Anyone else get excited about bearings? While replacing the headset bearings in a Cannondale Scalpel the other day, Joel pulled the seals off the old and new bearings to compare the layout. The original SI bearings which use a caged bearing set, as can be seen, there is a sizeable gap in between each bearing, and a plastic retainer cage to maintain the spacing. This reduces the rolling resistance of the bearing at higher speeds, but doesn’t distribute load as well. It also tends to wear out quicker due to higher load on each bearing and on the races. This one has significant corrosion due to weathering and the particular exposure of the lower bearing:
Compare that to the new bearing, an Enduro Max bearing, which doesn’t use a cage. Instead, there is a full compliment of ball bearings inside the cartridge. This increases the rolling resistance of the bearing at high speeds and as such is better suited to headset bearings, and suspension pivot bearings, than it is to hub bearings or crank bearings which rotate at a higher rate. As the load is distributed across a greater number of bearings, each one wears less, as do the races. This one should last much better in this application:
We sell Enduro Max bearings as well as Enduro standard bearings for hubs and bottom brackets.