Podcast #081 – Enduro explains Backside Bracket bearings

Podcast #081 – Enduro explains Backside Bracket bearings


I’m again with Matt Harvey from Enduro Bearings for spherical two, all about Backside Brackets!

Should you haven’t listened to our first chat, I like to recommend it as we go so deep down the rabbit gap of bearings that it’ll give you numerous to consider as you’re attempting to optimize your bike.

On this episode, we concentrate on Backside Brackets as a result of Enduro not too long ago launched a report that reveals the outcomes of years of testing many fashionable manufacturers of BBs, however the numbers want some explaining. You’ll discover the charts and a few attention-grabbing knowledge beneath, together with a abstract rationalization to accompany the deeper dive on this interview.

Additionally within the interview are extra enjoyable information about backside bracket bearings, design, and supplies…undoubtedly value a pay attention. Big because of Matt for the added explanations!

enduro bottom bracket bearing durability comparison test results chart

At first look, this chart makes it seem as if each different backside bracket examined fails miserably, which isn’t the case. I spoke with Matt about this at Sea Otter and we agreed that an in-depth dialog about what these numbers actually imply was so as.

Earlier than you have a look at this chart and assume that every one of these different manufacturers suck, let’s speak concerning the elements that result in the efficiency variations, after which additional down I’ll present why this specific chart is visually deceptive.

The full report is out there for obtain on Enduro’s web site, however right here’s the gist of it:

  • Bearing measurement issues most
  • Bearing and Race materials comes subsequent
  • Bearing design is final

Bearing Design
The rationale bearing design is least necessary is as a result of most manufacturers use the identical or extraordinarily comparable designs, and since you principally have solely two choices: Angular Contact, and Sealed Cartridge. The overwhelming majority of manufacturers use Sealed Cartridge and purchase these from a small pool of third events (typically Enduro!), in order that they’re largely interchangeable apart from Enduro’s MaxHit, which use a customized, a lot deeper channel for the balls to roll in.

Angular contact is, theoretically, higher, however a lot tougher to setup and keep, and for many customers, the added work and danger of doing it fallacious isn’t value it. We clarify why within the podcast.

enduro bearings bearing size and material comparison specs chart

Bearing & Race Materials
Enduro’s XD15 materials mixed with ceramic balls is principally the longest enduring combo you may get, at the very least of these examined, but in addition just about general.

Chromium Metal is the least costly and more than likely to corrode, so it requires probably the most upkeep. It would put on extraordinarily rapidly if water, mud or different contaminants get in there.

440C Stainless is a softer metal than the XD15 however nonetheless good, nevertheless bearing measurement performs a large position in its sturdiness.

enduro bottom bracket bearing size comparison

Bearing Measurement
Merely put, greater balls roll extra slowly, which suggests decrease put on, and so they have a bigger contact patch, which suggests higher skill to deal with larger hundreds.

Bearing Design…once more
So, really, on the subject of becoming greater balls right into a bearing, design issues quite a bit. Enduro’s MaxHit merchandise use the shell of the product because the outer race, which frees up room for greater balls.

enduro bottom bracket bearing size comparison

Relying on the mix of bearing measurement and materials choice, mixed with the situations you journey in and your upkeep efforts, a backside bracket’s sturdiness can go from weeks or months to a decade. Sure, Enduro has had prospects placing in hundreds of miles per yr for a decade on the identical backside bracket.

Now, again to that chart…

enduro bottom bracket bearing durability comparison test results chart

New bearings, irrespective of which of them, will usually contribute about 0.25 watts of drag to a motorbike. Added all up in your drivetrain, it’s perhaps 2-3 watts complete, excluding seal drag. It’s not a lot.

Which is why the numbers above threw me at first. On the left are AMPLIFIED watts, not precise watts. And that’s as a result of Enduro needed to amplify the readings by 12x with a view to see a distinction…as a result of energy meters merely aren’t delicate sufficient to measure small fractions of watts.

If we had been taking a look at precise wattage variations, the chart would look extra like this:

compressed enduro bottom bracket bearing durability comparison test results chart

The precise wattage distinction between backside brackets from the very best case to the purpose simply earlier than failure is round 0.7 watts. Now, when it fails, it fails, however so long as the bearings are stored clear and greased, the distinction in DRAG goes to be minimal.

That doesn’t essentially imply they gained’t develop play and really feel a bit of sloppy, however they gained’t acquire a lot drag…till they fail.

The deceptive quantity on the chart is the lifespan. The check was performed with a 360º load on the bearings, however in actuality, BB bearings are solely about 1/3 loaded (on the underside) once we’re pedaling. So, that’s a 3x over actuality.

Subsequent, the load on the bike was equal to a 480lb rider placing out a constant 600 watts, which averages someplace round 4x the load put onto the bearings by a typical rider.

So, if we have a look at even the worst performing BB on the chart failing at ~35 hours and multiply by the masses, that’s:

35 x 3 x 4 = 420 hours at 100rpm

420 hours is 210 days of two hour rides, which is at the very least a pair years value of using for many of us. So whereas it could seem like some manufacturers fail a lot before others, the fact is that every one of them final a very very long time.

Why geek out on this?

Nicely, if I’m being trustworthy, I’m associates with each model on that checklist. So after I first noticed this, I’m considering “Crap, they’re all going to hate me if I publish that chart.” However the extra I checked out it, the extra questions I had. In the end, simply sharing the uncooked chart would do a disservice to you and the opposite manufacturers, so I needed to place it into perspective.

Enduro has loads of feedback within the report for every model, explaining why they assume some did higher than others. Between this submit, that report, and the podcast interview, I hope you’ll get a greater understanding of BBs and bearings and never be afraid to query what you see. I’m glad I did, and glad Matt’s all the time eager to share his expertise.

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