Jen Luebke: Hawk Racing Sponsored Rider Interview

Hawk Racing here again to bring you interviews from sponsored riders all over the world. We love introducing people to new riders and this is a cyclist that you def shouldn't sleep on.

Jen Luebke is a 32 year old professional cyclist. She's originally form Missoula, MT but her base of operation has been in Bend, OR for the last 5 years. Jen rides for Hagens Berman Supermint, an awesome American UCI-registered women’s professional cycling team.

Our favorite thing about Supermint is their ambassador program which aims to grow women's cycling by pairing up cyclists of all levels with professional riders. Each Supermint rider provides individualized insight, support, and encouragement to help the ambassadors grow in the sport. If you are interested in this program and want to get involved or learn more head over to supermintusa.com.

The Jen Luebke Interview

Who are your Sponsors?
I don't have any personal sponsors past all of our amazing Hagens Berman Supermint sponsors.

Do you remember your first bike?
The first bike I can remember getting that I was really excited about was a hand-me-down fully rigid Univega mountain bike. It was teal and was my first "big kids" bike. I would ride it up and down the dirt road that we lived on.

What does your inner voice tell you when the ride gets tough?
When I'm training and things get tough I remind myself if I make it through really hard training, I'll be more than ready for racing. Then when things get hard racing, I remind myself how hard I trained to be ready for racing.

If someone was your age and wanted to start riding, what advice would you give?
Just do it! Find a great riding partner or group so you can learn from others and jump on a bike. I love what I see and where I do on 2 wheels and I know others will feel the exact same if they ride too.

Do you have an ultimate bike goal?
My ultimate bike goal is to love riding as a lifelong sport and to convince others to do the same.

Best bike memory so far?
One of my favorite bike memories was my first race of the year with Hagens Berman Supermint, Tucson Bicycle Classic. After the short, fast TT prologue, I was our GC rider. The team rode as a unit the whole race, we had fun, and in the end I won GC. It was an amazing feeling to win after all the hard work all my teammates had done to help me. It felt like the whole team won. That was the first time I was in the GC leader position and was able to successfully defend through the last stage.

What is your favorite place to ride?
Maui, Hawaii, specifically the West Maui Loop.

Which riders proved inspirational in your early days or now?
Amber Neben was and still is an inspiration when I started riding. I was in awe of the former TT world champion. At my first stage race she was a quiet but fierce competitor and almost won GC. I also almost crashed her out in that race and instead of getting angry she gave me some useful pointers. Less than a year later, she invited me to guest ride with her at Redlands Cycling Classic, my second big stage race. At the time I couldn't believe she gave me that opportunity and it really led to me landing a permanent spot on a team. My inspiration helped me into the sport!

Where do you see your bike taking you to this coming year?
I'm hoping I get to visit more awesome places I have never been to and meet more radical people that are as obsessed with their bikes as I am.

What is riding about to you?
Riding for me is about the journey. That sounds cliche but I would ride my bike just as much as I do now even if I didn't race because I love riding my bike so much. I love all kinds of bikes - road, gravel, and mountain - because they all take me to different places.

What is your favorite thing about Hawk Racing Components?
It's super important in bike racing to trust your equipment and my favorite thing about Hawk Racing Components is that I really trust my equipment. Also, they're located in Fort Wayne, IN, where my entire Dad's side of the family is from!

Make sure you show Jen some support and give her a follow on Instagram: @jenluebke!

Jen Luebke Sponsored Rider Interview

Jace Antiporda: Hawk Racing Sponsored Rider Interview

So we had some time to sit down with another one of our sponsored riders to bring you another sponsored rider interview.

Jace Antiporda is actually our youngest sponsored rider, at 9 years old. Jace races BMX out in California, and is improving everyday. We've loved seeing his growth and progress during his time with us so far.

We hope that he continues down the road he's on, he could be the next top level pro if he does. Make sure you give him a follow, @jaceracing, and show him support!!

The Jace Antiporda Interview

Who are your Sponsors?
Kid Dynamite NorCal and HawkRacing

Do you remember your first bike?
Yes

How old were you and what was it?
I was 7 years old and it was a Mini Micro Redline.

What does your inner voice tell you when the ride gets tough?
It tells me to push it and get in front of the pack when the gate drops.

If someone was your age and wanted to start riding, what advice would you give?
I would say to just go out, try it and have fun!

Do you have an ultimate bike goal?
Yes. I want to be in the Olympics and race in BMX.

Best bike memory so far?
Racing my hardest at Spreckels BMX track in Manteca, CA. It was for State Qualifying Race and I gave it my all and got first place til my legs gave out at the finish line.

What is your favourite place to ride?
I like to ride at Santa Clara PAL BMX, which is also my Home track.

Which riders proved inspirational in your early days or now?
Trent Jones, Connor Fields, Anthony Bucardo, Sienna Fines, Jeff Aana and Pat Coo

Where do you see your bike taking you to this coming year?
Hopefully to stay in the top 10 9 year old expert ranks.

What is riding about to you?
Riding is special and different to me. It’s a unique extreme sport that not a lot of people do. I like riding with my team, going to different tracks and having fun!

What is your favorite thing about Hawk Racing Components?
HawkRacing has strong and reliable components. My favorite part is their bottom bracket that spins forever on my bike!

Ceramic Bearings: Pros and Cons

The Pros and Cons of Ceramic Bearings

What is a Ceramic Bearing?

While regular bearings are made from stainless steel, ceramic bearings are made from ceramic silicon nitride (Si2N4). Rolling resistance is the key trump card promoted by ceramic bearing fans. Because ceramic bearings are rounder with a smoother surface and more uniform size, friction is reduced and that can contribute to a less energy required to turn the cranks or spin the wheels. A ceramic bearing is also harder than steel bearings (up to 30%), which improves durability, and they also don’t rust so less maintenance should be required.

Most sealed ceramic bearings are actually hybrid ceramic bearings, which combine a steel race with ceramic ball bearings. Full ceramic bearings use ceramic races, which can be lighter and provide the lowest friction, but come at a durability cost. Unsealed ceramic bearings can be used to upgrade components that don’t use cartridge type bearings, like cup and cone hubs.

Ceramic Bearing Pros

Durability

Longevity of a well-built high-quality ceramic bearing, in many cases, can be up to 10 times longer than commonly used stock bearings. The 'rule of thumb', as we like to call it when built well, and of high-quality materials, a ceramic bearing should always be able to outlast and outperform a steel bearing.

Friction Loss

The second advantage of ceramic bearings over stock steel bearings is their performance under load in reducing drag. Performance cyclists are performance driven and all data shows that the best performing bearings for reducing drag are ceramic bearings.

That, in theory, should mean less energy is required to turn the wheels or cranks. Add the lower weight and improved durability, and why wouldn’t you run ceramic bearings? But are all ceramic bearings the same? Of course not, CeramicSpeed is keen to point out that not all ceramic bearings are made equal, and it tells us that a ceramic bearing built poorly with low-quality materials will deliver very poor longevity.

Ceramic Bearing Cons

Not Made for Cycling

We have looked at ceramic bearings in the past and talked them over with our bearing suppliers,” explains Hope’s Alan Weatherill. They do run with less friction, which offers a significant advantage in industrial applications running at 20,000 rpm. A tiny percentage reduction in friction here can equate to a worthwhile power saving, but when you're only turning at 300 rpm, as you do on a bicycle a small percentage increase in efficiency will make a negligible change to your power output. Certainly not worth the significant increase in cost.

Leading industry wheel dynamics expert and CEO of Edco Wheels , Paul Lew, backs this up and reckons it makes ceramic bearings a poor choice for hubs and headsets, also adding that they offer no weight savings and are only beneficial in environments where high rpm (revolutions per minute) are required.

For bottom bracket applications, the maximum sustained rpm may be 130. For wheel hub applications, the maximum rpm may be 500 – 600 revolutions per kilometer (depends on wheel/tyre diameter). The maximum rpm values in cycling are far below the typical ideal rating for ceramic bearings which is 10,000 rpm+.

It’s clear that Alan and Paul agree that the factors that make a ceramic bearing well-suited to industrial and medical equipment applications, and high-altitude operating drone motors (Paul does a lot of work designing drones) where the rpm is high, the load is low and the operating conditions are clean, are factors that mean they’re not suited to cycling.

Bikes require grease (not good for ceramic bearings)

Ceramic bearings are beneficial in environments not requiring grease lubrication. But a bicycle is expected to cope with a vast range of conditions, rain and dirt, and where maintenance schedules may be less than optimal, and the last thing you want is to ride bearings without grease. It’s this requirement to cope with the conditions common to cyclists that offset the promised lower rolling resistance of a ceramic bearing, according to Paul Lew.

The rolling resistance of a ceramic bearing compared to an ABEC 3, 5 or 7 steel ball bearing is offset by the resistance of the grease. In order for a ceramic ball bearing to out-perform a steel ball bearing, grease is not an option. Does this mean I should run my ceramic ball bearings dry or with light oil? Yes, but you won’t like the result in an environment where the bearings can become contaminated. If you run your bearings dry they will feel gritty and rough.

Hope’s Alan Weatherill concurs with Paul Lew’s conclusion that ceramic bearings are not suited to the demands of cycling and says their suitability to industrial machinery doesn’t necessarily provide the performance benefit for cyclists that many people and companies claim they do.

Ceramic Ball Bearings are too Hard

Another issue with using them on bicycles is their hardness. While this again is an advantage in many industrial applications, it's a major drawback on bikes. The shocks from hitting potholes and other road blemishes impact the hard ceramic balls into the softer steel races commonly used. This dent in the race is then felt when the bearing is rotated, giving you rough bearings.

Price

Then there is the fact that Ceramic bearings aren’t cheap. CeramicSpeed’s BSA Road external bottom bracket for threaded frames costs £298. A Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 bottom bracket cost £39.99, much less if you shop around. A CeramicSpeed bearing upgrade kit for Campagnolo and Fulcrum wheels will set you back £120, and Zipp charges £194 for a CeramicSpeed bearing kit for its wheels. That makes upgrading to ceramic bearings a serious investment, fine for a professional cycling team, less so for a privateer racer.

The premium for ceramic bearings is high then, and their advantages, while looking promising in an ideal world, appear to stack up much less in the demanding environment that a bicycle is expected to perform and survive in. So should you choose ceramic bearings? We’ll let Paul Lew have the last word.

Although the re-selling markup/ margin for ceramic bearings is significant for manufacturers such as Reynolds, and they could represent a profit-center for the brand, we choose not to offer them because they don’t improve performance, and they represent a consumer cost that we can’t justify, and that’s contrary to our value system.

Hawk Racing Bearings

It is our opinion that the cons of a ceramic bearing significantly out weigh the pros of a ceramic bearing. Which is why we set out to make the #1 alloy bearing on the market.

Our bearings will give you friction loss that is comparable to ceramic bearings without all of the cons that are associated with them.

Head over to our website to see all the Hawk Racing alloy Bearings we have to offer!!

BB90 Madone-SRAM-FSS+CXseal-0

What is the Difference Between Standard, FSS, and FSS+CX Seal Hawk Racing Bearings?

Everything You Need to Know About the Different Types of Hawk Racing Bearings!

With all the FSS and CX Seals it can sometimes be a little difficult to decide which Hawk Racing bearing you want in your bottom bracket.

But not anymore...

This article is here to tell you all about the 3 different types of bearings we offer: Standard, FSS, and FSS+CX Seals. We will also be going over what you get when you choose one of the pricier options.

Standard Hawk Racing Bearings

Our Standard Hawk bearing is easily our most affordable bearing option. When you get a standard bearing you are getting a high quality bearing that is guaranteed to spin more smoothly than your stock bearings.

Just like all of our bearings...

The Standard bearings are extremely durable and maintenance free. So you will be riding on them for years to come with little to no maintanence.

FSS Hawk Racing Bearings

FSS Stands for Full Stainless Steal. So, when you opt for a FSS Hawk Racing Bearing your getting a bearing that is going to stand up to the elements a lot better than a Standard Bearing.

Which is why...

We mainly recommend the FSS bearings to people who live in humid or salty conditions, because it will keep your bearings from rusting in those conditions.

FSS+CX Seals Hawk Racing Bearings

The FSS+CX Seals are easily our highest quality Hawk bearings. Not only do they come in Full Stainless Steal to keep the water out, but they also feature our revolutionary CX Seal.

This CX seal was designed to help keep dirt and debris out of your bearing. Meaning more time between unpacking and cleaning your bearings. That's right these bearings are virtually maintenance free.

If you take your bike on a lot of trails like this you could definitely benefit from a FSS+CX Seal.

Hawk Racing Bearings

Now that you know everything about the different types of Hawk bearings, you can head over to our Bottom Bracket page and make an informed decision when you are making a purchase.

BB30-FSS-0

Do you Need a Hawk Racing Bottom Bracket Upgrade?

Are Hawk Racing Bottom Brackets as Good as They Say?

We get the same question all the time, do I need a bottom bracket upgrade?

The short and simple answer is, YES!

But, a lot of stuff goes into a Hawk Racing BB to help make it one of the highest quality stainless steal bottom brackets on the market. If you upgrade your stock BB to a Hawk BB today, you'll experience significant friction loss, higher quality, and a lower cost all thanks to our patented Folmer Technology.

Friction Loss

This is the #1 reason you need a Hawk Racing bottom bracket upgrade!!

When your cycling, no matter the category, friction is your biggest enemy. Anything you do to reduce friction on your bike is going to give you an edge on the competition. Which is why you should equip your bike with a Stainless Steal Hawk Racing Bottom Bracket today!

There was an independent study conducted by a company called friction facts that compared the friction loss of different bottom brackets across the market.

When it came to stainless steal BBs Hawk Racing came out on top with a friction loss of 0.32 watts. Hawk's stainless steal bearing were beat out by 3 other companies with Ceramic BBs.

And the best part?

There was only a .03 difference in watts lost between the best ceramic bearing and a Hawk Racing Stainless Steal Bearing.

Don't believe us?

We posted the all the results of the Friction Facts study, that way you can check it out and make a decision for yourself.

Higher Quality for Lower Cost

If the friction loss study wasn't enough to prove the quality of our bottom brackets then check out the video below. You'd be hard pressed to find a BB that spins as smoothly and for as long as a Hawk BB.

Remember earlier when the friction study proved that Hawk Racing Stainless BBs are just as good as their ceramic counter parts?

Well those ceramic bearings can sometimes cost upwards of $250. We just want to make sure you never spend that much on brittle ceramic bearings again.

Folmer Technology

Our patented Folmer Technology is Hawk Racing's secret ingredient. We can't tell you much about it without giving away our trade secrets.

But we will say this...

Sven Folmer, the founder of Hawk Racing, was an expert in aviation and used his knowledge of this subject to help create the #1 stainless steal bottom bracket on the market.

Just another reason you need a Hawk bottom bracket upgrade.

Where Can I Get a Hawk Racing Bottom Bracket?

So, you like what you've heard so far and want to equip your bike with our components?

That means its time for you to check with your local bike shop to see if they stock our products, and get them to stock them if they don't.

If your local shop refuses to stock our components then you can always visit our site to see all the Hawk Racing Bottom Brackets we have for sale.

Brandon Scales: Hawk Racing Sponsored Rider Interview

We've been looking for a way for people to stay up to date on all the latest Hawk Racing news, and we think a blog should do the trick. We aren't quite sure what we will be posting or how often quite yet but you can expect things like Hawk Racing news, information on our products, installation guides, and maybe even some sponsored rider interviews.

Earlier this week we were lucky enough to sit down and with Brandon Scales, 30 year old sponsored rider from Torrance, CA. He's been riding for Hawk Racing for a while now and he takes incredibly beautiful shots of the landscapes he explores while out on his bike (which is of course equipped with Hawk Racing components).

If your into cycling and beautiful scenery you should definitely give him a follow on Instagram: @shutuplegzzz.

The Brandon Scales Interview

Who are your Sponsors?
Hawk Racing components, Pearl Izumi cycling apparel, And NOW helmets.

Do you remember your first bike?
I definitely remember my first bike. It was a little cheapo bmx ,black, as all my bikes are have been and will ever be. I made it super custom and had the 80s gear to match. I'll attach a photo to this email.

How old were you and what was it?
I was probably 4, that would have been late 80s.

What does your inner voice tell you when the ride gets tough?
My inner voice is a lunatic. I try not to listen to him. He ends up getting me into trouble. Especially on the mountain bike. He usually says things like, “ come on, just do it.” Or , “you can totally afford that.”

If someone was your age and wanted to start riding, what advice would you give?
Better late than never. Be sure to keep fun in mind.

Do you have an ultimate bike goal?
To have the most fun, and find my true self.

Best bike memory so far?
The ones I'll have tomorrow.

What is your favourite place to ride?
I'll ride anywhere, I haven't driven or owned a car in years. I love every aspect of cycling. You tell me where to be and what time, and that's a ride I'll show up for.

Which riders proved inspirational in your early days or now?
My friends. Through out my entire life, haveing fun and pushing boundries with my friends has helped me to grow And continues to inspire me.

Where do you see your bike taking you to this coming year?
To new places, to new memories, to new friends and new versions of myself. Im So excited.

What is riding about to you?
It's about a lot. It's a way of life for me honestly. A way to help our planet, to keep myself healthy, a mode of transportation as well as pleasure.

What is your favorite thing about Hawk Racing Components?
There's a lot I like about Hawk. The first is the amazing quality and care of their world famous bearings. The second is the small family style vibe with with they successfully run their company.