The pros are an interesting bunch, always looking for any little edge they can get. Sometimes it’s aero, sometimes it’s nutrition and sometimes it’s just making the parts they’re already using work better. For the latter, CyclingCeramic says half the pro peloton at this year’s Tour de France turned to their bearings for their wheels, bottom brackets and/or derailleur pulley wheels.
Shown above on official partner IAM Cycling’s team bikes, you’d also unofficially find them on at least four more of the largest, most well known teams’ bikes, too.
What makes them special? They start with high quality ceramic balls, then polish them for 45 days to enhance the smoothness and roundness, which minimizes surface contact area. Then, they use a tougher, lighter polyamide carrier to position the bearings between the races. For the bottom brackets, which see higher forces than the other parts, they developed a special hardening process for the races to improve durability, overall smoothness and resistance to corrosion. Lastly, they developed their own seals that maximize the “fluidity” of the balls’ movement inside while keeping contaminants out. It’s all hand assembled in France in their own facility, so they have control over the final product. Roll on for product pics and options…
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