Praxis has just announced the addition of a hybrid ceramic bearing option for its outstanding conversion bottom bracket. While it isn't cheap at US$195 (approx £119), it's presumably one step higher on the ladder for riders looking to shave every bit of possible drag from their machines.
Whereas the US$85 standard model uses conventional radial-type stainless steel cartridges, this new version instead uses angular contact ABEC5 hybrid ceramic bearings, which – at least in theory – should not only yield reduced friction but also improved durability given the higher preload tolerances of angular contact cartridges.
Otherwise, the rest of the bottom bracket is shared with the standard version. Unlike most conversions that allow the use of 24mm spindles in a PF30 or BB30-equipped frame, the Praxis setup isn't just a set of reducer cups that press into the existing bearings (which adds another set of interfaces and increases the chance of creaking).
Instead, this is a self-contained cartridge setup – not unlike the hallowed old Shimano square tapered designs – that maintains proper alignment between the driveside and non-driveside bearings. Moreover, the unique collet feature expands the bottom bracket's aluminum sleeve out against the inside of the frame to firmly lock things in place.
The unique collet design of the Praxis conversion bottom bracket virtually eliminates the possibility of creaking by expanding outward against the inside of the frame as it's tightened, firmly securing it in place
Praxis says the new ceramic-equipped conversion bottom bracket is available now although there are some caveats surrounding compatibility. According to Praxis, this will not work with Campagnolo or SRAM cranks or frames with 'custom BB30; shells such as the Felt F1/F2/Z1, BMC Impec, and 2009 Jamis Zenith SL. MTB versions also won't work with ISCG03-equipped frames.