Plastic Bearings

Shudder!  Didn’t know they existed.  Just read a review of Ergon PC2 pedals here.    The plastic pedal bodies caught my attention first, but it was the plastic bearings that really woke me up.  Is this good?

From the KMS site (a manufacturer of plastic bearings), we are told plastic bearings run smoother, quieter, more efficiently and with less maintenance than conventional bearings.  No lubrication necessary (but special lubricants are made which can result in near silent operation)!  Interesting.  All good stuff if plastic bearings hold up.  KMS doesn’t mention it, but with steel prices rising, plastic bearings may be cheaper.  That will get any manufacturer’s attention.  My guess is cost played a part in Ergon’s choice when specifying plastic bearings.

I am not looking forward to opening my first hub and finding plastic bearings.  Want to take bets on how long it will be before you find plastic bearings in Phil Wood hubs?  Aftermarket ceramic (which are very expensive), maybe, but plastic?  Really?  I have too many friends working at GE to doubt that plastics can do amazing things, but this old dog isn’t biting.  Just yet anyway.  You know any other uses of plastic bearings in the world of bicycling?   I found this and this.  If you know of others, especially specific parts, please share.

You know, I may eat my words sooner than later with respect to the pedals.  The more I read about them, I find myself kind of intrigued.  I am a fan of platforms, these look fine (that said I’d put them on a contemporary bike or an older bike which I am not trying to keep period correct) and seem to be well designed.  Check out the video here (or as they say, “find some infos”).  Watch it all the way through to see the bearings (which aren’t what I expected–plastic sleeves instead of ball bearings in races–which don’t seem as sketchy as plastic ball bearings sound).   There are some pretty positive reviews in the comments here.  We’ll see!

Take care.


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