Crank Brothers is a well-known bicycle manufacturing company. Maintenance-free plain bearings from igus®, the motion plastics specialist, are used in Crank Brothers’ pedals. Tests conducted at igus® and Crank Brothers confirm an eight times longer service life than alternative solutions. There are various types of bicycles, as well as reasons for using them. Some use bikes as daily transportation vehicles, while others use them for leisure. The components used in off-roading bicycles are unique because they have to be able to withstand hard shocks. Products made by Crank Brothers are created to accommodate this. The company manufactures a range of components for mountain bikes, from wheels and handlebars to pedals. The California-based company also develops its products together with professional cyclists and is recognized for innovative design combined with premium components, fit for the highest demands of its users.
Crank Brothers is promoting the use of premium components in their newly developed pedals. These components include iglide® plain bearings from igus®, which are optimized for friction and wear. iglide® bearings also have long service life and are lightweight, which are important criteria in the bicycle industry. Furthermore, since iglide® plain bearings are self-lubricating and dry-running, dirt cannot adhere to them, meaning the bearing points remain smooth even in harsh conditions. “In addition, there are very large impact loads in the open country, which the bearings have to withstand,” explains René Achnitz, the head of iglide® plain bearings division at igus® GmBH. “Here, however, our solutions can easily keep up with the properties of metallic alternatives.” Lightweight is just as important as the bearing point functionality, since every gram moved requires additional effort from the rider.
In 2016, Crank Brothers changed its entire portfolio of pedals. The company had previously considered cheaper alternatives, however, it soon became apparent that these alternatives could not meet the required life expectancy. “We have built up a customer-specific test facility for Crank Brothers in out laboratory in Cologne,” reports René Achnitz of igus®. “As a result, the iglide® plain bearings reached an eight 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. The test resulted in a 74 times better service life value. These test results underscore the high-quality requirements of Crank Brothers and their pledge to rely on high-quality components in the latest generation of their pedals, which lead to longer service life, higher performance and more durability.
The expert and practical experience that igus® has in the two-wheeler industry is evident in the fact that wear-resistant iglide® plain bearings in the rear derailleur contributed to three medals won in mountain bike competitions at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. At the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, iglide® bearings were also represented in the suspension fork of the bike used by winner Sabine Spitz.