Wheel and Bearing FAQ

Wheel and Bearing FAQ

We get a lot of questions, so we designed this page to help you find what you need quickly and easily.

While this site is here to promote Fireball products, we promise to answer these questions in an upfront and honest way. We're not here to sell you stuff you don't need, but rather get you the best possible product, even if that product is not from Fireball.

What is the best bearing/wheel/deck?

This is the hardest question in the world because everyone has their own personal preferences and riding style. The question you should be asking is what is the best bearing/wheel/deck for what I want to do. From there, you can decide what is the best route for you. Check out Stoked's great articles on wheels and bearings here.

What is the fastest bearing/wheel?

This is a question without an answer. Different products are going to perform differently for different riders/setups/terrain etc. Check out Stoked's great articles on wheels and bearings here.

What are the specs/dimensions of the wheel or bearing?

We include everything you could ever possibly need in the descriptions of our products. If for some reason there is something you need that is not in the description, contact us and we will get it for you stat.

Do I need spacers and washers?

Short answer: yes. We never ride a skateboard without spacers and washers. We won't even knowingly ship a build without them. Read more about why they are important over at Stoked LA.

How do I install/remove bearings/wheels?

We're so glad you asked! We wrote an article and made a video on How to Install/Remove Wheels and Bearings.

Why are my bearings/wheels slow?

If your bearings are not making noise and you have wheels that are roughly ideal for the terrain, more than likely your gear is slow because of ride technique. Perfect that tuck and push. If bearings are making noise, it is time for a new set. Being this is Fireball, we recommend Dragon Bearings. As for wheels, these are more complicated. Check out the Stoked Knowledge Base on wheels.

What makes one bearing different from another?

There are three main bearing features: shields, lubricant, and style. Shields are what protect the bearing from the outside world and hold the lubricant in. Dragon Bearings always have labyrinth shields to hold in lube and hold out dirt. Lubricant is a bit more open, however, we generally recommend some kind of grease like that found on Dragon ENDURE. Grease lasts longer with barely any reduction in speed. Bearing style is one of two: Built-In or Regular (608). Built-in has spacers and speed rings "built in" so changing wheels is a lot faster. Regular bearings are tried and true and are found in more applications. For more on bearings, check out the Stoked Knowledge Base on bearings.

How/When/Why do I clean my bearings?

We're so glad you asked! We wrote an artcle and made a video on How to Clean Bearings.

What are built-in bearings?

Built-in bearings (Dragon BUILT) have spacers and speed rings "built in" so changing wheels is a lot faster. Regular bearings are tried and true and are found in more applications. For more on bearings, check out the Stoked Knowledge Base on bearings.

ABEC ratings, what are they, do they matter?

ABEC ratings are not relevant in any skating application. Allow us to explain. ABEC is a scale for tolerances. The higher the ABEC number, the more precise the bearing is. At the onset, this sounds relevant. However, ABEC ratings are most useful when comparing bearings in a low load and very high RPM (revolutions per minute) environment. Skateboarding, scooters, and roller skates are high load, low RPM. Because of this and the exposure to dirt, water, etc makes ABEC ratings lose their relevance as soon as your wheels hit the ground. Frankly, skate companies have used ABEC scales just to create price tiers of products. While the bearing quality might be better at a higher ABEC rating, it is wrong to assume a higher ABEC rating means a better bearing. It is much more important to look at the brand reputation, the type of lubricant used, and the bearing shield style. These features will make a huge difference. Dragon Bearings are made specifically with the harsh skateboarding environment in mind.

Are Dragon Bearings good for fidget spinners?

RACE is great for spinners if the RACE oil is partially or completely removed. 

What is this noise from my bearings?

Clicking Noises – This is usually a bearing alignment issue. The bearings are not seated properly in the skateboard wheel. See our article on bearing installation.

Other Noises – New bearings should make very little sound. If you hear metallic sounds or grinding, the bearings could be contaminated. Stop riding and clean them. If they are new, please contact us so we can resolve the issue.

Why do my bearings spin slowly?

The performance of a bearing is not accurately shown through spinning a wheel by hand. This is because the bearing is not under any load. Some very cheap bearings spin fast with a hand rotation, but will function terribly while riding (under load). Also, it can take some time for the lubricant to break in and allow for full speed to be reached. Give your DRAGONS time to loosen up to reach full speed.

Another reason why bearings do not spin as quickly is when they are not completely flush inside of the wheel. While using speed rings and spacers, it is best to fully tighten down the bearing on the axle and then take about a quarter turn off the nut. This properly sets the bearings in the wheels. Just make sure the wheel does not have play along the axle as this means it is too loose.

There you have it! Now get off the computer and go shred.

We would love to get your feedback on this article. Let us know what you think at help@fireballsupply.co. Thanks and shred safe out there!

Latest Articles

Visit the blog

Today, we're thrilled to chat with So You Can Longboard Dance Grom champ, Pavel Valkov. At just 18 years old, Pavel is...