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Bearings: The case against "Reds"

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  • Bearings: The case against "Reds"

    Last year I dug my inlines out of storage. Poor things were in terrible condition, but I live in northern Wisconsin and our pavement is usually quite janky due to to winter so I hardly ever used them for about a decade. Anyway, the bearings needed replacement. The metal shielded ABEC 7s that they originally came with in 2001, which had lasted until 2008, were shot. I felt like I was rolling through jam.

    So I did some research and found Reds. They were touted as being "skate rated" instead of ABEC rated because they are meant to have a looser action and be more durable/cleanable than other bearings. I was pretty psyched - I'm all about reducing waste and loved the idea of not having to throw out my old bearings. So I ordered 16 on sale for $40. I installed them and was rather disheartened when they didn't feel and better than the ones I swapped out. Okay, okay... they probably need a break-in period. I gave them a mile... two miles... five miles... no improvement. And after each ride I had to clean and re-lube the damn things because they pulled in dirt like a magnet - even on clean streets an indoors.

    I decided this was BS. I went on ebay and ordered a pack of 80 metal shielded ABEC 7 bearings and sewing machine oil for $60. Swapped my first set of them in and noticed an immediate difference... went from rolling through jam to just floating along. 20 miles later they're just as fast and have remained almost perfectly clean.

    Don't buy into the Reds hype. The reason they're not ABEC rated is because they're lousy bearings, not because they're somehow revolutionary. Metal shielded bearings are much faster, are FAR superior in regards to dirt resistance, and can be ordered in bulk at prices cheap enough to justify them being disposable.
    Signatures are the online equivalent of an elevator fart. Here's anther one for you: CUPCAKE!