With over 20 years of experience, we’re intimately familiar with how huge a difference small changes can make on your mountain bike but MTB bearings are one of the most overlooked components. You can’t steer, roll, pedal or have a functioning drivetrain without the right bearings, so we’ve put together this quick and simple guide on bearings.
Find listed below the types of bearings stocked in our expansive collection:
ABEC3 / ABEC5
ABEC stands for Annular Bearing Engineers’ Committee and is a method for rating the accuracy and durability of bearings. As a rule, the higher an ABEC rating the more accurate and precise the bearing is. So, an ABEC3 bearing (which is the more common bearing) has a lower control on tolerance than the ABEC5 but still rolls smoothly and is, therefore, a more cost-effective bearing for your wheels. However, if maximum performance is needed, the ABEC5 are ideal.
MAX bearings are designed specifically for suspension pivots, with a 35-40% higher load capacity than a standard radial bearing. This is achieved with a maximum number of balls and deeper race grooves for lateral support, associated with the twisting and multiple forces in mountain bike pivots – making them the ideal MTB bearing.
Angular contact bearings are used where a lateral force is put on them but they are still required to rotate freely. Used on some frames or bottom brackets such as Hollow Tech2, the bearings will allow for greater loads than standard bearings such as ABEC3 but will cope with forces sideways and keep everything inline and spinning free.