Polymer bearings in spring-mounted seat posts
Alexander Muzicenko | 5. June 2020
The seat post is an important component of a bicycle, especially when it comes to comfort. Not all roads are level and every impact is passed on to the rider. The saddle alone cannot absorb all impacts. The loads without suspension can have serious consequences for the back, for example. Essentially it is about more comfort and more relaxed riding or sitting. In the following I would like to show the advantages of polymer bearings in this demanding application:
1. The seat post in the form of a parallelogram is usually supported at four points and allows movement in horizontal and vertical directions. In the case of high edge loads and impacts that occur when riding on uneven surfaces or off-road, metallic plain bearings are much more susceptible, as can be seen from the picture below. Plastic bearings made of an iglidur® high-performance polymer last significantly longer with the correct design. Higher elasticity and homogeneous structure offer significant advantages over coated metal plain bearings.
2. The coefficient of friction is also very important for the service life of the bearings. If the material has a high coefficient of friction, clearance quickly occurs due to high wear. A clattering seat post is not only unpleasant and annoying, it also affects the response of the spring and other components. An igus plain bearing consists of a polymer that is optimally selected for the application parameters. This creates the perfect slide pairing between shaft and bearing.
3. Environmental influences such as moisture and dirt are a further challenge when designing the bearings. Corrosion leads to the destruction of the metallic bearing, while the strength of the iglidur plain bearings paired with excellent tribological specifications meet the high demands of corrosion-free operation. Dirt and grime destroy the wafer-thin PTFE layer of some metal bearings. With a homogeneously structured polymer bearing, on the other hand, the entire wall thickness is used and enables a longer service life of the bearing.
4. Furthermore, a plastic bearing offers a weight saving of up to 80% compared to metallic bearings. Especially in cycling, the weight of the bike plays an important role – easier handling, agile riding and therefore better performance. In everyday life you can get from A to B in a much more relaxed way due to reduced physical effort.
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