Skateboard Bearings Buying Advice - Updated 2022
With hundreds of skateboard bearings on the market making a choice can feel like an overwhelming decision so we put together this bearing guide exploring the ones we stock. If you are looking for standard bearings at a lower price to get you rolling we carry a number of options for under £10. These will be fine at first but more expensive bearings offer speed which these can't deliver which is why more experienced skateboarders make the investment. This guide alongside our carefully curated selection of bearing options should make things a bit simpler for you when deciding which bearings to sepnd your money on. What can be one of the cheapest components on your skateboard can make a big difference which is why we always stock the best. Here’s a guide to the companies out there who have developed a range of bearings we keep regular inventory of.
BONES SKATEBOARD BEARINGS
Bones Skateboard Bearings have existed since the 80s when Powell Peralta founder George Powell’s quest for faster bearings found him in Switzerland. His innovations in this field are what companies have been trying to match ever since. Bones remain our best selling bearings and offer a wide range of different options which represent each price bracket. Every set is pre-lubricated with Speed Cream racing lubricant and comes with spacers, instructions and a sticker. We have been selling boxes of Bones bearings since we opened and they continue to fly out the door. Bones REDS are hands down our best selling bearing of all time. They are based on the same technical specifications of the SWISS bearings George Powell pioneered but are made at a factory in China. The cages, bearing sizes, shields and lubrication mirror the originals but they are manufactured to be far more affordable. The most famous skateboard bearings of all time are Bones SWISS. Once you try these you won’t look back, we have always sold them as the ‘Rolls Royce’ of skateboard bearings and they are the difference between ordinary and exceptional. REDS and SWISS are the most well known in the Bones bearing range but they also make SUPER REDS, BIG BALLS REDS, CERAMIC SUPER REDS, SUPER SWISS 6 BALLS and BONES SWISS CERAMICS. We know that’s a lot of options and may seem confusing but we have broken down all of these options in our BONES BEARINGS BUYERS GUIDE.
SPITFIRE SKATEBOARD BEARINGS
Spitfire have been making the best wheels out there for nearly as long as we have been open. Spitfire products have been winging their way to us from DLX in San Francisco since 1988 and as soon as they started making bearings too we were on board straight away. They make some of our most popular and affordable bearing options. Spitfire skateboard bearings range from their standard Cheapshots to Classics and then onto the further upgraded Burners which are the fastest. That's three different options which are all reasonably priced.
INDEPENDENT SKATEBOARD BEARINGS
Independent trucks have been part of Slam's story since we first opened our doors and we have always had their trucks in our cabinet. Like Spitfire wheels they too have developed their own skateboard bearings when creating the Genuine Parts range. They offer three bearing options that are all under £20. Independent are a brand you can trust when it comes to skateboard hardware and Independent bearings are no exception. Their GP-S bearings are the cheapest option, a standard, no-nonsense sealed bearing. Then the GP-R and the GP-B are the servicable higher end options. Both of these come boxed with spacers and washers.
BRONSON SPEED CO SKATEBOARD BEARINGSBronson Speed Co are dedicated to their name. They advertise their bearings as the fastest, strongest, longest lasting, longest spin skateboard bearings ever made. Their next generation bearings have really proven popular. Their G2 bearings are Bronson’s answer to Bones REDS, an affordable option. Their G3 bearings are a price bracket above due to further technical innovations. Bronson G3 bearings boast deep groove raceways, frictionless shields, micro groove raceway surfaces and a max impact cage, a lot has gone into their design. Many G3 bearings are endorsed by their pro team, big names like Zion Wright, Nora Vasconcellos and Jamie Foy. Bronson also offer shieldless RAW bearings which are their high end product. These have received rave reviews all round, the very first shield free bearing designed for skateboarding, guaranteed to give you the satisfying sound promised by their Audible Speed Technology. These are the Bronson equivalent of Bones SWISS, their fastest bearing yet. Bronson are a relatively new company which has made a big impact and their bearings are now a regular fixture here at Slam.
Cortina bearings are another relatively new company doing good things. They offer some of the most interesting aesthetics on one of skateboardings smallest components. Like Bronson they have compiled and epic team and individual pros each receive their own custom bearing as part of their signature range. Ex Slam team rider Casper Brooker is on their squad and it’s rad to see his name on the packaging. Signature bearings from Cortina come in a cigar tin which contains everything, interchangeable shields, a shield popper, matching axle nuts and washers and stickers.
Andale bearings is owned by Paul Rodriguez and Joey Brezinski, they started the company in 2010. Together they have assembled an amazing squad from legends like Marc Johnson and Daewon Song through to Tiago Lemos and Yuto Horigome. Andale win the prize for best packaging hands down, whether it’s Daewon’s donut box or Torey Pudwill’s hot sauce, it’s always interesting. As well as their pro rated bearings Andale also offer a Swiss bearing option with High precision grade 5 chrome steel balls and Precision-polished chrome steel races.
SKATEBOARD BEARING MAINTENANCE
Your new bearings will run fast and smooth for a very long time but there may come a point where dirt and grime halt proceedings. The good news is that bearings with removable shields can be cleaned. When your bearings start to scream as you’re skating along it’s time to clean them and re-lube. To do this we recommend one of these cleaning units designed to separate the bearings while you soak them in a citrus based engine cleaner (you can buy this from a hardware store). Once your bearings are clean and dry a drop or two of Bones Speed Cream or Bronson High Speed Ceramic Oil in each bearing will be enough to make them as good as new. These high viscosity lubricants are designed to improve speed, reduce friction and protect against corrosion.