The ABEC rating means virtually nothing when it comes to derby skating. If you can fix the bearing, go ahead!
You can probably stick with either another set of the Reds or something in the same price range, honestly.
I don’t want to steer you towards the very expensive Swiss and ceramic bearings when I don’t think you need them. If you do want to take an itsy bitsy step up, Super Reds are good bearings as well, but I personally notice little difference between them and the plain old Reds.
Other brands to look at are Moto (by GRN MNSTR), Qube (by Sure-Grip) and Cheezeballs.
The numbers mean that they have higher tolerances.
They mean next to nothing when it comes to skating derby.
You don’t need to take them off. It’s a huge pain and you’ll probably hurt the bearing.
Just clean them thoroughly and give them lots of time to dry.
I have been using these bearings for maybe 4 months. They are awesome. They come in an aluminum can, pre-spun and pre-lubed. Most bearings you have to wear in for a day. These are amazing and well worth the $35. These allow me to insure my nuts are tightened enough so I won’t lose a wheel during game-play. They spin fast. I have yet to clean them once though, I’m pretty bad at taking care of my shit. I prefer them over Bones or Abec.
As long as the bearings are staying in your wheels when they are all set up and the axle nut is on, you’re fine.
Some hubs fit some bearings a little looser than other, but it shouldn’t hurt your skating at all.
For your outdoor wheels get the cheapest bearings you can find that still roll.
First off - bearings don’t really make as huge of a difference as people try to make it seem. The difference in your skating between cheap bearings and good bearings is not going to be noticeable outdoors. Indoors, you might notice a slight difference.
Second - your outdoor bearings will get very dirty. They will rust, they will get crud stuck in them, they will just be gross. And honestly, are you really going to clean them every time you skate? No. So why waste money on something you are essentially going to trash?
Just get some cheap or used bearings and use the extra money to help go towards gear that actually matters what level of quality you get.
Do you have indoor skates? If so, just get some cheap bearings and outdoor bearings and go with that. There are tons of cheap outdoor wheels out there and most will do the trick. Radar Zens and Energies and Atom Pulses are good options.
If not or if you want an exclusively outdoor pair of skates, there are a ton of options. You can get some cheap starter skates and just trash them, which is a cheap option but not the best out there, because those plates won’t really stand up to the beating to the point where they could be dangerous.
My best suggestion is to get a metal plate of some sort (perhaps an aluminum Sure-Grip Avenger, Invader, or XK-4), and then find yourself a dirt cheap boot (look for a used one. There are a lot of not too pretty boots going for very cheap used that still have tons of skate time left in them). You could also go the soccer shoe route if you want something super cheap and really unique looking. In that case, you can get a boot for as low as $40, then a plate for between $100 and $200, and wheels cheap or used plus crappy, dirt cheap bearings (you don’t want to use fancy bearings outdoors because you’ll just ruin them, and the cheaper ones actually work better on rougher surfaces), and you will spend not a lot of money for skates that will last you a LONG time.
If you have a specific budget and your foot shape, I can probably work with you more and give you more precise advice, but I hope this helped and feel free to ask any other questions you may have.
Also, I’m sorry this took so long to respond to. Tumblr was trying to hide it from me.
Bearings are basically what makes the wheel roll. They go inside the wheel, 2 per wheel (so a 16 pack is what you need). You don’t NEED a new set of bearings for each set of wheels, but it is nice since it makes changing wheels way easier (so you just have to switch the wheels out, not the bearings as well). It’s especially nice to have a set of low quality bearings just for you outdoor wheels, since they’ll get gross and messed up easier. That way you can keep your indoor bearings cleaner and in better condition.
If you wanted to get a new set of bearings, I’d get some for your indoor wheels and use the ones that come stock on the skates for your outdoor wheels (starter packages don’t come with very good bearings). There are some relatively inexpensive bearings that are pretty good. Look at Bones Redz, Moto Deluxe, and Cheezeball Cheddars.
Axle nuts are the little nuts that go on the end of each axle and actually hold the wheel in its place. You’ll have 8 of them. You only need one set per set of skates, but keep in mind that they do wear out if you change your wheels a lot. Be careful when you change your wheels and if you notice any signs of the threads inside the nut getting worn out, get a new set (don’t worry, they are dirt cheap).