Kogel Bearings staff picks

Kogel Bearings staff picks

Posted by Ard Kessels on

We asked our team members to pick their favorite Kogel products and what made this article special to them. Whether it related to performance, looks or a good memory, we all seem to have that one piece in the collection that makes us smile when we have to pack it for shipping or take it out to show a new dealer.

While we usually try to be modest and critical of our own products, leaving the choice to the end user, expect this article to be all about the good things we love about Kogel Bearings.

Jay 

The ‘Not For Instagram’ Pulleys

In my opinion, this is the one product that undoubtedly shines above and beyond without even having one installed on your rear derailleur. Simply take it between your index finger, your thumb and give it a nice spin. This pulley set feels like it has the touch of dominance.

Whether you decide to roll with the Kogel Blue, or the gleaming red edition I can genuinely tell you this is the most badass pulley set you’ll ever own, period. 

 Sem 

PF30-24 bottom bracket

When asked what my favorite Kogel product is, I always respond with that’s an unfair question! It’s like being asked, coffee or beer? But I will say that the PF30-24 bottom bracket is one of my favorites. It has tied my Yeti and Shimano setup flawlessly via its ability to adapt a larger bb shell to a small spindle crank. There are no silly plastic adapters needed. The sleek design provided by the CNC machined cups offers a smooth transition. The ceramic bearing inside mated to cross seals keep things smooth, quiet and long lasting when we hit the terrain lab. 

  • The #terrainlab is the most fun lab

Tony 

12 tooth, narrow wide pulleys for Sram and Shimano

I’m a big fan of having a single chain ring on my cranks, I think it looks slick and simple. This is why I picked the 12T narrow/wide 1x11 pulleys as my favorite piece of kit. The pulleys are CNC machined aluminum: adding rigidity, increasing shifting performance and longevity. The narrow wide design keeps the chain in place when going through the rocky stuff and landing jumps.

I like how the ceramic bearings are super smooth. The extra protection of the cross seals makes them weather proof and easy to service with a syringe of our low friction grease and a set of seals.

Even though they are designed originally for the Sram X-Horizon 1x11 transmissions, upon request we will change the dust covers and you can use it on Shimano 10 and 11 speed mountain derailleurs. In SOME cases even on Shimano road, which is pretty badass because oversized pulleys will reduce friction without the hassle of replacing your cage.

  • oversized pulleys on a short cage derailleur? What's not to like?

Ard

BB92-30 bottom bracket. (Or is it the 386EVO-24?)

The BB92 to 30mm conversion bottom bracket was by far the hardest for us to develop. Fitting a 30mm spindle in a 41mm bottom bracket shell leaves very little room for cups, 2 sets of races, balls, retainers and our biggest challenge: cross seals to make the bottom bracket hold up to the elements. This setup is more popular on mountain than road bikes after all. We simply do not believe in a $190 race-day-only bottom bracket, it needs to be set and forget like other products in Kogel’s line. Buying almost every  conversion bottom bracket on the market, we realized there were two schools of thought to this problem:

  • Super skinny bearings in a cup (problem: the bearings are so small, there is no room for cross seals and the balls are the size of pinheads. Each of them causing durability issues)
  • A double row bearing with a machined frame stop. (good: eliminating the cup creates more room for larger bearing internals. Problem: the frame insert is too small, causing creaking and stability issues)

Getting this right took a lot of experimenting, brain storming and drawing design ideas on post-it notes. I felt like we won an Academy Award for ball bearings when we finally got it done. High fives all around the office!

On the other hand… When I randomly bumped into the president of the Unitedhealthcare team and his bike was creaking, I broke down the walls of big league sponsorship. All I did was take the plastic bottom bracket out of his bike and install a 386EVO-24, showing the before and after. That was a pretty cool day too. Choosing is hard, I have never been good at it :-)

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