After 18+ months of development and testing, Danish drivetrain efficiency and ceramic bearing specialists, CeramicSpeed, has unveiled its SLT Bearings. The company claims that this represents ‘the breakthrough bearing product that carries the potential to revolutionise the off-road bearing market.’
SLT Bearings are developed entirely in-house, with the combined efforts and expertise of the sport and industrial divisions of CeramicSpeed. The product, described as a solid lubrication bearing that is maintenance free, highly durable and extremely protective against contaminants, has reportedly demonstrated longevity benefits three-times greater than the market leader for off-road pivot bearings.
As CeramicSpeed ramps up its efforts in the off-road cycling market, the company believes the breakthrough with SLT Bearings will make maintenance-free bearings the go-to bearing for the high-end off-road scene.
“We’re very excited about this product and strongly believe it has the potential to revolutionise the off-road bearing market,” said Martin Banke, Executive Vice President of CeramicSpeed. “One of the ongoing issues we have tackled has been the longevity challenges that face bicycle and component manufacturers in the off-road scene. SLT Bearings can overcome those challenges with impressive results and a unique maintenance-free characteristic.”
Earlier this year CeramicSpeed emphasised its off-road efforts by adding a proprietary pivot bearing test machine to its extensive list of bespoke testing equipment. The test machine was designed to capture longevity data of pivot bearings while simulating real-world loading/force conditions.
Having concluded the most recent round of longevity testing, CeramicSpeed claims that its SLT Bearings have outperformed the market leader for off-road pivot bearings, by as much as three times. Testing results, performed with 2500Nm of radial force, show the differences in wear between CeramicSpeed SLT Bearings after 1.8 million cycles and a market leader at 600,000.
“Our development of SLT Bearings has received overwhelming interest from our OEM partners,” said Jonathan Small who leads CeramicSpeed’s implementation of SLT Bearings for the off-road market.”
He added, “The demand for a high performing and more durable bearing for pivots has confirmed and validated our investment in using this technology for this application. CeramicSpeed Bearings have been proven throughout the elite off-road scene for several years with exceptional performances at multiple UCI MTB World Cup and World Championships, and the Cape Epic among others.”
As further testament to the longevity of CeramicSpeed’s new SLT Bearings, CeramicSpeed’s industrial division has reportedly been utilising the same technology with impressive results. CeramicSpeed hybrid bearings with SLT have ‘outperformed standard bearing solutions on service life by eight times or more, in conditions that are normally unsuitable for any bearing’. Here, the test was running the bearings partly submerged, running under daily exposure to splash water and detergents, and, in one real life test, in an acetone solution.
CeramicSpeed SLT Bearings are a hybrid bearing made up of CeramicSpeed Balls and Stainless Steel. They contain a polymer matrix saturated with lubrication oil. The matrix retains oil on the functional surfaces of the bearing under the harshest of conditions while at the same time preventing contaminants from entering the bearing. The manufacturing process of CeramicSpeed SLT Bearings requires the baking the bearings in hot ovens.
SLT Bearings will be available as aftermarket and OEM products. Initial focuses are on pursuing OEM opportunities before confirming release dates for the Aftermarket.