WE BORROWED THIS FROM A POST WE FOUND. WE GET ASKED A LOT ABOUT WHAT "ABEC" # BEARINGS ARE. HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW.
ABEC stands for Annular Bearing Engineers' Committee, and is the American method for rating the accuracy and tolerance rating of bearings. ABEC standards are set by the American Bearing Manufacturers Association (ABMA).
- ABEC 1 is the most crude, the least precise, the most durable and the cheapest.
- ABEC 3 is what most cheap complete skateboard and scooters come with, especially skateboards from China. ABEC 3 bearings will work for most skateboarding and scootering, but won't roll very smoothly or fast.
- ABEC 5 bearings are the norm in skateboarding and scootering. You get a reasonable amount of speed, and at a reasonable cost. However, there are lots of people who argue that the skateboarding industry is lying, and that most ABEC 5 skateboard bearings you see aren't actually built to ABEC 5 standards...
- ABEC 7 bearings would be very fast and smooth, but very expensive. Plus, you start to run the risk of needlessly damaging them if you skate hard or aggressively.
- ABEC 9 and higher bearings would be ridiculous to use in a skateboard or scooter, unless you are doing downhill luge style skating, or something else where your goal is to go insanely fast. If you aren't spending a fortune on these bearings, then don't trust that they are in fact ABEC 9!
The ABEC rating of a bearing is determined by asking these four questions:
- How close is the bore to 8mm in microns (a micron is one millionth of a meter)?
- How close is the outer diameter to 22 in microns?
- How close is the width to 7mm in microns?
- What's the rotating accuracy in microns?