Hawk's original claim to fame was in engineering bearing technology for bottom brackets and derailleur pulleys for road and triathlon racing. Not only have they produced some revolutionary bottom bracket systems, they also make wheel systems and other components that dramatically increase rider performance. Interestingly, Hawk uses non-ceramic bearing technology and nearly all of their products are made in the USA. In fact, based on independent testing, Hawk's BB systems are nearly identical in terms of friction metrics to the leading ceramic-based products out there.
I don't have a lot of input on the wheel quality, but they do use Sapim spokes and Alpina nips, which is good stuff. They also handbuild all wheels in-house in the USA. The wheel highlight I spotted is their Talon Series "Aero" wheelset
, a 23mm wide alloy wheelset with very good weight and aero qualities for both durable training and even racing. At just $549 for the set, that's quite a nice opportunity to go with the new 23mm wide rims and still have great reliability and performance.
What does that all mean to you? It means that you can now get ceramic performance at a lower cost and with the same or better durability. In fact, durability of ceramics has been sort of a mixed bag in my opinion. Theoretically, ceramics are supposed to last two to three times chromium steel bearings. I have to say, I install a lot of ceramics and chromium steel bearings, and don't really go along with the theory. In fact, I have seen a whole lot less durability with ceramics. Yes, riders who choose ceramics tend to be a bit harsher on the equipment. But, in my view, ceramics seem to be just slightly better in terms of durability. And, very often, ceramics must be serviced well before chromium steel or stainless systems to ensure expected longevity.
Check out Hawk Racing products here
. I'm going to purchase a few items for evaluation ASAP and will report on that soon. For now, if you see something interesting, please go through me for procurement. For a limited time, I'll beat any competitive offer out there for Hawk products. And, going forward, I'll at least match any competitive offers.