Why To Use Bearing Spacers

Having just received my new Bake Frames setup, I put them onto my Xsjados for a quick test. They weren’t as fast as I’d hoped to see on a 72mm flat setup. I worked out the problem though; I was missing the bearing spacers.

Bearing SpacerFar too many people misunderstand what contributes to a good skate setup. They will pay through the nose for ABEC 9 bearings (which will reduce friction by less than 1% over cheap unrated bearings) but then don’t use bearing spacers.

Bearing spacers are the small (typically aluminium or steel) tubes that go inside the wheels between the bearings. Without these, tightening the wheel bolts puts lateral forces on the bearings, causing a huge increase in friction and wear damage. With the spacers in, these forces are removed and only radial forces are applied, which the bearings are designed to take. Your rolling resistance will drop dramatically when using spacers.

In this video you will see the very clear difference between the skate with the bearing spacers and that without. Seriously, make sure you have them. They are cheap and improve your setup immeasurably. That and having the right bolts (6mm vs 8mm) for your frames will not only make your skates faster, but they will last longer as well.