12 - Skate - Hobby

Skate Bearings - Question 12

I have read something about a skate’s wheels spinning faster than an Indy Car, and they even "prove" it with a mathematical formula - Is this true?

Yes. A skates wheels can easily get up to 2-3 times the RPM (revolutions per minute) of an Indy Car wheels. We will bet that what you read did not mention that this is still well within the capabilities of the 608 bearing. Speed is not one of the problems faced by skate bearings - lack of lubrication, contamination, moisture and the unavoidable shock loads associated with skating are the biggest problems. Be very wary of anyone trying to tell you that Skating is a high speed application for a bearing - it isn’t.

An example of how non technically minded these marketing people are is that the "Indy Car Formula" that we were supplied with shows forward momentum being the product of the Radius of the Wheel and RPM. It only takes a little logic to realise that one turn of a wheel does not move the skate forward by the distance of its radius but rather by its circumference. However, using this incorrect formula in the above analogy will still get you the relationship of the skate wheel speed to that of the Indy Car. Whilst the formula is incorrect, the analogy is still correct - albeit irrelevant.

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