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Yak "Blood Steel ABEC 5" Bearings
Yak Research

Yak Research, a relative underdog among bearing manufacturers like Powell (Bones) and Lucky, have a fine product with their Blood Steel bearings. Primarily making rollerblade bearings, this is their first product designed specifically for skateboarding. First of all, the cage is steel as opposed to the nylon or plastic of other bearings. There are two red shields, one on each side, which seem to be removable with a pin or similar object.

First thing I noticed was a bearing doesn't seem to roll as long as a China Red bearing with a hand push. This could be blamed on them not being broken in yet. However, although it seems to take more force to get them started, they roll very smoothly. I can guess this is because there is a lot of lubricant inside straight from the factory (the bearings came in a tube which had oil in it) which increased the viscous friction. But, when you get to a certain speed it's just butter. From riding these, I could tell that these were high quality bearings; there was absolutely no noise whatsover and the overall vibe was just.. smooth. If you can find these easily I'd tie these with China Reds for the best value/performance/quality ratio.

-Kevin