The company Crank Brothers from the USA is a solid icon for mountain bike fans. Maintenance-free plain bearings of the motion plastics specialist igus are used in the pedals of this manufacturer. Tests at igus and at Crank Brothers confirm an eight times longer service life compared to alternative solutions. In bicycles the different types and superstructures are as different as they have uses. For some, it is mere means of transport in everyday life, for others, fitness machines, utility vehicles or even equipment for leisure time fun. In the latter segment, there are also great differences - from the cool city cruiser to the off-road mountain bike, where the components sometimes have to withstand hard shocks. The products from Crank Brothers of the USA are used here. The company manufactures components for mountain bikes - from wheels and handlebars up to pedals. The company based in California develops its products together with professional cyclists and stands for innovative design combined with premium components, fit for the highest demands of the users.
The company Crank Brothers was looking for a suitable solution for their pedal bearing. Among other things, the focus was on weight reduction and a long service life. However, the previously tested solutions could not achieve the desired objectives and were sensitive to dirt accumulation.
Thanks to plain bearings made of the material iglidur JB the company was able to achieve a service life 8 times longer than the previous solution. Furthermore, the weight could be reduced at the same time. The bearings are insensitive to dirt and can be easily cleaned without compromising performance.
Especially with the newly developed pedals of Crank Brothers, the manufacturer promotes the use of premium components. These include iglidur plain bearings from the motion plastics specialist igus based in Cologne, which are optimised for friction and wear. A long service life combined with very low weight are important criteria in the bicycle industry. Furthermore, since iglidur plain bearings operate dry, no dirt can adhere to them. So the bearing points remain smooth even in the most adverse conditions. "In addition, there are very large impact loads in the open country which the bearings have to withstand," explains René Achnitz, head of the iglidur plain bearings division at igus. "Here, however, our solutions can easily keep up with the properties of metallic alternatives. " Low weight is, however, at least as important as the functionality of bearing points as every gram to be moved requires additional effort from the rider.
In 2016, Crank Brothers had revised its entire portfolio of pedals. The company had thought about cheaper alternatives in the past. However, it soon became apparent that these could not meet the required service life expectancy. "We have built up a customer-specific test facility for Crank Brothers in our laboratory in Cologne," reports René Achnitz of igus. "As a result, the iglidur plain bearings reached an 8 times longer service life than the solution originally conceived by the manufacturer. " Following this test, Crank Brothers also carried out an in-house test at the company, where the plain bearings were tested under real conditions in contact with dirt. Here it resulted in a 74 times better value with regard to the service life. These test results underscore the high quality requirements of Crank Brothers and the pledge to rely on high-quality components in the latest generation of their pedals, which lead to more service life, durability and performance.
The long practical experience of igus in the two-wheeler industry is already apparent from the fact that the wear-resistant iglidur plain bearings in the rear derailleur contributed to three medals in the mountain bike competitions at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. At the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, iglidur bearings were also represented - this time in the suspension fork of the bike used by winner Sabine Spitz.