Chris King Debuts Ceramic Bearing Bottom Bracket

Chris King ceramic bearing bottom brackets

Chris King is now offering their bottom brackets with ceramic bearings in both road and mountain bike versions for standard outboard bearing cranks. The bottom bracket is identical in construction to their standard BB but with color changes to the center sleeve, spindle sleeves and seal retainer snap ring, helping identify the new model. Quick specs:

  • Made in the USA
  • 5-year warranty
  • Fully serviceable bearing. Designed to work with our BB Injector Tool
  • 24 balls per bearing
  • Cups available in 10 colors
  • $199 for Shimano compatible external bearing 24 mm crank spindles
  • $209 for SRAM GXP compatible external bearing 24 mm crank spindles

They’ve also updated their recommendations (opens as a PDF) for regreasing BB bearings with their special tool, shown after the break along with a closeup of the bearings…

Chris King ceramic bottom bracket bearings

Comments

Erich - 07/14/11 - 8:35pm

Any word in the press release as to what led them to produce a ceramic BB? Chris King has always seemed to eschew things not proven to have a necessary or marked performance increase. If I’m not mistaken they even used to have a little blurb on their website as to why they don’t use ceramic bearings in their headsets. Ceramic bearings don’t have much of an advantage in dirty (ie, outside, rather than on a factory line), low RPM environments so it seems a departure from King’s normal ethos. Perhaps it was an easy change to swap in new bearings, and there was suitable customer demand? Just curious.

norcom - 07/14/11 - 9:06pm

Did the patent on ceramic bearings run out or something? Chris King said they didn’t need the headset lock-ring but as soon as the patent ran out they released that as an “upgrade”.Their stuff’s pretty but I wouldn’t buy it; again.

michael - 07/14/11 - 11:15pm

Having ceamic bearings won’t increase performance on a Chris King BB, beacuase CK’s seals cause so much drag.
You could take anyother brand BB fill it up with dirt and it would still have less friction then a Chris King.
If you want a BB that will last forever use Chris King, if you want high performance use an Enduro XD-15.

socratease - 07/15/11 - 1:02am

@michael–lol
compared to any stock bottom bracket, chris kings have way, way less drag, especially after they wear in. Also, the suspicion I have, is that under load, seal drag has very little effect compared to how smooth a bearing is. I haven’t tried an XD-15, however. It looks like a great product. Still, I’ve met a few customers that eat through Shimano and Truvativ bottom brackets in the matter of months. The King BB is a nice upgrade.

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