Next generation bearings, designed for today’s skateboarding? Bronson Speed Co. seems to be quite confident about what they’re doing. To test if the bearings from this relatively young brand can deliver on their promises, I grabbed a set of Bronson Speed Co. G3 bearings and put them into my setup.
“The fastest, strongest, longest-lasting, longest spin skateboard bearing ever made.”
Well, to be honest, I have quite a hard time with statements like that. The description by Bronson Speed Co. makes it sound a bit like the jack of all trades of bearings, but let’s start with the facts. Bronson Speed Co. equipped their bearings with quite a lot of technology:
- ‘Deep Groove’ Raceways Balls sit and roll deeper in the raceway channels compared to other bearings
- Advertised benefit: Impact protection & prolonged lifespan
- ‘Straight Edge’ Frictionless Shields: Non-contact rubber shields fit deep in the inner race edge
- Advertised benefit: Reduces oil leakage & dirt/moisture intrusion
- ‘Micro Groove’ Raceway Surfaces: Microscopic linear grooved raceway surfaces
- Advertised benefit: Improved bearing lubrication and spin
- ‘Max Impact’ Cage Design Non-distortion glass filled nylon cage
- Advertised benefit: Keeps the balls in place and in constant contact with the oil
- High-Speed Ceramic Oil: Oil is blended with nano-ceramic compounds
- Advertised benefit: Anti-wear protection with additives that defend against rust, moisture, corrosion and oxidation
So far, so good. Of course, a few questions were buzzing in my head: Are these Bronson Speed Co. G3 bearings really as fast as they claimed? And do the features listed really have an impact on the durability of the bearings?
Speed / Velocity
My first impression of the G3 bearings was thoroughly positive. Those bearings are lubed extremely well and are packaged in nitrogen filled shrink-wrap. Accordingly, the first session with them was pretty rad. Admittedly, I didn’t speed through the local radar trap, however, I would say those little fellows are fast as hell.
Durability / Longevity
It’s no news that brand new bearings are super fast during the first five-hour session. However, after five months with 3-4 sessions per week each for a couple of hours, the Bronson Speed Co. G3 bearings were still performing just fine. Solely one bearing started humming a little bit and spun rather noisily.
Anyway, this was a great opportunity to take a closer look at the bearings’ interior and to clean and oil them. As I removed the shields, I noticed that the cage had not been distorted, as promised. Nonetheless, some cages were slightly fractured. Since I didn’t feel like playing Tetris by fiddling the balls into their place after cleaning the bearings, I decided to clean them without popping off the shields on the back side. This actually worked out without any problems and after one drop of lubricant, the Bronson G3 bearings were as good as new, regardless of the cracked cages.
Edit: As a matter of fact, it has just recently come to my ears that I must have tested the first generation of G3 bearings because Bronson Speed Co. has already solved that problem. The newer generations of Bronson Speed Co. G3 bearings have a better and stronger cage design and therefore prove to be way more durable.
Even after a few more sessions and a total of six months of use, the status quo remained the same. Aside from the little problems with the cages, the bearings were still spinning. Also, it doesn’t seem like they plan on giving up any time soon.
Bronson Speed Co. succeeded to convince me with their G3 bearings. Despite the thing about the cages, these bearings are spinning fast as f**k and are still performing awesome. The new features seem to make sense. As previously mentioned, the problem with the cages has already been solved in the newer generations of G3 bearings as well as in the Bronson Speed Co. RAW bearings since the cages in those are filled with fibreglass. All in all, I would recommend the Bronson Speed Co. G3 bearings to anyone, regardless of terrain or riding style.
• really fast
• long lifespan
• not much maintenance needed
• cages are kind of susceptible to impact (first generation of G3s)