MAKE AN INFORMED PURCHASE
It has come to our attention that certain bearing kits that
are not well-suited to suspension applications are being marketed as "upgrades." Such kits may actually
compromise your bicycle's performance and/or cost you extra money for "benefits" that do not exist. Here
are some suspension bearing facts that will help you to make an informed decision:
steel bearing kits are not necessarily an upgrade. Stainless bearings and races are SOFTER and will
not last as long as hardened chromium steel in high-load suspension applications.
2) Generally speaking, "caged" bearings (those that have ball retainers) are not the best for suspension
loads. When possible, be sure that you are getting "MAX" bearings (also known as "full complement"),
which use no retainers or cages, contain more balls per bearing, and are designed specifically for high-load, low rotational
applications. Unlike caged bearings, MAX bearings are ideally suited for extreme axial and thrust loads. MAX
bearings are stronger. For example, a standard 6903 2RS cartridge bearing has a static capacity rating of 477.
The 6903 2RS MAX cartridge bearing has a rating of 763.
not all bearing sizes specified by manufacturers are available in a MAX version, some kits may contain caged bearings, but
these exceptions will be few, and often are double-row bearings, which also offer exceptional strength.
3) ABEC ratings above 3 are overkill for suspension bearings. ABEC ratings are based on a number of things,
including tolerances, noise, and vibration levels at very high RPM's. Suspension bearings do not even make
a full rotation. Our MAX bearings are ABEC 3 rated. If you purchase a bearing with a higher ABEC rating, it will
likely be a caged bearing and will handle less static load.
4) Certain companies
are offering ceramic and ceramic hybrid bearings for suspension pivots. They are either ignorant or dishonest.
In these high-load, low-rotation applications, you will be spending a lot of money for no performance gain. In fact,
you will be paying extra for weaker bearings. Be especially careful to never use a full ceramic bearing (ceramic balls
and ceramic races) for a suspension pivot. The races are much more sensitive to shock and could crack.