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Quad Speed Discussions about speed skating in quad roller skates.

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Old June 18th, 2015, 06:07 PM   #21
matguy
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Yeah, greased will appear to spin slower than oiled when spun by hand in open air, but that's not the whole story. One, they'll certainly spin slower when new or recently greased as the grease is still distributing a fine layer on surfaces and depositing extra in to non-contact areas. After than they'll probably still spin just a bit slower when spun by hand and left to spin to a stop on their own, but in skating there'll be very little difference. What you do gain with greased is the self re-lubricating aspect as the lubrication on the contact surfaces wears the bearing warms up and the grease on non-contact areas liquefies and re-lubes contact areas. You also get a dirt collecting function as dirt and dust will get in to the bearings, it sticks to some of the grease that's near the gap in the seal; most useful for outdoor, but still handy if your rink is less than tidy.

If you're not seriously competing you likely won't notice the difference with skating indoor... unless the amount of time your wheels spin in free air is really important to you. Even for a casual+ skater, greased is fine and factory grease on a good set will last quite a while. Even plenty of serious skaters skate and race in greased bearings (especially outdoor marathon skaters if they're not using ceramics.)

Although, if you get a certain amount of Zen style catharsis out of skate maintenance and like a good cleaning and oiling regimen, sure, oil 'em.

In full disclosure, while I generally oil my inline bearings, I've had greased and they were perfectly fine after a brief break in period and it wasn't that bad out of the box. They're not greased now only because they needed to be cleaned and I didn't have any suitable grease handy, but I had good oil. Same with my quads. My wife's quads and my kid's inlines have sealed "red" (I don't think they're Bones Reds, just some random red shielded bearings that came on Sure Grip quads, but I can't read the markings on the shields) greased bearings and they're fine, too. My kid's inlines spin perfectly fine, practices and races on them all the time.
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Old June 18th, 2015, 08:51 PM   #22
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Its just that the amount of difference between ceramic vs steel bearings is very small, and unless your skating, skates, and skating environment is near perfect. Your not likely to ever tell a difference. As such its best to invest your money where it will make a larger impact on your skates comfort, performance or weight.

Also if you ever want to test bearings vs bearings you gotta use ALL the same testing variables. Mainly keep the same wheels. Lots of people put brand new wheels on new bearings and have a very skewed review because of that. Wheels wear out, and a brand new wheel will almost always feel faster than an older one. Also the hubs in one batch of wheels could be garbage(misaligned bearing bores), and result in a very slow feeling wheel.... even with the best urethane. Just another reason to use the same wheels to test bearing changes. Because even if you bought a brand new replacement wheel set that is the same as you were using before, production runs differ.
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Old June 19th, 2015, 04:27 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by matguy View Post

Although, if you get a certain amount of Zen style catharsis out of skate maintenance and like a good cleaning and oiling regimen, sure, oil 'em.
Actually, I do.. Every time I skate I take all the bearings out and clean and oil them..

I started using synthetic gear oil to begin with but I am now using Phil Wood tenacious oil, the stuff is amazing.
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Old June 19th, 2015, 06:41 PM   #24
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Actually, I do.. Every time I skate I take all the bearings out and clean and oil them..

I started using synthetic gear oil to begin with but I am now using Phil Wood tenacious oil, the stuff is amazing.
I would say both of those are pretty thick for a skate bearing. I know, I said grease probably slows a small enough amount that you wouldn't notice, but now I'm saying a thicker oil is too thick... But, it's the way they end up working when getting worked through the bearing. A grease, when applied correctly, should lightly cover the contact surfaces and then get stuck in non-contact areas; only spreading when the bearing heats up. An oil is constantly viscous, so it'll always move around, so it won't just stick in the non-contact areas. It is coating everything all the time and adding its drag as it flows through the cages and races. The thicker the oil, the more drag.

The theory that a good race oil for bikes is good for skating isn't fully sound since most bike bearings (other than the chain tensioners on a derailleur) spin pretty slow compared to the speed a skate bearing spins. Outdoor skaters can often go pretty close to a bicyclist's speed (well, a real good skater against a decent bicyclist, and for our purposes it's close enough.) Compare wheel sizes. The circumference of a (20") bicycle wheel is about 5 times longer than an inline speed skater's wheel. 8.5 times a PowerPlus wheel (random good quad speed wheel.) That means that your skate wheel spins about 8.5 times for each rotation of a bicycle wheel, so the drag from bearings makes a bigger difference for us.

You're certainly not doing any damage by using such a thick oil, but you're not getting the spin you seem to be after, either. While that kind of illustrates my point about what we actually notice from a bearing, I would use a thin oil.

Now, on the other hand, don't use a temporary lubricant like WD40. Sure, it'll spin great for a short amount of time, but WD40 breaks down quickly and doesn't keep lubricating.

I use TriFlow, though there are lots of thin oils that work well (it was what my local store had when I bought the can... about 10 years ago.)

Also, you don't need much at all, especially if you're cleaning and lubing often. Just a couple small drips on to the race of each bearing is usually perfect. You should be able to hear the "Skssss" sound of a dry bearing being spun in your hand quiet down with as little oil as possible. I use the pick side of the little plastic dental floss/picks to drop in a little dab directly on to the races, push the nylon cage/retainer out of the way if needed.

Too much oil and it'll just leak out and get all over your wheels. If you're lucky it'll just make your hubs greasy, otherwise it can get on your wheels and the floor. Or it'll leak in your skate bag; that's always fun.

If you do put too much in (or just worry that you might have), wipe them down with a paper towel (or rag you don't care about; wife reaction may vary) you can lay them flat on a chunk of thick cardboard, open side down, and see which ones leaked (you might want to put it on a plate or something if there's a possibility it might leak through.) If there's a leak spot under a bearing, that was too much. If the leak spot is larger than the bearing or even still shiny, you put in way too much.
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Old June 20th, 2015, 02:40 AM   #25
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I would say both of those are pretty thick for a skate bearing. I know, I said grease probably slows a small enough amount that you wouldn't notice, but now I'm saying a thicker oil is too thick... But, it's the way they end up working when getting worked through the bearing. A grease, when applied correctly, should lightly cover the contact surfaces and then get stuck in non-contact areas; only spreading when the bearing heats up. An oil is constantly viscous, so it'll always move around, so it won't just stick in the non-contact areas. It is coating everything all the time and adding its drag as it flows through the cages and races. The thicker the oil, the more drag.

The theory that a good race oil for bikes is good for skating isn't fully sound since most bike bearings (other than the chain tensioners on a derailleur) spin pretty slow compared to the speed a skate bearing spins. Outdoor skaters can often go pretty close to a bicyclist's speed (well, a real good skater against a decent bicyclist, and for our purposes it's close enough.) Compare wheel sizes. The circumference of a (20") bicycle wheel is about 5 times longer than an inline speed skater's wheel. 8.5 times a PowerPlus wheel (random good quad speed wheel.) That means that your skate wheel spins about 8.5 times for each rotation of a bicycle wheel, so the drag from bearings makes a bigger difference for us.

You're certainly not doing any damage by using such a thick oil, but you're not getting the spin you seem to be after, either. While that kind of illustrates my point about what we actually notice from a bearing, I would use a thin oil.

Now, on the other hand, don't use a temporary lubricant like WD40. Sure, it'll spin great for a short amount of time, but WD40 breaks down quickly and doesn't keep lubricating.

I use TriFlow, though there are lots of thin oils that work well (it was what my local store had when I bought the can... about 10 years ago.)

Also, you don't need much at all, especially if you're cleaning and lubing often. Just a couple small drips on to the race of each bearing is usually perfect. You should be able to hear the "Skssss" sound of a dry bearing being spun in your hand quiet down with as little oil as possible. I use the pick side of the little plastic dental floss/picks to drop in a little dab directly on to the races, push the nylon cage/retainer out of the way if needed.

Too much oil and it'll just leak out and get all over your wheels. If you're lucky it'll just make your hubs greasy, otherwise it can get on your wheels and the floor. Or it'll leak in your skate bag; that's always fun.

If you do put too much in (or just worry that you might have), wipe them down with a paper towel (or rag you don't care about; wife reaction may vary) you can lay them flat on a chunk of thick cardboard, open side down, and see which ones leaked (you might want to put it on a plate or something if there's a possibility it might leak through.) If there's a leak spot under a bearing, that was too much. If the leak spot is larger than the bearing or even still shiny, you put in way too much.
Thank you for all the tips. I'll look into getting some 0w20 oil, that should do it.. The Phil Wood works awesome on my bikes, but I do see your point about the rotation speed. I use 2 drops per bearing, I put one on each side and then let it work itself in from there. I barely use any at all. I'm not trying to get a super spin from them, just a little better than grease while still making sure I am not wearing the bearing out.
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