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Old December 10th, 2017, 10:11 PM   #1
fierocious1
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Default Wheel and bearing test fixture

Having second thoughts on build it. Mainly because floors vary so much. You have to select the wheels that work for your setup and floor conditions.
Last night I went to the Lufkin rink, one I go to occasionally. I had some issues the other day with the Shamans @ the Champions rink, great grip but it became inconsistent in hard turns. I went down because the contact patch was not grabbing the floor. I went back to the Green Shamans, issue corrected. The difference is that the White Shamans have faint tread, for some of you that prefer that, they are broken in. For me they are done.
Anyway, the Lukin floor did not like the Green Shamans, but really likes the Whites, go figure....

I don't know if building this tool would be worth it in the long run due to so much variance in floors and conditions.

I figure no real difference in bearings at all.... so why spend the time and effort?
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Old December 10th, 2017, 11:01 PM   #2
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Default Sooo..

If executed properly, it will compare roll under like conditions since I am certain you will have a reliable way to vary and measure the wheel load. Maybe variable load while testing to simulate the forces induced while striding.

Might let you see if start up torque increases w/ weight or if wheels with comparable durometer roll the same or if the compound makes a difference in that respect.

It should also allow you to determine, with science, if bearings do or do not make a difference or other silliness like wheel hubs cool the bearings.

Just some thoughts. I'd love to see if the bearing mumbo jumbo is real or fake, or if the differences are so slight they get lost in the noise floor of the data.
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Old December 11th, 2017, 11:13 PM   #3
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In auto racing they test wheels at the actual track and record data for years. Just a side note. I'm not saying your test method won't have value.
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Old December 11th, 2017, 11:51 PM   #4
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In auto racing they test wheels at the actual track and record data for years. Just a side note. I'm not saying your test method won't have value.
There is just so many variables. That is why the auto racing techs do it at the track. They know what works at each track and use it to their advantage. If all tracks were perfect and the same, one wheel would do it. Been thinking about it all day long. To run roll tests, I'm going to have to forget a steel flywheel, too much weight/inertia. But maybe that is a good thing, longer spin down to show minute amounts of drag if it is a timed test. A larger but lighter flywheel to run a measured torque test. Every thing made for leverage in that test, to give the wheel the advantage as much as possible.

I think a wheel test is no problem for roll only. The same variables apply to doing a traction test though. Different compounds grip different floors and even different urethanes or clear coats. Roll is easy, testing grip is impossible to standardize.
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Old December 12th, 2017, 12:17 AM   #5
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If executed properly, it will compare roll under like conditions since I am certain you will have a reliable way to vary and measure the wheel load. Maybe variable load while testing to simulate the forces induced while striding.

Might let you see if start up torque increases w/ weight or if wheels with comparable durometer roll the same or if the compound makes a difference in that respect.

It should also allow you to determine, with science, if bearings do or do not make a difference or other silliness like wheel hubs cool the bearings.

Just some thoughts. I'd love to see if the bearing mumbo jumbo is real or fake, or if the differences are so slight they get lost in the noise floor of the data.
The roll test, is doable. It would clarify roll on new vs new. Medium wear vs medium wear. And semi-smooth vs semi-smooth. And a bearing test would only require one specific wheel to run all the bearings in.
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Old December 12th, 2017, 04:30 PM   #6
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Roll is easy, testing grip is impossible to standardize.
You are better off getting some flips and cheap bearings and trying the wheels. Actually didn't you tell me this once.
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Old December 13th, 2017, 01:28 AM   #7
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You are better off getting some flips and cheap bearings and trying the wheels. Actually didn't you tell me this once.
We have had many discussions In the future if the new plate/semi-SAs work I will be getting flips for them as well. Love my 8mm flips!!!!
Been stalled a little this week on the projects. Mondays at work take a toll, so that is a recovery day from the weekend. LOL.

Actually a few years ago, I was changing up to 5 sets of wheels a session at times, my skate box was bigger back then.
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Old December 14th, 2017, 06:48 PM   #8
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Default Okay then..

Last tool for skates (I think). Going to build it! Going to be a bit more involved than expected. Most likely will not be a calibrated machine due to how minute the measurements will be. But the plan is to have a suitable way to consistently compare running drag of an idling wheel with simulated skaters weight on it. Going to be tough but I think a spring loaded arm with a floating mount on the drive motor axis would do it. Choice of spring and a position of the spring will decide sensitivity along with a dial indicator to measure minute motion/rotation of the motor. This measurement will be the gauge to compare. More drag, more movement of the dial. Once it is determined how to set up the spring, the gauge should get it done.
Sourcing parts now....
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Old December 15th, 2017, 01:23 PM   #9
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Default I have a feeling that

There are sure going to be some disappointing results for people spending tons of money on bearings. Stainless, I can see, for wets conditions, I saw results of what happens when you take out steel in wet areas and replace with stainless already. Worked on them and installed a lot of bearings in washdown areas. The stainless bearings just would not fail.
Cermanics, same purpose, no rust to cause self destruction.
Normal dry conditions, well, I think everyone can figure that one out.
The only thing I can think of that would make difference would be deeper races for the bearings to run in, for side loading purposes.
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Old December 19th, 2017, 03:23 PM   #10
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Default Yes

Thank you for doing this. Without a doubt, one of the oldest and longest-running arguments in SLF are over wheels and bearings, so I would like to see these opinions tested.

Two questions. When skaters talk about ceramic bearings they often mean ceramic hybrids, that is, ceramic balls with inner and outer rings of steel. If possible, could the test include a hybrid AND a full ceramic bearing, one with both ceramic rings and balls. Also, any chance of testing oiled versus greased bearings? The greased bearing would first need to go through a brake-in period before testing to allow the balls to push the grease to the sides and clear a path for rolling.
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Old December 19th, 2017, 05:15 PM   #11
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Thank you for doing this. Without a doubt, one of the oldest and longest-running arguments in SLF are over wheels and bearings, so I would like to see these opinions tested.

Two questions. When skaters talk about ceramic bearings they often mean ceramic hybrids, that is, ceramic balls with inner and outer rings of steel. If possible, could the test include a hybrid AND a full ceramic bearing, one with both ceramic rings and balls. Also, any chance of testing oiled versus greased bearings? The greased bearing would first need to go through a brake-in period before testing to allow the balls to push the grease to the sides and clear a path for rolling.
My plan is to put the machine together and run baseline tests. Using a plain cheap bearing to start with. Once Im satisfied with the sensitivty, testing can begin. I have some super crappy cheapos to run against my plain cheap bearing then its all open for testing others. To make things simple and less costly. Im not buying any extra bearings. However anyone can send in with a prepaid return envelope, any bearing that they prefer, lubed as prefered, but must include details. New, used, type of lube, bearing type and model, anything to make sure of what we are running on the test. Lube them, plastic bag them and include details, maybe put the plastic bag inside an envelope that has the details on it. All I would need is 2 bearings to run a test. I have no need for the bearings at all, so if the return envelope is there, Ill send them back to their owners.
It may be a few weeks til this machine will be put together, but it is positively in the works.
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Old December 19th, 2017, 05:44 PM   #12
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Default Also

I will not be dissassembling any bearings. I will run them and put on the chart all info pertaining to the pair of bearings tested.
It is possible to make this a 2 part test. A timed roll to stop, and a torque/resistance test(like a dyno).

Most likely run a surface speed from 20 to 40 mph(some guys are fast!). Mainly looking at different arrangements of the drive motor and torque arm. Trying to keep it as simple as possible. Leaning toward an AC fan blower motor from a window unit to spin the wheel. The motor can be supported by it's own shafts on each end. This allows the torque arm to be arranged just about any way you like attached to the motor's base plate then rotated as you wish to anchor to the scale.
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Old December 23rd, 2017, 02:55 PM   #13
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Found a double shaft fan motor Thursday. Ran a couple of load tests on it with blades on, off and with extra drag. Not a high speed motor but sensitive to extra loads. I could run it with one fan blade on and touch the blade ring to slow it down just a little, amp readings would start to climb. So Load readings will have to be done with an analog meter for sensitivity. Got to find a wheel and hub assembly next. I have shafts and bearings aplenty. Picked up a 3/4" shaft dc motor yesterday too but it is just too strong, it would not show enough amp change to be of use. Fractional hp motors see the load much better.
AS for the bearing test part, I think an inline wheel will be sufficient to make the test work. It has a narrow contact patch and when loaded will deform quite a bit. Bear in mind that the one wheel selected will be used during a specific set of tests to keep the wheel resistance half of the reading the same. 1 part of the total reading is wheel restistance, the other part would be bearing resistance. These parts combined will add up to total resistance of the wheel set up. This will be deducted from the total gross resistance value. Will have to baseline the wheel/bearing set with a no name, no brand, low cost(cheap) pair.
I'm actually interested in the metal vs plastic hub controversy. This test would require same bearings(actual) used in both wheels tested. Two piece wheels tests is the same test as well.
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Old December 28th, 2017, 10:18 PM   #14
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Default Hope it works out then

Very interested if its mind over matter with bearings.Im one of those believers that quality bearing rolls better under side load.
Im pretty certain wheels will show up.
Are you going to set different weights of skater?
Im thinking that a fan blower motor might not do it .And are you making a giant concrete wheel painted with polyurethane/rink coat to be a rotating surface under the wheel.Lol
Sorry had to throw that 1 in.
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Old December 28th, 2017, 11:35 PM   #15
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Very interested if its mind over matter with bearings.Im one of those believers that quality bearing rolls better under side load.
Im pretty certain wheels will show up.
Are you going to set different weights of skater?
Im thinking that a fan blower motor might not do it .And are you making a giant concrete wheel painted with polyurethane/rink coat to be a rotating surface under the wheel.Lol
Sorry had to throw that 1 in.
There is quite a few things going on in this tester. I was thinking a bit today about the issue with not being able to side load bearings for a side load roll test. Well, I think I can do this test as well now. So a few changes in design will be in order.
1. I know on my plate tester that 25 degrees is about it on plate angle, but that doesn't mean much because a person turning that hard on a plate in not in a hard lean anyway.
2. However, I look sometimes at the skaters on the floor in photos and see that the skaters angle is fairly far over. On inlines that doesn't mean much, but on quads, it does. So I will be trying to build the wheel/bearing tester to include angle testing as well.
3. Most likely will run around 30 degrees of angle on the wheels/bearings.
4. I will be able to test at actual skaters weight equivalent in steel plates. Meaning, 200 lb skater divided by 4 wheels more or less.
5. It may take 2 motors to do the tests. One for low speed roll and drag. The other for speed and angle testing. Still thinking on this one, so will probably set it up so that if the low speed motor can't handle it, then the other motor can be put right in and take over. Just a minor adjustment of parts fit to allow both motors to be fitted onto the rig at one time.
6. I picked up the second motor, 4000rpm dc. It cost nothing, and I have another DC drive to operate it. This motor can definitely handle the job, just don't know if it will be sensitive enough. Really want an AC motor for this part.
7. The wheel contact surface will be coated with a urethane coat. All it needs to do is have enough traction to not allow the wheel to slip or break traction. The wheel will most likely be made of wood or metal. I have been searching for large wheels but they are crazy expensive. I am thinking of a cable spool end, will have to make a hub for it. Or a plywood wheel of my own making, with hub also.
8. Wheel size is important too. Not too much curvature, so I am looking at over 30 inches in diameter. 36" may be my max. I don't think it will matter much if I can get this much radius under the wheel. Wheel comparisons will still bear out differences in roll. The contact patches are so short. 48" can be done but I would not want to put any more into it than that.
9. It doesn't take much to keep a wheel moving, it takes much more to start it up and bring it to speed. With so little drag, it should keep rolling, but also be measureable.

Lots of variable to think about. May take longer than planned but is first in line now.

There may be some bearing people disappointed, and some sales people too. But the test will be as actual as possible. The only thing that could beat the compact tester, is a tester that can be pulled on a flat long track.
That tester would have to have everything mounted on a rail system so it can be angled, the drive system would have to be cable pulled on a circular endless cable or a very long single cable that would operate in a tensioned manner with a pull tie in mount. The scale would have to be installed on a carriage running in a track in/on the long frame.

anyway it's still coming along.

PS not concrete wheel, oak boards bent around the wheel.... and coated.. LOL. with derby stripes on it....
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Old December 30th, 2017, 09:43 AM   #16
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Default Ideas, maybe? I dunno lol

Couple of things...

Concentricy has to be a priority of the testing assembly, and the hold on the outer and inner races are also important. Unless someone modifys a skate wheel so the bearings are semi fixed, the side loading in our wheels is only applied to 1 bearing.

For weight applied axially, 50 lbs for a light skater and 100lbs for a heavy skater(peak stride force) where a bearings energy consumption would be the most.

It would be cool if you could add a small twisting force on the bearing being tested, not just setting a weight for axial loading, but like adding weight on just 1 side of the flywheel in addition to its normal axial load

I would suggest testiing without seals or shields in all cases, since properly functioning ones do not cause drag, but sometimes, old bearings have ones that may rub.

I have a "6 ball" ILQ-9 PRO bearing set, virgin, you could test. And several other bearings laying around. You could do whatever lube in any of the used ones, id be sure to send them in a well cleaned condition.


Making notes of cage type and axial/radial play would be a good thing too.

I think I have 1 set of 7mm qube 8 balls and 1 set of 8mm qube 8 balls.

Hit me up on Facebook sometime buddy,
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Old December 30th, 2017, 12:38 PM   #17
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Couple of things...

Concentricy has to be a priority of the testing assembly, and the hold on the outer and inner races are also important. Unless someone modifys a skate wheel so the bearings are semi fixed, the side loading in our wheels is only applied to 1 bearing.

For weight applied axially, 50 lbs for a light skater and 100lbs for a heavy skater(peak stride force) where a bearings energy consumption would be the most.

It would be cool if you could add a small twisting force on the bearing being tested, not just setting a weight for axial loading, but like adding weight on just 1 side of the flywheel in addition to its normal axial load

I would suggest testiing without seals or shields in all cases, since properly functioning ones do not cause drag, but sometimes, old bearings have ones that may rub.

I have a "6 ball" ILQ-9 PRO bearing set, virgin, you could test. And several other bearings laying around. You could do whatever lube in any of the used ones, id be sure to send them in a well cleaned condition.


Making notes of cage type and axial/radial play would be a good thing too.

I think I have 1 set of 7mm qube 8 balls and 1 set of 8mm qube 8 balls.

Hit me up on Facebook sometime buddy,

Concentricy has to be a priority of the testing assembly, and the hold on the outer and inner races are also important. Unless someone modifys a skate wheel so the bearings are semi fixed, the side loading in our wheels is only applied to 1 bearing.

I will not be doing, at least right away, any special testing. Bearings will be ran in real world type conditions as most people do not go that far into it. If everyone was running spacers set perfectly I could see running that test first. However the wheels will be "ran in" for a short period of time to insure that everything that needs to move, moves into place as if it were on skates. So real world, typical set ups will be the norm for a while.

For weight applied axially, 50 lbs for a light skater and 100lbs for a heavy skater(peak stride force) where a bearings energy consumption would be the most.

50lbs on one wheel = a 200lb skater that skates on one foot. It should be plenty of weight. I have determined that it is possible to do a long duration side loading test as well. The weight can be increased if needed. During the test, the machine is being designed to be able to go from side load to vertical and back without shutting down the test to verify changes in drag as if going into a turn then coming out and coasting. If there is any difference it should be seen during this part of the test.

It would be cool if you could add a small twisting force on the bearing being tested, not just setting a weight for axial loading, but like adding weight on just 1 side of the flywheel in addition to its normal axial load

I will side load it so far until the wheel will loose it'g grip. Not afraid of tearing up the machine. IF I break it, I'll make it stronger for the next test.

I would suggest testiing without seals or shields in all cases, since properly functioning ones do not cause drag, but sometimes, old bearings have ones that may rub.

Real world, actual is what the test is about. A test like that can be done though, just a normal thing to try in the testing, like what else can I look at.

I have a "6 ball" ILQ-9 PRO bearing set, virgin, you could test. And several other bearings laying around. You could do whatever lube in any of the used ones, id be sure to send them in a well cleaned condition.

However you would like them pre-lubed or set up with notes in the pairs bags. That is what the real world testing will be about. As long as anyone will have the specs and a return bag, I will test and return.


Making notes of cage type and axial/radial play would be a good thing too.

I think I have 1 set of 7mm qube 8 balls and 1 set of 8mm qube 8 balls.


Right up front, I'm not deep into the bearing types, so I am far from being a bearing expert. I have never tore down a set, had my fill of that when I ran roller ball as a kid. It sucks! I'd rather be doing more fun things...

I have tons of old skates and can find older 7mm ran bearings and 8mms too. It will be interesting to test the cheapest crap out there against the high end stuff and everything in between. I am looking forward to it.

Right now looking for the right kind of wheel for this thing. Going to attempt the largest wheel I can get ahold of or build a large 48" wheel to run it on. I want as little curvature as possible within reason. Before I said a 30 would be about it but for some reason I am not satisfied. So making a plywood wheel is looking more and more likely. I keep seeing them available but not big enough or wide enough... etc. Still hunting.

I have plenty of shafting, bearings, shaft locks, and couplings. Time is the hardest part to come up with, but when the parts are boxed up and in one place, it will begin. With pics!

PS the one test I am looking forward to is the metal hub vs plastic. I'll have to run so many different wheels and record so much data to see a general trend. But it will basically be a direct wheel vs wheel comparison when done. The other thing is advertised duros, using that as true data.
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Old January 8th, 2018, 12:26 AM   #18
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Default Update 1718

Picked up a hub and shaft assembly today out of some stuff that was thrown away. Has a nice main shaft, bearing housings and a large fan hub(fan is complete but looks bent somewhat). Anyway, I can remove the blade(36" fan) and replace the bearings. While apart bore the shaft to accept the 1/2" fan motor shaft. The larger fan bearings can support the motor on one end and add another bearing on the other end to support the motor weight. Then add torque arm to the motor with scale.
Once all the shafting and parts are finalized I can start welding up a frame for it. Still in the hunt for a large wheel. But it could be a wagon wheel or large wood wheel as long as it is not warped or out of round.
Small steps....
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Old January 9th, 2018, 02:02 AM   #19
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Default update 1818

Bought a wheel, actually bought a large cable spool. So I will remove one of the sides to construct a wheel app 58 inches in diameter. As large as I can practically build this thing. Put the hub together with the wheel and glue a wood strip around the edge of the wheel and then sand it to a perfect round with a large belt sander(similar to surface grinding). At least this is the plan for now. Dang, how did this get so complicated.... went and looked at the spool tonight. It looks pretty good and straight but won't really know until the shaft and hub are installed. Will be going to get it Saturday. Going to post pics Saturday of the "junk pile" of parts to build this project.
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