Ball Bearings: Who Uses What

Some rollerski makers only produce frames, others also mill hubs and even mold rubber in house.

One thing that all of them have to buy from third parties is, perhaps, the most crucial element in construction:

Ball bearings.

Devout rollerskiers want to shave a fraction of second from their results and thus use mega-expensive ceramic bearigns that they also clean before each race. We reckon there are only a few hundred people like that on the planet – and they all/mostly are into speed rollerskiing.

The hundreds of thousands of “regular skiers” care more about longevity and reliability of their gear.

The most important quality of the ball bearings when it comes to rollerskiing is an ability to handle abusive treatment

Which means that pretty much any gear maker who cares about its good name has to put 2RS type of bearings on. One large online BB resource helpfully explains:”2RS” means that the bearing is watertight thanks to a sealing flange on both sides of the bearing”.

The quality of seal varies. Better known brands now charge anything between 2 and 5 euros per 2RS bearing.

The Norwegian IDT, that supplies summer skis to the national teams of Norway,Sweden and Russia, last year announced a full switch to SKF ball bearings
The German SRB, national team supplier at home, puts (also German – but actual BBs are made in Singapore, believe it or not!) FAG ball bearings on its wares
The rapidly growing Spanish Bonés went with IlQ-9 on its flagship models
The Finnish Marwe wasn’t open to revealing their supplier but noted that ” Quality is a very important issue for us – and has always been”

We say: in 2020 it’s both important and in a good taste not just to reveal but to actually advertise your component suppliers – especially if they carry fancy name. Everybody knows that there are Volvos – and then there are Volvos with Öhlins struts and / or Brembo calipers. No prize for guessing which one is atop model.

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