I recently had the pleasure of communicating with one of the members (Jason) of Quantum Bearing Science LLC about the Ryan Decenzo Signature Series Isotope bearings and it was really good to see what Jason had to say about them.
What’s in the box, what are you actually getting when you buy the Ryan Decenzo bearings from Quantum?
Nothing really different from other brands, but it’s a box of bearings so you cant ask for much more. You will get 8 x isotope series bearing, 16 x Ryan Decenzo Signature friction-less shields (8 installed, 8 spares), 8 x speed washers, and 3 bonus stickers. They’re nicely presented in the box as well, unlike the more common bearings you can buy (I’m thinking of my Bones Red Big Balls – they came stuffed in a cardboard box).
So this is what you get, so what makes these special? For starters when I asked Jason about these, I was quite blunt. I wanted to know is it just a pro skaters name on the tin, or does he actually use them? Jason confirmed all riders who have their names on the products use the products. This immediately screams it’s a good product to me, because I’ve seen the way that Ryan skates in the SLS and if the bearings can handle this, I know I probably would struggle to break them.
We now know, we’re talking about pro level bearings with the Ryan Decenzo Signature Series Isotopes, but this led me to follow up asking Jason about how they’re tested to ensure quality and consistency. You and me, we’re normal skaters, every day people, not the pros, so when we want something we can’t simply have it new every time we start a session, unlike what some pro skaters possibly do. Jason started talking about how they cant test every product they sell, but rather they do extensive testing in the development/prototype stage but even he admits that this doesn’t cover everything. Quantum therefore give out a selection of their work to what they call “test pilots” which are selected skaters who will ride the products and give feedback. The aim at this stage is to test endurance and make sure that the bearings will survive the real world of skateboarding. They do some additional testing, but I’m quite impressed if I’m honest so far, by what I have been told.
When reviewing the website, I could see that Ryans Signature Series was ranked in something called precision level, and it had 5 stars. I wanted more information about this, such as whats the scale, whats good and bad, who manages the scaling etc. Unfortunately Jason said this was proprietary information and that they design for the best always, in both material and mechanical design. I can understand this answer, after all they cant give away their business secrets.
Jason added a bit more information, but this was less about the Ryan Decenzo Signature Series and more about Quantum Bearing Science LLC, which was off the back of me asking what something meant on their website. His reply was actually quite insightful.
The first part, “bearings design for longevity by only using high quality, field tested materials”. This goes back to our how we design and endurance test our bearings. From the design perspective, I am a material scientist so I only use materials where either personal experience or lots of research has proven a material is able to perform to expectations. Once we have a mechanical design and material set in mind for a bearing model, we make prototypes and put them to the test. Based on feedback from the field and testing in the lab, we make decisions about next design iterations. All of these efforts, create a bearing model which is designed to perform over the long haul. As to the second part “Bearings compensated at the nano-level for consistency, speed, and response”, we apply an engineered lubrication process which consists of a nanomaterial stack that helps correct for surface level imperfections that occur during the bearing fabrication process. These surface level imperfections occur on every aspect of the bearing system including the steel components, the polymeric cage, and, where applicable, the ceramic rolling elements. We also have proprietary dopants which are used in the ceramic rolling elements. These dopants help increase the durability of the ceramic materials.
There you have it, I’m impressed, the only problem I have is that I cannot get these in the UK without an expensive shipping fee. However they’re stocked in bunch of skate stores in the USA, so if you get the chance give the Ryan Decenzo Signature Series Isotopes bearings a go and let me know how you get on with them.
Along with some super bearings, you also need to have good footwear, so check out my article on the best trainers for skateboarding beginnners