Found: C-Bear Belgian Ceramic Bearing Bottom Brackets

C-Bear Belgian ceramic bearing bottom brackets

All photos courtesy of Diana Kotas

C-Bear is a Belgian company that makes ceramic bearing bottom brackets, all with a 2-year warranty on the bearings. The Lotto pro team’s been racing them on the road, and there’s also a mountain bike bearing that’s more waterproof which Niels Albert rode for an entire season with no issues.

The company was started because they wanted something that would roll smooth and last longer, so they pack in more grease, using different seals and lubricants depending on the intended application. To make them stronger and fit better, they’re available for virtually every crankset on any bike without adapters. That reduces the number of parts used, particularly for combinations like Shimano cranksets on BB30/PFBB30 frames. Same for BB386, PF86, BB90, BBright, etc.

They’ve been around in Belgium since 2008, and they’ve started distributing in the US in December 2012 through Ard Kessels, owner of Sprocket Scientists.

Comments

Neil - 03/18/13 - 5:20pm

I’ve seen these and can say they are just beautiful pieces of engineering and manufacturing.

Danno - 03/18/13 - 5:46pm

Welcome to America. I ordered direct last spring so I could put Campy 11 on my Tarmac SL3.

Sprocket Scientist - 03/18/13 - 6:14pm

Thanks for posting this Tyler!
We can be reached by phone or email until the US website is on line.
703-606-0897 or info@sprocketscientist.com

Ard

Max - 03/18/13 - 7:19pm

Like every other “Cermic magic Bearing” wizard company. They claim, that’s the bearings are better but on a bicycle the only effective way to rduze drag of bearings is:

-lower the grease to oil or just nothing
-use lower effective seals
-use bearings with higher play

This is reduzing freation on brand new bearings a lot but will cause higher wear at all and war will cause more friction under load compared to a bearing with proper sealing, proper play and proper grease. This is a fact which is mentioned already in the bearing handbook of my father (this book is printed in the sowjet union and pritty the same is written in the SKF bearing handbook today…)

If you want the best bearings you can get, you will choose SKF Explorer bearings. Without ceramic balls this bearings are expansive like hell. They will run with high drag on the beginning but after 200km they will do the best Job you can get from ball bearings. And well the question “When they are so good, why aren’t they on market yet”. Answer is pritty easy: You have to buy at least 5000 or 10000 pcs. to get them and without the “magic” ceramic you can’t sell this bearing to anyone. Brandnew they have a to high drag so you cant claim them “dragless” like the ceramic bullshit. And well normal bearings are already good enough for bicycles.

So please guys, stop the “we found a new company which sells hybrid cermic bearings you don’t need for high prices” stories and search for something realy new ;)
Reset Racing with very light Bearings
Disassembly of the new Shimano SM-BB9000
Acros with angular contact bearings (god to resist to high preloads which are often applied to Hollowtech II Cranks)

Sprocket Scientist - 03/18/13 - 7:46pm

Max,

Thank you for your feedback, I think I need to put a few things into perspective here.

C-Bear does not claim to have the magic bearing, they just make a very good quality bearing which we back up with our warranty and world tour results. But that is not the (only) point.

What C-bear does, is offer is a high end solution for bottom brackets. They try to fit any crank set on any frame as long as it makes sense. This is done without using adapters. The combination of high quality ceramic bearings, that are actually durable, and high quality components makes C-Bear unique.

Again, I do not plan to start a long discussion here. If want to discuss more on this, feel free to email me.

Ard

Just Wow - 03/18/13 - 7:48pm

BR better not show any more full suspension bikes, cause lord knows there is already another suspension bike out there that is better so telling people about it is a waste of time blah blah blah blah.

C’mon Max, until you calm down, let go of the keyboard and enable grammar/spell/punctuation check on your chrome browser. This site isn’t catered to your needs and wishes. The stuff above ain’t bad, and another company doing the same thing as another has to try and out market and engineer the competition to succeed. Not to mention, competition does nothing but drive improvement in said category.

Matt - 03/18/13 - 8:39pm

Pretty cool.

Adam - 03/18/13 - 9:46pm

We’ve had excellent experiences with these bearing sets at our shop. Smooth rolling and exceptionally durable (especially with the red-sealed bearings). Price points are very good considering the quality of the product too. On a personal note, Ard is also a super cool guy and has been a pleasure to deal with!

Alan - 03/18/13 - 10:30pm

Way to say it like it is Ard. I’m not a fan of the Wheels MFG adapters. Simpler is better in this case. Look forward to trying these

Dantrell Eisenstien - 03/18/13 - 11:51pm

Great company to deal with and the advantages aren’t just in the bearings but also the fittings. C-Bear also makes Ultra-Torque bearings with seals (gasp!) on both sides of the bearings. Rock on, Ard!

Aybars Surucu - 03/19/13 - 3:18am

C-Bear had saved our life, the week XX groupset was introduced to market and started to sell to retailers.

We had ordered a set for S-Works Stumpjumper but we skipped OSBB standard of frame.

SRAM had announced the existance of BB for OSBB on OEM list but it was not in stock anywhere… C-Bear had already prepared a BB for XX / OSBB interface that week and shipped us in 3 days.

High quality and reasonable prices.

Steve - 03/19/13 - 4:27am

It is always nonsense to write about the “so-called” ceramic bearings!
There are so called hybrid bearings since run Ceramic balls on steel and that is not a 100 owned Ceramic bearings. Because either one would Ceramic coating may be applied to the track, or it would have to be completely made of special Ceramic.
Besides these, these bearings are only useful when very high speeds are used.
Something is only used in industry and in heavy industry!
For the bike area, these bearings, the Absolute rubbish!

A standard BB30 bearings from INA / FAG manufactured in perfect quality in Japan, they are the absolute best thing you can take. These bearings you get here in Germany for about 15, – to 20, – € the piece!

Even Cannondale has realized this and developed together with new SKF bearings!
The bearings are then internally get a plastic cage instead of a steel cage, and then be without Ceramic.

Steve - 03/19/13 - 6:40am

These look like rebranded HSC units, i.e the same as Uniti for similar (http://www.fixcycles.co.uk/Bottom_Brackets/cat974315_1731325.aspx)

Peter - 03/19/13 - 7:44am

Steve, I think your missing the point here. The reason why C-Bear is such a great product is not the fact that it has ceramic bearings. That’s number two. It’s the fact that C-Bear has created a solution to fit just about any crank set onto any frame out there. With so many “standards” out these days sometimes you’re stuck using various adapters that work but don’t always work well and make noises after a while. This is a one solution that is built in into the BB for what ever your need is. C-Bear has far more options available than what you posted in that link, so i doubt it its the same. I’ve ridden with Ard a few times and he’s a great guy to deal with. Best of luck to him on spreading the word on these!

DRC - 03/19/13 - 7:50am

I’ve been running these on my SL4 for around 4 months and they are great. Perfect fit in the carbon OSBB and a great replacement for the delrin cups from Specialized that kept creaking even after 3 rebuilds.

sprocket scientist - 03/19/13 - 8:57am

Thanks all for the kind words!
In the next year we will be working hard to contact bike shops around the US. If you want c-bear to be available from your local shop, please drop us a line or ask them to contact us. We will work closely together with them to establish a superior service network.

Ard

Maarten - 03/19/13 - 10:09am

I’m from Belgium and as many I wanted to test this hype.
they are just as good as any other bearing kit.
In the future I’ll save my money and will just buy XTR bearings for about 18 euro’s they last just as long.

Hannes - 03/19/13 - 12:03pm

Well, any crankset in any Frame? I can’t see a solution for BB30 Crank in BB92 or BB89,5 Frame. And yes this is possible. Just look at THM / BOR / Tune (they are all selling the same bearing)

Matt - 03/19/13 - 2:44pm

Great to see these bearings getting some press. They have been a great solution for the infamous Specialized BBOS creak that plagued many of my riders. In the current world of never ending BB standards, C-BEAR has quality solutions for matching customer frames to their desired cranksets. When shopping for companies to work with customer service / support is paramount and Ard has been about as good as we have found in the industry. Wether its a quick phone call for a product question to installing the product himself on customer bikes, I hope this attention to detail isn’t lost as this company grows. It’s also nice not having to order as much Loctite 609.

Something would always seem wrong about using a $40 plastic PF30 bearing set up on custom Indy Fab and…

Post a comment:

Comment sections can be a beautiful source of knowledge, conversation and comedy. They can also get pretty ugly, which is why we've updated our Comments Policy. If your comment isn't showing up or suddenly disappears, you might want to check it out.