By Laura Carrabine, Senior Editor
Mountain bike race courses can be quite challenging with changing terrain at every turn. For this reason, racers need lightweight and highly responsive equipment to ensure maximum control and speed.
World-renowned mountain bike athlete Catherine Vipond rides the Phaser model bicycle from Norco Bicycles. It was designed and engineered with Saint-Gobain’s lightweight NORGLIDE composite bearings for use in the 2011 cycling championship season.
The Phaser is characterized by its extremely lightweight, high-performance design, making it ideal for racing at professional levels and for recreational activities. The composite bearings that are used in the Phaser’s rear suspension are a crucial factor in this performance. Weighing 1.2g, the bearings are one-tenth the weight of traditional rolling element bearings. These lighter components reduce the overall weight of the bicycle and help cyclists reach higher speeds than with heavier models.
NORGLIDE composite bearings are manufactured with a thick coating of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), a high-performance lubricating material which has the lowest coefficient of friction of most known solid materials. This PTFE coating offers reduced stick-slip effect, optimizing the performance of the Phaser’s rear suspension by ensuring that the rear wheel is almost always in contact with even the roughest track surface. This increases cyclists’ control over the bike and enables them to experience a smoother, more comfortable ride. With its excellent wear resistance, the composite bearings do not require maintenance, guaranteeing constantly low friction values and smooth suspension throughout the lifetime of the component.
Filed Under: Design World articles, Bearings, Materials • advanced, Motion control • motor controls