Saturday, 28 November 2009

1st Birthday...

Doesn't time fly by - we're celebrating our blog's 1st birthday today!
A big
to all our lovely contributors & loyal visitors - we've enjoyed your comments, guest posts, suggestions & helpful hints enormously.
We hope that you enjoy our blog - we will always welcome any thoughts, comments, ideas, posts, criticism etc so please keep in touch.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Skate Vid...

A little something to keep you entertained over the weekend... have a great one folks!

Think you can do better than this?

Fancy being an SMB team rider? Send us your vids & stats & we'll look at sponsorship options. We are proud supporters of our riders & indeed all those that we currently sponsor in cycling, skating & rc modelling. You don't have to be well known - if you're just enthusiastic & motivated then we'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

The world's most expensive bicycles...

We're not the sort here to revel in other people's misfortune, but we did have to have a little chuckle at this...
Britain's biggest retailer, Tesco's, is taking legal action after mistakenly paying almost £1 million for six bicycles which should have cost less than £1,000, sources said.

Tesco is seeking restitution of the overpaid monies following the error by its finance team, who in August should have paid £984 for six Muddy Fox Suspension Bikes but paid £984,000 instead. Oops! Still, best not to laugh too long or hard as it can happen to the best (or stupidest) of us ;0).


Friday, 20 November 2009

Mach1 Team - F1 in Schools Regional Champions...

Our hearty congratulations to Mach1 Team from Lutterworth College, who at yesterday's regional finals qualified for the National F1 in Schools Championship final being held at Birmingham's NEC, during the Autosport International Show, in January 2010.

Mach1 celebrated a trio of trophies, taking overall victory in the Formula 1 class, as well as taking awards for the Fastest F1 car(1.289 seconds) and Best Engineered car.

Pictured below are Johnny, Elliot, our very own Chris in the middle, Alex & Ricky. Chris joined the talented quartet for race-day at the NEC, to offer whatever technical assistance & general encouragement he could (& to get to play with lots of cars...).

The cars, designed by students aged between 9-19 race along a 20 metre track, shown below, at speeds in excess of 60Kph...
Teams are judged on car speed, as well as supporting evidence of their design, verbal presentation and marketing display stand in ‘‘the pits”. The Mach1 team's pit was very impressive & made great use of all the materials they had gleaned from their sponsors, including SMB Bearings.
The victorious Mach1 can't rest easy though, as preparation must begin in earnest for the national finals, now only 8 weeks away.
We'll be working hard for the team too & are looking for ways to improve our bearing performance as much as possible to achieve an ultra free-running, high speed finish. We've already treated previous bearings with Diamond Nanolube & are now looking again at this option, compared to results achieved by coating bearings with a Molybdenum disulfide suspension. Both substances act as thousands of tiny particles, suspended in a carrier oil, coat the surfaces of the bearing & float between the metal parts of the bearing to keep surfaces apart (it will still work even if the carrier oil is gone):
  • preventing metal to metal contact
  • prolonging bearing life
  • reducing friction
  • preventing galling, gouging & scoring
  • preventing heat build-up
We're not sure ourselves yet whether there will be any advantage between the two different methods for this application, but we'll do our best to find out very soon.
We'll also be investigating the benefits provided by ceramic hybrid bearings (ceramic balls, metal cage, rings & shields). The speed increase for hybrid bearings is, on paper at least, approximately 30 percent with adequate lubrication. Hybrid bearings can also operate better with limited lubrication as the lower friction material generates less heat but running speed should be reduced.
A word or two of caution - ceramic hybrids have become something of a fashion "fad" in recent times, with many Chinese hybrids flooding the market. These bearings are often of a poor quality & do not deliver on a theoretical promise to reduce friction & increase speed. For Mach1, we'll be trying to deliver on the theoretical promise by sourcing Japanese ceramic balls for their bearings... watch this space ;0).

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Fishing photos...

We've found a wonderful site for fishing & wildlife fans who also love their photography, called Inshore Nearshore - just visit I hope they won't mind us showing you a couple of prime examples of their beautiful work...

In weird fishing news this month, a Japanese 10 tonne fishing trawler was sunk by giant jellyfish...

On 2nd November, the crew of the fishing boat was thrown into the sea when the vessel capsized, but the three men were rescued by another trawler. The trawler, the Diasan Shinsho-maru, capsized off Chiba`as its three-man crew was trying to haul in a net containing dozens of huge Nomura's jellyfish. Each of the jellyfish can weigh up to 200 kg and waters around Japan have been inundated with the creatures this year. Experts believe weather and water conditions in the breeding grounds, off the coast of China, have been ideal for the jellyfish in recent months.

One of the largest jellyfish in the world, the species can grow up to 2 meters in diameter. The last time Japan was invaded on a similar scale, in the summer of 2005, the jellyfish damaged nets, rendered fish inedible with their toxic stings and even caused injuries to fishermen.

These aren't like the jellyfish I remember as a kid, you used to be able to poke those with a stick & escape unscathed (except for the telling-off you got from your Mum of course)!!

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Another skating great...

Kid stuck in a skatebowl...

... you sort of feel sorry for them, but it is funny & our Dr Evil side won out ;0)

Good news in SMB-land this week, our skate shirts, caps, jackets & decals are being printed (hooray!!) & this is a taste of what they'll look like...

Monday, 9 November 2009

Mach1 Team F1 in Schools Update...

With only days to go now until the regional finals of the F1 in Schools Competition, at Birmingham's NEC on 19.11.09, the Mach1 team have announced the launch of their new website & you can take a sneaky peak here...

Good luck to everyone taking part, but most especially to our very own Mach1 team! We look forward to meeting you on the day & hope that everything goes well for you in the run-up to the big event.

If anyone else fancies going along to supprot the teams & have a great day out, you can register for a pass at


Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Spectating is a dangerous sport...

Free-running wheel bearings aren't necessarily such a good idea, especially when combined with gravity & forward momentum!