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Old March 6th, 2017, 12:17 PM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 5,100

Originally Posted by 1204RDsk8ter View Post

I've been skating on Bones Swiss bearings for a little over a year now. Before I had been using Abec 9s.

I skated on the Abec 9s for close to 6 years and they were always pretty noisy and I could feel the strong vibration through the boot of the skate.

In my latest upgrade about a year ago, I upgraded from what were about $300 skates to Riedell 395s, Labeda Prolines, Hyper Shaman's, and Bones Swiss bearings.

I chose the Bones Swiss specifically because the reviews I read said they were "smoother".

Anyway, to the point:

I had been skating on the bearings for about 3 weeks when I started to really notice the bearings didn't seem any smoother, possibly even rougher than my 6-year-old Abec 9s. Whenever I spin the wheels with my hand they sound extremely loud. The best way I could describe the sound is It's like metal grinding against metal. I figured they weren't broken in and decided to give them time.---

About 6 months later the only improvement I noticed was they were rolling longer but no real improvement in sound or vibration. So I headed to the internet and looked up how to clean and lube them. I popped the bearings out of the wheels and used a paperclip to remove the shields to let them sit in warm soapy water for about 30 mins, took them out and let dry outside for 3 hours, added 2 drops of Bones speed cream in each bearing, put the shields on and popped the bearings back into the wheels. ---No Difference---

Originally this wasn't bothering me, I had decided it was normal for them to sound like they do. This was UNTIL I started paying more attention to other people's skates. Someone I hadn't seen before came to my local rink and he was showing me his skates, talking about parts etc.. --- Anyway, I noticed his bearings were basically silent compared to mine. I'll admit they still had some noise but not half as much as mine. I also couldn't feel near the same level of vibration in his skates compared to mine.

Ultimately this is what caused me to raise my eyebrows to start looking into what's wrong.

The person who built my skates, whose name I really want to shout but won't, wasn't very professional and scarred up my Prolines when it could have been avoided simply by using washers. One plate is also noticeably closer to the toe of the boot compared to the opposite side. Not that this relates to my main question, but I'm already fairly ticked. ---

Am I being too picky, is there a problem, or is there improvement to be had? I'm all for getting the most performance and I feel nothing should be sacrificed when using high-quality products.

Note: Every wheel/bearing is affected. It doesn't seem to be isolated, although it is worse in some bearings compared to others.

If anyone has any questions, advice or want's to add anything all is appreciated.


Using thin lubricants requires regular maintenance. I have used grease forever. I took apart skates that were in storage for over 20 years that my brother skated on when we were both younger and the bearings were just fine, no issues.
The difference of speed in a bearing using grease or light speed lubricants is negligible. But maintenance between the two is not. Spinning a wheel by hand is not a good indicator of how a bearing will work under a load, but it can indicate looseness. Some bearings do make more noise than others, this is true, but if they are not flopping loose internally then they should be good to use.
Harder wheels will vibrate and give you a better feel of the floor that you don't see on softer duros. The harder wheels produce more sound than soft ones especially on course floors or floors that have not been sanded perfectly smooth. Seams of the floor will jar you and the wheels will sound when you hit the seams. Soft wheels are quieter. I ran softer wheels long ago and was surprised at the wheel noise when I started using harder wheels.
Possibly it is a combination of things producing the noise.
Using a grease will make the bearings quieter and maintenance will be done for a long long time as long as you skate indoors.
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