For each of our reviews we try to sift through the hype and give you our honest feedback on products before you shell out your hard earned cash on something you’ve never tried before. In this REVIEW, we look at Andale’s Swiss bearings which were tested over a 6 month period.
Andale is Joey Brezinski and Paul Rodriguez’s foray into the skateboard bearings market with bearings offered in ABEC 5, ABEC 7 and Swiss versions. With a stacked team, a strong social media push and pretty eye catching branding, Andale has definitely created quite a buzz in the industry.
Andale’s Swiss bearings come with a one-sided non-contact blue shield and semi-translucent plastic retainers (crowns). The bearings come pre-lubricated with a low viscosity oil and are pretty much good to go straight out of the box. The one-sided plastic shield is non-contact and installed on the side of the bearing where the balls sit in the crown. Note that the Swiss bearings do not come with bearing spacers, so you will have to purchase them separately. The bearings rolled true in the races when new and were pretty quiet when rolling.
Having ridden these bearings for the past 6 months (with the shields on) for approximately 200+ hours, these bearings have been smooth, fast and required very little maintenance. They were skated in the streets as well as in smooth concrete plazas and bowls.
Here’s how they rated (10 being the best, and 1 being the worst):
Ease of maintenance: 9 (how easy was it to clean the bearings)
While the bearings were definitely fast and modestly priced for a set of Swiss bearings (Andale Swiss retails for approximately $36-$40), 2 of the retainers did break during the testing period, which was a little surprising (granted that skateboard bearings typically undergo a fair amount of abuse from repeated ollies, impact with various obstacles and also drops of various heights) since spacers were used in every wheel and the largest drop attempted was landing off a 1.5 foot high ledge. There also wasn’t a systematic pattern to which bearing (or in which wheel) the retainers typically broke. The initial breakage in the retainers usually started with a hairline split accompanied by a slowdown in the bearing plus some tell-tale noisiness in the spin. While this wasn’t a deal breaker, this did mean that either the retainer or the bearing had to be replaced which would be a minor inconvenience if you were in the middle of a session.
For maintenance, the bearings were oiled with 1 drop of speed cream once every 3 months, and this definitely kept them rolling smoothly. The blue shields were also pretty snug in keeping dirt out of the bearings and certainly prolonged the life of the bearings. The bearings were also easy to clean and reassemble. Overall the bearings remained satisfactorily fast and smooth over the 6 month trial period.
Overall, Andale Swiss Bearings are a modestly priced, fast Swiss bearings that are also fairly durable. They are definitely worth trying and I like these bearings enough that they are staying on my go to board! Do you want to see some Andale bearings in a future KrakBox? Let us know what you think! -HK