Question: Are inline skate bearings with rubber shields lighter than those with metal shields?
Answer: A rubber shield bearing is 10.9 grams while a metal shield bearing is 11.3 grams.
How I found out: I weighed a set of twelve new Wicked Twincam ILQ-9 Classic metal shield bearings. They weigh 135 g in total, which equates to 11.3 g each. Then I did the same for a set of new Rollerblade Twincam ILQ-9 Pro rubber shield bearings, which weigh in at 10.9 g each.
For a triskate, which uses six bearings, the saving would be 2.3 g, and for a skate with four wheels and eight bearings, the weight reduction would be 3.0 g.
In comparison, my Powerslide Reign Helios hockey skate weighs in at 1357 g (would be a bit less if I kept the original wheels). My Rollerblade Macroblade 100 weighs 1644 g.
If you look at these numbers in perspective, shaving off some 3 or 4 grams on a skate gives you a weight saving of less than 0.3%. It’s practically nothing!
P.S. Switching from one skate to another, just for the sake of saving weight, may be worth it. In my case, switching from a four wheel fitness skate to a buckle-free hockey triskate saved me almost 300 g, This really did make a difference!