Don’t Sweat It: Self-lubricating Compound Polymer Bearings for Fitness Equipment Are Maintenance-free

March 1, 2022 Mike Moalli

Photo: "treadmill" by Jeff Blackler, licensed under CC BY 2.0

With the new year in full swing, many individuals are still sticking to (or putting off) their new year’s resolutions. A couple of the most common resolutions are to lose weight and be more active. There is a wide range of fitness equipment that can help individuals achieve these goals,  each with its own purpose but with one thing in common: a series of moving parts perfectly suited for self-lubricating compound polymer bearings.

These polymer bearings offer numerous advantages compared to their metal counterparts. In this blog post, we will explore the main advantages most relevant to the fitness equipment industry.

Advantages of polymer bearings in fitness machines

Maintenance-free and dry-running

With fitness equipment running almost constantly at some gyms and health clubs, they can’t always be taken offline to perform general maintenance. With a self-lubricating compound polymer bearing’s unique make up with solid lubricants homogeneously blended into the material, there is no need for external grease or lubrication. This keeps the machines running, dirty grease away from the equipment, and its users working up a sweat.

Water and chemical resistant

Speaking of working up a sweat. Many self-lubricating compound polymer bearing materials are both water and chemical resistant. So, whether the bearings get sweat on them from a long cardio session or cleaning products after the gym is closed, they will keep performing at a high level.

Vibration dampening

Silent operation is critical on some higher end fitness equipment. Many self-lubricating compound polymer bearings offer vibration dampening and operate almost silently – great for a late-night workout.

Predictable service life

Being able to predict the service life of a bearing ensures that the bearing will be doing its job long after the piece of fitness equipment it is in has seen its last rep. At igus we offer a lifetime calculation tool based on extensive lab testing done at our German headquarters.  

High loads and shock loads

Let’s face it. We have all loaded up a machine with too much weight thinking we were the Incredible Hulk when really we are closer to Bruce Banner. As the weight and our ego come crashing down, the last thing on our mind is the bearing inside the machine. But rest assured that little bearing can handle the load even if we cannot.

This is only a warm up to the advantages of self-lubricating compound polymer bearings in the fitness industry. If you would like to learn more about our polymer bearings, contact your local igus representative for a consultation or sample.

To see some examples of iglide products used in fitness equipment, click here

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