Just like every other component of a commuter scooter, the scooter bearings are equally important. They enable your motor scooter to offer a smooth ride. Nobody wants to experience jolts and interruptions when they take their commuter scooter out for a spin. That’s precisely what scooter bearings help prevent.
Turning to city scooters, let’s consider the Varla Falcon. This motor scooter is equipped with a 500 W hub motor, a 10.4 Ah lithium-ion battery operating at 48 volts, boasts a top speed of 22 Mph, and features a double braking system. Designed as a commuter scooter, the Falcon is perfectly crafted to ride smoothly over city gravel and paths. This is where ball bearings play a critical role.
These components ensure that the Falcon provides the smoothest ride possible with all its stability features for city terrain. Scooter bearings play a pivotal role in maintaining a motor scooter’s stability. So, if you’re concerned about dodging potholes and lampposts on your city scooter, don’t be! Scooter bearings have got you covered.
This is exactly what today’s article is all about. We will be taking you over what scooter bearings do on an electric scooter and how you can look after them!
Understanding Bearings on an Electric Scooter
What Are Bearings?
So if we look at bearings objectively, they are a mechanical component that assists in rotation. What they essentially do is that they support the shaft or the axis around which there is rotation. Apart from playing a role in the movement, they also help reduce friction.
One would be surprised to know that they are nearly present in all mechanically operating devices, from airplanes to electric scooters. Due to their small size and hidden placement, they usually go unnoticed. However, the truth of the matter is that without them, many machineries will seize.
Not only do they ensure smooth rotation, but they also cater to the parts involved in the rotation. By reducing friction, they prevent wear and tear that prolongs the life of mechanical components.
As a result of being so impactful on the world of machines, they are referred to as the “bread and butter” of the industry.
What Do Bearings Do on an Electric Scooter?
Scooter bearings are of no less importance. Bearings on commuter scooters, such as the tires on it, play an equally crucial role. The motor scooter would not work without the tires on it, and the same goes for motorized scooter bearings. Let us quickly take a look at what scooter bearings do.
Scooter bearings are what allow for free movement of the wheels without any friction opposing them.
These scooter bearings have 6-8 balls cast between two rings. Each wheel usually has 2 of these bearings. Due to the presence of these balls, they are often referred to as ball bearings. There is an inner race and an outer race between which the balls are held. All of this is protected from dirt with the help of a shield fixed in the middle.
So as mentioned earlier, the major role of scooter bearings in commuter scooters is for free movement and prevention of friction generation. This permits the top speed of the manufacturer to be achieved. Which, in the case of Varla Wasp, is 16 Mph.
Types of Bearings Used in Electric Scooters
Scooter bearings have been broadly classified into two distinct categories: metals and ceramics. After much debate as to which is better. It has been unanimously decided that ceramic bearings are better off than metal ones. This is due to ceramic being a harder material. Being of this nature allows it to allow rotation smoothly and antagonize any friction as a scooter bearing. Let us further dwell on why ceramics are better.
This is fundamental because of the chemical compounds that it is made of. These make it harder yet lighter. The icing on the cake is that it is heat stable. This allows it to not expand in turn of any generated heat. Hence, it accounts for a smooth ride with minimum friction production.
Ceramics have been favored so much as scooter bearings that manufacturers do not even consider combining metal with it to make it a hybrid. They just opt for scooter bearings made of complete ceramic. The pros of ceramics are there, but the disadvantages of metals also help make ceramics ace of the game.
Ceramics do not rust like metal and hence have a longer life despite facing the same wear and tear. And unlike metals, ceramics are less likely to challenge their integrity due to salt or water application.
The bottom line is that there might be two available options for scooter bearings for commuter electric scooters on the market, but in actuality, only one of them is practical.
When Is It Time to Replace My Scooter Bearings?
A lot of people might wonder what is the right time to change their scooter bearings. The answer is when you feel like it’s time. You see, only the rider of a motor scooter will be able to tell if a change is required. The bearings make a squeaky rustic sound within the scooter wheel when they have been pulled to their extent. As they get worn out, it becomes difficult to accelerate, and that is usually how one maps out that something is wrong.
What Size of Scooter Bearings Do I Need?
It is easier than you think. Most bearings usually have their size engraved on them. If they do get removed over time, you can get it measured or do it yourself with the help of the internet.
How to Get Bearings Out of Scooter Wheels?
Removing scooter bearings from scooter wheels can be tedious. Although if you get the hang of it, you can do it in no time.
Firstly, you will have to tap the bearing on both sides using a hammer. And then you can simply try popping it out. You can tap a bit more if you feel the bearing is not loose enough. Removing the bottom bearing first is often preferred. While doing so, one must be careful not to damage the spacer. Or tap so hard that the balls between the racer bounce outwards. So be gentle with the scooter wheel, and you will get the job done.
There are detailed videos on Youtube that will help you further.
How Do You Clean Bearings: To Ensure Best Performance
Despite having a shield to protect your bearings, sometimes they need cleaning. The best way to do it is to use methylated spirits, or even some high-concentration alcohol would do the trick. If you manage to get your hands on a degreaser spray, those work great too. If you are a bit of an organic nut, lemon juice can perform its marvels as well.
As you can tell by now, scooter bearings are important in commuter scooters. They vouch for a smooth ride and minimal friction production. Both of these are very important. Varla always ensures that its models, whether it is the Falcon or The Wasp, provide comfort to the rider. Faulty scooter bearings can damage this goal by bumping rides and squeaky scooter wheels.
So prefer ceramic bearings for longer life, change them as needed, clean them regularly, and enjoy your commuter scooter to the fullest!
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