Eagle Kolossos Bearing Performance Tips and Maintenance

AK
posted by Ard Kessels
March 18, 2021

So now that you’re considering or have already purchased an Eagle Kolossos Oversized Derailleur Cage, let’s talk about maximizing your performance.

Our Eagle cage has been available for a few weeks and the interest in this product has been mind blowing.

Clearly mountain bikers are also wanting in on the action of reduced friction, while maintaining shift performance and chain retention. To that we say: “You’re Welcome!”

Prioritizing Reduced Friction

Our Kolossos Oversized Derailleur Cages are mostly aimed at reducing friction. To this end, we decided to ship all Kolossos with road seals. While it will make you faster, the bearings in your Kolossos are not shipped to compete in a Belgian mud fest.

How does that work? The first line of defense in protecting bearings are the dust covers. Our dust covers are set up with a nifty labyrinth construction, but technically they are open.

The road seals offer splash protection, but they are lightly brushing the races, not fully sealing the internals. Water will still be able to reach the bearings if you ride in wet conditions.

Choose Your Level of Protection

Kogel offers two seal options on all bearings: road seals for lowest friction and cross seals for best protection in off-road use and wet conditions.

Since our Headquarters are in the Chihuahuan Desert, we typically are not too worried about bearing protection from wet riding conditions.

We get some dust (actually a lot of dust), but that’s relatively easy on bearings and bike parts. In fact, most of our employee and shop bikes are set up with road seals, whether they are road, gravel or mountain rigs.

On the other hand, mountain biking on the East Coast or in the Pacific Northwest can be a different cookie, with frequent rain turning trails into muddy pools. We do not advocate riding on muddy trails to prevent erosion, but even moist ground will sling mud on your drivetrain. Just like you need a different chain lube for these conditions, it is best to use cross seals to protect the bearing internals.

Switching Seals to Match Your Trails

One of the beautiful features of any Kogel Bearings product is that seals are not a lifetime commitment. Bearing seals are available, cheap and can be switched in just a few minutes with minimal tools.

Just pick up some bearing grease, a pick or a scalpel and a set of allen wrenches, and you’ll be ready to swap seals on any of our Kolossos and oversized pulley sets. Check out our race prep video here.

Swapping Bearing Seals

The operation is quite simple. To get access to the seals: remove the pulleys from your derailleur, remove the dust covers and the bearing seals.

This is also a good time to clean your bearings. To properly clean your bearings; flush them out with a degreaser, dry them with compressed air and reapply low-friction grease.

Next, install a fresh new set of seals  and reassemble your derailleur cage. You can probably knock this out in around 15 minutes.

With this knowledge, it is time to let your creative juices flow: make a summer and winter setup part of your service schedule. Heck, think of it as another reason to host happy hour in your garage with all your riding buddies.

Finally, consider switching seals for tomorrow’s ride if you need to hang with the A-Group or if the trail looks to be muddy or is known for river crossings. You are in charge! Seal options are here to support your adventures, not restrict them.

Getting Caught Out in The Rain…Err Mud

If you happened to misjudge the conditions it’s no big deal as long as you handle it right after your ride. Hanging up a muddy bike and hoping it will be OK for next Sunday is not going to work.

Make post-ride cleaning part of your routine just like the post-ride shower. And if you do get caught in muddy or rainy conditions with road seals, follow your regular cleaning and drying routine, but in addition, remove pulleys, clean any mud inside and out and regrease.

We realized that those tiny 2mm allen heads are fragile, so replacement screws are available (in seven colors. Whooop!), as well as extra Kolossos wheels if you want a set just for muddy or training rides. We can even send you a new cage if you were in an unfortunate situation.

In the meantime, ride safe, maintain your bearings, and enjoy your Kolossos Eagle Oversized Derailleur Cage.

Ard

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