Q: WHAT DOES THE A.B.E.C. RATING ON BEARINGS STAND FOR? DOES IT MATTER?

March 18, 2011

Q & A

So ABEC stands for Annular Bearing Engineers’ Committee. This committee works to determine the standards for bearings for the Anti-Friction Bearing Manufacturers Association (AFBMA).

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.

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!(an off road racing event) 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.

So when out shopping for bearings, don’t let the guy behind the counter convince you to buy anything higher than an abec 5.  And if he try’s to convince you otherwise, suggest that he/she reads this article.

Happy Skateboarding!

Advertisements
, ,

About SkaterMom.com

Moms Guide to Skateboarding!

View all posts by SkaterMom.com

SUBSCRIBE

FOLLOW US!

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: