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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.

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Old September 30th, 2017, 03:49 PM   #1
jcmil2
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Angry Wheels/Bearings for a Big Guy

Hey again, gang! I go 5-10/250 lb. and need to find the right combination to get a decent roll so I don't feel like I'm fighting my equipment to get around the floor. I recently bought a combo with Riedell 120's, Century plates, Bones Art Elite 57mm/101A wheels, Bones Super Reds and Snyder toes and I can't seem to get these things to roll worth a crap. I've tried 62mm/98A wheels on maple and it feels like I'm skating on marshmallows. Last night after I got back from the rink I pulled wheels and bearings, cleaned out the original Bones Speed Cream and replaced it with 3-in-1 oil. If that doesn't do much for them I'm going to try a set of Qube 8-balls. Maybe having the extra ball in there will distribute and hold up under the load of my big arse better? Or maybe I just need to lose some weight...
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Old October 1st, 2017, 11:30 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by jcmil2 View Post
Hey again, gang! I go 5-10/250 lb. and need to find the right combination to get a decent roll so I don't feel like I'm fighting my equipment to get around the floor. I recently bought a combo with Riedell 120's, Century plates, Bones Art Elite 57mm/101A wheels, Bones Super Reds and Snyder toes and I can't seem to get these things to roll worth a crap. I've tried 62mm/98A wheels on maple and it feels like I'm skating on marshmallows. Last night after I got back from the rink I pulled wheels and bearings, cleaned out the original Bones Speed Cream and replaced it with 3-in-1 oil. If that doesn't do much for them I'm going to try a set of Qube 8-balls. Maybe having the extra ball in there will distribute and hold up under the load of my big arse better? Or maybe I just need to lose some weight...
how tight is the floor, maybe the wheels aren't hard enough for them. bearings sometimes need a bit of breaking in to break down original lube. not the greatest plates but ok. 98 wheels are much too soft for a man your size. look for somebody who has some old wheels to try so u don't have to keep buying them. some 103s or another wheel from a different company. good luck
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Old October 4th, 2017, 04:29 AM   #3
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Hey again, gang! I go 5-10/250 lb. and need to find the right combination to get a decent roll so I don't feel like I'm fighting my equipment to get around the floor. I recently bought a combo with Riedell 120's, Century plates, Bones Art Elite 57mm/101A wheels, Bones Super Reds and Snyder toes and I can't seem to get these things to roll worth a crap. I've tried 62mm/98A wheels on maple and it feels like I'm skating on marshmallows. Last night after I got back from the rink I pulled wheels and bearings, cleaned out the original Bones Speed Cream and replaced it with 3-in-1 oil. If that doesn't do much for them I'm going to try a set of Qube 8-balls. Maybe having the extra ball in there will distribute and hold up under the load of my big arse better? Or maybe I just need to lose some weight...
I doubt the bearings are the issue. Unless someone packed them with grease. But that probably did not happen. Look at the suspension and wheels. Maybe even the plate mounting on the boot. Consider softer cushions or adjusting the pre-load.
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Old October 4th, 2017, 06:07 PM   #4
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Just a FYI, this is Doc's area. I'm letting him comment first
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Old October 5th, 2017, 10:53 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jcmil2 View Post
Hey again, gang! I go 5-10/250 lb. and need to find the right combination to get a decent roll so I don't feel like I'm fighting my equipment to get around the floor. I recently bought a combo with Riedell 120's, Century plates, Bones Art Elite 57mm/101A wheels, Bones Super Reds and Snyder toes and I can't seem to get these things to roll worth a crap. I've tried 62mm/98A wheels on maple and it feels like I'm skating on marshmallows. Last night after I got back from the rink I pulled wheels and bearings, cleaned out the original Bones Speed Cream and replaced it with 3-in-1 oil. If that doesn't do much for them I'm going to try a set of Qube 8-balls. Maybe having the extra ball in there will distribute and hold up under the load of my big arse better? Or maybe I just need to lose some weight...
Even @ your weight, the Bones wheels should roll @ 101. As far as the bearings, I don't think 3 in 1 will make any difference in roll. I typically use synthetic (Royal Purple) wheel bearing grease in my bearings but I'm lazy, have lots of sk8s and hate cleaning bearings. Grease is a big plus there.

Personally I (as in the derby league Jam'N'Speed sponsors) have had better luck w/ Qube 8 balls that Bones Reds, but Qubes come lubed w/ Kluber grease.

So why don't we roll?? Could be a lot of other things. How tight are the axle nuts? Are the plates correctly aligned? How long has it been since you sk8ed??

Lots of guesses but without having the sk8s in my hands I cannot say for certain.

OK Marshall, your shot.
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Old October 6th, 2017, 06:17 AM   #6
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OK Marshall, your shot.

Hehe thank ya.


I would suggest making sure no trucks are bent, or have bent axles. The bearings are clean and the seals aren't dented in to cause drag.

Do the skates roll straight when pushed across the floor by themselves?

Maybe something with the plate isn't right?

Another suggestion is if the trucks have nice straight axles, is face them. - ie, machine the truck where it meets the axle to a 90deg angle, deflash it so to speak.

I wonder if his wheels have the good plastic inserts , or the old molds which were solid urethane. The plastic inserts hold bearings better, and roll better because of that.


Past that...
I'd suggest a 98A narrow phantom, wicked scott, or even the super narrow enforcers.
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Old October 6th, 2017, 12:26 PM   #7
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Default stuff I have witnessed

Over tightened axle nuts, wrong cushion hardness, plate placement(too far back under the boot), too loose of a fit of the boots. Some things that I have personally seen slow people down. Bent axles too. Too soft of cushions can sometimes limit your speed as well.
If your axle nuts are too tight, when the wheels actually support your weight on the floor, the bearings will roll on the sides of the races instead of the bottom of the groove that they were designed for. Motor bearings run for years because one rotor bearing is fixed and the other is usually floating, this lets the bearings run in the bottoms of the groove.
if the plate is too far back, some skaters have a problem getting a good push and also feel forward tip over on the front axle.
A loose boot can let you waste energy on a push as well as hurt your feet.
Soft skate floors can slow you down as well. Champ's in Kentucky uses a floor that has a pad under the wood, as you skate, it slows you down. It was work skating there.
Just a few things. Hope you figure it out.
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Old October 9th, 2017, 12:07 AM   #8
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Default A few answers and somewhat educated guesses

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Even @ your weight, the Bones wheels should roll @ 101. As far as the bearings, I don't think 3 in 1 will make any difference in roll. I typically use synthetic (Royal Purple) wheel bearing grease in my bearings but I'm lazy, have lots of sk8s and hate cleaning bearings. Grease is a big plus there.

*Well, like I said in the OP, I've tried 98A wheels on maple and they felt like marshmallows; sluggish, sticky almost. The 101's are a lot better as far as that goes, don't feel like they're mushing down under my weight. The lube seemed to give me a little better roll though, as though the 3-in-1 had a bit more substance to it than the Speed Cream. Other thought: 62 high/30-32 wide 101's.*

Personally I (as in the derby league Jam'N'Speed sponsors) have had better luck w/ Qube 8 balls that Bones Reds, but Qubes come lubed w/ Kluber grease.

*I'm seriously considering trying them, grease and all. Know how to remedy that if I don't care for it. I just don't want to have to work my arse off just to get down the floor.*

So why don't we roll?? Could be a lot of other things. How tight are the axle nuts? Are the plates correctly aligned? How long has it been since you sk8ed??

*Axle nuts have maybe 1mm of play, not too tight. Mount was factory, back of the plate maybe 1/4" off the back edge of the heel and they feel like they track correctly. I've skated since 7th grade (now 54) with gaps in there, but this is my coming back after maybe a three- or four-year break. I still have the skills, just need to fine-tune the equipment a bit.*

Lots of guesses but without having the sk8s in my hands I cannot say for certain.

OK Marshall, your shot.
*BANG* Thanks for the input, Doc. I appreciate your input.
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Old October 9th, 2017, 12:13 AM   #9
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Smile Floors

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how tight is the floor, maybe the wheels aren't hard enough for them. bearings sometimes need a bit of breaking in to break down original lube. not the greatest plates but ok. 98 wheels are much too soft for a man your size. look for somebody who has some old wheels to try so u don't have to keep buying them. some 103s or another wheel from a different company. good luck
The floor I've been skating on is maple, but not well maintained and little evidence of coating on it. It's probably there, otherwise the 101's would probably feel like ice. They grip on it nicely but don't stick. The 103's would definitely not feel sticky, but I also don't need my wheels sliding out from under me.
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Old October 9th, 2017, 12:22 AM   #10
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I doubt the bearings are the issue. Unless someone packed them with grease. But that probably did not happen. Look at the suspension and wheels. Maybe even the plate mounting on the boot. Consider softer cushions or adjusting the pre-load.
The wheels are Rollerbones Art Elite 57mm/101A and Bones Super Reds bearings. Just gave the bearings the bath in mineral spirits and fresh 3-in-1 oil last week. The cushions are Sure-Grip factory (black, most likely medium). Suspension is adjusted to where I have about half an inch or so deflection on the trucks up and down by hand on both sides of the plate. They track and move correctly and I have the maneuverability I want without losing control. Since I don't have access to a pro shop of any kind or the tools to check, I kinda have to trust the factory mounting. It looks correct, though.
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Old October 9th, 2017, 12:53 AM   #11
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Default Many variables indeed

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Over tightened axle nuts, wrong cushion hardness, plate placement(too far back under the boot), too loose of a fit of the boots. Some things that I have personally seen slow people down. Bent axles too. Too soft of cushions can sometimes limit your speed as well.
If your axle nuts are too tight, when the wheels actually support your weight on the floor, the bearings will roll on the sides of the races instead of the bottom of the groove that they were designed for. Motor bearings run for years because one rotor bearing is fixed and the other is usually floating, this lets the bearings run in the bottoms of the groove.
if the plate is too far back, some skaters have a problem getting a good push and also feel forward tip over on the front axle.
A loose boot can let you waste energy on a push as well as hurt your feet.
Soft skate floors can slow you down as well. Champ's in Kentucky uses a floor that has a pad under the wood, as you skate, it slows you down. It was work skating there.
Just a few things. Hope you figure it out.
One point at a time:
Each wheel has about a millimeter of side-to-side on the axles.
The cushions are the factory ones for the plate (Sure-Grip, black, likely medium).
My trucks are adjusted to about half an inch deflection up and down on both sides (not tight, but not loose either) and I have the maneuverability and control I like without them feeling squirrely.
The plate is the Century, factory-mounted, back of the plate maybe 1/4" from the back edge of the heel, front axles pretty close at the ball of the foot. They aren't toe-heavy of heel-heavy, feel pretty well balanced (now me, that's another story).
The boots are brand-new Riedell 120's, not quite broken in yet and been trying to get the lacing like I like it and even on both feet. They don't hurt and I'm not having any trouble with numb toes or cramping, just a bit stiff still.
I think some of it could be the floor; the rink I've been going to has maple, not very well finished, over (?). Floors could be a big piece of the puzzle.
My last skates, which I'd had since high school, were 70's-vintage Gold Stars, Classic plates, Bones 57/101 wheels and original Fafnir bearings. I had the exact same trouble with them at the rink I was skating, same kind of floor.
I chose the Century plate this time because they're essentially the same plate as the Classic, just with regular pivots. I'm comfortable and familiar with the action on them. The boots are, while a step down in quality, still decent-quality Riedells. The wheels are a return to what worked before and the only major difference is the bearings in them.
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Old October 9th, 2017, 06:11 PM   #12
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A well laid maple floor is great, but if they coat it too thick.. It becomes absolute trash, and no matter what you use, it wont feel good to skate on. Ran into that in a rink somewhere up in ohio once. They apparently just slathered the floor with coating. There was even a large amount on the aluminum threshold. Loads of grip, slow as crap.
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Old October 10th, 2017, 02:20 AM   #13
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One point at a time:
Each wheel has about a millimeter of side-to-side on the axles.
The cushions are the factory ones for the plate (Sure-Grip, black, likely medium).
My trucks are adjusted to about half an inch deflection up and down on both sides (not tight, but not loose either) and I have the maneuverability and control I like without them feeling squirrely.
The plate is the Century, factory-mounted, back of the plate maybe 1/4" from the back edge of the heel, front axles pretty close at the ball of the foot. They aren't toe-heavy of heel-heavy, feel pretty well balanced (now me, that's another story).
The boots are brand-new Riedell 120's, not quite broken in yet and been trying to get the lacing like I like it and even on both feet. They don't hurt and I'm not having any trouble with numb toes or cramping, just a bit stiff still.
I think some of it could be the floor; the rink I've been going to has maple, not very well finished, over (?). Floors could be a big piece of the puzzle.
My last skates, which I'd had since high school, were 70's-vintage Gold Stars, Classic plates, Bones 57/101 wheels and original Fafnir bearings. I had the exact same trouble with them at the rink I was skating, same kind of floor.
I chose the Century plate this time because they're essentially the same plate as the Classic, just with regular pivots. I'm comfortable and familiar with the action on them. The boots are, while a step down in quality, still decent-quality Riedells. The wheels are a return to what worked before and the only major difference is the bearings in them.
In my opinion, you are comfortable on your skates, but, the skates are not behaving by giving you enough traction to lean on them for the required push to get speed out of them. The wheels break loose well before you can give a good stroke to increase speed. So you may be skating conservatively and lack of speed is becoming apparent. You may want to go to a more grippy wheel to take advantage of the hardwood. A 96 or 97 wheel set would be softer but the grip will get you up to speed.
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Old October 13th, 2017, 07:38 PM   #14
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Default Bearing drag?

My skates are Snyder Imperials from early 60's I rebuilt them, new Elite 62MM, 101A, cushions, pivot pins and cups and Bones Red's bearings. I had the same problem as you had with the drag. I weigh about 230 with the skates. I mean it was really scary skating on them. As you know, Bones reds have nylon cages. I really think that the cages collapse a bit under load. As you know, Bones Reds have no abec rating.
I replaced them with a set of of bearings with a abec rating of 9 that have steel cages and the problem went away. Then it was scary how easy they role, these bearings cost me about $18.00 and they are fantastic. Another note, I have bearing spacers in my wheels and my nuts are tightened down which don't allow the inner races to turn on the axle. These are ball bearings not sleeve bearings. When I first worked at rinks, the rentals were free style bearings that if the nut came off, the dust cover allowed the balls to fall out. But it allowed us to snug them a bit for little people so they could get the feel of the movement without the skates going out from under them. One more thing I have noticed about myself on skates. I was off them for a good ten years. I have since gained a lot of unwanted weight. I'm now 76 and I carry myself differently on my skates now. I find I'm putting more weight on my front axle now. I do believe I am leaning forward just a bit. I think this comes with age and especially on wheels. The floor I skate on is terrible and not kept up and you never know when your going to hit a ball bearing or something. I think a lot of it is my subconscious knowing that at any moment I could hit something and so I lean forward a bit so I'll have some control of my situation. I love to waltz and glide backwards and have been lucky so far. Just thinking about it now. I even find myself leaning to my front going backwards. Have fun!
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Old October 13th, 2017, 10:37 PM   #15
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My skates are Snyder Imperials from early 60's I rebuilt them, new Elite 62MM, 101A, cushions, pivot pins and cups and Bones Red's bearings. I had the same problem as you had with the drag. I weigh about 230 with the skates. I mean it was really scary skating on them. As you know, Bones reds have nylon cages. I really think that the cages collapse a bit under load. As you know, Bones Reds have no abec rating.
I replaced them with a set of of bearings with a abec rating of 9 that have steel cages and the problem went away. Then it was scary how easy they role, these bearings cost me about $18.00 and they are fantastic. Another note, I have bearing spacers in my wheels and my nuts are tightened down which don't allow the inner races to turn on the axle. These are ball bearings not sleeve bearings. When I first worked at rinks, the rentals were free style bearings that if the nut came off, the dust cover allowed the balls to fall out. But it allowed us to snug them a bit for little people so they could get the feel of the movement without the skates going out from under them. One more thing I have noticed about myself on skates. I was off them for a good ten years. I have since gained a lot of unwanted weight. I'm now 76 and I carry myself differently on my skates now. I find I'm putting more weight on my front axle now. I do believe I am leaning forward just a bit. I think this comes with age and especially on wheels. The floor I skate on is terrible and not kept up and you never know when your going to hit a ball bearing or something. I think a lot of it is my subconscious knowing that at any moment I could hit something and so I lean forward a bit so I'll have some control of my situation. I love to waltz and glide backwards and have been lucky so far. Just thinking about it now. I even find myself leaning to my front going backwards. Have fun!
That's an intriguing idea about the cages deforming under the weight. Looking at how they're put together, though, and how they work, I don't see how much the cage can really factor in. Seems the weight is all borne on the rings and the balls themselves, hence my thought that an 8-ball rather than a 7 might yield a little better result due to a smaller distance between the balls. I also ponder ceramic vs. steel- material hardness and all that.
I'm like you, remember the old days when rink rentals were looseball and I'd find them out on the floor from time to time at the rink I skated back then. Those things can still be had with not much looking.
I'm also finding floors that aren't in the best condition and trying to make the best of them too. It saddens me to see rinks where the owners apparently have the attitude of wringing the most money from the place while spending the least amount possible on maintenance. It also saddens me to see these rinks where nobody there has much of a clue about the sport and it's all about the business.
Right now I have the aforementioned problem plus some of the same ones that you do- coming back after a break (mine's only 4 years), age, weight, etc. plus I'm breaking in a new set of skates. Second session back I was skating backward and found a rock someone had tracked in somehow (hello, backside and wrists!). I can certainly understand being cautious because of age and general condition. Someone around here said "skate until you can't" so I'm going to try and do just that.
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Old October 17th, 2017, 12:56 AM   #16
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That's an intriguing idea about the cages deforming under the weight. Looking at how they're put together, though, and how they work, I don't see how much the cage can really factor in. Seems the weight is all borne on the rings and the balls themselves, hence my thought that an 8-ball rather than a 7 might yield a little better result due to a smaller distance between the balls. I also ponder ceramic vs. steel- material hardness and all that.
I'm like you, remember the old days when rink rentals were looseball and I'd find them out on the floor from time to time at the rink I skated back then. Those things can still be had with not much looking.
I'm also finding floors that aren't in the best condition and trying to make the best of them too. It saddens me to see rinks where the owners apparently have the attitude of wringing the most money from the place while spending the least amount possible on maintenance. It also saddens me to see these rinks where nobody there has much of a clue about the sport and it's all about the business.
Right now I have the aforementioned problem plus some of the same ones that you do- coming back after a break (mine's only 4 years), age, weight, etc. plus I'm breaking in a new set of skates. Second session back I was skating backward and found a rock someone had tracked in somehow (hello, backside and wrists!). I can certainly understand being cautious because of age and general condition. Someone around here said "skate until you can't" so I'm going to try and do just that.
Bearings that have the extended inner race, real junk. Other basic 8mm up to the best bearings are all about the same in roll. Very minute difference. Some may be noisier than others but unless they bearing is making heat(or rusted, worn out), there is no difference in roll. Roll is influenced the most from the wheels or the skating surface.
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Old October 17th, 2017, 06:12 PM   #17
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Cages only divide balls evenly and keep the spacing correct. There is no real "load" on them. The only time they really see a challenge is when you're skating fast and do a 180 where the bearing must instantly spin the other direction. I do this ALOT, at very fast speeds and don't destroy bearings.

Also there is a good chance that the bearings were not seated all the way to begin with.

Abec1 ratings are only for dimensional tolerances, not rolling resistances. Actually higher abec1 numbers are usually used with parts that are more precise, requiring that precision, such as milling equipment, and thus, are radially and axially tight. Which leads to poor rolling resistances, but highly stable shafts, for say cnc machines.

Make sure no seals are dented, and that the bearing as a few seconds of free spin when you spin just the bearing in your fingers, bones shoukd roll solo for several revolutions when spun in the fingers.
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Old October 17th, 2017, 09:30 PM   #18
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Make sure no seals are dented, and that the bearing as a few seconds of free spin when you spin just the bearing in your fingers, bones shoukd roll solo for several revolutions when spun in the fingers.
None of my bearings spin @ all like you describe. I wonder why that is...
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Old October 18th, 2017, 06:11 PM   #19
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None of my bearings spin @ all like you describe. I wonder why that is...
Cause you don't use those sloppy bones reds
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Old October 19th, 2017, 04:26 PM   #20
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Cause you don't use those sloppy bones reds
However I don't use any "magic" oil either. Grease baby, grease... Even on my Fafnirs, WIB, Boss and Bones Swiss.
Well...OK I have been known to use a little BSB/Casterol Professional Race Oil (That is what it says on the can.... Talk about magic...well @ least the info on the pump can looks like magic to me. All synthetic, polarized molecules... eieio...Bought a couple of cases cheap years ago. May be 1/3 of the way through the first one.
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