It pays to have friends in the cycling industry. Having good relations with strategic partners like CeramicSpeed means that we have the benefit of early access to their latest and greatest creations. And since we at Factor love great tech that will not only offer high performance, long term durability, and low maintenance, we were super quick to jump on the bandwagon behind CeramicSpeed’s SLT (Solid Lubrication Technology) Bearings for headsets.
CeramicSpeed have been developing their SLT tech within the bicycle application for over three years. We were able to test them starting over two years ago, and have been shipping it with two of our road bikes – the OSTRO VAM and the O2 VAM – for nearly 9 months. And it’s only just been officially launched by CeramicSpeed. That’s what being strong strategic partners can do for you.
Jonathan Small, Director of Sales OEM at CeramicSpeed, was instrumental not only in working with Factor with the SLT Bearings, but in the development process for the technology. A keen cyclist, Jonathan has been able to test the SLT Bearings in the headset of his gravel bike for several years. “I’ve been testing it myself since 2018. We’ve done in-house lab testing and real world testing under extreme conditions” he said. “And obviously with our long working relationship with Factor and their commitment to our product it was clear that there was an opportunity for us to work closely together here and to help each other to create something unique.”
Since Factor is a company full of cyclists, beginning with Rob Gitelis, the head of the company, we are always ready to test new stuff to the maximum. “Jonathan came to me in June of 2019 with this technology to be used in headsets. So John Ebsen, our Sales Manager, who also rides a lot, and I started using the tech back then, and realized it was great,” Rob Gitelis said. “We started shipping the SLT Bearings in our bikes in March of 2021. They are designed for zero maintenance, which is great to use on all our integrated bikes. With this technology we don’t need to change our headsets because we have invested in a very expensive, and unique product that provides incredible durability”
Sparing no expense to make the best bicycles possible is a defining doctrine for Factor. We believe in investing in and offering early support to new technology to improve every ride for our customers. “The journalists who bring up the issue of integrated cable routing complicating maintenance, make a fair point,” Jonathan Small explained. “However, they also need to be aware that Factor have addressed that by investing in this technology, which negates most common pain points associated with internal cable routing. That’s something that Rob and his team have done for the benefit of the end user because it adds value to their product.”
Headsets and their bearings might not be the sexiest part of a bicycle, and how durable they are is not exactly something you can feel when riding. It’s only when they fail or need replacing that most of us may even think about our headsets. With CeramicSpeed SLT Bearings in Factor headsets, you may only realize that they worked flawlessly after many years of use. It’s a hidden benefit that we hope will enhance every ride, making sure your favorite road bike is ready to ride every time you are, and not in the workshop.
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