Friday, 21 December 2012

SMB's Review of 2012...

SMB Bearings have had another cracking year - all thanks to you! 
So, we thought we'd cast our minds back over a few of the best bits...


We were delighted to be joined by Ian Emery, RC Helicopter pilot - he has wowed us with his meteoric rise up the AHA's ranking this year...


F1 In Schools competitors Adactus won the central England F1 in Schools Championship & also best engineered car...

Well done lads!  We're thrilled that our bearings played a small part in your overall success.   


Our new advert featured in Model Helicopter World magazine for the first time...    
If you look closely, you can see that the lovely Ian Emery is our poster boy!    


We had loads of spiffy videos from Shannon Francis, our lovely Bristol-based sponsored scooter rider - here's an example of just such a vid:  



Our EBAY SKATE SHOP finally opened - YEAY!!!

We continue to sell over 2000 other items via our traditional store (ye olde fashioned telephone & email), but thought that we'd give this a whirl & so far, so good!


Vive La France! Our French gravity sports champions took podiums galore & most of the style & glory at La Rigalet...

Marie Bougourd & Philipe Dupuy at Rigalet

Schaeffer Mclean continued to wow us with his skills - this 8 year old skateboarder has had quite a year & his international acclaim continues to grow. 

Check out this great vid for a show of skills & also a lovely reminder of what summer sunshine looks like!


We were so, so proud of young Harry Redstone - we went to watch him competing at Swindon Radio Controlled Model Car Club (SRCMCC for short!) & although he didn't do so well whilst his bearing sponsors were watching (I think we might have put him off his stride a bit :-) ) he has had an amazing overall season & race series & is thinking of competing in national competitions next year...

Harry & his Dad in the pits between races

We were delighted to catch up with Stan at Jankowski Weathervanes again, it is always a real treat to see where our bearings end up & this is never truer than in the hands of a real artisan like Stan...


We got in early & donated heaps of prizes to Hogtoberfest - a downhill skateboarding weekend of mayhem!


Ian Emery finished 3rd in the AHA British Nationals!  What an astounding first-season result for our local RC heli hero.


Our customers continue to delight with their ingenuity - not least this month RSL Steeper & their prosthetic hand (that allows one wearer to make a famous Gallic gesture for the first time in 5 long years!), & Hans Meevis, a wonderfull talented jeweller currently based in Germany.

The fun part came when the lovely ladies at Valleys Roller Dolls got in touch - this dynamic bunch of roller derby afficianados needed some decent skate bearings & we were happy to oblige. 

We look forward to helping them out in the future & following their roller derby progress -if they're not too shy, we'll hopefully tell you more about them soon :-)


Well, what a year it has been!  I hope you enjoyed just a small sample of our many highlights from 2012.  We'd like to thank our clients for their continued custom, our suppliers for their continued support & our friends for keeping us entertained all bally year! 

Christmas lights in London last weekend

We'd like to wish you all the very best for the festive season & the coming year - see you in 2013!!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

SMB Ceramic bearings...

Just a little update on the full ceramic (ceramic rings & balls) & hybrid ceramic (steel rings & ceramic balls) bearings that we currently have in stock.  Please just call us (01993 842555) or email ( if you'd like to make a purchase or just need some more information/advice...

Full Ceramic:

Full ceramic bearing ZR02 (Zirconia rings & balls/PTFE cage)
Zirconia ZR02 bearings
CC6000 ZRO2 - full ceramic bearing/PTFE cage, dimensions 10x26x8mm
CC608 ZRO2 - full ceramic bearing/PTFE cage, dimensions 8x22x7mm
CC626 ZRO2 - full ceramic bearing/PTFE cage, dimensions 6x19x6mm

Full ceramic bearing Si3N4
(silicon nitride rings & balls/PTFE cage or full complement)
Silicon Nitride Si3N4 bearings
CC608 Si3N4 F/B - full ceramic bearing/full ball complement, dimensions 8x22x7mm
CC6806 Si3N4 F/B - full ceramic bearing/full ball complement, dimensions 30x42x7mm
CC687 Si3N4 F/B - full ceramic bearing/full ball complement, dimensions 7x14x3.5mm
CC689 Si3N4 F/B - full ceramic bearing/full ball complement, dimensions 9x17x4mm
CC6806 Si3N4 F/B - full ceramic bearing/full ball complement, dimensions 30x42x7mm

Hybrid ceramic bearing- steel/stainless steel rings & ceramic balls)
Hybrid ceramic bearings
Our famous skate bearings - CB608TW-2RU P5 - chrome rings & ceramic balls, rubber seals, dimensions 8x16x5mm - buy these direct from our EBAY SKATE SHOP.

SCB6002 - stainless steel rings & ceramic balls, dimensions 15x32x.9mm
SCB626 - stainless steel rings & ceramic balls, dimensions 6x19x6mm
SCB6801 - stainless steel rings & ceramic balls, dimensions 12x21x5mm
SCB6807 - stainless steel rings & ceramic balls, dimensions 35x47x7mm
SCB6810 - stainless steel rings & ceramic balls, dimensions 50x65x7mm
SCB6902 - stainless steel rings & ceramic balls, dimensions 15x28x7mm
SCBR144TWZW09 - stainless steel rings & ceramic balls, one metal shield, dimensions 0.1250x0.2500x0.1094"

We can order other sizes in from the factory for you, so please contact us if you need any further information or advice.

Some notes on CERAMICS...

Zirconia (suffix "ZrO2")

• Good corrosion resistance to cold water and many chemicals
• Good high temperature performance up to 300C without cage
• Non magnetic and electrically insualting
• Lower speed and load than steel bearings
• Not suitable for low noise applications
• Higher fracture toughness than other ceramics so better for small shock loads
• Expansion similar to steel so not a problem to use with steel shaft at high temperature.

Silicon Nitride (suffix "Si3N4")

• Very good corrosion resistance to water, salt water and most chemicals.
• Good high temperature performance up to 1000C without cage
• Non magnetic and electrically insulating
• Lower speed and load than steel bearings but Si3N4 balls are used in high speed hybrid bearings.
• Not suitable for low noise applications
• Much lighter than steel or Zirconia
• Very low expansion at high temperature.

Bearings can be supplied with steel rings and ceramic balls (hybrid) or "all ceramic" bearings with ceramic rings and balls. These all-ceramic bearings may have PTFE or PEEK retainers or be supplied as full complement type.

Hybrid bearings (CB/SCB prefix) have steel rings and ceramic balls. Silicon nitride is the most popular for the balls as it has only 40 percent of the density of bearing steel but is much harder giving greater wear resistance. Zirconia is heavier with 75 percent of the density of steel so is less suitable for hybrid bearings.. Hybrid bearings are also capable of higher speeds. Sometimes, excessive claims are made about the high speed capabilities of hybrid bearings. They can run faster than all steel bearings due to the lower centrifugal force generated by the ceramic balls but this is partially counteracted by the lower elasticity of the balls. As the balls are harder, the contact area between the balls and the raceway is smaller which causes a higher contact pressure which can can cause the raceways to wear faster. The speed increase for hybrid bearings is approximately 30-40 percent with adequate lubrication. Hybrid bearings can also operate better with limited lubrication but running speed should be reduced. Hybrid bearings are also less subject to ball skidding under inital acceleration.

All-ceramic bearings (CC prefix) have good to excellent corrosion resistance, are non-magnetic and, apart from silicon carbide, are electrically insulating. All-ceramic bearings can be used in high to very high temperatures if supplied without a cage (full complement).

  • Electrical resistance: Si3N4 best, then ZrO2, then SIC which is conductive.
  • High temp resistance: SiC best (1600C), then Si3N4 (1000C), then ZrO2 (300C)
  • Corrosion resistance: SIC (excellent), then Si3N4 (very good) and ZrO2 (good)
  • Load capacity: SIC highest then Si3N4, then ZrO2
  • Fracture toughness: ZrO2 best, then Si3N4, then SiC
The limiting speeds for all-ceramic bearings are lower due to the lower precision and roundness of the rings and the loads are lower because the material is more brittle. Under heavy loads and particularly heavy shock loads, there is a risk of cracking. For the same reason, great care should be taken with interference fits. Zirconia is the least brittle so it will handle shock loads and very small interference fits better than the other ceramic materials with silicon carbide being the most brittle but generally, shock loads should be avoided. Using ceramic bearings on steel shafts at high temperature can cause bearing damage due to the large difference in expansion coefficient. For more information see Shaft/Housing Fit

WARNING: Hybrid bearings can offer very low frictional torque but the bearing rings must have very good roundness and a high quality raceway finish while the balls must also have very good roundness and surface finish. A lower quality hybrid bearing can have much higher friction levels and a lower maximum speed than a good quality all-steel bearing... 

Any questions?  Please feel free to contact us for further assistance!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Schaeffer Mclean video update...

Check out the Autumn 2012 edit from pocket rocket & skate legend Schaeffer Mclean...

Monday, 19 November 2012

Harry Redstone, (almost) Master of the RC Universe!

Many congratulations to Harry Redstone, who has bagged a nice shiny 2nd place trophy in his first rc race season...

Nice one Harry!  We're all super proud of you & looking forward to following your exploits in 2013...

Thursday, 8 November 2012

RSL Steeper's bionic hands go to the next level...

Many congratulations to our customer, RSL Steeper, designers of prosthetics, orthotics & assistive technology.  They've just launched this amazing space-aged prosthetic hand, with the aim of returning control to amputees:

RSL Steeper say:

"When we created bebionic, we wanted to produce a myoelectric prosthetic hand that could transform the lives of amputees worldwide, and help them to regain independence and control in their everyday lives.  "bebionic3", is the culmination of many years of development and is the most advanced commercially available bionic hand in the world today.

We worked closely with amputees at every stage of development and testing, taking their input and designing bebionic3 to work effectively in real life situations".

Nigel is pictured above, with the bebionic3 fitted - he suffered a crush injury, resulting in amputation, aroung 5 years ago.   Nigel commented, “I can hold the phone, shake hands and wash my left hand normally, which I haven’t been able to for five years! I’m back to being a two finger typist and can even do a very interesting hand signal which I call the 15th function, not particularly functional perhaps, but the psychological benefit is immense! Overall, the bebionic hand has had a great impact on my life, not only does it look more like a human hand but it also functions more like a human hand.”

Many congratulations to all at RSL Steeper, your innovations continue to amaze &, more importantly, to change lives for the better.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Warning, not for the easily alarmed...

Yes this really is Schaeffer Mclean, 8 year old super-skateboarder, underneath the quite frankly freakishly-too-realistic-for-me Exorcist Halloween costume...!!

Friday, 2 November 2012

Hans Meevis, Jeweller (& very funny blogger)...

Citrine ring designed & created by Hans Meevis

We always look forward to hearing from old customers/friends & we were delighted to hear from Hans Meevis again recently, who needed some bearings to repair a jewellery laboratory handpiece. 

Hans Meevis
Formerly based in St Maarten Hans & his lovely wife, Anne, have recently relocated to Germany - you can see more about their adventures (& Hans' amazing jewellery) at their blog & jewellery website.

We've previously supplied some bearings to Hans for a "spinning ring" jewellery project - you can see the bearing seated in the ring here, with a screw throught the centre...

A miniature bearing positioned in Hans' ring

And this is the beautiful, completed ring...

Whilst we hope that our bearings last for a very long time Hans,
we look forward to hearing from you again soon(-ish)!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Hogtoberfest: Well that went well....A big thank you!

Hogtoberfest: Well that went well....A big thank you!:

The organisers of Hogtoberfest say "Thanks to everyone who took shredded, everyone who helped, the centre and the campsite, our wonderful sponsors for putting in SO MANY goodies..."

And we say "No worries"!! Glad that everyone had fun & delighted that our bearings, won as a raffle prize, helped William Ballard bag a first place in his heat - yeay!

Also, you have to check out this brilliant video by Mark Pickering, which truly captures the Hogtoberfest spirit!

OOH!  And we've just had this one from Cam Deegan as well...

Thanks guys!

Friday, 26 October 2012

Cardboard bicycle...

Engineers tell man he can't build a bike out of he goes and gives it a try. Check out the result:

The inventor, Izhar Gafni, has great hopes for his cardboard creation & believes it has the potential to change transportation habits, from the world’s most congested cities to the poorest reaches of Africa.

Cool! But maybe not ideally suited to the British climate... ;-D

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Ian Emery - RC Heli Pilot end of season update...

We've had a great season update from our friend Ian Emery today.  Ian competes in precision aerobatic competitions with his RC helicopters & is turning into a real RC whizz!  Read on for his competition reports:

Dartford – Round 4

"After 2 month break for the European Championships, it was time for round 4 of this years AHA league competitions. At long last I had somebody to compete with, as Jon Kemp had decided to fly the Sportsmans instead of the F3C schedule to prepare for the British Nationals which were to be held at the end of August. The first round we were both quite rusty after the break and neither of us had done much flying due to the bad weather, but Jon did manage to win that round. He also won the remaining 2 rounds but I did manage to close the gap each time, which from a personal perspective I was really pleased with as Jon has been flying Sportsmans for a few years now".

British Nationals (Barkston Heath) – Round 5

"This was my first Nationals competition and it was an early start to drive to RAF Barkston Heath ready for the weekends flying. It was uncertain if the Sportsmans competition would be run due to lack of numbers again, but thankfully we scrapped together enough people. After a nervous wait it was my time to fly. I was really pleased with the improvement from the last competition and managed to finish joint first, getting exactly the same score as Jon Kemp. The other 2 competitors were Stuart Mott and Rob Turnbull who are both members of the British F3N (3D style) Team who had volunteered to enter to make up the numbers. Round 2 was once again a really strong round for me as I finished 2nd behind Stuart who at this point was really beginning to turn out great performances. This meant that I was leading half way through the competition. That is a good as it got as I made a couple of minor errors in the last 2 rounds pushing me back to finish 3rd overall. Stuart won the day as well as winning the F3N competition that he had flown in, with some outstanding flying in both disciplines. I can't be too disappointed finishing 3rd in the British Nationals, and it was a great way for me to finish this seasons competition flying. I would just like to thank SMB for the continued support over the past year".

Thanks Ian - SMB are delighted to play a very small part in your continued success & look forward to supporting you throughout the coming season & beyond!     As the competitive season is now at an end for 2012, it's time for essential maintenance.  To prepare for the new competition season, Ian's helis need stripping back, cleaning & thoroughly maintaining - replacing any worn or damaged parts, so we'll be helping Ian with our precision miniature bearings to ensure competition readiness next year. 

If you need new bearings, why not have a look at our range too...

More news soon!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

SMB Skate Crew, video updates...

A video from Shannon Francis to celebrate her upcoming website ...

And a lovely vid from Schaeffer Mclean...  "the Summer 2012 Adventure with Schaeffer McLean 8 year old skateboarder travelling and having fun on a skateboard. Filmed in Spain, England and Norway including a short tour of all the skate parks on the Costa de la Luz. On our journey we came across a forest fire which inspired the title. The weather temperatures were reaching 43c on some of the days and a week later this fire swept through a huge area of countryside. Thanks to the amazing Haugaland in Norway and Subside Skate Park in Bristol, they are both really great parks".

Thanks guys!  Awesome videos :-)

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Scooter check video...

Our friend Shannon Francis has some awesome friends & some awesome scooter skills, both as a stunt scooter rider & also as a scooter maintenance wizard - you can check it all out in her videos & here is her latest as a taster...

Shannon currently has a big old case of chicken pox right now -bleurgh...
  hope you feel better really soon Shannon!!

Monday, 3 September 2012

Harry Redstone - RC summer series races drama...

 Many congratulations to our friend Harry Redstone, who's just been in touch to let us know that he's finished 2nd (out of around 30 competitors) in the latest round of Swindon Radio Controlled Model Car Club's (SRCMCC) summer race series.  If Harry can win this weekend, then he stands a great chance of clinching the championship as a whole.  We will keep EVERYTHING crossed for you Harry :-)


The latest race in the series took place over 12 rounds & Harry used his Losi 8 EU to great effect to clinch 2nd spot overall! 

Harry's keen eye & attention to setup detail (changing bearings & oil) meant that his car was race-fit & ready to kick some serious butt...  Harry says "my setup influences the end result, because on the outdoor astroturf track you get a lot of grip, so you end up rolling on corners/flipping & things like that - but if your setup is right you should just fly!"

So what's next for Harry? He's looking to bag the top-spot next time around, as well as competing in the SRS race series & also the ultra-competitive national competitions if he can get in...

I asked Harry if he had any advice for people just starting out in the sport & he says "In this sport, you get what you pay for - if you pay £100 for a brand new car it will fall apart so research & then research some more, save up & buy the best car that your funds allow - it will help you in the long run :-) " 

It's always great to learn from someone who's been through it all, so thanks Harry - I am sure your sage words of advice will help save a fair few people from disaster! 

We'll look forward to bringing more of Harry's news as the season progresses.

Friday, 31 August 2012

Jankowski Weathervanes, new projects...

We've just had a quick chat with the lovely Stan at Jankowski Weathervanes.  He's got a bit of a rush on at the moment, but he had enough time to tell us about a few projects & we thought we'd share them with you...

Stan's creations have featured in some weird & wonderful places - on the set of "Nanny McPhee & the Big Bang" for example...

Copper cockerel made for Universal Studios 2010 film
"Nanny McPhee & the Big Bang"

... and are now in demand worldwide - the latest creation is off to Kuwait next week Stan tells us.  Take a look at some of his amazing work below, it's no surpise that there is such international interest!

Stan with his majestic dragon creation

Trout weathervane, just completed & installed

8inch copper Dalek - bet you'd like that on your desk!

Copper Rose
 We're delighted to be a very small part of some of Jankowski Weathervanes work & would like to wish them continued success for the future.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Hogtoberfest Blog is up & running...

Check out the blog for Hogtoberfest...

"Hogtoberfest: Blog: ACTIVATE! And welcome on board Newton's Shre...: Woah! Not all the graphics are done but those of you out there who want to get registered and even paid up can jump on it using the registra..."

See lots more info about this amazing downhill freeride bonanza on the site & join up if you dare - have fun people!!  And if you do go along, you may well win one of the spiffy prizes that we've just donated!!!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

It's behind you!! Doug Brown's close encounter with a giant gorilla...

This photo is awesome!  It features our friend & pro skateboarder Doug Brown (pictured with his board).  Doug is "at the Paul Newman's Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Ashford CT. Paul was notorious for playing pranks on his actor friends so for his birthday one year they got him back placing this large gorilla on his lawn. After Paul's death the gorilla now resides at the camp and is brought out for special events for the kids".  Not sure which would be more epic to have on your lawn, Doug or the gorilla - these guys get both!

Monday, 20 August 2012

ShockWave Skate Team Competition...

Our friends across the water at Shockwave Skate Team (based in Hogansville, Georgia, USA) are having a skate comp soon & we've sent along some prizes for them - we'll look forward to sharing coverage of the event with you soon....

Good luck to everyone taking part, both organisers & competitors - have a great time!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Pro skater Doug Brown...

We've had a news update from our friend Doug Brown, pro skater:

"Greetings Everyone,
Summer 2012 has really shaped up to be a great productive summer with lots of events and travels.

I must be doing something right as the new book is selling well and this is my tenth year as a professional skateboarder.

I never thought the summer of 2002 at a chance meeting at the Gravity Games would open the door for paying sponsors,

a book deal, travels, events and so much more. Last week I flew to Connecticut for what we've labeled the philanthropy tour.

View the video diary here:

Also the story behind my new pro model with Outbreak Skateboards

View here:

For all videos and updates visit:

Order books direct at:

Thanks everyone for the support, lots ahead. Stay positive and keep being yourself.



Thanks for all the news Doug, much appreciated!

Friday, 10 August 2012

SMB Wristbands are back...

... & we have some shiny new stickers to go with them!!


If you're lucky enough to meet up with one of the wonderful people we sponsor they'll be handing them out, so keep your eyes peeled!! ;-D

Thursday, 2 August 2012

SMB's skate bearing store, prices cut on ebay!

With the help of our lovely friends on Facebook, we've been conducting a review of the prices of our skate bearings &, as a result, have reduced prices across the board in our ebay store.  The bearings are the same professional quality, but we've tried to acknowledge the pockets of our younger, budget conscious clients!

ebay prices now start from £6.48 with free postage

We stock over 2000 different sizes - see our complete listing here -
for all other bearings please continue to contact us 
& we'll quote price & delivery by return.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Shannon Francis, scooter rider...

Our friend, Bristol based Shannon Francis, has just made us this really cool advert:

Thanks very much Shannon, you're a star & we are delighted to be sponsoring someone as passionate, creative (Shannon shares some great photos & videos) & dedicated as you.

Shannon is also sponsored by Rat Scooters & Campus Skate Park
because she is THE BEST!

Shannon's latest Instagram photo...

You don't just have to take our word for it though - check out her out on YouTube & on Facebook or maybe even meet her in person if you're down at Campus Skate Park, Bristol...