Best Kick Scooter Bearings: Metal Or Ceramic?


Are you getting the smoothest, quickest ride on your kick scooter that you can? You may be thinking, how can I improve my ride? To ensure the smoothest ride on your scooter, besides good tires, you first need the best kick scooter bearings.

The best bearings for kick scooters to get a smooth long glide ride would be ceramic versus metal. Ceramic is a harder and more precise material that generates less heat and friction. It holds up under pressure better and lasts longer.

Ceramic bearings are a better choice due to the material that ceramic bearings are made of. They are made of Silicon Nitride and or Zirconium Dixiode, which are very hard yet light in weight and have higher heat stability, which means they do not expand under heat, reduces friction, and can spin faster than metal bearings. They do not wear down like metal does so they are much longer-lasting than metal bearings.

They do not rust and less likely to be affected by water, fresh, or salt. They also do not require a lubricant. Ceramic does not break down like metal so running with no lube is sufficient.

Best Ceramic Scooter Bearings: There Are Differences

The best ceramic bearings would be full ceramic and not a hybrid of metals and ceramic combined. This will ensure the best ride as it will be the smoothest with the longest glide. No chance of metal wearing out or down.

The strongest of the ceramics is the silicon nitride over zirconium dioxide. But, a full ceramic bearing with its benefits of not having to be lubricated and the bearings giving a super smooth long-distance roll is not suited for all situations.

A full ceramic bearing may do well on a commuting scooter with larger wheels that do not take such abuse as a stunt scooter. The reason being is, ceramic, though it is very strong, it is susceptible to fractures under high impact. So with the stunt and tricks that would be performed on a trick scooter, these may not be the best choice in bearings.

So a good alternative would be bearings that are ceramic hybrids with metal races. You get the glide of the ceramic balls, but not the friction of two metals rubbing up against each other.

Also, you would want the bearings to have removable seals or shields. Then you have the ability to open them up from time to time and services them by cleaning out any debris that may have gotten into the bearings.

Best Scooter Bearings Equipment: Must-Haves

You need to remove your bearings and you not sure how to do it or what tool you should use? The best way is to have the proper equipment. It makes the job so much easier.

To do the job without maybe damaging your wheel or bearing, a proper tool is needed to remove the bearings and reinstall them.

A Bearing Removal Tool or it may be called a Bearing Extractor Tool, is a tool made special for removing bearings as seen in the video below. They come in many different sizes and styles, but all do the same job. See the Bearing Removal Tool here.

After a bearing has been removed, you would then need to reinstall it back into your wheel. You would need another tool for that. This tool would be called a Bearing Driver or Race Seal Driver. See the Bearing Driver tool here.

This video below shows the proper way to remove wheel bearings for scooter wheels.

How Do You Clean Ceramic Bearings: To Ensure Best Performance

The cleaning instructions below are for bearings that you can take the seals off of. You can clean metal bearings this way as well, you just have the added step of lubricating when you are finished cleaning them.

Items you will need…

  • A work table with plenty of space
  • A clean absorbent cloth towel or paper towels
  • A wide-mouth plastic bottle to put bearing pieces in
  • An emptied out alcohol bottle
  • A funnel
  • Coffee filter or some type of material that you can filter the liquid through
  • 91% Rubbing Alcohol for cleaning or Nail Polish Remover (acetone).
  • You also need vinegar to clean the seals.
  • A toothbrush for scrubbing small pieces
  • And a small cup or large spray paint lid to scrub pieces in
  • Razorblade or tiny strong straight pin
  • Eye protection and gloves for hand protection
  • Also if you are cleaning bearings that contain metal balls you will need a lubricant. You can use your favorite small gear and bearing lubricant. You could also use this all-purpose reel lubricant. You can find South Bend Reel Grease on my products page here.

This begins with the bearings already removed from the scooter. Begin by setting up your workspace and lay out all the bearings you are wanting to clean plus any spacers.

Now that the bearings have been removed from the scooter you are ready to start.

  1. Start by disassembling the bearings. Take care when taking off the seals also called shields with the razor blade tip. You do not want to damage these seals. You will use the tip of the razor blade and pry up the seal and take it off. Do that to both sides if both seals are removable.
  2. Next, wipe the seals off on the towel, getting as much grit and debris off that you can. Then place them in the cup with a small amount of vinegar.
  3. Put the bearings in the wide-mouth bottle and fill with enough alcohol to cover the pieces. Give everything a good shake and let sit for about 5 minutes.
  4. Place the filter fabric in the funnel, place the funnel in the emptied alcohol bottle.
  5. Pour the bearing pieces into the funnel straining them as you pour the liquid into the emptied alcohol bottle.
  6. Place the seals on a clean side of the towel you were using or use a new paper towel. Blot the tops of them and leave them to dry.
  7. Rinse and dry the cup that had the vinegar and put bearings into the cup then add a tiny bit of alcohol to the cup, it does not need to cover them. Just enough to put the toothbrush in to get it wet.
  8. Now you are going to make sure you have a glove on the hand you are going to be holding the bearings with. At this time, you want to give each bearing a little scrub to remove the excess debris that did not come out in the initial rinse.
  9. Dump the alcohol that is in the cup in your used alcohol bottle and place bearings back in with more alcohol and give it one last swish around, do not use the toothbrush as this may contain debris.
  10. Place bearings on the clean side of the towel giving them a little tap on the towel to get any further debris out. You want to get them as clean as possible this will give you the best ride.
  11. Continue to tap them on the towel then turn them over and do the same. Do this for a few minutes and they should be drying by this time.
  12. Next, apply the lube. It is important not to overlubricate the bearings. You only need to place a drop on one of the balls on each bearing. Hold the bearing in one hand and spin it a few times with the other hand to distribute the lube around. Repeat the process.
  13. The final step is to put the seals back on. Gently place all the seals back on. Place them on the bearing and push just enough until you hear it snap.

Best Scooter Bearings Under $20: Don’t Cut Quality For Cost

You can get very decent scooter bearings for under $20. They just might have to be replaced more often. But if you are careful not to give them too much abuse like riding in the rain or on wet surfaces, or going on pavement that is really dirty, they may last a while.

Bones Brand, Reds Skate Bearings are decent bearings for the money. There are 8 bearings in this package for under $20.00. So there are four sets of bearings for a scooter rider. Now, this makes it an even better deal!

  • One side removable rubber shield enables you to clean these bearings.
  • Trademarked High-speed Nylon ball retainer, better strength, and speed
  • These bearings come pre-lubricated with Bones very own Speed Cream racing lubricant
  • These bearings are rated with proper clearances, tolerances, and materials for best performance and durability.

If you are an indoor scooter rider then these would work great. If you are in a pinch for money at the moment then they also would work great. You can find Bones Bearings Reds Bearings here.

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