In the Box
The box contains 16 bearings, enough to cover both of your skates. It also includes a fairly long instruction list of things to do, and not to do, with the bearings. Be sure to keep this instruction list. The instructions will tell you how to clean your bearings. You’re not supposed to clean them like ordinary bearings.
On the Skates
Usually when you buy a new pair of inline skates, the bearings that come with will contain globs of grease inside of them. You really have to clean them right away in order to get them to spin properly.
The Bones Swiss bearings didn’t have this problem. I took them straight from the box and put them on my skates. I ran one hand over the wheels on one skate and noticed the difference right away. These brand new bearings spun noticeably better than my previous bearings. That was a relief to see.
After more than six months of use, I decided I would clean the bearings to see if I could get them to spin even faster.
Here’s where the instructions that came with the bearings are important. You’re not supposed to use citrus based cleaning agents. Instead, one of the cleaning agents they recommend is acetone. I chose that one because it was the easiest to find. You can buy a small can of that at any hardware store.
When you work with acetone, do it outside. It starts to evaporate fairly quickly. You don’t want those fumes in the house. Wait until you get the shields off your bearings before you pour some it in a container for the cleaning.
Getting the shields off of the Bones Swiss bearings was easy. My previous bearings had C rings holding the shields in place. Most of the time, you would get 4 bearings where you could not get that C ring off without fiddling with it for a couple of minutes. It was annoying.
With these Bones Swiss bearings, you basically take any sewing pin and gently slide it between the shield and the metal part of the bearing. Then you just pop the shield off. The shield is rubber so you’ll need to be careful when inserting the pin.
Once you have the shields off, drop the bearings into a suitable container and cover them with the acetone. Remember, do this outside. Every five minutes, check on the bearings and stir them around. You’re trying to dislodge any dirt that could be in the bearings. Do this for about 20 minutes.
Once your done with the cleaning, pull the bearings out and let them dry off. Once they are completely dry, put three drops of a lubricant in each of them. Of course Bones Swiss is recommending you use their stuff, Bones Speed Cream. It costs about as much as the other lubricants.
Putting the shields back on the bearings is once again, really easy. Just press the rubber shields on with your fingers until they snap into place. That’s it.
After performing the cleaning, I was a little surprised to see that the bearings weren’t spinning any better than before the cleaning. I had that expectation because that was always the case with my ABEC-7 bearings. Once you cleaned and oiled them, they would spin better. This isn’t a bad thing about the Bones Swiss bearings. They’re consistent. They spun really well before the cleaning. Then after, they spun just as well.
Bones Swiss bearings are roughly about $75. I would consider that price to be about mid-range when you look at all the other bearings out there. That price was just high enough to have me always ask the question, “Should I get these?” If you have to ask yourself that, you’re probably not going to buy them. That price is probably what prevents more people from making the decision to upgrade their bearings to these.
Bones Swiss bearings are worth it. They spin way better than my ABEC-7 bearings. Also, when it comes to cleaning them, it is so much easier. Money well spent.