Test: Twincam ILQ-X MR2 Bearings
Half-way between 608 and 688
In 2008, Michelin Ukan had gave us a sample for testing. We have had a new version of this product thanks to the EO Skates society, which markets it in France now.
The MR2 have been improved since 2008, the nylon shield has a better resistance to heat.
Another major point: the price! From a retail price of 99€, they are now at the more affordable price of 49€.
Twincam remains the main supplier of bearings in the skating industry. There was a time when more than 50 million units were sold to big skating brands to equip their models.
Contrarily to micro-bearings, the manufacturer didn't change the size of the bearing to reduce its weight, but changed its width and the dimensions of the central bore, which is more open (10mm instead of 8mm)... So that there is no need of using an adapter to put them on the hubs of standard wheels.
The bearing has an elastomer flange on the outside. It is open on the inside, showing a plastic cage and seven small balls, just like in micro-bearings.
The MR2 are supplied with spaces which bring the set-up to the width of a standard 608-type bearing. In the package there is also a set of crosspieces.
Since the last tested model, the cage would have optimized the internal sides for a double aim: that of improving the rolling, and also that of making the bearings more reliable in relieving more the inner ring.
The MR2 weights 7,8g per bearing (without the spacer), and 8,6g (with the spacer).
Comparison: Standard 608 bearings weight 11,2g. You save 23,21% of the weight (i.e. 2,6g per bearing with the spacer).
Wear and tear
Inserting the bearings into the hubs of the wheels is easy. With some wheel models, it is even a bit loose (cf. with Matter EMT hubs).
A damper however: if taken apart the MR2 bearings are quiet with use, but a slight play due to the wear of the frame or due to a lack of precision of the sides will make the set-up a bit noisy.
As for the rolling, it is very smooth on the whole, particularly at high speed when the bearing seems to take more time to saturate than a traditional 608, notably for downhill. On flat grounds, they are pleasant, and don't show any particular resistance.
They remain efficiently waterproof. It seems that the spacers supplied with the bearings serve as protection against water and dust. They resist bad weather, even if you'd better avoid skating with too difficult conditions. We experienced a couple of water moments, which didn't trigger any premature wear.
We already liked the MR2 in 2008, and we like them even more now that their price is affordable! We will opt for the MR2 in order to optimize set-ups with big wheels. The idea will be to save a little bit of weight everywhere we can, to make it easier to skate with 110 wheels. If you combine the MR2 with light frames and wheels, you will get interesting set-ups which should prove to be perfect for long distances or races with a lot of speed changes...
Strong points and points to be improved
Pluses+ smooth skating
+ a significant drop in the price (50%)
minuses– noisy if your frame lacks precisio
The information below is provided only as a guide...
Name: ILQ-X MR2
Created in: 2008
Year of the tested model: 2011
Material: Steel, Nylon for the cage
Weight: 7,8g (without spacer) 8,6g (with spacer)
Price: €49 (recommended retail price) against €99 for the previous model
Recommended use: Competition speed skating, long distance
Concurrent products: No direct concurrency. Or you can go and have a look at micro-bearings...
Useful linksWritten by Alfathor
Translated by Close Yr E's