By Brandon Bilyeu
Prices vary depending on type of Bottom Bracket or Pulley you need and the bearings you select. Prices below are for the specific models I tested.
TorqTite, Stainless Steel, Angular Contact, Bottom Bracket for BB86: $149
XD-15 Ceramic Hybrid for Shimano 11 Speed Derailleur Pulleys: $149
How obtained: review sample from Enduro
Available: retail, online
RBR Sponsor: no
Tested: 20+ hours
You Probably Already Use Enduro Bearings
Bearings are essential to the smooth and efficient function of our bikes anywhere rotational motion is needed: Hubs, Bottom Brackets (BB), Pedals, Freehubs, Pulley wheels, and Headsets. There are also endless uses for bearings outside of cycling and Enduro services both the cycling and industrial market. But instead of just repurposing industrial bearings for cycling, Enduro makes bike specific bearings and also full assemblies like BBs and Pulleys.
Enduro has been active in cycling since 1996 and many bike brands use Enduro bearings, so it is likely there are already Enduro bearings installed on your bike. The list of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) that use Enduro is long and can be found here. But while OEMs are smart to spec quality Enduro bearings they don’t typically use top-of-the-line bearings to keep costs in check. Enduro offers a range of bearings at different performance levels and price points so you can upgrade your ride.
In addition to the product reviews below RBR had the chance to do a short interview with Enduro co-founder Matt Harvey. The interview can be found here and is a great primer on why you might want to be a little pickier in any future bearing purchases.
Enduro TorqTite Bottom Bracket
Enduro offers BBs for just about every BB ‘standard’ whether threaded or press-fit, as well as bearings kits to upgrade/replace your existing BB bearings. The BB I have been testing is the TorqTite, Stainless Steel, Angular Contact for BB86 and Shimano Cranks. The name is basically a list of the options selected and I’ll run through each below.
TorqTite is Enduro’s thread together BB for press-fit frames. Typical press-fit BBs are two separate left/right pieces that don’t contact each other. This allows for possible bearing misalignment due to frame tolerances and/or improper installation of the BB. The TorqTite is also two pieces, but it forms a threaded connection inside the frame to guarantee alignment and lock the BB in place. The result is improved bearing life and none of the creaking that press-fit BBs are infamous for. My bike has gone through several BBs over the years in attempts to eliminate an intermittent creak and I’m happy to say the TorqTite BB so far has been silent.
Another bonus of the TorqTite BB is ease of installation and removal. Hammering out my previous BBs was always a terrifying experience. I was sure my carbon frame was going to snap given the amount of force that was required. The Enduro BB is designed slightly undersized to avoid radial compression (improve bearing life) so the required install force is minimal. The threaded design self-installs without a bearing press, but does require special tools that Enduro sells. Having installed several press-fit BBs previously I was at first concerned about the loose fit in the frame, but Enduro ensured me this was by design and the thread clamps the BB securely in the frame. I marked the BB and frame with a pen after install and so far the BB has not moved/rotated.
Stainless Steel describes the bearing material. Specifically, 440C Stainless that provides better corrosion resistance and hardness than more common 440A or B grades, though not quite as hard as chromium bearing steel. To keep water/sweat/sticky drinks out of the bearing LLB seals and CRC Marine Grease are used.
Angular Contact is the type of bearing. Standard radial bearings are widely used in bicycle wheels and BBs. Radial bearings are unevenly loaded with only the bottom balls under load. Angular contact bearings have races tilted to support both radial and axial loads as well as loading all balls simultaneously. This does require proper bearing preload when installing the cranks (similar to Shimano hubs which use cup and cone angular contact bearings).
For testing I was ‘lucky’ to have some really great winter conditions: freezing temperatures, snow, ice, mud, and heavily salted roads. Basically, perfect conditions to kill bearings. The BB bearings are still running smooth as new and popping out the seals showed no signs of corrosion or grease contamination. The 440C material is also a great option for an indoor training bike BB and Head Set to keep the sweat out.
XD-15 Derailleur Pulley
These are expensive pulleys. And without fancy test equipment I can’t tell you that they are any faster than the ones they replaced. But according to Enduro these should be the last pulleys you have to buy, at least until you upgrade drivetrains to add another sprocket on the cassette.
These pulleys use Enduro XD-15 cartridge bearings with a ceramic ball and XD-15 races. Typical hybrid ceramic bearings start off great then the hard ceramic balls destroy the softer steel races. Enduro makes the races from XD-15 stainless that will not rust or corrode and is hard enough to cope with the ceramic balls. Enduro claim the bearings will get faster over time as the balls polish the races and back this up with a lifetime limited warranty on the bearings. This also means the bearing will not get sloppy so shifts will remain crisp.
Bearings that last forever are not much help if the pulley teeth wear out in a couple years. Many pulleys are made of molded Delrin, but Enduro machines their Delrin pulleys resulting in a claimed much harder and longer lasting jockey wheel. In discussions with Enduro I was informed they had yet to see a pulley worn past the point of functioning and “if someone were able to do it, we would just send them some new pulleys on us with a great big attaboy. That statement can be taken as a challenge if you wish.”
I tested these pulleys in the same conditions as the BB and had not problems at all. They run smooth, quiet, and the shifting performance is great. If you routinely trash pulley teeth or bearings these might be worth a look.
Enduro has a large catalogue of entry-level and high-end bearings to choose from. Each bearing type is best suited to certain conditions and price points so you can pick exactly what fits your riding style and pocket book. If you have a creaky press-fit BB then TorqTite is a good option for silence and quality bearings.
Brandon Bilyeu is an avid recreational roadie who lives in Regensburg, Germany. He’s a year-round bike commuter and is a mechanical design engineer by trade. Click to read Brandon’s full bio.