Our THM road and mountain bike kits use the same HSC hybrid ceramic bearings that we've been working with for years, and highly recommend. HSC's ceramic bearings use grade 3 silicon nitride (Si3N4) balls, the highest grade available to cyclists. The hybrid bearings use hardened steel races and low-friction seals and retainers to minimize drag. The grade of the ball bearings refers to their sphericity in thousandths of an inch. Put simply, the lower the number, the closer the ball is to being perfectly spherical. As a reference, the highest quality stainless steel ball used for cycling applications is rated at grade 25, and many ceramic hybrid manufacturers use grade 5 ceramic balls. Advantages over standard steel bearings include: lighter weight, lower thermal expansion and deformation under load, lower friction with reduced start and running torques, and reduced wear for longer running life. Again, put simply, ceramic bearings allow you to roll faster with reduced effort over a longer period before needing replacement.
The THM Full Ceramic bottom bracket bearings use the same grade 3 silicon nitride balls as the hybrid ceramics but take advantage of dual ceramic races. The races, being of the same material and therefor hardness as the balls, last longer and resist pitting under high use and loads. The full ceramic bearing also uses dual labrynth seals instead of a traditional seal to further minimize drag and protect the bearing's internals.
THM Ceramic Bearing Hub Installation
As with all ceramic bearings we recommend an experienced mechanic with a professional quality bearing press perform all hub overhauls and bearing installations. Improperly side loading the inner race will ruin a bearing causing increased drag, negating the performance advantages, and potential failure.
Free Installation on New Bottom Brackets
We'll install all THM Ceramic Upgrade Kits purchased with a bottom bracket or cranks free of charge before shipping. This way you can make sure that your bearings are properly installed and you'll receive all the performance benefits of ceramic bearing upgrades. Make sure to drop us a note on your order letting us know you'd like your bearings installed.