The Best Inline Skate Bearings 2024
What we looked for:
The inline skate bearing category is the category that you can waste a ton of cash. Many skate bearings are mislabeled, and the ABEC rating system is a joke. Let’s dive into some of the problems with inline skate bearings.
The first problem is that they all look similar. A set of $300 bearings appear very similar to a set of $10 bearings.
The next big problem is that there is a rating system called ABEC. Bearings are typically rated ABEC 1, ABEC 3, ABEC 5, ABEC 7, or ABEC 9. Companies tell consumers that the higher the number, the better the bearing. However, this rating system has little or no meaning for skaters apart from rating the bearings from one manufacturer. That is to say; companies often stamp ABEC 9 on an ABEC 1 bearing. How are you ever going to tell the difference? As an example, I have tested $300 bearings that skate precisely the same as $20 bearings. The only difference is that the $300 bearings came in a flashy box. In summary, my advice is to be very wary of bearings labeled ABEC 9. I can almost guarantee you they are not ABEC 9 bearings.
So, what are the essential things to look for in an inline skate bearing? The important things are extremely precise balls, solid materials, and a finely polished race. A race is the part the balls touch.
Unfortunately, you can’t tell the good from the bad by looking at them. Luckily, I have tested hundreds of bearings and taken the guesswork out of choosing the best of the best inline skate bearings for 2024.
#1 Bones SWISS
Bones is the #1 selling aftermarket inline skate bearing and for a good reason. They are one of the only SWISS bearings actually made in Switzerland. So, you know you will get a good, reliable, long-lasting bearing when you go with Bones.
Bones inline bearings are easy to clean and come pre-lubricated, so you don’t need to clean the grease out of them. The bearings roll well under load, including speeds at over 60 miles per hour.
They are our number 1 bearings again for 2024.
#2 Bont JESA BLACK SERIES
These bearings are on par with Bones inline skate bearings. Therefore, whichever skate bearing is on sale is the one I would buy.
Bont has one of the largest professional inline racing teams in the world to test their bearings. As a result, their inner materials are top-notch, the steel balls are very precise, and they are easy to clean.
These bearings have won numerous world championship titles for inline speed skating.
#3 Capetos ABEC 9
Capetos is an up-and-coming speed skate brand, and in my opinion they are making the best value for money inline skate bearings on the market. When you compare them to other top-rated inline skate bearings, in a blind test you would think that these are Bones bearings. We were highly surprised by the Capetos bearings, and they come in as our #3 best inline skate bearing of 2024.
#4 Bones REDS
Bones Reds are made in China, but they are one of the best Chinese bearings on the market. They are more than 50% cheaper than Bones Swiss bearings. Importantly, many inline skaters won’t be able to tell the difference unless they are a professional skater. My roll testing showed that they are around 3% slower than the Bones Swiss bearings. These bearings are especially good if you are skating in the rain and don’t want to damage your expensive bearings. Likewise, for training, when you don’t need the absolute best performance.
#5 Bont Ceramic Bearings
If money is no option and you want the very best bearings that money can buy then this is the bearing for you. These bearings used to retail for $600 a set and they have won numerous inline speed skating world titles.
These bearings come with all the bells and whistles such as the highest grade steel, Kluber lubrication, ultra high-end ceramic balls and they are of course used by Bont’s professional racing team. Look after them and they will last you for years. Remember, don’t jump on ceramic bearings as they can shatter and they are more susceptible to dirt and dust as they are so precise so keep them clean.
Q: What skate bearing do I need?
A: The most important factor in a bearing is the brand of bearing you purchase. Buy bearings from reputable brands such as Bont or Bones and you won’t go wrong. The entire industry is made up of cowboys with false advertising and false claims.
Q: What is the fastest bearing for skating?
A: Ceramic bearings are often considered the fastest bearings for skating, as they are more durable and require less maintenance than steel bearings. However, they can also be more expensive than steel bearings. Whatever you do, do not buy cheap ceramic bearings as they are slower than good steel bearings.
Q: Do better bearings make you skate faster?
A: Better bearings can help you skate faster, as they offer less resistance and allow your wheels to spin more freely. However, other factors such as your skating technique and the condition of your wheels and skates can also affect your speed.
Q: Do skateboard bearings make a difference?
A: Yes, skateboard bearings can make a difference in how fast and smoothly you skate. Skateboard bearings are the same as inline skate bearings and they are interchangeable.
Q: Is ABEC 7 or 9 better?
A: ABEC ratings indicate the precision of the bearing’s manufacturing process, with higher ABEC ratings indicating greater precision. However, An ABEC 5 bearing from one manufacturer may be better than an ABEC 9 from another manufacturer and the entire industry is rife with fake ABEC ratings. I advise buying your bearings from a reputable bearing manufacturer such as Bont or Bones and you will be sure to get the best bearings.
Q: Do I need 7mm or 8mm bearings?
A: The size of bearings you need will depend on the size of your wheels and axles. Most inline skates use 8mm bearings, while some roller skates use 7mm bearings. Check what size your skates have. 7mm is usually only found on high-end plates.
Q: What bearings spin the longest?
A: The longest spinning bearings that I have ever tested were Bont Ceramic bearings that spun for over 7.5 minutes after being cleaned and lubed properly.
Q: Are ceramic bearings worth it skating?
A: Not if you buy them from ebay or Amazon. They are typically slower than a steel bearing. However, if you buy a good ceramic bearing from a brand you trust, then yes they are worth it.
Q: How long do bearings take to break in?
A: If your bearings are packed with grease, clean them out and start fresh. Good bearings should come pre-lubed with light racing oil and not need any break-in period.
Q: How do I increase my skating speed?
A: To increase your skating speed, you can work on developing your strength, agility, and technique. This can involve exercises such as plyometrics and interval training, as well as practicing skating drills and techniques that focus on building speed and momentum.
Q: Why do I skate so slow?
A: There could be several reasons why you skate slow, including factors such as lack of strength and conditioning, poor technique, and equipment that is not suited to your skating style or needs. Working on improving these factors can help you increase your speed and performance.
Q:What are the best bearings for rollerblades?
A: In the list above, we list the best bearings for inline skates. This list is also the best bearings for rollerblades. Rollerblades and inline skates all use the same bearings. As do skateboards and roller skates.