Posts Tagged ‘longboard bearings’

Having read through several of the more recent posts on this blog (namely, the product reviews), then comparing them to older posts, I’ve realized that a few of my points have been seemingly contradictory:

In Don’t Overthink Things, I try to present the viewpoint that bearings don’t matter…but, in my review on Seismic Tektons, I say that they do; going so far as to say that Tektons are faster than Abec11’s Biltins, a point reiterated in Toy Machine T-Sect.  But, in I Hate Bearings, the point is made that if you have to ask if a bearing will make you faster, the answer is no.

Here’s where it gets weird:  There are many truths in an entire internet full of misinformation and idiocy.  So, let’s unpack:
That’s not saying bearings don’t make a difference…but lil’ Jonny with his first Penny board isn’t going to set any landspeed records with Bones Swiss versus OEM Greaseballs.  Those skaters that will notice a difference in bearings won’t have to ask me what the difference actually is from I Hate Bearings.  The question from the customer was about making his Penny Board faster.  The truth is that, for the average Penny Board rider, rolling around a college campus or downtown area, bearings will matter less.  Cramming a bearing full of grease will slow the board down, regardless of quality.  The best way to improve speed in this scenario is by upgrading wheels to something a little bigger diameter, or with a little better urethane formula.
…Everything on a street skateboard is expendable. It’s something of a badge of honor to snap a deck or blow out a bearing (due to the high-impact of aerial stunts).  From Durable Goods.  In any sort of trick skating that involves aerial stunts, from longboard dancing, to flatland freestyle, to street skating, that’s going to involve weird impacts on the bearings (by way of the wheels).  The truth is that durability is a more reliable trait to have in a bearing than all-out speed, in a trick setting.  Besides, as we learned from Rock’n Ron, another truth is that even stepping onto a board such that your weight is borne onto the axles will wreck the ABEC rating, let alone doing an ollie.  Bearings are wear parts, period, and cannot be counted on to enhance speed when you’re jumping around.
-As noted in my review of Seismic Tektons, They’re noticably faster than something like a Biltin, although I’m not entirely sure Tektons are worth the extra few bucks if you’re not in an IGSA raceThis truth is that bearings can make a difference under the right circumstances.  Distill everything about your riding experience down to a scenario wherein the only variable is the bearing and you’ll begin to appreciate what I’m talking about:  Park and vert skating, slalom skating, and as an extrapolation of slalom skating, long-distance pumping are three scenarios in which bearings can make a discernible difference.  These disciplines are powered by internal forces (pumping either up and down on a ramp, or left and right for slalom), and are done on regular, controlled surfaces…any sort of street skating, downhill (including freeride/slide, and racing), commuting/distance pushing, or urban bombing, are not internally driven (by pumping), and are on irregular surfaces.  On these irregular surfaces (loading docks, asphalt to sidewalks, curbs, gravel, the occasional rain puddle), a good set of wheels will make a much greater difference in the quality of your ride than bearings will.

So, will bearings make a difference for your ride?  Sometimes yes, but mostly no.  Call me a sanctimonious douchebag, but there are many, many more parts of your skateboard (and there aren’t that many parts of a skateboard) that will make or break your ride sooner than bearings will.  For 95% of skaters, 95% of the time, a better quality wheel will make your ride smoother or faster.  For the other 5% of skaters, the other 5% of the time, your bearings just might make a difference, but you’re probably in a situation where you’re not going to be trawling Google and reading opinionated douchebags on a blog about bearings.


Great bearings, see my full review!


Equipment Review

How long have you ridden them?

’bout 6 months

What Setup are you running them on?

faltown slide deck, abec11 noskoolz, indy 215’s…but i have used them on an earthwing slider, and in parks

Typical Discipline?


How much did you pay for them?


Where did you buy them?

RIT music, holland MI

What are their weaknesses?

theyr’e a little more expensive than reds

What are their strengths?

Really smooth rolling, quick accelaration, they take abuse like none other…in fact, it seems like they get better and faster the more you abuse them.

What similar equipment have you ridden?

Bones Reds, Speedy LUnatics, Rock’n’rons Skyrockets

Would you recommend them?


Toy Machine T-Sect bearings were recommended to me on the old forums at where they were promised to be quicker than Reds, and can take abuse very well.  While casual longboarding doesn’t put the stresses of street and park skating on bearings, downhill racing and sliding have their own unique stressors.  Constantly rolling for minutes and hours (as opposed to a minute-or-two long run in a park or on the street) will increase wear and tear, and sliding puts all kinds of weird stresses on the inside and outside edges of bearings.  The first set of T-Sects I owned had a unique 2-piece nylon cage, but in later runs, they seemed to change to a standard single-piece crown that’s seen on nearly every other 608 bearing on the market.  Before I got into Tektons, T-Sects were my go-to for my dedicated slide rigs, because like Tektons, I noticed that T-Sects gave me a little more rollout speed on the end of a hill, and carried a little more momentum (than Reds, Speedy Lunatics, or Ballistech Rockets) through slides…and when you’re into hardwheel technical sliding, it’s not about the steepness of the hill, it’s about being long enough to maintain your speed into, through, and out of the slide.  T-Sects hold up to those side loads through the long-term, and each ride, they give a little more speed than other cheap bearings.