What Does 'MAX" Mean? "MAX" is Enduro's trademark for "full complement" bearings. These are application-specific bearings which have no retainers, allowing more balls to be packed inside of the cartridge. Compared to their caged counterparts, MAX bearings have an increased load capacity of 40% or more. They are ideally suited to high-load, low rotation applications (such as suspension pivots). MAX-E bearings are made to the same specifications, but the "E" designates a special extended inner race to eliminate the need for spacers.
THE BALLS are made from chromium steel. These high precision Grade 10 balls are 10/1,000,000” from exactly round in sphericity. For comparison, Shimano and Campagnolo use grade 25 balls in their top-level components. When talking ball grade, the smaller the number, the "rounder" the ball. And remember--MAX means extra balls for greater strength.
THE RACES are vacuum de-gassed 52100 high carbon chromium alloy steel, hardened to Rockwell C-62.
NO RETAINERS. Remember, that's the whole point with MAX bearings: More balls for greater strength in low rotation, high load applications.
THE SEALS are "LLU" medium/high contact labyrinth type, with 2 sealing lips which fit into a matching groove on the inner race. The outer sealing lip repels dirt and water while the inner sealing lip retains the grease. When the bearing is first turned, you will notice some grease will come out of the seals. This fills the chamber between these 2 sealing lips, forming a “hydromatic seal.” In MAX bearing applications, such as suspension pivots, we are more concerned about keeping contaminants on the outside and lubrication on the insided than we are about reducing seal friction. This makes the LLU a perfect match.
LLU: A full contact, dual lip seal riding in a groove on the inner race. With more sealing pressure, these are ideal for pivots or headsets that continually come in contact with dirt, sweat, and dust. The increased seal pressure and 2 lips help retain the 90% grease fill we use on these bearings to better displace any moisture and continually lubricate the balls and races.