I have a CDI FF2 on my 23 that does not have bearings. It is 12 years old and doing fine. In this size I just don't know what they bring to the party. Bearings are supposed to reduce resistance in high speed or side load use. The resistance I see is from any number of other sources but not the drum itself. I've had furler lines jam in the drum, high wind roll ups, the top drum knob catching a halyard and wrapping same, and various other problems related to the use of the CDI. I've solved all those problems, however, none of them would have been prevented by the addition of bearings. But, then I cannot speak to the larger furlers.