Wookie approved: Kogel Bearings durability test

Posted by Ard Kessels on

How did Kogel Bearings survive the winter?

With he temperatures rising and the CX season well behind us, it is time to reflect on Chandler Snyder's test, which put our bottom brackets through a hard season of Chicago CX.

This is an edited version of the full article presented here on The Embrocation Cycling Journal.

Seeing what a season of riding can take out of both riders, and their bikes, can also take it out of the mechanic…that’s me. At this point in the year I usually see things at their worst. People get lazy towards the end of the season with a lot of “it’ll get me through” mentality running around. Bearings are usually seized and pretty much only worth an obligatory social media post to show “how hard CX is”, before they are tossed in the garbage and replaced with the exact same thing…garbage.

The picture of the left is of a generic bottom bracket after three muddy rides. The PF30-24 on the right is boxfresh and ready for action.

Kogel Bearings has come through the end of the season in flying colors. The 3 riders who took them back and forth across the country for a season have weighed in with their thoughts and impressions.

Would I recommend Kogel Bearings? Yes. What about them do you like more than other brands on the market? I wouldn’t say there’s a “more” to such a generalized question. There are pros and cons to everything. From a price standpoint, Kogel is pretty affordable for what you are getting. Comparing Warranties to other brands is something to think about. Kogel is 2 years,  1 “few questions asked”, and 1 more after a bearing service, whereas others ranges from 4-6 years depending on the product you buy. These are usually “against manufacturer’s defects only”, which at times can be difficult to actually prove.

I can also say the feedback from non-testing riders has been overwhelmingly positive. The interest generated from the first 2 articles got some people interested, and I was fortunate enough to have been called upon locally to install them.

Chandler put our bearings through a hard test and they came out in mint condition. We're officially Wookie approved now.

Mechanically speaking with all the press fit craziness going on in The Industry today, Kogel makes great sense. Not having to use Loctites and retaining compounds was nothing short of “smarter not harder” put into practice. Simple application of a waterproof grease before pressing in was all that was needed.  One of the largest draws to Kogel for myself is the range of bottom brackets for all the various frame options on the market today. Only a couple other manufacturers offer a complete range of No-adapter-needed bottom brackets.

Currently Kogel is doing a great job of responding to customer feedback and inquires. Should Ard Kessels and the operation grow any larger, I’m thinking he’ll need to add some inside reps to keep that high level of responsiveness going. Even clients mentioned how accessible Kessels was, and quickly emails, phone calls were returned. That’s a rare thing in this day and age of “Hurry up and wait”. I’ll keep an eye on that as the Kogel grows.

I must say I’m pretty impressed with the results I’ve seen from Kogel Bearings. They’re worth the price to performance ratio compared to other brands. I’d recommend them to all my clients who are looking to experience true ceramic quality and performance. In other words, they’re #WookieApproved.

You can follow Kogel Bearings on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram I look forward to seeing what the future holds for them, as well as following the United Health Care Team as take them through the road circuit this season. As always you can follow Wookie on Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram and Twitter

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