Defying the Conditions

Centurion-Vaude's bearing choice for the Cape Epic

At CeramicSpeed we strive to build the best possible drivetrain products. Products with the lowest possible friction for a drivetrain. Products that perform and last.

Having worked closely with renowned road cyclists and triathletes over the past few years – athletes such as Peter Sagan, Silvan Dillier, Carlos Sastre, Patrick Lange and Mario Mola, to name a few – helped us to develop and test our products. It also helped us to push the boundaries of drivetrain efficiency. Products such as the OSPW System, the UFO Racing Chain and UFO Drip are several examples of this process.

For a while now we have been broadening our approach to pushing these boundaries, and increased our support off the road. With a special focus in mind; coated CeramicSpeed bearings.

Coated CeramicSpeed bearings offer an unrivalled lifetime. They last up to 65 percent longer than any other bearings we build. The secret behind them is the bearing races that we use. A special coating on both the inside and outside reduces the friction even further, and in combination with our carefully selected and controlled CeramicSpeed balls, seals and grease, we achieve the highest possible performance.

These characteristics make our coated bearings the perfect choice for any athlete that doesn't mind harsh conditions. And there are arguably not many grounds like the iconic Cape Epic stage race in South Africa to put them through their paces and validate their added value.

Last year was the first test of coated products at the race. And the feedback we received helped us to further refine and improve them. Finding the optimal steel races and coating process can be a science in itself. Although an achievable one, as we learned.

The 2018 edition of the race saw us taking a bolder approach to the race. With a wider range of products that carried coated CeramicSpeed bearings. And it paid off right from the gun.

Over the winter we partnered with the Centurion-Vaude marathon team. They, among a handful of other MTB athletes, help us to get detailed feedback about the performance of our off-road specific products and our coated CeramicSpeed bearings.

When Austrian XC Marathon national champion Daniel Geißmayr stormed to victory in the prologue, together with his race partner Nicola Rohrbach, we sensed the feedback we received after the dust had settled. And when the duo also won the Queen Stage a few days later, before finishing fifth overall after a gruelling week, the feedback came as a welcome confirmation.

Our latest version of coated CeramicSpeed bearings had performed without flaw. They defied more than 1.450 kilometers in the challenging dusty conditions, seemingly untouched. According to Centurion-Vaude's head mechanic, Roland Vogelmann, this year's edition of the so-called Untamed, as the Cape Epic is also known, saw conditions that were much harsher than in previous years. However, there was never a day where he felt that our coated bearings needed service. Something that is pretty rare, and something that makes us proud. After all, what better feedback can there be than a confirmation of unimpaired performance.

The team will continue to run the coated CeramicSpeed bearings. And they will continue to provide our engineers with valuable feedback. That way we can guarantee to not only keep refining products that last but to offer our athletes and customers alike the best performing bearings on the market - for any kind of riding, in any conditions. Something that gives us the confidence to offer a 6-year warranty on all our coated CeramicSpeed bearings.

Images: Lynn Sigel, Jesper Andersson, The Velographer, EGO Promotion, Whyex Productions,