The company Crankbrothers from the USA is a permanent fixture among 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 Crankbrothers confirm an eight times longer service life compared to alternative solutions. In the case of bicycles, the different types and structures are as different as they have their intended uses. For some, it is mere means of transportation in everyday life, for others, fitness equipment, company vehicles or even equipment for leisure-time fun. There are also big differences among the latter - from cool city cruisers to off-road mountain bikes, where the components sometimes have to cope with hard impacts. Products from Crankbrothers from the USA are used here. The company manufactures components for mountain bikes - from wheels or handlebars to pedals. The California-based company develops its products together with professional cyclists and stands for innovative design combined with premium components for the highest demands of users.
Crankbrothers was looking for a suitable solution for the 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.
The manufacturer advertises the use of premium components, especially for the newly developed pedals from Crankbrothers. This also includes iglidur plain bearings, which are optimised for friction and wear. A long service life combined with a very lightweight feature are important criteria in the bicycle industry. Since our plain bearings operate dry, no dirt can stick to them. As a result, 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. “Our solutions can easily keep up with the specifications of metallic alternatives.” However, the lightweight feature is at least as important when cycling as the functionality of bearing points, as every gram to be moved requires additional force from the rider.
Among other things, Crankbrothers has revised its entire portfolio of pedals in 2016. The company had thought about cost-effective alternatives in the past. It soon became apparent that they could not meet the required service life expectations. "We have built up a customer-specific test facility for Crankbrothers in our laboratory in Cologne," reports René Achnitz of igus. "As a result, the iglidur plain bearings reached a service life that was eight times longer than the solution originally conceived by the manufacturer." Following this test, Crankbrothers also arranged for an in-house test, where the plain bearings were tested in contact with dirt under real conditions. In fact, the result was 74 times better in terms of service life. These test results underpin Crankbrothers' high quality standards and the promise to use high-quality components for the latest generation of their pedals that lead to greater longevity, durability and performance.