Author Topic: Cheap vs Expensive bearings  (Read 1238 times)

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sionarancsle

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Cheap vs Expensive bearings
« on: October 29, 2022, 03:41:21 AM »
Would you rather buy 2 sets cheaper (like bones reds) bearings or one set of a more expensive one? Do the more expensive ones last longer or roll better or should I be just sticking to bones reds?

S.

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Re: Cheap vs Expensive bearings
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2022, 11:39:08 AM »
Would you rather buy 2 sets cheaper (like bones reds) bearings or one set of a more expensive one? Do the more expensive ones last longer or roll better or should I be just sticking to bones reds?

bones reds are nice fast bearings, but they have never lasted me for very longer. So I usually get powell mini logos. They last me twice as long as the bones, are cheaper and although they aren't as fast they are fast enough.

I have never gotten bones swiss. My friends have told me that if you take care of them and clean them regularly, that they last for years. I am too cheap and too lazy to commit to such expensive bearings, though.

Tight Pants Big Wheels

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Re: Cheap vs Expensive bearings
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2022, 07:26:22 AM »
Would you rather buy 2 sets cheaper (like bones reds) bearings or one set of a more expensive one? Do the more expensive ones last longer or roll better or should I be just sticking to bones reds?

I only buy Bones Swiss or Super Swiss 6. I can't personally comment as to if they're longer lasting or roll better than Reds, but many people who've used both claim so, with the debate primarily being if that extra longevity and roll is worth the price increase. I'm fortunate to be at a point in life where the $30-35 increase for Swiss over Redz is a non-issue, and I like having one less Chinese-made product in my life, but I acknowledge that different people have different budgets and priorities.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2022, 07:34:53 AM by Tight Pants Big Wheels »

LebowskisRug

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Re: Cheap vs Expensive bearings
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2022, 07:35:49 AM »
Buy nice or buy twice.

I've had a pair of Swiss 6 last 5 years and my recent Quantum's have gone a year with just 1 drop of lube in each. Meanwhile everyone I know with lesser quality bearings goes through a set every 6-12mo

manysnakes

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Re: Cheap vs Expensive bearings
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2022, 08:43:04 AM »
I have been skating a set of Bones Swiss as my primary bearings for nearly three years. In that time, I can't count the number of cheap bearings my friends have gone through. I bought the Swiss on a 20% off Black Friday sale so basically I spent $50 on a set of bearings which have already lasted me longer than would six sets of $25 Reds under normal conditions. I've cleaned the Swiss, so basically once a year. Pop the shields, wash them in acetone, drop some sewing machine oil in them and they're good to go.

I totally understand that some people can't drop $60 for a set of bearings and others just don't care and will happily swap one random bearing for another without even thinking about it, but if you can afford it, and are the kind of person who takes decent care of your stuff and wants it to last a while, there's no comparison between the cheap shit and the good stuff.
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sionarancsle

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Re: Cheap vs Expensive bearings
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2022, 02:05:39 PM »
Bones Swiss are not ceramics they are just very well made metal ones?

Whats up with the middle? Like bones reds are 25$ and bones race reds are 50$, swiss 100$. is it worth to get the race reds as a middle path? Not too expensive that I would care that for example they rust from a few puddles and rainy winter days but still better quality and faster than 25$ ones.

Or like the 25$ and 100$ are the same speed out of the box they just break down faster?

logjammin

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Re: Cheap vs Expensive bearings
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2022, 02:29:52 PM »
I bought some Bronson Raw's over the weekend and out of the box I've never had a bearing spin for so long immediately. Will see how they work out but I have issues with every bearing cheap or expensive cause I think slappies really fuck them up. I maintain them regularly and clean them with alcohol and properly dry/lube, etc. Quantums are the only ones I haven't tried yet.

Tight Pants Big Wheels

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Re: Cheap vs Expensive bearings
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2022, 03:04:49 PM »
Bones Swiss are not ceramics they are just very well made metal ones?

Whats up with the middle? Like bones reds are 25$ and bones race reds are 50$, swiss 100$. is it worth to get the race reds as a middle path? Not too expensive that I would care that for example they rust from a few puddles and rainy winter days but still better quality and faster than 25$ ones.

Or like the 25$ and 100$ are the same speed out of the box they just break down faster?

Bones Swiss are all metal, but they also make Swiss Ceramic, which are the ceramic version. The Swiss part is because they're manufactured in Switzerland, whereas the Reds line of bearings are all manufactured in China. Think of Bones as having two lines of bearings, Swiss (Switzerland) and Reds (China), depending on country of manufacture, and each line has a variety of styles, like Race Reds, Super Swiss 6, etc. The Swiss line is generally considered better. I'm assuming based on the prices you qouted that you might not be in the US, because here the Reds are usually $20 and Swiss can be found on sale for $55 somewhat regularly (but are usually $65 when not on sale). BTW, Race Reds are a little different because they have built-in spacers. If you don't want to worry about getting them wet and rusty, maybe basic Reds are the way to go.

pleasent street

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Re: Cheap vs Expensive bearings
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2022, 05:19:14 PM »
how the fuck can a company charge $100 for bearings. absolute highway robbery. a set of bearings for my shitbox car cost about the same but they are 10 times the size and last for decades before they need replacing.

j....soy.....

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Re: Cheap vs Expensive bearings
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2022, 05:24:37 PM »
Both are correct answers….

manysnakes

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Re: Cheap vs Expensive bearings
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2022, 06:34:34 PM »
how the fuck can a company charge $100 for bearings. absolute highway robbery. a set of bearings for my shitbox car cost about the same but they are 10 times the size and last for decades before they need replacing.

"Performance" bearings are the biggest scam out there. That's not to say that there aren't good and bad bearings, but for example in cycling, this shit has become truly absurd.
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Chavo

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Re: Cheap vs Expensive bearings
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2022, 06:37:13 PM »
how the fuck can a company charge $100 for bearings. absolute highway robbery. a set of bearings for my shitbox car cost about the same but they are 10 times the size and last for decades before they need replacing.

Your cars' bearings last longer because mechanics don't remove the seals to make it "sound fast".

jimgrude

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Re: Cheap vs Expensive bearings
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2022, 12:18:46 AM »
Expand Quote
Would you rather buy 2 sets cheaper (like bones reds) bearings or one set of a more expensive one? Do the more expensive ones last longer or roll better or should I be just sticking to bones reds?
[close]

bones reds are nice fast bearings, but they have never lasted me for very longer. So I usually get powell mini logos. They last me twice as long as the bones, are cheaper and although they aren't as fast they are fast enough.

I have never gotten bones swiss. My friends have told me that if you take care of them and clean them regularly, that they last for years. I am too cheap and too lazy to commit to such expensive bearings, though.

Bones Reds and Mini Logo are the same bearings. They are manufactured at the same factory in China, quality checked by SkateOne and fitted with the same shields in a different color. Reds are a waste of money.

rocklobster

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Re: Cheap vs Expensive bearings
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2022, 01:55:47 AM »
Expand Quote
how the fuck can a company charge $100 for bearings. absolute highway robbery. a set of bearings for my shitbox car cost about the same but they are 10 times the size and last for decades before they need replacing.
[close]

Your cars' bearings last longer because mechanics don't remove the seals to make it "sound fast".

That's what racing stripes and flame decals are for!

I know guys who run the same set of Swiss for years and I understand the argument that 1 expensive set will outlast many cheap sets in the long run. Maybe I've had shit luck with bearings but I've had expensive Swiss, Reds and Super Reds crap out on me, even with cleaning and lubing. I'm sticking with ML or whatever is on discount.
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sionarancsle

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Re: Cheap vs Expensive bearings
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2022, 02:08:23 AM »
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how the fuck can a company charge $100 for bearings. absolute highway robbery. a set of bearings for my shitbox car cost about the same but they are 10 times the size and last for decades before they need replacing.
[close]

Your cars' bearings last longer because mechanics don't remove the seals to make it "sound fast".
[close]

That's what racing stripes and flame decals are for!

I know guys who run the same set of Swiss for years and I understand the argument that 1 expensive set will outlast many cheap sets in the long run. Maybe I've had shit luck with bearings but I've had expensive Swiss, Reds and Super Reds crap out on me, even with cleaning and lubing. I'm sticking with ML or whatever is on discount.

yeah thats my fear.. i buy the (very expensive here in the eu like 100euros) Swiss and now I'll act like my skateboard is a baby and not fuck shit up with it because I need to save my expensive ass bearings.. :D

So yeah, seems like I'm sticking with Reds, the last questions is, buy 2 regular reds or 1 race red? Do race red last as long as 2 regular ones? Does it spin faster? If not then I think I'm good with regulars.

rocklobster

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Re: Cheap vs Expensive bearings
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2022, 06:31:21 AM »
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Expand Quote
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how the fuck can a company charge $100 for bearings. absolute highway robbery. a set of bearings for my shitbox car cost about the same but they are 10 times the size and last for decades before they need replacing.
[close]

Your cars' bearings last longer because mechanics don't remove the seals to make it "sound fast".
[close]

That's what racing stripes and flame decals are for!

I know guys who run the same set of Swiss for years and I understand the argument that 1 expensive set will outlast many cheap sets in the long run. Maybe I've had shit luck with bearings but I've had expensive Swiss, Reds and Super Reds crap out on me, even with cleaning and lubing. I'm sticking with ML or whatever is on discount.
[close]

yeah thats my fear.. i buy the (very expensive here in the eu like 100euros) Swiss and now I'll act like my skateboard is a baby and not fuck shit up with it because I need to save my expensive ass bearings.. :D

So yeah, seems like I'm sticking with Reds, the last questions is, buy 2 regular reds or 1 race red? Do race red last as long as 2 regular ones? Does it spin faster? If not then I think I'm good with regulars.

They feel faster, but not 2x the price faster.
Venture Truck Height:

5.0 & 5.2 LO
STANDARD - 1.88” - 47.75mm
FORGED - 1.85”- 46.99mm

5.0 ,5.2, 5.6, 5.8 & 6.1 HI
STANDARD - 2.09” - 53.09mm
FORGED - 2.04” - 51.82m

manysnakes

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Re: Cheap vs Expensive bearings
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2022, 07:54:05 AM »
Either buy the cheapest decent bearing (general consensus remains Bones Red/Mini Logos) or go big. Don't half-ass it with the most expensive shitty bearing.
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SneakySecrets

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Re: Cheap vs Expensive bearings
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2022, 08:58:07 AM »
Team Mini Logo reporting in 8)
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goodatmeth

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Re: Cheap vs Expensive bearings
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2022, 10:10:41 AM »
I'm still not sure what makes a bearing better than another. They're pretty much all the same design, so only the quality of materials used?
Had mini logo bearings last for years, so they'll always be my #1.

LebowskisRug

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Re: Cheap vs Expensive bearings
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2022, 12:06:13 PM »
Expand Quote
how the fuck can a company charge $100 for bearings. absolute highway robbery. a set of bearings for my shitbox car cost about the same but they are 10 times the size and last for decades before they need replacing.
[close]

"Performance" bearings are the biggest scam out there. That's not to say that there aren't good and bad bearings, but for example in cycling, this shit has become truly absurd.

I love when Hambini has pointed out many times that these companies are using mega cheap balls and races sourced from China that are garbage as well. And that the application doesn't necessarily benefit from a ceramic bearing. I can't imagine skateboards needing a full ceramic bearing. Maybe a coating?

Chavo

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Re: Cheap vs Expensive bearings
« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2022, 12:45:52 PM »
The one time I bought Bones Swiss was one of very few times my board got stolen. It also goes without saying that, unless you regularly degrease, clean, and re-lube your bearings, spending the extra money is pointless.

Also, not all cheap bearing are made equally. Bones must have better QC or reputable supplier across their whole line. I've had an entire set fall apart just from installation.

Tight Pants Big Wheels

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Re: Cheap vs Expensive bearings
« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2022, 03:05:54 PM »
The one time I bought Bones Swiss was one of very few times my board got stolen. It also goes without saying that, unless you regularly degrease, clean, and re-lube your bearings, spending the extra money is pointless.

Also, not all cheap bearing are made equally. Bones must have better QC or reputable supplier across their whole line. I've had an entire set fall apart just from installation.

You say spending the extra money is pointless, then follow it up with an example of cheap bearings falling apart upon installation. That's actually one of the value propositions of buying more expensive bearings, for me personally, I just know they're always good-to-go out of the box. Everyone's priorities are different, but I pay a little more not to have to worry about that kind of hassle. Time is money.

KC_Rookie

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Re: Cheap vs Expensive bearings
« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2022, 02:39:36 PM »
I've had really good luck with the Bones Big Balls. Very durable and as fast as you'll ever really need.
In my experience they maintain speed longer than Reds, if I give one big push I'll roll farther on the Big Balls than on the Reds. And they're only like $25 USD

Chavo

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Re: Cheap vs Expensive bearings
« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2022, 08:54:53 PM »
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The one time I bought Bones Swiss was one of very few times my board got stolen. It also goes without saying that, unless you regularly degrease, clean, and re-lube your bearings, spending the extra money is pointless.

Also, not all cheap bearing are made equally. Bones must have better QC or reputable supplier across their whole line. I've had an entire set fall apart just from installation.
[close]

You say spending the extra money is pointless, then follow it up with an example of cheap bearings falling apart upon installation. That's actually one of the value propositions of buying more expensive bearings, for me personally, I just know they're always good-to-go out of the box. Everyone's priorities are different, but I pay a little more not to have to worry about that kind of hassle. Time is money.

It is a conditional statement and I wrote it very clearly. If your Bones Swiss bearings get dirty, you must service them, otherwise, they'll seize up like any other bearing and you're out 60+ dollars.

Tight Pants Big Wheels

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Re: Cheap vs Expensive bearings
« Reply #24 on: November 03, 2022, 10:47:12 AM »
Expand Quote
Expand Quote
The one time I bought Bones Swiss was one of very few times my board got stolen. It also goes without saying that, unless you regularly degrease, clean, and re-lube your bearings, spending the extra money is pointless.

Also, not all cheap bearing are made equally. Bones must have better QC or reputable supplier across their whole line. I've had an entire set fall apart just from installation.
[close]

You say spending the extra money is pointless, then follow it up with an example of cheap bearings falling apart upon installation. That's actually one of the value propositions of buying more expensive bearings, for me personally, I just know they're always good-to-go out of the box. Everyone's priorities are different, but I pay a little more not to have to worry about that kind of hassle. Time is money.
[close]

It is a conditional statement and I wrote it very clearly. If your Bones Swiss bearings get dirty, you must service them, otherwise, they'll seize up like any other bearing and you're out 60+ dollars.

I do agree with you on that point, and didn't intend to misinterpret your words or anything. Most people seem to only compare bearing longevity and speed when discussing cheap vs expensive, and your comment about cheap bearings falling apart upon installation just reminded me of one reason I pay a little more for certain products, being I just want confidence it'll work out of the box without hassle.

Chavo

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Re: Cheap vs Expensive bearings
« Reply #25 on: November 03, 2022, 06:19:39 PM »
Expand Quote
Expand Quote
Expand Quote
The one time I bought Bones Swiss was one of very few times my board got stolen. It also goes without saying that, unless you regularly degrease, clean, and re-lube your bearings, spending the extra money is pointless.

Also, not all cheap bearing are made equally. Bones must have better QC or reputable supplier across their whole line. I've had an entire set fall apart just from installation.
[close]

You say spending the extra money is pointless, then follow it up with an example of cheap bearings falling apart upon installation. That's actually one of the value propositions of buying more expensive bearings, for me personally, I just know they're always good-to-go out of the box. Everyone's priorities are different, but I pay a little more not to have to worry about that kind of hassle. Time is money.
[close]

It is a conditional statement and I wrote it very clearly. If your Bones Swiss bearings get dirty, you must service them, otherwise, they'll seize up like any other bearing and you're out 60+ dollars.
[close]

I do agree with you on that point, and didn't intend to misinterpret your words or anything. Most people seem to only compare bearing longevity and speed when discussing cheap vs expensive, and your comment about cheap bearings falling apart upon installation just reminded me of one reason I pay a little more for certain products, being I just want confidence it'll work out of the box without hassle.
Is your expensive bearing choice Bones Swiss? The original post discusses cheap vs. expensive, with no mention of brands. I should specify that spending extra on a premium bearing does not always equal better, unless we are talking about Bones Swiss.

backinaction

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Re: Cheap vs Expensive bearings
« Reply #26 on: November 05, 2022, 01:00:24 PM »
I do expensive.  I can tell the speed difference when skating transition, and spend 90% of my time in transition or at a smooth skatepark where speed matters.

I have multiple boards and every time I put in a cheap bearing (Mini Logo, Reds, Indy GP-B, standard Zealous are the most recent cheap ones) that board ends up getting neglected because it's not fun to go slow.   I skate Swiss, Swiss 6, Atoms, or Zealous Ceramics most of the time.

Skating flatland on shitty pavement or doing slappies?  Speed doesn't matter so go cheap.

Lessfillingtastegreat

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Re: Cheap vs Expensive bearings
« Reply #27 on: November 06, 2022, 03:51:35 PM »
I have ridden my current set of Swiss ceramics for about 8 years.  Without a doubt the fastest by a margin than anything else.   I have them in 56mm FF conical classics. 

In my normal ledge dog tech set up I have some Adrian Del Campo signatures bearings.  I think these were premium 30$ bearings or whatever.  They are ok. 

Lastly. I stole my Swiss ceramics from a board that my good homie left before flying out of town.   He ate all my cliff bars. He’d wake up after midnight and get into my pantry.  Eating all kinds of snacks.  Dude weighs like 150 soaking wet with more energy than most children.   All things considered.  I think the Swiss ceramics for night munchies inventory was a fair deal.
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skatebruh

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Re: Cheap vs Expensive bearings
« Reply #28 on: November 08, 2022, 03:05:38 PM »
I've had really good luck with the Bones Big Balls. Very durable and as fast as you'll ever really need.
In my experience they maintain speed longer than Reds, if I give one big push I'll roll farther on the Big Balls than on the Reds. And they're only like $25 USD
I bought Big Balls when they first came out and the cages broke after a couple months. If they've fixed that, they would be the best bearing under $60.

I switched to Swiss 6 and they've lasted me 2 years so far. They're noticeably smoother than broken in Reds when doing manuals on smooth pavement at the skatepark.

If you want to go fast outside of a skatepark, I'd invest in better wheels before expensive bearings. The bearings will not help as much as better urethane.

gringo_viejo

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Re: Cheap vs Expensive bearings
« Reply #29 on: November 08, 2022, 06:24:06 PM »
Every bearing I've tried, the damn cages break.
Reds, Bronson g2, Shake Junt, Independent, Mini Logo...none lasted more than 6-8 months. I just got a set of Swiss 6, hoping for better durability...but judging by the comments above, they're no tougher.
I don't even skate anything bigger than a 3 stair or 12" ledge... though I guess at 210lb I'm heavier than most.
So... Big Bois sound off.... Do any bearings hold up to heavy loads or big stair sets?