In every form of racing that requires any sort of equipment, the top competitors are very close to being at the same level of performance. That means the little details can add up to make a pretty big difference. Ceramic bearings have made their way and established themselves as a pretty valid item not only because they potentially perform better, but because they also can last longer than standard steel bearings in the right circumstances. Matt Speer at VCRC Bike has made a name for himself by being highly focused on the details of the products he makes, not to mention being a stickler for details.
VCRC (originally Velo Carbon Racing Componets) was started by Matt Speer back in 2002 out of his garage simply to fund his racing and travel by selling a few products locally. Things seemed to take off better than expected and he became one of the early manufactures to bring ceramic bearings to the bicycle. They also produce carbon stems, (his first product), seat posts, and bottle cages.
VCRC Bike’s new “threaded” Press Fit bottom bracket was designed to prevent creaking by creating an additional secure point of contact with the left and right BB cups making sure they are not only more secure, but most importantly, perfectly aligned. This helps increase the bottom bracket’s bond to the frame to eliminate potential wear and seal harming movement as well as solve any slight misalignment in the frame’s BB shell. All VCRC bottom brackets come with their “made in house” ceramic bearings which are available as is with their standard seal and VCRC Speed Cream, or with an upgraded seal for added protection (CROSS IS COMING!), or even their VCRC “Racing Cream” super fast lubricant. Retail on the press fit bottom bracket is $150
Click below to see how else VCRC can speed things up plus some of their nicely done components…
VCRC uses the highest quality, precision bearings and races they can source and are very particular on how their bearings are assembled. VCRC Bike primarily uses “Hybrid” Ceramic Bearings in all of their products that are load bearing, as according to Matt Speer from VCRC, “Ceramic races, due to their large and thin open diameter are subject to cracking under sharp loads such as hitting a pot hole or a hard landing thus making ceramic a not so good material for any bearing races that are used in a load bearing application”. So bearing this in mind *pun intended, and the impacts our bikes go through, this is something worth considering when investing in any bearing upgrade.
VCRC’s new ALL CERAMIC pulley wheels however are NOT load bearing and because both the ball bearings and races are ceramic, no lube is needed allowing them to spin very easily. During pedaling, (when you’re producing output, not coasting), not one other component spins more revolutions than the pulley wheels which is why they are often the first place riders consider going ceramic. They use the same machined Delrin pulley body, (older versions were injected molded and didn’t last as long), that is used on their standard ceramic pulleys so they are sure to last a very long time while remaining quiet.
The Full Ceramic Bearing Pulleys retail for $275
To top things off, *c’mon, its “Punday”, VCRC makes some nice looking but subtle items to sort out things up front. Their carbon headset spacers come in 5mm increments from 5mm, all the way up to 50mm so once you have your headset stack figured out, you can tidy things up with one uniform spacer. The carbon top cap matches the headset spacers’ satin finish and comes with 2 stainless bolts in both standard and 6mm to fit most applications. Both bolts require a 4mm hex wrench as Matt felt it was silly to have use 2 different size hex wrenches on a stem.
Look for a long term review in the future on some of VCRC’s products.