Friday, 26 August 2011


... & function, all in one pint-sized skate package - AWESOME!!!! 

Practise your moves at work & your boss need never know...  The price tag may be enough to make you fall off your perch though, in the UK it is currently retailing at over £60! 

Andrew Jones Designs...

Another customer wows us with their wonderful creations!  Talking to Andrew (of Andrew Jones Designs) this morning, he told us about his outdoor sculptures & we are delighted that he's found our bearings are just the ticket to keep them turning smoothly.

Andrew says "While studying art and design at Newcastle in 1972, I co-designed the kite that marked the start of my working life for the next 30 years. That kite was the original Flexifoil power kite which is still made today. It was the unexpected result of a sculpture project exploring the wind. Power kite design is all about using the energy of the wind for a purpose (power kite sports). My work now is to explore and enjoy the wind for its own free spirit. "
Some examples of Andrew's kinetic sculptures...
"The word wind may suggest a powerful force, but it can also be a zephyr blowing gently around anything it encounters. Then, it is often at its most interesting. I turn those unseen movements of the wind into something visible; often chaotic, but sometimes fleetingly ordered or cyclic when the breeze is constant. I am pleased when the movement of the sculpture encourages an appreciation of other things moving nearby, and if the changing angles bring to mind other forms."

Not only are Andrew's creations a delight (if somewhat mind-bending if you watch them for too long), it's also a real privilege to talk to someone so deeply at the heart of creating today's power kiting. 

Being the owner of a number of loved and cherished Flexifoil kites myself as a keen kite-buggyist & land-boarder, talking to Andrew Jones is on a par with being introduced to royalty/Dr Who/Harry Potter - you get the idea! :0)

It has been a great couple of weeks for us here at SMB Bearings, we just love hearing how our customers are getting on & we've been really privileged to see some amazing & inspiring designs.  If you've got any products, ideas, videos or images that you'd like to share with us, we'd be delighted to hear from you too.

RC Quadcopter...

Just spoken to Jakub in Poland, who's responsible for this little RC wonder...

mwc quad - fiberglass frame from warthox on Vimeo.

So cool!! :0)
It also incorporates space & a frame for your Go-pro camera, so you can film your flights with ease.
See more details at Jakub's website 

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Bike Blenheim Palace 2011...

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the event at Blenheim Palace last weekend, to raise funds & have fun in aid of Breast Cancer Care

MORE than 5,000 people got on their bike to raise money for the charity.  The Bike Blenheim Palace festival hosted everyone from competitive cycling fanatics to families in the Woodstock palace grounds.  Competitors could choose from 60 and 100-mile courses through the Cotswolds, finishing at the palace, and a tough 20km time trial all on the closed roads of Blenheim Park.

The event was backed by Cycling Weekly (a great source of news, views & inspiration on all things cycling related).

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Human powered helicopter, experienced cyclists required...

Now that's a gadget!! Hovering for 11.4 seconds has secured a place in the record books for the Gamera team, and for its pilot Judy Wexler, who made the longest human-powered flight by a female U.S. pilot

For the last two years, a team of 50 graduate and undergraduate students from the Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center at the University of Maryland's Department of Aerospace Engineering has been designing, building and tweaking a lightweight, four-rotor helicopter that's powered by the human pilot suspended at its center. The hope is to build a craft capable of walking away with the American Helicopter Society's Sikorsky Prize of US$250,000.

The rules of this challenge - named in honor of helicopter pioneer Igor Sikorsky - state that the craft should get all of its power from the human pilot and that it should thus be capable of hovering for 60 seconds within a 10-meter (32.8-foot) square area. During this time, the lowest part of the machine must reach an altitude of 3 meters (9.84 feet) above the ground - if only momentarily. As of August 2011, no-one has claimed the prize.  Time to get the Meccano out & start building!

The lightweight pilots used throughout the project have also been experienced cyclists, and were free to design their own training regimes based on their specialist knowledge. The team "became aware through our testing that a more focused training plan that optimized for muscular endurance rather than cardiovascular endurance, and one which trained the motion that is unique to Gamera, would produce even better results," said Schmaus. "Moving forward we are working with specialists in Biomechanics to develop a targeted training plan." 

However, the team still think they're a long way off the Sikorsky Prize's target of 60 seconds flight, so there's still a chance for you budding designers out there to nip in & grab yourself a few dollars! :0)

Monday, 22 August 2011

Jankowski Weathervanes

Just had a really nice chat with Stan at Jankowski Weathervanes & he told us to check out his latest creation on video...

It's always so exciting to see our bearings in action (Stan uses our stainless steel miniature inch bearings), but Stan's amazing creations take it to a whole new level!! We can't wait to see what Jankowski Weathervanes come up with next :0)

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

SMB Sponsored downhill skaters rampage...

... & their exploits are caught on camera by friend & fellow downhill skate-nut Oliver Slaughter...

Euro Bandito from Oliver Slaughter on Vimeo.

Thanks for sharing guys! The video gives a real feel for the speeds involved in downhill skateboarding - Aaron Skippings looks awesome as he sweeps down giant slopes, even if he is filming his own butt with a camera on a stick... ;0)  And John Griffiths shows us how to do press-ups & make the most of your flowing locks simultaneously - that is a real skill people!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Bionic Hand for Teenager...

One of our valued customers, Touch Bionics, has made the headlines today with their amazing bionic prosthetics.  Sky News have picked up the story:

"A British teenager has fulfilled his dream of being the proud owner of his very own Mercedes - in the form of a bionic arm.  Matthew James, 14, was born missing his left hand and had adjusted to life with a simple open-and-close grip prosthetic limb.  But after learning about the new electronic hand, called the i-LIMB Pulse, the determined student from Wokingham, Berkshire, knew he had to have it.

Knowing he could not afford the £35,000 device, the Formula One fan wrote a letter to the Mercedes GP Petronas racing team for help.  In his letter, Matthew explained how the new hand would give him more control and freedom, and a much greater range of motions.  He then put a cheeky proposal to the F1 team, asking them to pay for the artificial hand, and in return, he would let the company sponsor it by putting their Mercedes logo on it.

Team leader Ross Brawn said they were touched by the letter so invited Matthew to the Mercedes headquarters, where he toured the factory and met racing driver Michael Schumacher.  After learning more about the prosthetic device - and how it was created using similar technologies to those used in F1 racing - Mr Brawn said they were eager to help.  They got in touch with the bionic hand's developer, Touch Bionics, and a few months later, Matthew had his own fitted.

"It is just amazing," the teenager said after receiving the new limb.  "My old artificial hand had a pretty basic open-close mechanism similar to a clamp.  But with this one I can do everything. It also looks really cool - the outer shell is see-through so you can actually see the mechanics working.  They are even going to put a little Mercedes badge by the wrist."

Matthew said he would now be able to take part in sports involving two hands, like cricket, as well school science lab experiments, which had always been a struggle for him."

Congratulations to all involved in this heart-warming story.  Every one of us here at SMB Bearings is delighted to be involved in supplying our stainles steel miniature bearings to such a great company & project.  You can find out more about Touch Bionics & their incredible prosthetic devices here

26.08.11 Update - Matthew still needs help raising money for his hand, he's nearly there but there's still a way to go - please visit his page here for further details.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

New premises means new bearing sizes....

See the first pictures of our new premises...

Our new home! 

Later this year, or early next year, SMB Bearings is moving to new, larger premises.  This is great news, as it means we'll be able to hold a larger range of stock right here in the UK.

If you have any specific bearing requirements that we do not currently stock, let us know and we'll add them onto our inventory if we can.

All built on the outside, just needs building on the inside now...

We're looking forward to having a bit more space, that's for sure!  And the good news is, we're only moving across the road, so there should be very little disruption to our customers when we move.

Area Map, SMB Bearings' new location.

For details of our current range, please see our catalogue - if we haven't got what you want, let us know!

Friday, 5 August 2011

SMB Bearings review from Aaron Skippings, downhill skater...

Thanks so much to Aaron Skippings for his fantastic review of our products - it's always great to hear that our bearings are a real help to competitive skaters, gravity sports exponents, cyclists & more.  Here's what Aaron had to say:

Skate Bearing

Ceramic hybrid skate bearing

"SMB Bearings are an awesome bearing company from Brize Norton in the UK , these guys have been hooking me up with bearings for skating use , in the picture above on the left is a standard skate bearing from smb and on the right is the ceramic version . As soon as i used these i knew i liked them , they run super smooth and dont make noises or rattles . The bearings are also pretty good at holding the water out if you decide to ride in wet conditions.  I took a few sets of these bearings away with me on the euro tour, i wanted something decent for the world cup races and smb showed me the way. The ceramic versions i especially love as the smoothness of the bearing is at a super high level , no noises and no nonsense from smb again. its hard to say if there is a speed difference between the ceramic and the standard either way i couldnt tell but you know the quality is much higher in ceramics.There super kool bunch of guys have definatly created a brilliant bearing and i hope that other skaters from the uk and even global try these bad boys out , because i gurantee once these bearings are in your wheels ,you'll be riding faster!

Thanks so much for the high praise Aaron - we've put a lot of work into finding the best quality, genuine skate bearings around - we've lots of technical info on them at our website & we also tell you how to care & maintain your bearings for the best performance.

To keep up-to-date with Aaron, check out his blog & of course we'll update you when we have news of his latest exploits to share :0)

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

RC Carrier launches RC aircraft...

How cool is this?!  Shame  about the crashing part, but we can't have everything!!  My Christmas wish list just keeps on getting longer and longer...