Everybody knows ABEC is the international standard for bearing tolerances- right?
According to Wikipedia (and we all love Wikipedia)
"The ABEC scale
is an industry accepted standard for the tolerances of a ball bearing. It was developed by the Annular Bearing Engineering Committee (ABEC) of the American Bearing Manufacturers Association (ABMA)."
Basically the higher the ABEC grade the higher tolerance the bearing has been made to. OK sounds good so why is it not a big factor for cycling or skate bearings?
Higher ABEC grades are only required to increase the tolerance of the EXTERNAL dimensions for use in precision equipment and for high speed application.
ABEC does not indicate an increase in material spec, bearing smoothness, or durability. Simply put a high ABEC bearing will not necessary run smoother or last longer than a low ABEC bearing.
How smooth are the balls and races? How good are the seals? Has decent materials been used? How was the steel heat treated? Will they rust? ABEC does not consider any of this.
The plastic/rubber wheels on a skate board/in inline skates, and the Al hubs etc used on a bike are not made to a high tolerance and compared to a jet engine, industrial machinery, or a dentists drill do not operate at high speed.
Still I'd like to know the bearing manufacturer has gone to some effort to control their manufacturing. ABEC 3 or 5 suggests they have careful processes, but I wouldn't speed more for a higher ABEC grade.
Buying a good quality well known brand is the only way to know if a bearing is going to have good performance
You certainly won't know for sure just by knowing the ABEC grade.
Why ABEC is not important for cycling/skate bearings
Views 1 Like Comments Comment
24 September 2011
Have something to share, create your own Guide... Write a Guide
Explore more Guides