As a bike shop owner in Belgium, Ard Kessels had one big frustration: sending expensive bicycles out with the stock bearings that came with the frames or complete bikes. We all understand that ball bearings are at the bottom of every spec sheet when product managers assemble bikes for the catalog and new model year, so it's almost a given that they are the cheapest available. Low quality steel products tend to not gel well with the Belgian climate, where riding on wet roads is a given.
- just another day in 2010, having fun in a Belgian forest. One can barely tell this bike started its ride rolling on white hubs.
Fast forward to 2013. Kogel Bearings was established in a 5x10 foot storage unit in Ard's newly adopted US hometown El Paso, TX.
The goals were clear from the beginning:
- Make the high end bearings that fit a premium bike.
- Develop specific seals for road and off road use, since they have different requirements.
- Design a line of bottom brackets that will eliminate the use of adapters.
Following the motto "Just because it fits, doesn't make it right" has sent Kogel on a mission to develop a native solution for (almost) every combination of crank and frame. In 2017 we are still fighting that battle. It seems that frame manufacturers have not grown tired of reinventing a hole in a frame.