Thursday, 19 December 2013

Happy Christmas from us all at SMB Bearings!

We are closing for Christmas at 5.30pm on 23.12.2013
& we will re-open at 9.00am on 02.01.2014.

Wishing all our friends & business partners the very best
for the festive season & the coming year!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Winter flying practice...

Thanks to our friend Ian Emery to sending us these photos of his RC heli winter flying practice...

... training hard for the AHA 2014 season already, well done Ian!

Friday, 29 November 2013

SMB's new software goes live on 02.12.13

We are having a new software system installed on Monday 02.12.13
& we expect at least 5 hours disruption whilst this takes place.
We will make every effort to deal with enquiries normally during this time
but if you have any urgent enquiries, please call us on 0044 (0)1993 842 555 & we will do our very best to help you.

Wish us luck, I think we'll need it!

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

SMB's Will Johnson MOVEMBER mania...

We are very proud of our Will & delighted to share with you his MOVEMBER efforts...

During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of millions of moustaches around the world. With their “Mo’s” men raise vital funds and awareness for prostate and testicular cancer and mental health. As an independent global charity, Movember’s vision is to have an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health.

Well done Will for contributing to Movember with some Mexican drug lord face fuzz & letting us laugh at your expense throughout November, all in the name of charity!

Friday, 22 November 2013

Congratulations to Red Set Racing, F1 in Schools World Finalists

It's official, the folks at Red Set Racing are A-MAZING!!

They had the second fastest F1 in Schools car in the WORLD this year...

Check out this vid of the knockout stages to see just how impressive the team's achievement is
(& catch a glimpse of the team at 1m 29s):

It's not all about speed & the knockout rounds though - they designed, built, raced, marketed & raised sponsorship to fund the whole venture themselves...

They placed 8th position overall & also won the F1 in Schools "Ashes" trophy (& given our current cricketing performance, we should take great cheer from this as a nation).

The team have so much appeal that they've even rated a mention in Bearing Industry News!

All at SMB Bearings are tremendously proud of you Red Set Racing

Well done on an epic performance!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Model helicopter photos from Ian Emery...

As always, it's a delight when our friend Ian Emery pops in - this week he updated us on his new canopies, see images below - it looks like Ian will be tackling 2014 in style!

We believe that Ian is currenty involved in the AHA (Association for Helicopter Aerosports) website revamp & also the expansion of the UK competitive flying circuit to a mini-European league... more news soon!

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Red Set Racing at the F1 in Schools World Finals 2013

All of us at SMB Bearings would like to wish Red Set Racing team the very best of luck at the 
F1 in Schools World Finals, being held in Austin, Texas this weekend.

The team, Red Set Racing, formed in August 2012 & are from Sprowston Community High School, Norwich.  Team members are: Ryan Clabon 17 (Team Manager), Will Mulhall 17 &Thomas Carver 17 

Red Set Racing won the F1 in Schools Central UK Regionals in February 2013 & then went on to win the UK Nationals in March 2013, which secured their place in the World Finals. 

Before they jetted off to take part in the competition, the team were kind enough to take the time to tell us about their progress...

"Redsetracing have been working flat out on their bid for theF1 in Schools World Finals in Austin, Texas commencing 9th November. The lads fly from Norwich International Airport to Austin Texas on Thursday 7th at 09:45 to take on the other 40+ Countries competing at the F1 in schools world finals.
They have faced a number of challenges over the last 6 month to get to this stage.  Primarily the biggest hurdle is that of the new 2014 F1 in Schools Competition Regulations. Since becoming UK National Champions in March, F1 in schools have released a new set of regulations which effectively meant a complete redesign of what was a very fast car. 

RSV5 - the World Final model...

Ryan Clabon team manager said “Although we were very pleased with the RSV3, and how it performed at the National Finals, we welcomed the challenge of a complete redesign”. Tom Carver chief engineer added “we cut the rules pretty close to get the fastest car at the UK Nationals, so I have had to completely change my wheel and axel designs to ensure we don’t fall foul of the Judges at the Worlds.” Their new car the RSV5 incorporates the latest motorsport materials such as titanium and carbon fibre composites, as well as using 3D rapid prototyping to test parts before committing time to the manufacture of mould tools etc.
Secondly there is the massive challenge of raising the necessary funds to travel with two teachers and all of the equipment to the USA. The Team have engaged in a number of marketing activities including inviting potential sponsors into school, for ‘an F1 day’, complete with full size F1 simulator and even undertaking paid work for their primary sponsor KLM UK Engineering. Will Mulhall who has oversight of marketing for the team said “Yes, it has been a real challenge. We set ourselves the goal of raising £10K from mostly local firms, we have beaten that; raising over £10550.00. This enables us to travel from our local airport ‘Norwich International’ with flights booked with KLM. Seeing as KLM UK Engineering has given us and our school so much support, this was the least we could do”.

The team, ready for departure

Graham Parker the lead teacher for the team said “I am fantastically proud of what the lads have achieved, they have worked so hard, not only to raise the funding and create what is essentially, an industrial quality exhibition, but most impressively they have also lobbied the Secretary of State for Business, Vince Cable along the way; getting his department to support the F1 in schools initiative. They are a real credit to the school and an example to young adults around the country that you get out of life what you are prepared to put in, marvellous stuff.” Mr Wavell the teams main mentor has been working hard alongside Ryan Clabon manufacturing a travel system which will not only safely store and transport the equipment needed in Texas, but also double-up as part of the pit display “we got inspiration at the British Grand Prix when we visited Ferrari Scudaria’s mobile HQ and we thought, hey, we should aim to create something along similar lines.”
The lads are off to conduct a final round of testing at Denford™ UK headquarters in Brighouse on Thursday and then it will be all-systems-go to pack and prepare for flights leaving on the 7th November".

The team have arrived safely in Austin & we look forward very much to hearing how they get on in the competition today.  Our small contribution to their victory attempt is the very best & fastest bearings that we could find, as every millisecond is going to count at the World Finals!  We'll bring you more news as we have it, but in the meantime check out the team's Facebook page for updates.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Schaeffer Mclean, 9 year old skateboarder, 2013 video highlights...

It's always exciting to catch up on Schaeffer Mclean's exploits & here's a brilliant video round-up from the last few months:

Filmed in Various skateparks around the UK. 2.14 is a fake fight!!!!! Thanks to RED CLAY for the awesome soundtrack
Schaeffer McLean has been skateboarding and uploading videos to his channel Schaeffernico since the age of 4. His channel is now one of the most watched skateboarding channels on YouTube with over 20 million of views. You can find him skateboarding at parks across the U.K. Spain and other countries trying out new tricks, having fun and adventures and enjoying the spirit of skateboarding. Stay tuned lots more videos coming....

Friday, 1 November 2013

SMB Bearings new website is now LIVE!

Well done to Will Johnson, who's been toiling over all the data for many weeks now. There's lots of technical data & product data now at your fingertips, so get in there & investigate!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Aaron Skippings, Downhill Skate season round-up...

 Aaron Skippings & his exploits (both on & off his board) have been keeping us entertained for years now, so we were delighted to receive a 2013 skate season update from him - he's been pretty busy on the European downhill circuit this year:

"As I type this memory from summer and everything floods back to me I really do realise how much I love skating. The best parts of my life so far have been skating and the friends I have met through it. Also the countries i have visited because of skating - stuff like this makes me feel so good about myself . I've done something that I can look back on in 30-40 years and say that was my life then and it was sick!

Aaron, pictured left

But anyway enough of that! My summer was sick and this was what I did...
The plan was a skate tour. Hit up Switzerland and shred for a bit before heading off for Almabtrieb skating championships in Germany host by the awesome Stephan Risch (makes awesome helmets). we travelled there in a rented minivan - the crew was Josh Monk, Oli Jepson, Kami San, Dan Shinnie, Duncan Kay, Oliver Slaughter, Chloe Blount, Estelle Solkhon,kessa.  Some of us travelled in the mini van and some others in Oli Jepson's car.  Pretty much the Newtons Shred crew!! (sick skate shop!) . Switzerland was a dream!  I had been here in 2010 and was itching to go back. The skate spot we hit had so many turns I lost count. It was really good for skate progression i.e. speed,slides etc.  Our camp location was truly staggering, a campsite with mountains surrounding you everywhere - what's not to love ? Also a massive lake, complete with diving board....this was heaven.

After a few days in Switzerland it was time to leave for Germany . Again I had been to Almabtrieb in 2010 and loved it . 60 m.p.h. hills with sweeping turns is what its all about . A good track for beginners who really wanna hit the big bucks and shred a fast hill. The race format was really well thought out as we had to race to qualify, instead of doing 1 or 2 timed runs and not qualifying and feeling crap the next day as everyone raced and you did nothing. We had around 9 races to qualify which for 200 odd riders is a hell of alot of riding. I managed to finish 2nd in all but 1 of my heats so I placed pretty high up and secured my place for the finals the next day.   The finals didn't go so well but I wasn't too bothered.  The race to qualify was what it was all about . Everyone got to race and gain experience for next time. It truly did set the bar for how skate events should be run. Stephan promised and didn't disappoint. The euro trip was over and everyone was shattered. The only bad time was coming home and it was 800 miles over 5 countries in 17 hours!!!

Thanks to my sponsors:
Newtons shred, PSD Footstops, Riptide Bushings, 9.81 Swiss boards, crash test dummie pucks  & BANDITOS.

Also massive thanks to SMB Bearings for keeping me rolling down them hills! Truly awesome bearings!
Aaron over and out".

Thanks so much Aaron, we're thrilled to be supporting you 
& glad to have been a small part of your European tour in 2013.
We're looking forward to keeping you rolling harder & faster in 2014!

Monday, 28 October 2013

New SMB Bearings Ltd Website... uploading RIGHT NOW & will go live later this week - hooray!!!!!!!!

It will reveal our stocks & technical information to you in a (hopefully) user friendly 
& accessible format. Visit SMB Bearing to see all the changes... 

We've worked very hard to make all the information as accurate as possible, 
but don't hesitate to let us know if you spot any bloopers! :-)

Friday, 27 September 2013

Schaeffer Mclean Skateboarding in Russia...

Video of Schaeffer McLean's latest skateboarding adventure,
having fun in Moscow this summer.
Schaeffer says "Russia is AMAZING, and so are the Russian Skaters!!!" - so are you kid, so are you! Thanks for sharing your brilliant adventures.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Harry Redstone's trophy cabinet expands...

Race like the wind...

Care & maintain your car to the highest competitive standard...

And your trophy cabinet could look like Harry's...

Well done Harry - what an amazing 2013 race season you've had!

A Blast From Our Past...

Whilst rummaging through some old bits and bobs, we found this newsletter from 2002 - we also found some highly entertaining photos, but we can't show those - we're still blackmailing the subjects...

All our technical information is now on our website & we now have a blog rather than a newsletter, but our passion for bearings & happy customers is just as strong today as it was in 2002!

Monday, 23 September 2013

Skate video updates...

Our friend Aaron Skippings shared the Vandem Freeride 2013 video with us...

Vandem Freeride 2013 (Official Video) from New Fruit Film Production on Vimeo.

And this one is from the lovely Schaeffer Mclean:

"The Annual skateboarding competition at The Lloyds Big Three legendary skate spot in Bristol takes place in September, A Game of Skate, Ledge Tricks and finally the Big Three Jump, its huge!! Watch all the contestents throw themselves to land tricks for the prize money. Schaeffer attempts this jump for the first time ever.... But then the English weather beats everyone....."

Thanks guys, what a brilliant way to kick off the week! :-)

Friday, 13 September 2013

Re-lubricating bearings with non removable shields...

SMB Bearings have been re-lubricating bearings for over twenty years but, more recently, we began to work on the problem of how to re-lubricate bearings with non-removable shields.

The grease needs to be correctly located in the raceways, properly distributed around the bearing and there must be just the right amount depending on customer requirements.

After much thought and many months of testing, SMB bearings developed a bespoke re-lubrication system that allows us to provide correctly lubricated bearings, with a grease weight of the customer's choice and, very importantly, without removing the shields.

Shield removal can damage the shields, making it impossible to re-fit them. This is even more difficult with smaller bearings unless they have circlip retained shields. This technology is used weekly to re-lubricate both our own bearings and customer-supplied bearings

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Introducing Nelly, the real brains behind SMB Bearings

& one of our longest serving staff members - Nelly has been keeping us entertained for 12 years, popping into the office for biscuits, sandwiches & a chat...

...pictured here with her personal back scratcher Will Johnson. Will is also our resident web-designer & we'll be launching his new site shortly. In the meantime, if you call us at the office you may well hear Nelly chatting away in the background!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Welcome to Sickboards, now an SMB Bearings stockist...

SMB Bearings are delighted to say that Sickboards in the Netherlands
are now stocking our skate bearings.

If you aren't able to visit their amazing store in person, then check it out online - it's awesome!

Monday, 9 September 2013

Harry Redstone, BRCA National Series Competition Report

Harry Redstone competed in the final round of the radio controlled car competition, the BRCA Nationals in Slough on 7th-8th September. Harry says:

"Well the national series is over, I had a good time progressing with each round which is always a good sign to show that all the hard work is actually doing something. I really enjoyed the round at Slough, I just need a bit more consistency and I'll be up there.

I will definitely be doing the nationals again next year, I really enjoyed it. Shame its over - bring on the BRCA micro nationals! A big big thankyou to all my supporters/sponsers - a big help as always! Big thanks to Smb Bearings, IB Prostart, Anthony Lorton, Kevin Brunsden and Modelcars Reading and thanks to Colin Kirkham for actually getting me into the nationals (shame your not doing them next year)"

It seems that Harry experienced highs & lows, but it's all been a great learning curve & we're sure he'll storm it in next year's competitions!

Well done Harry, you may not have won the series this year but we are so, SO proud of you! We know how much hard work you've put into getting as far as you have - even with the support of your amazing family & friends, it's still a really tough challenge.

Aaron Skippings' Euro Downhill Skate Tour Summer 2013

Thanks to our friend Aaron Skippings for sharing his latest escapades with us!

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Schaeffer Mclean & Boneless Skateboards...

Our friend Schaeffer Mclean challenged himself to land a kickflip over the big 4 stair at Emersons Green Skatepark in Bristol. This is what happened:

And just back from a recent skating holiday to Russia, Schaeffer got 2 nice skate decks from local Moscow board company

 Now back in the UK, Schaeffer was eager to try out his new deck, so on the last day of the summer holidays, he put on his new deck and went to ride a local skatepark:

Monday, 2 September 2013

Update from Doug Brown, pro skater...

We're delighted to have received an update from our friend Doug Brown, US pro skater, author & speaker...

Aug.28th, 2013
Today I was invited to speak to a very special group of athletes. Coach Felton of the nationally ranked soccer team, the Lady Mustangs has used my books and philosophies for his team this year as a theme. "Capture the moment" is my motto they have been using. I was so moved that they knew my story and that I've been inspiring them for weeks without even knowing this till a few days ago.

They were very receptive to my speech, I felt the reciprocation of energy and my purpose for being there. There were two simple chairs placed in a room for me and the coach, we were surrounded by the team, this was an intimate unplugged version of my program. It all felt very "Inside the actors studio with James Lipton." The intimacy and the topics tackled became a marriage of my life on and off the skateboard and their life on and off the field. Optimism, hope, believing in yourself and surviving adversity where at the forefront. In a couple months I will be joining the team on the bench as a guest for a pivotal game ahead. I'm beyond thankful and flattered by the events today. Many thanks to Coach Felton and the Lady Mustangs."

Doug is certainly very busy! Find out more about him at his websites:

Friday, 30 August 2013

SMB Bearings - proud to supply EZO bearings to Universal Robots, used in robots for Volkswagen...

At SMB Bearings Ltd we are always delighted to share news from our customers, who never cease to amaze us with their innovative flair! One such customer is Danish company Universal Robots, who we supply with our EZO precision bearings. They have just shared this press release with us.

First robot collaborates directly with employees in Volkswagen plant

Car manufacturer Volkswagen backs robots from Universal Robots to promote ergonomic working processes.

Odense (Denmark)/Salzgitter, August 29, 2013 - The car manufacturing group Volkswagen has integrated an industrial robotic arm of the Danish manufacturer Universal Robots into mass production at its engine production plant in Salzgitter. The lightweight robot UR5 is installed in the cylinder head assembly section, where it is responsible for handling delicate glow plugs. What is special about this is that it is the first collaborative robot in use at Volkswagen worldwide. Due to its integrated safety mode the six-axis robotic arm is able to collaborate directly with people without any guards. It thus contributes significantly towards optimizing healthy working processes.

The Volkswagen plant in Salzgitter, with an area of 2,800,000 square metres, is one of the largest engine production plants in the world. Some 6,000 employees manufacture approximately 7,000 petrol and diesel engines in over 370 variants there every day. The 3- to 16-cylinder engines are installed in the various models and brands of the Volkswagen group. The car manufacturer recently deployed a collaborative industrial robotic arm of the Danish manufacturer, Universal Robots, with people in the cylinder head assembly section of the plant for the purpose of inserting glow plugs into the cylinder heads.

By reason of its integrated safety mode (matching Standard EN ISO 10218), the industrial robot is able to work in the close vicinity of humans. It is equipped with a collaborative gripper, which the system integrator Faude Automatisierungstechnik has developed exclusively for Volkswagen and which meets the safety requirements of ISO/TS 15066, the specification standard for collaborating robots. Thus the robot was able to be integrated into the production line without additional protective housing.

‘We would like to prevent long-term burdens on our employees in all areas of our company with an ergonomic workplace layout. By using robots without guards they can work together hand in hand with the robot. In this way, the robot becomes a production assistant in manufacture and as such can release staff from ergonomically unfavourable work’, explains Jürgen Häfner, project manager at Volkswagen’s Salzgitter plant.
The project was implemented over a period of two years in close collaboration with Universal Robots’ distributor partner Faude Automatisierungstechnik. Together, the two employees in production, which were previously responsible for fitting the glow plugs onto the cylinder heads, should be relieved of a burden. Until now they had to insert the glow plugs in a stooping posture into the scarcely visible cylinder head drill holes.

Hand in hand with a robot colleague
This step is now being taken over by the six-axis UR5 lightweight robot from Universal Robots. It carefully picks up the delicate glow plugs, which are provided by a specially designed separation system, and puts them into the hard-to-reach drill holes. An employee is then responsible for tightening the glow plugs and for insulating the cylinder head, which is required for the next step in production. Thanks to the direct joint working with the robot, which acts as an assistant, he can carry out these activities in an upright, healthy posture. In doing so, he is able to keep a constant watch over the process, so as to be able to intervene quickly when necessary.

‘We are delighted with the successful implementation of this unprecedented project and with the fact that our robots can contribute towards ergonomic work processes,’ says Thomas Visti, Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Universal Robots.

‘This was able to be accomplished mainly due to the result-oriented and constructive cooperation between Volkswagen and our partner Faude Automatisierungstechnik.’

UNIVERSAL ROBOTS A/S Universal Robots is a Danish manufacturer of industrial robots. The company was founded in 2005 with the aim of making robotics accessible to all. The result is a lighter, more flexible and more environmentally-friendly robotic arm which has revolutionised the market for industrial robots. This was hitherto dominated by large, heavy and expensive robots. Universal Robots develops and sells robotic arms which easily automate monotonous and laborious processes in the industry and make them more effective. As a result, the production shop can use employees where they really create value. Universal Robots has approximately 100 employees. Entire development and production take place at the Odense site in Denmark.

Further information about Universal Robots is available at:

Many congratulations to all at Universal Robots on this development!

Friday, 23 August 2013

Marie Bougourd (aka Spoky Woky) is on top of the world!

Marie Bougourd (aka Spoky Woky) tops the international IDF rankings...

We are so pleased that our bearings have played a part, however small, in Marie's massive success! She says "but for feed back your ceramic bearing are still super awesome ! I love them"

Why thank you, that means a great deal coming from the World Number ONE!!!

Good luck defending your title in South America Spoky Woky!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Congratulations Spoky Woky, Podium Finisher at Peyragudes...

A massive congratulations to our friend & downhill skater Spoky Woky (aka Marie Bougourd) who, despite a knee injury, managed to bag a podium finish at the IDF (international Downhill Federation) event in Peyragudes last weekend. What an AMAZING lady!!

Spoky Woky says: "Check that awesome movie about Peyragudes Finals !! That event has the most surprising event of the season for me , i was actually at the point to not attempt to it because of a knee injury at Grim Mountain , and finally Sickboard convinced me to join them just to be there and enjoy watching the race and finally my knee get better and i did it to the final and took the second place ! 
That was not even expectable for me ! 

Thank you Lisa Karina , Martijn Schrama , Annemiekje Nogwat (and congrats guuuuurllll ) , Kevin Reimer for pick me up on their way to Peyragudes , Sickboards Longboards is killing it ! Thank you Koma Kino for the event and his support . RipTide Bushings have been killing it on that track , Aera Trucks, Orangatang Wheels team always around to help , SMB Bearings can't stop to get me faster and my Classic pan still here to make me feel like home on every roads.

 It was so a huge joy to meet again my french friends which were screaming for me in the hairpins (i heard you ) , and what else than come back home and know that my best friend Pommy Hwwod who is also my exroomate and the OG of the Lyon Longskate Crew became a dad this week end !!!! I'm so happy right now , i just wanted that you know it" 

 Well done Spoky Woky, we are so, SO, SO proud of you & your fantastic achievements this season - the IDF rankings show what a mega star you are!

Monday, 12 August 2013

Schaeffer Mclean at BaySixty 6 Skatepark, London...

Great new vid from sponsored skater Schaeffer Mclean - his Mum, Eve, says:

"Schaeffer skateboarding at BaySixty 6 Skatepark in London. This was the first time he had seen it since Nike refurbished it, and he had fun exploring the new layout on a couple of evenings when we went there".

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Changes at SMB Bearings Ltd...

SMB Bearings Ltd (our UK company) & SMB Miniature Bearings (our international company)
are to merge on 31.08.13.

From 01.09.13 we will be SMB Bearings Ltd - during this transition we will be trading as normal.

For our UK customers there will be no change, but our international customers will need to update their records.

We will be contacting all our international customers personally to advise what VAT & bank details will need to be changed, but do please feel free to contact us via email at
or call us on 0044 (0)1993 842555 if you have any questions.

We're also taking this opportunity to upgrade our servers, software & website, so that we can provide a fast, effective & streamlined service for all our customers.

Oh yes, and we're moving to larger premises next year,
so that we can expand our existing stock levels & develop new ranges.

After all this, we'll barely recognise ourselves!

Friday, 2 August 2013

Harry Redstone - BRCA Rallycross Championship 2013

We'd like to wish Harry Redstone the very best of luck for this coming weekend - he's taking part in the fourth round of the BRCA Rallycross Championship 2013, being held in Bromsgrove this weekend.

Harry has been racing for a number of years, on a local & regional level, with great success but he is new to the national competition this year & it's been a bit of a steep learning curve. Harry says "Yeah its alot harder and alot more serious - you've got to move out the way for faster drivers and stuff. And tracks are highly prepped so it's a lot better - there are referees as well, so say your driving bad they'll tell you to calm your driving and if you take someone out you get a championship warning :-) !!"

Harry has learnt fast though & has improved his rankings meet on meet. Of the coming weekend Harry is pretty philosophical... "I'll be happy if I beat my last race, which was 78th place - I've gradually got better, first national I came 124th, second I came 80 something and third I came 78th" So by the fifth & final round of the BRCA Rallycross Championship this year we reckon Harry could well be on the podium!!

Good luck to Harry & all those taking part - have a great weekend of racing.