Since August 2021, road bikes rolling out of Factor have benefited from the addition of the CeramicSpeed OHD (Optimized Headset Design) that houses their new and improved SLT Bearing technology. We saw the brand’s first incarnation of Solid Lubrication Technology at EuroBike 2018, put to use in the pivots of a rear suspension platform. CeramicSpeed now tells us that, after dedicating additional time and resources in the test laboratory to further perfect the technology, these solid lube bearings are rolling out on bikes with applications for headsets and rear suspension pivots… OE at first, but aftermarket options are on the way.

ceramicspeed slt ohd headset factor road bike

CeramicSpeed SLT Bearings

What is Solid Lubrication Technology? Typically, it refers to a bearing assembly that lacks grease entirely. While a regular cartridge bearing is lubricated by virtue of grease packed in with the ball bearings between the inner and outer race, an SLT bearing appears to run dry. Lubrication is provided by the oil-infused solid plastic polymer that holds the bearing balls in place and keeps them lubricated and protected.

ceramicspeed slt bearing schematic bearings encapsulated solid polymer lubrication

The special lubricating polymer is injected into the bearing, filling the gaps between each ball bearing to fully encapsulate each one. Jonathan Small, Director of OEM Sales at CeramicSpeed, says the new SLT Optimized Pivot Design bearings that will be used on rear suspension pivots are at least three times more durable than the current market-leader, full complement pivot bearings.

ceramicspeed ohd slt bearing headset

The appeal of high-longevity headset bearings is obvious, but even more so on high-end road bikes running fully integrated cable routing

Factor are the first brand to benefit from the new CeramicSpeed SLT bearings, but other OEM partners will be announced over the next few weeks and months. While CeramicSpeed componentry tends to come at a premium due to its durability and low-friction claims, you may expect those partners to be high-end road and mountain bike brands.

“High-performance race teams will be the first adopters of this SLT bearing tech. They need race after race suspension consistency in the most extreme and abusive conditions. This consistency combined with highly reduced service intervals will be why we see these bearings on world-class bikes at the races and at home”, explains Mike Garrigan, CeramicSpeed’s Off-Road Category Specialist.

Once greater compatibility has been attained through CeramicSpeed’s new OE partnerships, the Danish brand plans to bring its SLT bearings to aftermarket customers.

CeramicSpeed.com

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dave michaels
5 months ago

Looks familiar. Could someone explain the difference? Other than probably price… https://www.skf.com/group/products/rolling-bearings/engineered-products/bearings-with-solid-oil

Michael
Michael
5 months ago

I’d like to know how they’ve decided the pivot bearings are 3X more durable? Are they deep groove races as well?

Deputy Dawg
Deputy Dawg
5 months ago

So a potentially better take on the Igus bushing, still considered by many to be better than tiny ball bearings in suspension application?

Santana
Santana
5 months ago

Out of necessity one day, I dipped my headset bearings in chain wax. Have been doing it ever since.

Shafty
Shafty
5 months ago

Duh, whatever CeramicSpeed says is absolutely true without qualifications. Ceramic always lasts longer and is faster and makes your farts smell like roses. Also, once you switch over, you’ll only be allowed to lift your bike with a single pinky finger.

Jon
Jon
5 months ago

Something I want to try. Hell, leave the wax fully solidified inside the bearing.

WorkOnSunday
WorkOnSunday
5 months ago

didnt Creek Cane offer similar type bearings in their Hellbender neo line up but quickly reported as high drag and not very popular? i guess for pivot and headset are less of an issue.

None Given
None Given
5 months ago

Yes, they did. They had (their words to me) “Less than stellar” outcomes with it and pulled it from the market (last I knew, few months back).

Then again, they also claim to have NEVER had a BB unit fail………..(I lie about it, I guess……)

Zach Overholt
Admin
Zach Overholt(@zachoverholt)
5 months ago

I spoke to CC about it a bit at Sea Otter, and basically it sounded like the reasoning for pulling it was inconsist fills directly related to the fact that each bearing is hand filled (like the feature image shows). That led to some bearings that were properly filled, while others had voids that caused issues. Personally, I have one of the early solid Hellbender bottom brackets and it has been great.

Regardless, they now use an Enduro XD-15 Ceramic bearing with Kluber grease on the Hellbender 110, and 440c stainless bearing with marine grease on the Hellbender 70.