Kogel aren’t new nor are they inexperienced in the world of bearings, but as a new entrant to the Australian marketplace they probably aren’t a household name to you…yet. With extensive R&D and fussy, fussy material and tooling selection, Kogel come from the higher end of the market, focusing on durability and excellence in every little part their products contain. Intriguingly (and somewhat disturbingly stimulating), is their claim to offer instant gratification…yes, we’re still talking bearings and in this case, ceramic bearings, sheltered by proprietary Cross/MTB seals all encased in their PressFit 30 bottom bracket which we’ve just clocked 1000kms on.

It’s hard to get excited about the aesthetics of a BB, (a cool anodised colour is generally the most you can push it) especially as it’s a mostly hidden component. But, a few things strike you in handling the Kogel unit. It’s a tidy, anodised Aluminium 2-piece unit that glides together nicely. But the real smarts are in the design. It’s clear the unit has been designed with the full spectrum/minefield of frames out there in mind. The unit tapers and reduces in the middle to allow for internal cabling and the ‘nub’ some bikes have for the cable guide underneath. Its seals and bearings are fully marked (for future identification) and it has not 1 but 3 integrated o-rings to ensure the unit nestles into your frame and seals the bearings internally from frame-held water.

Kogel Bottom Bracket BB

You can tell this unit is made to endure. Ceramic bearings are touted for their smooth running but can vary in quality. Kogel use only the top end of ceramic hybrids (Silicone Nitride), which suit an application such as a BB best. Smooth running: tick, low temp build up: tick, and a touch lighter than steel bearings: tick. Also equipped with Kogel’s own MTB/Cross seals to keep the outside on the outside, longevity just got a tick. Talking tolerances? The Kogel unit shines. The bearing races and the unit sleeves are TLAT (Toight Like A Tiger). In keeping on the tolerances note, your riding buddies should’ve had their patience worn thin from being subjected to your creaking/clicking/grinding bike (we all have that one riding buddy), installed correctly, the Kogel unit will give you the stealth all BBs should, but some don’t provide – to be seen and not heard.

Putting time on the Kogel BB

With 1000kms clocked the unit is spinning freely, silently and, well, gratifyingly. Things are pretty rosy on the future maintenance front too. Designed to be upgradable and replaceable, the bearing races can be pressed out and replaced once the bearings have done their time (8,000kms plus). Conditions and your devastating Wattbombs will obviously affect this, but that’s a cracking lifespan. While we have tested the PF30 model, Kogel have a broad range of units, helping you fit just about any crank set into any frame.

The Kogel PF30 BB is durable, well made, well thought out. And on top of that it's light. It’s high-end, so not cheap, but performance and durability (yes you can have both) never is. It would be nice to see a range of colours in the future – like their custom blue units they do for international sponsored riders.

Hits: Durable, light, silent

Misses: Nil

RRP: $264.99

From: www.leadoutsports.com