1. A feckless precision bearing rating system.
2. The ABEC rating system has been around for the last 35 years. The purpose of the ABEC committee (Annular Bearing Engineers Committee) is not to test every manufacturer's bearings and proclaim them good or bad, but to establish dimensions, tolerances, geometry, and noise standards for bearings in an attempt to aid industrial bearing manufacturers and users in the production, comparison and selection of bearings for general applications. However, since every bearing is used in a different manner and environment, bearings should be redesigned or "customized" for special uses (like skateboarding). The ABEC rating system is not intended to be the only criteria used for selecting bearings for use in specialized applications like skateboarding.
The ABEC rating system includes grades 1,3,5,7, and 9. The higher the ABEC rating, the tighter the tolerances are, making the bearing a more precision part.
The dimentions and tolerances controlled by the ABEC standards include the diameters and widths of the raceways, their shapes to some extent and the smoothness of the running surfaces. The ABEC rating system ignores, side loading, impact resistance, materials selection and grade, appropriateness of lubrication, ball retainer type, grade of ball, the clearance between the balls and the races, installation requirements, and the need for maintenance and cleaning. Thus making the ABEC rating system an utter waste of a serious skateboarder's time and money.
Eric: "Yo, dawg... I just convinced my lame sponsor to flow me these dope ABEC 9 bearings. Imma gonna fly now, yo!"
Mark: "Yeah, that figures... you're the typical uneducated person that believes everything they read or are told. Anyone that is interested in real skating ignores the ABEC diatribe and goes with a serious bearing that doesn't have to boast it's ratings. You should go to the California Bearing website and get up to SPEED."