If you are into skateboarding, you probably know about ABEC ratings and what kind of bearings you should have for your board.
For example, if you wonder about ABEC 7 skateboard bearings and how good they are, this article can help you.
ABEC Rating Overview
The ABEC rating system has been in existence for more than 30 years. The purpose of the Annular Bearings Engineers Committee (ABEC) is not to do testing of every bearing made by manufacturers and say if they are good or bad.
Instead, the purpose of the ABEC system is to set up tolerances, dimensions, geometry and noise standards for all bearings to help people in the industry and users to compare and select bearings based on the application.
The ABEC rating system includes ABEC 1, ABEC 3, ABEC 5, ABEC 7, and ABEC 9. The higher the rating on the scale, the better then tolerances are. This means the bearings will perform better and last longer.
But you should know that small tolerances and high precision are needed for bearings to operate well at very high revolutions, such as in high speed routers that require up to 30,000 RPMs.
In that application, an ABEC 7 bearing may be needed. But if you have a skateboard with 54 MM wheels, you would be going 125 MPH at 20,000 RPM. Most skating is done at less than 30 MPH. The top RPMs you see are about 4700 RPM and most skating is under 2,000 RPM. So high precision is not necessary for skateboarding.
The reality is that if you chose an ABEC 7 bearing for skateboarding, this is like choosing an F1 car for an offroad race. It is not that an F1 care is not a fantastic piece of equipment – it is! But it is completely unsuited for an offroad race. The same can be said of choosing an ABEC 7 or 9 bearing for skateboarding.
More About ABEC Ratings
It also is important to know that there can be a considerable difference in performance in skateboard bearings with the same ABEC rating. So, just because a bearing says it is rated a certain ABEC number, this does not always mean it performs better.
So, the ABEC rating is not the end-all, be-all for skateboarding. Instead, focus on materials used and manufacturer. Looking at these two factors are much more important for good skating.