Token External Cup Type Bottom Bracket Tiramic Bearing £59.99

What’s the next big thing in cycle technology? A pound to a pinch of salt says that, with carbon fibre construction maturing nicely, it will be ceramic bearings.

They have been around a while, but until recently have, for the average cyclist, remained more a dream upgrade than an everyday reality. Now, however, improved methods of manufacture and increasing production have seen prices fall to the point where ceramic bearings may well be the standard fitment at the higher end of the cycle market.

Why would this be a good thing? Ceramic balls, formed of silicon nitride (Si3N4), are not only lighter by about 30percent than steel equivalents, but rounder for smoother running, harder so they lose less energy to elastic deformation and longer-lasting.

Token’s Shimano-compatible EX-Type bottom bracket bearing assembly brings the ground alloy steel races up to the same standard by coating them in titanium nitride, which is a super-hard treatment, recognisable by its golden colour, seen on such high-wear items as chains and, in the world of motorcycling, fork sliders. The result, called, er, Tiramic, should offer exceptional corrosion resistance in addition to wear resistance, light weight and a power saving of up to two Watts. The CNC-machined aluminium cups are available with a choice of British or Italian thread formats to fit road and mtb bottom bracket shells, with total weight a claimed 85g for the road type.

Riding impressions on their way.