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Quad Roller Skating Forum Discussions about quad roller skates and any other quad skating discussions that do not seem appropriate for one of our other forums.

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Old October 2nd, 2018, 03:51 PM   #1
Muse
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Default I want durable, long-lasting bearings for my quads

Been skating the fairly rough streets around here for almost 30 years (Berkeley, CA). Always done my own skate maintenance (duh, pretty easy compared to my bicycles). I have a box full of bearings, almost all used. I have Jogger trucks, have always used Kryptonics 70mm wheels.

The other day I was around 1.5 miles from home and it felt like something got stuck in my wheel, like a twig... sudden major resistance in one skate. Inspection revealed that a bearing had collapsed. I had to walk home carrying my skates.

Among the used bearings I have, some NMB 608z Singapore seem best. Spin very freely in the hand. Can't seem to find any online, just some NMB 608zz made in Thailand, and they don't look the same from online picture.

The NMB's I have are double sided, all steel. The bearing that broke down on me the other day had plastic interior pieces, which has me thinking that all metal is better. I saw some stuff online saying plastic is better, but I'm doubtful about that based on my breakdown the other day.

I don't want to pay $300 for 16 Bones Ceramics, which I saw declared to be "the best." I'm not going after the absolute fastest, quietest bearings. I'm not competing, I just want super tough long lasting bearings that are maybe cleanable (I've cleaned a lot with acetone). Quiet? I don't know. No skates are going to be silent, right? Maybe that's an issue, I don't know, but I don't skate rinks, just streets and when the streets are too rough, the sidewalks (it's a real challenge around here to find a reasonably smooth route from point A to point B). I don't expect silence when skating streets and sidewalks, can't imagine that the best bearings will make it seem like I'm skating on smooth marble!

Thanks for your thoughts, recommendations, wisdom, stories, honesty.
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Old October 2nd, 2018, 05:06 PM   #2
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I skate outdoors only, if it rains and you don't have ceramic bearing, they are going to rust, fast.
Using bones ceramics, which aren't going to rust, which are silent, which last year's, works for me.
Yes, soaking in acetone then a dip in 92% alcohol, a quick bust of air then 2 drops of bones speed creme is quick and easy.
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Old October 2nd, 2018, 05:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muse View Post
Been skating the fairly rough streets around here for almost 30 years (Berkeley, CA). Always done my own skate maintenance (duh, pretty easy compared to my bicycles). I have a box full of bearings, almost all used. I have Jogger trucks, have always used Kryptonics 70mm wheels.

The other day I was around 1.5 miles from home and it felt like something got stuck in my wheel, like a twig... sudden major resistance in one skate. Inspection revealed that a bearing had collapsed. I had to walk home carrying my skates.

Among the used bearings I have, some NMB 608z Singapore seem best. Spin very freely in the hand. Can't seem to find any online, just some NMB 608zz made in Thailand, and they don't look the same from online picture.

The NMB's I have are double sided, all steel. The bearing that broke down on me the other day had plastic interior pieces, which has me thinking that all metal is better. I saw some stuff online saying plastic is better, but I'm doubtful about that based on my breakdown the other day.

I don't want to pay $300 for 16 Bones Ceramics, which I saw declared to be "the best." I'm not going after the absolute fastest, quietest bearings. I'm not competing, I just want super tough long lasting bearings that are maybe cleanable (I've cleaned a lot with acetone). Quiet? I don't know. No skates are going to be silent, right? Maybe that's an issue, I don't know, but I don't skate rinks, just streets and when the streets are too rough, the sidewalks (it's a real challenge around here to find a reasonably smooth route from point A to point B). I don't expect silence when skating streets and sidewalks, can't imagine that the best bearings will make it seem like I'm skating on smooth marble!

Thanks for your thoughts, recommendations, wisdom, stories, honesty.
I sometimes buy used skates at goodwill and strip the bearings out. The skates are inexpensive inlines so the bearing sets usually cost less than $5 a set. Run them til they puke then replace.
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Old October 2nd, 2018, 06:07 PM   #4
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I sometimes buy used skates at goodwill and strip the bearings out. The skates are inexpensive inlines so the bearing sets usually cost less than $5 a set. Run them til they puke then replace.
My first skates (aside from the steel wheel ones when I was <10 YO) were bought at a thrift store. The front wheel axle came off one of them while I was skating on a path around a lake and it took me a year to get over the injuries. Never skated those skates again but bought my current Jogger trucks, which I've attached myself to basketball shoes.
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Old October 3rd, 2018, 02:10 AM   #5
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My first skates (aside from the steel wheel ones when I was <10 YO) were bought at a thrift store. The front wheel axle came off one of them while I was skating on a path around a lake and it took me a year to get over the injuries. Never skated those skates again but bought my current Jogger trucks, which I've attached myself to basketball shoes.
Like I said, I only use them for the bearings. Lots of those cheap skates are just that cheap and some are mid quality(better bearings). You usually don't find really good skates at the thrift stores. So far after skating around 8 years I have only thrown away a handful of bearings that failed, mostly had excessive vibration, rough spinning or bumps as they spun. The difference of a bearing having drag by spinning in your hand vs drag with your weight on them being mounted in a working skate and being skated is so minimal that it is not worth spending tons of money on. Wheels make much more differences in performance than bearings ever will. Besides, I would rather have a ton of nice wheels to choose from than bearings that will make no difference in speed but cost $100s of dollars more than cheap ones. Good luck on finding bearings that last outdoors very long. Ceramics may work for you though
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Old October 3rd, 2018, 03:09 AM   #6
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Bones Reds are under $20 and work great. Iím a big guy (300 lbs), I skate inside and outside, and have yet to have a problem.
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Old October 3rd, 2018, 01:06 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ursle View Post
I skate outdoors only, if it rains and you don't have ceramic bearing, they are going to rust, fast.
Using bones ceramics, which aren't going to rust, which are silent, which last year's, works for me.
Is this true? Wonít the steel parts of the ceramic bearings rust? I would think the inner and outer races would be steel, not ceramic. How do you keep the steel parts from rusting?

I had another bad indoor experience last night. Iíd like to continue skating outdoors. Even if it rains.
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Old October 3rd, 2018, 07:26 PM   #8
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If your bearings get wet, and then sit a while, soak them in coke for an hour, rinse, clean, lube.
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Old October 3rd, 2018, 09:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ursle View Post
I skate outdoors only, if it rains and you don't have ceramic bearing, they are going to rust, fast.
Using bones ceramics, which aren't going to rust, which are silent, which last year's, works for me.
Yes, soaking in acetone then a dip in 92% alcohol, a quick bust of air then 2 drops of bones speed creme is quick and easy.
Thanks for the tip on alcohol dip. I do the acetone clean every few years or so on my Bones ceramics, but never thought to use anything more evaporative than the acetone. I do agree that the Bones ceramic are the lowest maintenance of all, but I would imagine the races will still rust in the rain. I definitely see minor rusting on the outsides of them, and I only session skate.
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Old October 3rd, 2018, 10:31 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by FUBAR View Post
Is this true? Wonít the steel parts of the ceramic bearings rust? I would think the inner and outer races would be steel, not ceramic. How do you keep the steel parts from rusting?

I had another bad indoor experience last night. Iíd like to continue skating outdoors. Even if it rains.
After having steel bearings rust to a stop a few times I went with the bones ceramics, the race may show some rust, but the balls (being ceramic) and race don't seize. Clean them when you get out of the rain.
And looking at all my bearings, all have been wet, no rusted races, expensive but worthy.
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Old October 4th, 2018, 12:23 AM   #11
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I'm seeing cheap bearings (100 for ~$25) at Amazon that get pretty good reviews. I'm tempted to buy NMB Singapore 680z, which I bought before. I'm seeing some on Ebay, but they are mid-range. Not cheap, not very expensive. Something like $1 apiece. Reason is, I still have some used NMB Singapore 608z that spin like new (probably after cleaning). They are AFAIK, all metal. The bearing that went to pieces on me a week or so ago was partly plastic, which has me nervous about them. 100 new bearings is a lot when you aren't sure what you're getting. These might be rather different from what I got last time, maybe a different factory, different parts entirely. The picture I saw looked different from the ones I have.

Then there's the matter of spinning freely in the hand maybe not translating to quality service. I've seen that notion expressed in researching online yesterday.

It's not like I'm not liking the way my skates are performing, and I do have a bunch of what seem like serviceable extra bearings on hand. It's more the fact that having experienced a breakdown a couple miles from home has me nervous that it will happen again. I figure all metal bearings and new ones are some good "insurance." Do I want to shell out $300 for Bones Swiss Ceramic bearings? Not unless I get some convincing! There are cheaper good bearings, maybe $120 for a set of 16. I was talking to a shop owner yesterday and he said that's what he's using. He said they were Bones.
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Old October 4th, 2018, 02:10 AM   #12
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The Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are coming up, that's when I snagged a deal on my Bones Swiss ceramics. You might find some good performing cheaper ceramics. A good source is Doc Sk8, if anyone on here would know, it would probably be him.
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Old October 4th, 2018, 04:47 PM   #13
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There are also a ton of cheapie Chinese ceramic bearings. Many here say cheap bearings are fine, but haven't heard anything about the ceramic ones. I have a set that I put on wheels that I let others borrow, when I get them back I'll let you know what they thought.

If you go that route, I would look for the black ball version, I understand the Silicon nitride ceramic balls are better than the Zirconium oxide ceramic. Bones swiss have the black balls, while the China Reds ceramic have white Zirconium oxide .
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Old October 4th, 2018, 05:28 PM   #14
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I see those gold colored Hartfords in a lot of old skates that were used hard, obviously outdoors. I cleaned up a set and gave them to my daughter who rode them indoors and out for over 2 years with no problems. Get some Hartfords to try if you like.



Otherwise, I'd just buy whatever, and replace often. You said you do your own maintenance. That's part of maintenance, inspect and replace.

With bearings you can have:
1. Fast spin
2. Long lasting
3. Low price

Pick any TWO above.
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Old October 5th, 2018, 07:34 AM   #15
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If a bearing came apart like that, the fault is usually the plastic retainer not being formed correctly. A backwards to forwards shock (fast spindown/spinup + torque/side pressure can jerk a poorly made retainer off the balls. The bearing will appear fine otherwise.

Bones reds are a good choice for inexpensive bearings. Loose clearances, easy to clean. Be sure to inspect the plastic cages when cleaning.

Bearing failures are pretty rare though with descent maintainence.
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Old October 5th, 2018, 04:52 PM   #16
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Iím another long-time street skater. Three years ago I bought a set of Sure-Grip QUBE ceramic bearings. These are 8-ball, side-load, factory-greased hybrid bearings. They still spin like new. Two years ago I cleaned and re-lubed them with axle grease, even though they didnít need it. My dad was an automotive mechanic and I couldnít resist his training on routine cleaning and greasing of bearings. So yeah, they are durable, and they are maintenance-free. And BTW, grease is a strong water barrier. They cost about $125 per set, but as Dec8rSk8r said above, Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are coming up. Check for Coupon Codes, too.
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Old October 7th, 2018, 07:32 PM   #17
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Hmm...factory greased qube ceramic bearings. This sounds like what I need.

Has anyone used Rollerbob for his 6 ball ceramic bearings? I might get a set of those and grease them.
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Old October 8th, 2018, 12:49 AM   #18
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Hmm...factory greased qube ceramic bearings. This sounds like what I need.

Yes. And leave the grease in them. It's a specially selected synthetic that will lubricate well under load and repel water and contaminants.


It's fun to watch wheels free-spin, but that's only good for winning snack bar bets. It's how a bearing performs under load that's important.
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Old October 8th, 2018, 12:20 PM   #19
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Yes. And leave the grease in them. It's a specially selected synthetic that will lubricate well under load and repel water and contaminants.


It's fun to watch wheels free-spin, but that's only good for winning snack bar bets. It's how a bearing performs under load that's important.
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