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Mountain-bike athlete Catherine Vipond used the Phaser model bicycle from Norco Bicycles, designed and engineered with Saint-Gobain’s lightweight Norglide composite bearings, in the 2011 cycling championship season, while fellow cycling champion Andrew Watson chose the model for training in 2011.

The Phaser model is said to be extremely lightweight, making it particularly suitable for racing at professional levels as well for recreational activities.

The Norglide bearings, used in the bicycle’s rear suspension, are designed to be crucial factor in this performance. Weighing just 1.2g each, the composite bearings are one tenth of the weight of traditional rolling-element bearings.

Key benefits of product application

  • The lightweight bearings reduce the overall weight of the Phaser bicycle, enabling cyclists to reach higher speeds than with heavier Norglide composite bearings.
  • They are manufactured with a thick coating of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), a high-performance lubricating material that has the lowest coefficient of friction of all known solid materials.
  • This PTFE coating reduces the stick-slip effect, optimising the performance of the Phaser’s rear suspension by ensuring that the rear wheel is almost always in contact with even the roughest track surface; this increases the cyclists’ control over the bicycle and enables them to enjoy a smoother, more comfortable ride.
  • Offering excellent wear resistance, Norglide bearings do not require maintenance, ensuring constantly low friction values and smooth suspension throughout the lifetime of the component.

Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Rencol

With 15 sites and six R&D centres globally, we at the Bearings and Tolerance Rings Group, a division of Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, provide ‘engineer-to-engineer solutions-in-motion’ to high-volume international OEMs in the automotive, leisure, energy, industrial, and other markets. Backed by a heritage of product innovation, technology, advanced materials and market leadership, we are dedicated to working with customers using their extensive engineering expertise to deliver standard and custom solutions in NORGLIDE® bearings, RENCOL® tolerance rings, SOLGLIDE® bearings, JOINSHIM® rings, and NORSLIDE® cable liners that meet the most demanding applications.

The Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, Bearings and Tolerance Rings Group provides product expertise to six key markets:

  • Automotive (steering systems, powertrain, electric motors, seats and hinges)
  • Bicycles 
  • Solar 
  • Appliances 
  • Industrial valves 
  • Hard disk drives 

Saint-Gobain is a global leader in the design, production and distribution of innovative, high-performance materials for industry and employs more than 195,000 people. With operations in more than 64 countries, Saint-Gobain is the 60th largest employer and among the top 50 global industrial companies worldwide. Saint-Gobain is listed on the stock exchanges of Paris, London, Frankfurt, Zurich, Brussels and Amsterdam. Saint-Gobain’s global strategy is focused around three core markets: 

  • Construction products
  • Innovative materials
  • Building distribution

The company is committed to playing a leading role in developing energy efficient innovations for the housing and construction sectors, protecting the environment, and managing growth in a sustainable fashion.

Saint-Gobain maintains 12 research centres and 101 development units and invests more than €400m in R&D. Saint-Gobain has been at the forefront of innovation for more than 300 years. Last year, Saint-Gobain achieved global sales of almost €42.1bn.

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