing out with a bearing pulling tool that puts even pressure on both sides of the inner ring. Then again maybe the stress and damage you put on the bearing is so microscopic it won’t matter for pulling it out and cleaning. I’ve reached out to a bearing engineer to get some answers on this and will update if I ever get a response.

https://www.nationalprecision.com/library/articles/bearing-basics.php

Best Bearing Pulling Tool:

Bones Bearings Press Puller

Maintenance and Cleaning of Electric Skateboard Bearings

According to Ron when you clean your bearings you should use 91% Isopropyl alcohol and nothing else. He also stresses to make sure to use 91% and no less percent. The lesser percentages have too much water. Here’s a video where Ron shows how to clean the bearings. He no longer sells this cleaning device. Instead, you can use any other bearing cleaning device skate companies provide.

Final thoughts

My top 3 choices are Rockets Skateboard Bearings, Bones Swiss, and Zealous. RocknRon makes Rockets skateboard bearings. Ron is a bearing engineer who likes to cut the crap marketing out of the skateboard bearing game. He makes a quality bearing for a reasonable price according to his following. It’s important to note that his business isn’t always consistent. So if you like his bearing stock up because it ebbs and flows and he might not be selling them for a while. Bones Swiss is a quality that you can’t beat. They are a little more expensive but WIB makes them in Switzerland. WIB has great quality control and precise construction. Zealous bearings made my top three because it’s a decent bearing at a cheap price. If you’re looking for bearings made in China don’t spend a bunch of extra money on any of the Reds line without trying these first.

Honestly when it comes to Electric skateboarding which bearing is the best is a tough choice. You might see a difference in your battery level with nicer bearings or you might not. It might be something that’s only noticeable pushing on foot for the higher-end bearings. The only way you’ll find out is through experimentation. If I were going to experiment I’d personally start with Rockets steel bearings and Zealous ceramic bearings. Both of these bearings aren’t terribly expensive and could give you an idea of where to go from there be it down or up the price ladder. I hope you enjoyed this adventure learning about bearings with me. If you didn’t, well then that’s minutes of your life you’ll never have back. Either way, you’re welcome.

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