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Ask DocSk8 (Expert Indoor Skate Building Advice) This forum is different then the other SkateLog forums in that it is not a discussion forum, but rather a place you can ask skate building expert Fred "DocSk8" Benjamin about building and repairing indoor speed, derby, and jamskate quad roller skates. Please start a new thread for each new question.

View Poll Results: What do you feel are important qualities in a skate rink?
Price To Skate 10 33.33%
Time Open 14 46.67%
Rink needs a "facelift" (New paint, lights etc..etc..) 5 16.67%
Type of skate Floor 22 73.33%
Is There An Adult Night, and Teen Night 14 46.67%
Type of Music 17 56.67%
Size of Skate Floor 17 56.67%
Snack Bar with Hot Food 3 10.00%
Building Location, is it Hard to Find, or get to 3 10.00%
Does the rink have a pro shop 5 16.67%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 30. You may not vote on this poll

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Old February 14th, 2010, 02:05 PM   #1
rllrgrl65
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Default Fafnir Bearings, Any good?

Hello Doc, I am a bit new to forums, but not to indoor skating, as i started skating when i was 14, now i have been working on shuffling, and dance skating for 4 years (im 44). Over the years, i have gotten a few sets of bearings, and wheels. One set of bearing i feel are very smooth, and easy, are Fafnir. I would like to know, what is a Fafnir bearing?, is it a percision bearing?. They have no a.b.e.c. rating on them, they have "FAFNIR", and
"37KC" on the bearing, so im assumeing they are percision. I would also like to know, if you can explain to me what the writting on a bearing means. I am the manager of one of the last skate rinks in New Hampshire, and have many customers ask me about there bearings, and can only explain what a.b.e.c. means. An example of what i don't understand is, a bearing that's writting
is: "527Z" (or 627Z, my eyes ain't what they used to be), and "SNH" or "HCH". What is the differance between the SNH, and the HCH, and what do the numbers mean?. I am in the process of building my 3rd pair of skates, and would like a better bearing than a Lucky "Black Beauty" a.b.e.c. 5, something smoother, that can really roll.
Thank you for your time, i've been told, this is the place to go for answers, and you are "The Man"!
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Old February 14th, 2010, 06:32 PM   #2
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Default Interesting....


I have never had anyone post a poll on Ask Doc Sk8 but the question and answers are interesting, so I'll let it run...May want to ask in the future however...


Quote:
Originally Posted by rllrgrl65 View Post
Hello Doc, I am a bit new to forums, but not to indoor skating, as i started skating when i was 14, now i have been working on shuffling, and dance skating for 4 years (im 44). Over the years, i have gotten a few sets of bearings, and wheels. One set of bearing i feel are very smooth, and easy, are Fafnir. I would like to know, what is a Fafnir bearing?,

A "Fafnir" bearing is just a name on the bearing... Now that being said, I have seen German 8 ball (37 and 38K, not to mention the KDs with shields) Fafnirs and US Fafnirs (37K and 37KD) ..

is it a percision bearing?.

Yeah...

They have no a.b.e.c. rating on them, they have "FAFNIR", and "37KC"

KD maybe?? 37K is the size, D is a shield.

on the bearing, so im assumeing they are percision. I would also like to know, if you can explain to me what the writting on a bearing means. I am the manager of one of the last skate rinks in New Hampshire, and have many customers ask me about there bearings, and can only explain what a.b.e.c. means.

That is because all the BS advertising about the ABEC (Annular Bearing Engineering Committee)rating is all over everyone's catalogs and web sites. ABEC ratings mean zip in the sk8 bearing world...


An example of what i don't understand is, a bearing that's writting
is: "527Z" (or 627Z, my eyes ain't what they used to be),

627 Z (37KD in another language) 627 is the size 7mm hole, 22mm OD, 7mm thick

and "SNH"

SNH is a Chinese bearing if I recollect correctly

or "HCH". What is the differance between the SNH, and the HCH, and what do the numbers mean?.

SNH is a brand initial like NMB NTN etc

I am in the process of building my 3rd pair of skates, and would like a better bearing than a Lucky "Black Beauty" a.b.e.c. 5, something smoother, that can really roll.

Get some of the 8 ball Qubes...

Thank you for your time, i've been told, this is the place to go for answers, and you are "The Man"!
Don't believe it.. It's a bad rumor....
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Old February 15th, 2010, 01:56 AM   #3
rllrgrl65
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Default Thanks Muches! (and sorry about the poll)

Thank you very much for all the info, i see i have much to learn about bearings. I had to chuckle, when i read your comment about a.b.e.c. ratings, as i have a few skate guards who believe the higher the abec rating, the better quality the bearing, the faster you will skate, & they are made in the U.S.
I am Very sorry about posting a poll in AskDocSk8, next time, i will read ALL the rules, and ask first.
Thanks so much for your help, and understanding, Tiff
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Old February 15th, 2010, 02:40 AM   #4
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Default School your floor guards...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rllrgrl65 View Post
Thank you very much for all the info, i see i have much to learn about bearings. I had to chuckle, when i read your comment about a.b.e.c. ratings, as i have a few skate guards who believe the higher the abec rating, the better quality the bearing, the faster you will skate, & they are made in the U.S.
I am Very sorry about posting a poll in AskDocSk8, next time, i will read ALL the rules, and ask first.
Thanks so much for your help, and understanding, Tiff

Kids... They believe what they read... The really interesting thing... I have run double blind tests on National level inline speed sk8rs that could not tell the difference between ABEC 1 and 7. Another test, I swapped the shields, and let the sk8rs see the bearings. The ABEC 7s (with ABEC 1 shields) were slower every time...
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Old February 15th, 2010, 03:04 AM   #5
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Default Eureka!

The whole ABEC thing as related to skate bearings is a lot like selling vaccuum cleaners based on how many amps the motor draws. Of course, more is always better.
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Old July 5th, 2015, 05:47 AM   #6
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Talking Timken (Fafnir) codes

Click on the link below, then click on their BALL BEARING CATALOG

http://catalog.timken.com/app.php?RelId=6.4.7.10

You will find the bearing codes.

(page D6 -- the 37KD bearing)

Last edited by doonebug; July 7th, 2015 at 04:56 AM.
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Old August 14th, 2015, 11:42 PM   #7
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Default +1

Quote:
Originally Posted by dvw View Post
The whole ABEC thing as related to skate bearings is a lot like selling vaccuum cleaners based on how many amps the motor draws. Of course, more is always better.
Here is an e-mail I received from a retail skate product supplier with information about Bones Swiss bearings. Enjoy!
----------------------------------------------------------------

Explanation of Bearing ABEC Rating according to George A. Powell

ABEC VS SKATE RATED™
"WHAT ABEC RATING ARE YOUR BEARINGS?"
We are often asked, "What ABEC rating are your bearings?" The answer is that "Bones Bearings are Skate Rated™ not ABEC rated."

Bones® Bearings are the skate industry leader and favorite choice of professional skaters, and have been since their development in 1981. Over the past years, Bones® Swiss have become legendary because of their superior speed quality, and longevity. Even though Bones Swiss are the top rated bearing in skating, we don’t give them an ABEC rating. There is a good reason for this... thank you for asking.

The ABEC rating system has been around for the last 35 years. The purpose of the ABEC committee (Annular Bearing Engineers Committee) is not to test every manufacturer’s bearings and proclaim them good or bad, but to establish dimensions, tolerances, geometry, and noise standards for bearings in an attempt to aid industrial bearing manufacturers and users in the production, comparison and selection of bearings for general applications. However, since every bearing is used in a different manner and environment, bearings should be redesigned or "customized" for special uses (like skating). The ABEC rating system is not intended to be the only criteria used for selecting bearings for use in specialized applications like skating. It is only one of the tools a bearing designer can use if it is appropriate for the application.

The ABEC rating system includes grades 1,3,5,7, and 9. The higher the ABEC rating, the tighter the tolerances are, making the bearing a more precision part. High precision and small tolerances are required for bearings to function at very high RPM, in products like high speed routers that must spin at 20 to 30,000 RPM. In an application like this, an ABEC - 7 or 9 bearing rating may be appropriate. However, a skateboard with 54mm wheels turning 20,000 RPM will be traveling about 127 MPH! Since virtually all skating is done under 30 MPH, the realistic maximum RPM your skate bearings will see is about 4700 RPM and probably 90% of skating occurs under 2000 RPM. Thus, very high precision is not required at skating speeds.

The dimensions and tolerances controlled by the ABEC standards include the diameters and widths of the raceways, their shapes to some extent and the smoothness of the running surfaces. The ABEC rating system ignores side loading, impact resistance, materials selection and grade, appropriateness of lubrication, ball retainer type, grade of ball, the clearance between the balls and the races, installation requirements, and the need for maintenance and cleaning. All these bearing design requirements are very important to the performance of your skate bearing, even though the ABEC rating says nothing about them.

From our testing of bearings and our years of experience designing bearings for skating, we know that there can be a HUGE difference between the performance of two bearings that both have the same ABEC rating. Indeed, we have found that in many cases, bearings with high ABEC ratings don’t perform as well as others with lower ABEC ratings in a skate wheel. Thus, reliance on ABEC ratings alone can lead skaters and dealers to choose a bad bearing for skating over a good bearing for skating. That is why we don’t use the ABEC rating system at all. In essence, the ABEC rating is irrelevant to the performance of a skate bearing when it is used as the sole criteria for selection.

To explain this another way, choosing an ABEC-7 or 9 bearing for skating would be like choosing an Indy car to race in the "Baja 500" because Indy cars can go fast and are of high precision. It isn’t that the Indy car isn’t a good piece of equipment, just that it is not designed for off road use and so it would quickly fail when its suspension breaks and its engine clogs with dirt.

Bones® Bearings out perform all other bearings because we went to the trouble to skate rate Bones® Swiss and Bones® REDS®, not just select an ABEC rated industrial bearing and put a customized plastic shield on it. Bones have been completely redesigned for skating from the ground up and are built to Bones® specifications that include Skate Rated™ components, lubricants, tolerances and clearances.

Bones® Bearings component parts are engineered and tested to withstand the high impacts of hard landings, the high side loads of turning, and (to the extent possible) the dirt of skate environments. As a result, Bones® roll faster and last longer than other bearings. To merely give Bones® an ABEC rating would be to ignore all the improvements we have engineered into Bones and the resulting difference between Bones and standard ABEC rated bearings. Since there is no appropriate ABEC rating that will reflect the superior quality of Bones® Bearings, we have given them their own rating, Skate Rating™, to let you know that Bones® Bearings are special and made just for skaters like you, not for electric motors.

GEORGE A. POWELL
©2015 Weber Sports LLC | 5425 Mulat Rd., Milton, FL. 32583-5556 USA

--------------------------------

Keep rollin
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Old September 10th, 2015, 04:41 AM   #8
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Fafnir Bearing Co.
Fafnir bearings were the popular bearing in my area in the mid 80's. If you were a speed skater and didn't run Fafnir precision bearings... well....

just my $.02
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Old September 10th, 2015, 07:36 AM   #9
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George Powell can eat a turd. "Skate rated" pft. What a bunch of crap
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Old September 10th, 2015, 09:58 PM   #10
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Default Please note:

Most info on sk8 bearings is advertising and not actual engineering data. For example the whole "skate rated" thing is nothing more than loose radial clearances. Take a close look at the old German Fafnir 8 balls.



Note the designation C7. C7 is a HUGE clearance rating not normally seen in bearings at all. Also note the C3 on the 7 ball USA Fafnir. Much tighter. In fact just by holding the inner race in one hand and wiggling the outer with the other, you can feel the difference.

That loose clearance is the ticket for a fast sk8 bearing that is less disturbed by crap getting inside.

A word of caution. The Fafnir 8 balls are the sk8 bearing. Anything else marked Fafnir is not the same and may not even really be a Fafnir. Lots of the old bearing companies have been bought out by bigger operations. The trade marked names are still being used.
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Old September 1st, 2016, 04:07 AM   #11
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Interesting. I have 3 sets of German Fafnir 8 balls in my storage bin. Now, I think I shall give them a try.
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Old September 25th, 2016, 06:09 AM   #12
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Default Fafnirs

First of all lets start with this;
All about bearings.
Hopefully this will end all the bearing threads. These are quotes by RocknRon. I'll just grab all the quotes I can find about bearings and throw them into one big thread.

Taken from this thread http://www.skateboard-city.com/messa...p/t-20761.html

ABEC RATINGS: http://www.nmbtc.com/bearings/abec-b...s-information/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ABEC_scale

And most quality bearings will not be marked ABEC any where on them themselves. But are still rated with the ABEC Ratings.

And fafnir 8 ball poly cage just seen to be the best ever made. And my fav.
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Old September 26th, 2016, 10:23 PM   #13
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Rockin' Ron markets his own now so now all his Bones comments are less than current. His are now the best, just ask him.

If I can't get it in 7mm, I'm not interested.


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Old October 4th, 2016, 12:07 AM   #14
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If one bearing is running cool and another different bearing on the same skate is also cool, where is is the "drag"? Drag creates heat and the bearing acts as a brake instead. But no matter, other than the non-standard (cheapies with extended inner races), there isnt enough difference to begin to worry about spending tons of money on bearings. Wheels is where you spend the money and get the most benefit from your cash for your roll.
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Old October 26th, 2016, 12:00 PM   #15
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Smile How many balls should a bearing have?

There is so much repetition about bearing information and it seems what is lacking is adequate skate based bearing performance standards.

The number of balls a bearing uses makes a huge difference to strength, roll and noise potential.

When I hear the brand Fafnir I immediately think of the one most unique bearing that was produced and that is the 8-ball type. Assuming tolerance is at a high standard, the number of the balls will effect the largest noticeable change in performance, beyond choosing the type of lubricant, which is ultimately more important than most people realize.

6-ball bearings such as Twin-cam ILQ-9 are becoming very popular probably because free-spin seems to impress people. But from experience the Twin-cam product is the best value speed bearing for recreational use. Would love to hear from speed-skaters who use and like these. I love these bearings for general skating but don't feel as secure on these when on toes.

The closest I have found to Fafnir 8-balls, that is common to find at a reasonable cost is the Qube 8-ball bearings by Sure-grip.

These are amazing for slalom, derby, artistic and regular general rink use. Their build tolerance is amazing with virtually no 'clicking' when axially loaded, especially during toe tricks with loading weights over 80kg.

I believe that many riders take a while to discover the actual true performance of these bearings. They are quite noisy when first used and actually need to be broken in before any free-spin is noticeable. The interesting thing about these bearings is that they feel so locked into the races that there is no slight tolerance felt when tapped. As most uneducated reviewers treat free-spin as an 'important' thing, it also doesn't help Qube 8-ball sales.

I haven't used the 8-balls for trick sliding much just yet, but I do think they would be highly suited to this.

Note. I am not a speed skater, but here are my bearings of choice.

Qube 8-ball: Artistic, sliding, heavy weight slalom, general rink, aggressive.
Bronson G3 7-ball: Freestyle, urban, Slalom, aggressive.
Twin-cam ILQ9 6-ball: Light weight Slalom, Recreational, urban.

Have yet to try ceramics and Bones Swiss 6. Cannot imagine the cost is worth the marginal performance difference.

I'd love to hear any feedback about how people make bearing decisions. Love hearing about experience beyond just preference.

The noisiest bearings I have ever used are the cheap Bionic ABEC-7s but these are easy to service and quite functional for the cost and available everywhere at a moments notice.

Oh and be very careful about fake bearings. These can seriously affect the reputation of some of the best makes out there.

Happy rolling.
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Old October 26th, 2016, 04:04 PM   #16
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@ipixu78

What your seeing as a difference goes betweem the twincam 6 ball and the fafnir type, 8 ball qubes as stability for toe tricks is this.


Twincam 6 ball bearings must have more radial and axial clearances for the larger sized balls to fit into the bearing. This clearance decreases running and starting torque to some degree, so "free spin" is better.

There is no way an average person can begin to check the tolerances they used to produce a bearing.

I have the qube 8-ball bearings you mention, in both 7 and 8mm. They are much tighter in the axial and radial areas. They do have good freespin IF they are in a precision hub(example would be a faster/scott corey/SG Zombie hub. MANY hubs for our skates are so "out of spec" when compared to a bearings tolerance range. Essentially, if a bearing bore is not cut on good machinery,(or molded) its a problem. The bearings are then misaligned. This increases running torque/reduces free spin. Since there is VERY LITTLE internal clearances to accommodate the poor tolerances of the wheel hubs, the bearings will start to produce drag much easier than say a bones red, or a 6 ball bones/twincam.

More balls in the bearings typically increases radial loading capacity, while only a deeper raceway increases the axial loading capacity. They have nothing to do with tolerances.
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