Cane Creek knows their way around a bearing. The company has been elevating the headset from the very first days of the threadless headset. Yet, Cane Creek hadn’t stepped into the world of bottom brackets – in spite of now offering their own cranksets. But much like those early days with the first AheadSet that was based on John Rader’s original concept, Cane Creek wanted their first bottom bracket to be revolutionary. Thanks to bearing technology from Swedish manufacturer SKF, the new Hellbender bottom bracket just may qualify.

As crank spindles have gotten wider, bottom bracket bearings have also had to evolve to fit the new sizes. Anyone can make a bottom bracket that spins freely when it’s first installed, but making something to hold up to the rigors of mountain biking, cyclocross, gravel, wet road rides, etc., is far more difficult.

That’s where the new Hellbender Neo bearing comes in. Using SKF’s patented MTRX technology, the bearing balls are encased in an oil filled solid polymer matrix. This matrix surrounds the balls, and oil is supposedly released from micro-pores in the polymer to constantly lube the bearings while they’re in motion.

The result is a bearing that is supposedly pressure washer-proof. Without space for water to enter the bearing, it should be free from water related damage.

Initially, the bottom brackets will only be offered for 30mm crank spindles since that matches the eeWings cranks. You’ll still have to buy the bottom bracket separately from the crankset, but at least now you’ll be able to order them from the same company. Bottom brackets will be available for BSA threaded, PF41, PF30, and BB30 with the PF bottom brackets featuring a thread-together shell. Like the premium eeWings, the Hellbender bottom bracket is also a premium product with pricing set at $120-150 depending on the model. Look for these to start shipping by October, though you can pre-order them now.

Specifications:

  • Cups/Shell Material – 6061 Aluminum T6
  • Finish – Two Stage Anodize for multi-color Gold and Black Combination
  • Bearings – Premium Hellbender Neo bearings with solid oil technology
  • Variations – BSA Threaded, PF41, PF30, BB30
  • Spindle Diameter – 30mm

Still with us? If so, you’ll be rewarded with the first look at these sweet El Real Edition eeBrakes. Who doesn’t love anodized purple? Offered in standard and direct mount, each limited edition brake set will retail for $680 and must be pre-ordered by September 18, 2019. Orders will begin shipping in October.

canecreek.com

9 COMMENTS

    • Not a new standard: PF41 is one of the names that BB86/BB92 goes by since it’s a press fit bottom bracket with a 41mm BB shell inner diameter in the frame. In order to fit 30mm crank spindles in this BB standard, it requires really thin bearings so manufacturers usually use a dual row bearing for increased durability. This may make them even more durable, so it’s a pretty interesting addition to the world of bottom brackets.

      • It is a bad idea to put a 30mm spindle into a bb designed for 24mm spindle. Why? There is not enough space to place sizeable bearings. So you either have two tiny small bearings with crappy stiffness and durability, or you place four small tiny bearings to increase durability, which is still inferior and doubles the drag.

        • No argument here, but people still want to do it in order to run certain cranks. So better bottom brackets should be an improvement for those who must.

  1. I’ve been using these bearings for a few months now. They perform as advertised. A revelation for my BB30 woes! My PF30 gets the treatment next. These are high quality bearings used in the food manufacturing industry where lubricant washout is a significant source of contamination.

  2. I wonder if we’ll ever get back to roller bearings, or even sealed bushings. BB’s are a high load, low speed application. I thought the old Shimano octalink Dura-Ace/XTR BB was brilliant. Ball bearings aren’t really the right “mouse trap” for this, from a durability standpoint. Ditto headsets.

    • @Dinger,
      Bushings are even worse though. I tried the Norglide Cane Creek headset and it was impossible to ride my bike no hands after a week or so. It came with a 110 series lower bearing which I still run, but the top had to go. While companies say bushings are low friction, they aren’t comparable to a rolling bearing.

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