Precision bearings for bicycles

We stock bike bearings for road bikes or mountain bikes to cover different applications. Our thin-section radial ball bearings, often referred to as cartridge bearings, can be used as bottom bracket bearings or bike wheel bearings (hub bearings) and are available with metal shields, rubber contact seals or our “2RU” rubber low friction seals. For greater corrosion resistance, we can supply these in stainless steel and with waterproof lubricants.

Wheel bearings for your bicycle or mountain bike

EZO use high quality hardened chromium steel or 440 grade stainless steel for longer life along with the smoothness and low friction normally associated with their bearings. The standard lubricant in shielded or sealed bearings is a water-resistant, hard-wearing lithium grease but we can also relubricate with a totally waterproof marine grade grease.

Bearing options are one of the most polarising issues in cycling. Regardless of whether you are a road cyclist, hobbyist or a competitive mountain biker, every rider is on the hunt for genuine watt savings. Unfortunately, with so much contradictory information out there, it’s hard to know what bearing type is best.

Interestingly, some argue that hybrid bearings do not make any difference to cycling performance at all. While there’s no doubt that ceramic bearings run with less friction, some believe that cycling rotation is too slow to reap noticeable results.

Data from Schaeffler disagrees. The research shows the frictional reduction of switching from steel to hybrid ceramic bearings at low speed is three per cent. Putting that into a cycling perspective, and the figure is huge. Three per cent was the difference between third and ninth place in the Olympics men’s road time trials. In fact, even an increased performance of just one and a half per cent would have meant the difference between first and second place.

Of course, this competitive gain comes at a cost. Good quality hybrid bearings aren’t cheap.  While the very top professionals are willing to pay for them, many hobbyist cyclists cannot justify the price; instead they resort to cheaper Chinese hybrid bearings.

By opting for lower cost Chinese hybrid bearings, the advantage of using a hybrid bearing over a stainless-steel version is lost. These lower quality hybrids simply aren’t manufactured to the same high standard, which impacts the rollability of the bearing.

When considering whether to compromise on quality for cost, it is important to recognise why certain bearing brands are more expensive. At SMB Bearings, we partner with bearing manufacturers from around the world. To ensure high quality bearings, we look out for manufacturers that put significant onus on quality checking and consistency. This way, we can ensure every bearing we stock is the exact same quality and consistency customers have grown to expect. 

This level of consistency is vital for industrial applications. However, we also understand its importance for cyclists. Let’s face it, if you’ve invested in your bike, you should invest in your bearings.

Download the latest bike bearings guide from SMB Bearings for further information about cycle bearings.

If you want tips on bike maintenance or repair, try For an online view of all things to do with mountain bikes, visit MBR or, if road bikes are more your thing, see RCUK.



bicycle bearings | bike bearings | cycle bearings
Bike wheel bearing | Bike bearings | Mountain bike bearings
Bike wheel bearing | Bike bearings | Mountain bike bearings

Our determination to remain specialised gives us a high level of product knowledge, providing bearing and lubrication solutions to existing or potential customers, whether individuals or large corporations. We don’t just sell bearings, we help to solve your problems. - Chris Johnson, managing director of SMB Bearings.