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7mm vs 8mm Axles

We specialise in Roller Derby skates and equipment, and we work hard to try and give you the best and most comprehensive information about the range of products available to UK Roller Derby Skaters.

Every time we attend an event we are asked time and time again: How Do I Choose The Right Plate?

Your plate is dictates how your skates work for you and is often the most misunderstood component of your skate setup. 90% of skaters tell us that they want “a lighter plate”, but very few skaters know which components of their plates are adding weight to their setup.

Here we are discussing Axles.

What is an Axle?

The axles are the part of your skate where your bearings sit, each skate has 2 axles, one at the front and one at the back, you put your bearings into your wheels, slide them on to the axle then use a nut to hold your wheels in place.

Why are some Axles 8mm and some 7mm?

7mm axles are the original roller skate standard set by the Snyder Company from 1939-1980. They were developed and produced for figure skaters who needed a quick responsive and durable plate that was lightweight and could stand the stresses of long term heavy usage and extended training and competition periods.

Today, the standard is to see 8mm Axles on plates. 8mm axles are cheaper and easier to mass produce than a precision 7mm axle. The additional 1mm width of an 8mm axle allows lower quality raw materials to be used and still achieve the durability and comparable responsiveness of a precision engineered higher quality plate. The 8mm axle concept is borrowed from skateboards and longboards and are designed for mass market consumption.

What is the Weight Difference?

The expected weight difference between a titanium 7mm axle and a standard steel 8mm axle is 110g, or around 10% of the total weight of your fully assembled plates.

What bearing does axle width have on the cost of a plate?

We are only aware of one manufacturer in the world today with the technology and equipment to be able to precision engineer a 7mm axle. They use the same titanium as lamborghini engines and have spent almost 20 years refining the original Snyder designs to produce a highly responsive, highly customisable and truly personalised skating experience.

7mm axle plates are built to last, they may be more expensive than mass produced 8mm axle plates.

Also to consider, if you are thinking about a 7mm axle is the additional cost of 7mm bearings and 7mm nuts, both of which are available, but your guessed it, are much harder to come by and more expensive than their 8mm equivalents.