Ceramic bearings on mountain bikes are a controversial topic, a surefire way to start a heated discussion over an after ride pint. Some riders feel high quality bearings bring no benefits for off road use, others feel life is too short to ride bad bikes. Let’s have a look at the benefits of ceramic bearings and how they apply to knobby tires.
Friction / coasting
I often hear the argument that that mountain bikes cause a lot of friction due to the weight and big tires and therefore saving friction in bearings is a wasted effort. I would argue that once you’re trying to grind your way across an Alpine pass, every effort to make that climb easier is a good one. In the end it does not matter where the reduction in overall drag comes from: using a tire with lower knobs or a bearing that spins better.
For a sport that relies heavily on coasting and acceleration, it is a great idea to make picking up momentum after a hairpin turn or ratcheting your rear wheel over a rock a bit more effortless. An optimized drive train will do just that.
- Coasting downhill = fun. Coasting downhill faster = more fun. Coasting downhill faster with friends = ....well, you catch my drift.
Kogel makes bearings specifically for off road use. Keeping the crud out and the grease in is the best way to extend the lifespan of your bearings. Once the bearings have a grease coating inside, they will not corrode and corrosion is the number one reason for bearing failure. Also, once dirt or water enters the bearing, a ceramic ball will not seize to the metal races. If you catch the problem early, the bearing can be saved with a simple service.
Peace of mind
Finding a creek or river crossing on your ride is going to be so much more enjoyable when you know your off road specific bearings will not be washed out once you reach the other bank. Head into that puddle or creek and step on it. BRAAAAAAP!
- Fiona Morris of the Speedvagen x MAAP team causing a tsunami. Her bearings are laughing in the face of mud and water.
Kogel Bearings stands behind their products. We believe in our quality so much that we back them up with a 2 year, very few questions asked warranty. If your bearings go bad, we will replace them for you, as long as you service them after one year of use. This warranty covers off road use and racing. No other bearing company offers this service. Regardless what you think of ceramic bearings, knowing that you will be taken care of for 2 years after your purchase is a reason to consider ceramic bearings in itself.
Whether you believe in the performance benefits of ceramic bearings or not, there are a few more reasons to consider Kogel ceramic bearings with cross seals for your next purchase. Making less trips to the service department or not worrying about getting your bike wet and muddy are two of them.