What are the Fastest Bearings?
What are the fastest bearings? -SG
This is a question us guys at MoBo get quite often, and to be honest there isn’t necessarily a “fastest” bearing. The reason behind this theory is that there are many other components that effect speed that cancel out the speed of bearings. Your overall speed depends much more on how aerodynamic your speed tuck is, the size and roll speed of your wheels, and how much you weigh. That being said, the brand or type of bearings you have will not determine whether you will be first across the finish line or not.
This all being said, that doesn’t mean that all bearings are EXACTLY the same, there are many different types of bearings that may be better for different things
Built-In bearings Vs. Traditional bearings
As the longboarding market evolves all the small annoying parts such as bearing spacers and speed rings are being compromised by introducing a bearing with everything built in for you. Bearings such as the Free Quickees, Atlas Blackouts, Bear Spaceballs and Zealous bearings are all bearings that feature built in speed rings and spacers. This is a huge advantage because it allows you to switch wheels easily while still using all the necessary components that make your bearings last longer as well as keep your wheels sliding smooth. That being said, Reds and bearing spacers, or if you're saving some money, Dirty Bearings and spacers will also work just as well.
Ceramic bearings Vs. Traditional Bearings
Traditional longboard bearings are typically made out of steel usually with about 8 ball bearings inside. Steel is used because it’s relatively inexpensive and it works great for any type of riding, the only downside is that steel has the tendency to rust, as well as steel has a higher coefficient of friction, meaning that the higher the speed of the bearing, the hotter it gets, which can cause the plastic core of the wheel to melt. Ceramic is a much lighter and stronger compound with a hardness of about 47 million lbs per square inch. Ceramic also is much less likely to rust, so even after a full day of riding in the rain your bearings will still spin freely. The main advantage you can benefit from ceramic bearings is the fact that it has a very low coefficient of friction, this means that ceramic bearings have the ability to withstand much higher speeds without exceeding too high of a temperature compared to a traditional bearing.
No, ceramic bearings aren’t faster than traditional bearings, they just have the ability to go faster without exploding (Don’t worry about your traditional bearings exploding, that will only happen to bearings that have had a lot of use at speeds higher than 40-50 mph)