With so many different types of roller skate bearings on the market, it can be hard to know which ones are best suited for your needs. To help you choose, we have compiled a list of the 10 best roller skate bearings available today (based on personal experience, knowledge and reviews.)
In a hurry? Lucky you, my shortlist is below. And, if you’d like to read a more detailed review about each bearing, then please click on the links.
Best Roller Skate Bearings
- Bones Super Reds Bearings – Most Popular Roller Skate Bearing
- Yellow Jacket Premium Bearings – Best Value Bearing
- Oldboy Ceramic Bearings – Best Ceramic Roller Skate Bearing
- Rollerbones Bearings – Best Affordable Bearing
- Bones Swiss Bearings – Best OG Bearings
- Bones Ceramics Super Reds Bearings – Best Premium Ceramic Bearing
- Fireball Dragon Bearings – Best Bearing With Built-In Spacers
- Kveni Ceramic Bearings – Best Budget Ceramic Roller Skate Bearing
- Old Boy Chrome Bearings – Best Chrome Bearings
- Heady Shake Titanium Bearings – Best Titanium Bearing
I’ll also go over some things to consider when buying roller skate bearings, things you need to maintain your bearings and FAQs so you can make the best decision. Now let’s take a closer look at all of these bearings!
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1. Bones Super Reds Bearings: Most Popular Bearings
Bones bearings are very well known in the roller skating community, making them the perfect choice for any rider. Super Reds use higher-quality steel races and balls plus a superior surface finish to create a bearing that is faster, smoother and longer lasting than the original Reds.
When I got my first pair of roller skates, these are the 8 mm Bones Reds bearings that were recommended to me. They are some of the most popular bearings out there for good reason.
They are smooth and quiet and (with removable rubber shields) it is really easy to clean them. And remember, clean bearings mean fast bearings. You really can’t beat the superior quality of these bearings for the price.
2. Yellow Jacket Premium Bearings: Best Value Bearings
You cannot beat the quality and price of these bearings. All Yellow Jacket products are thoroughly inspected before being sent out and come with a 100% money-back guarantee.
These are a great choice for someone looking to replace the stock bearings on the skates, that doesn’t want to break the bank doing so.
3. Oldboy Ceramic Bearings: Best Ceramic Bearings
Let me tell you, these puppies can fly! I would not recommend them to someone that is just learning to roller skate because these bearings are FAST (and you might die).
They do need to be broken in for a while, and as the lube is dispersed, they will only get faster and smoother. I highly recommend these top-rated bearings to experienced skaters and those that do a lot of roller skating outside as they are easy to clean and rust-resistant.
4. Rollerbones Bearings: Best Affordable Bearings
If you’re looking to replace the stock bearings on your roller skates for a VERY affordable price, then these are the best roller skate bearings for you. Coming in at around $30 for 16 bearings, I don’t think you’ll be able to find a better price anywhere.
5. Bones Swiss Bearings: Best OG Bearings
These OG Swiss bearings were made by Bones back in 1981 and they still remain some of the best roller skate bearings that you can ride. They are fast out of the box and used by many professional skateboarders and roller skaters around the world.
If you can afford to spend a bit more, I would recommend these over the Bones Reds. They are made with precision in Switzerland and last several times longer. If you want the very best equipment, without breaking the bank, these are your bearings.
6. Bones Ceramics Super Reds Bearings: Best Premium Ceramic Bearings
While these roller skate bearings are a bit pricier, you literally will not have to replace your bearings again for YEARS (with proper maintenance of course!) I have had these on my roller derby skates since 2011 and they are still going strong.
I do not recommend these bearings for beginners as they are meant for speed skating and are very fast. They could be a bit dangerous for the inexperienced. For anyone else, they are 100% worth the investment!
7. Fireball Dragon Built Bearings: Best Bearing With Built-In Spacers
I have never personally used these bearings but based on reviews, and their Lifetime Beast guarantee, they sound like a no-brainer. Just make sure you buy 2 packs as they come in a pack of 8.
Along the same line, I also really like the “Endure” bearings as they come with dual Labyrinth shields for completely sealed bearings, extra protection and longevity.
8. Kveni Ceramic Bearings: Best Budget Ceramics
These bearings are absolutely amazing if you want the durability and longevity of ceramic bearings, but don’t want to pay the premium price for them. I was actually gifted a set of these for my inline skates and they lasted me for years.
Hands down, these budget ceramic bearings are worth purchasing and some even say that they might be just as good as (if not better than) some of their top-notch competitors.
9. Old Boy Chrome Bearings: Best Chrome Bearings
These bearings give Bones Super Reds a run for their money and they are slightly cheaper. The Old Boy design team wanted to make an affordable bearing for the best possible skating experience and I think they nailed it here.
Again, if you’re going to try out these chrome bearings, make sure you buy 2 sets so you have enough for both roller skates.
10. Heady Shake Titanium Bearings: Best Titanium Bearing
These are the best roller skate bearings if you want to impress everyone with your sick style! They are absolutely gorgeous and will make your roller skate wheels stand out.
Based on reviews, a lot of people also rave about these bearings and the customer service that Heady Shake provides. With 100 stars out of 5 from one happy customer, I would absolutely recommend these as some of the best bearings.
Must-Have Tools For Maintaining Your Bearings
1. Roller Skate Bearing Press/Puller
There are many different types of bearing presses available (I love my Bont press) and they will make removing and installing bearings a quick and easy process.
2. Roller Skate Bearing Cleaning Kit
Sonic is my go-to, but again, there are other cleaning options available. Regularly cleaning your bearings is an important part of skate maintenance and will increase the longevity of your bearings.
While most roller skate bearings come pre-lubed, once you clean them, then they must be re-lubed. Bones Speed Cream has THOUSANDS of 5-star reviews and I personally recommend it, but there are other options to try.
Things To Consider When Purchasing Roller Skate Bearings
What Type of Materials are Roller Skate Bearings Made of?
Roller skate bearings are typically made of a variety of materials, such as steel, ceramic, and high-impact polymer. Steel is the most common material used for roller skate bearings due to its durability, strength and affordability.
Ceramic bearings offer a smoother ride and higher speeds and are rust-resistant and self-cleaning. They tend to be more expensive than other materials but have been known to last 10+ years with proper maintenance.
High-impact polymer bearings are typically slower and helpful for beginners or those who prefer a less aggressive ride.
How Much do Roller Skate Bearings Cost?
Roller skate bearing prices vary greatly. From budget-friendly Yellow Jacket Stripes bearings (around $25 for 16) to premium Bones Swiss Ceramics bearings (coming in at around $300 for 16 bearings.)
As with most things, you get what you pay for so generally speaking, the higher the price, the better the bearing. There are however many amazing bearings in between.
How much you spend on bearings will depend on your skating ability and what level of performance you expect to get out of them.
What is the Difference Between Sealed and Serviceable Bearings?
Serviceable bearings have removable shields (or rubber retainers) that allow you to clean and re-lubricate your bearings. Sealed bearings have non-removable shields and are designed to keep out dirt, dust and rocks.
Most high-end bearings feature removable shields so that you can increase the longevity of your bearings by cleaning and re-lubing them.
What Size Are Roller Skate Bearings?
There are 2 common sizes for roller skate bearings. 7mm (which are very rare) and 8mm. Most roller skates are 8mm, but the bearing size is based on the size of your roller skate plate axles.
Some roller skate plates have 7 mm axles and require 7 mm (627) bearings, but it is highly likely that they are 8 mm and require 8 mm (608) bearings. If you look at the bearings that are already in your roller skates, you should see either “627” or “608” written on the shield.
ABEC Ratings and Do They Matter For Roller Skate Bearings?
In short, the “ABEC rating” was created by the Annular Bearing Engineering Committee and it measures the tolerances of a ball bearing. And no, (although there is much debate) it doesn’t matter when it comes to roller skate ball bearings.
There is a lot of technical jargon involved, so if you want to learn more about the ABEC rating system, I’ll let the experts over at Bones do the explaining in this in-depth article.
Does the Number of Balls in Roller Skate Bearings Matter?
This is a tricky one but ultimately, yes. But would most of us personally notice a difference? Probably not.
Basically, with fewer balls, there is more pressure and load placed on each ball. This pressure may cause the ball to fail. On the flip side, however, with fewer balls, there will be less friction which means that technically you should have a faster bearing.
Some companies have created bearings with fewer but BIGGER balls to counteract this effect.
Confused yet? Me too. At the end of the day, I’d focus more on getting high-quality bearings based on the materials they’re made of (and reviews,) and not worry too much about how many balls are in each bearing.
When it comes to roller skate bearings, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Different types of bearings offer different advantages in terms of speed, durability, and price.
I hope my list of the 10 best roller skate bearings has helped you make an informed decision. In general, ceramic and Swiss bearings are going to be some of the best (but there are exceptions to every rule.)
Is ABEC 7 or 9 Better?
To be completely honest, most people won’t notice the difference between ABEC 7 and ABEC 9. A more important factor to consider when choosing a roller skate bearing is the material used to make it.
Are Ceramic Bearings Worth It Roller Skates?
Ceramic bearings are stronger, more durable, self-cleaning and longer-lasting than their steel counterparts. In my opinion, they are absolutely worth it for your roller skates if you can afford them.
What Are the Fastest Bearings?
In my opinion, the fastest bearings for roller skates are Bones Swiss Ceramic Bearings. Bones Swiss are super fast too but, if you’re also looking for longevity, go with the ceramics.
What is the Most Popular Bearing?
Ask 4 different people and get 4 different answers. Across the board though, the best roller skate bearing brand (with many different options) is Bones Bearings. They have bearings for every budget.