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Old 02-15-08, 02:08 PM   #1
fprintf
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Ceramic bearings whiny post

I found on http://www.bocabearings.com/main1.as...GR.5_BALLS_(EA.) that replacement ceramic ball bearings are incredibly expensive! Almost $4 a ball, and there are 12 on each side of a Bontrager hub. That's $96 a wheel.

I am hoping they come down in price at some point. I see now why only the real weight weenies would want to upgrade to ceramic bearings. They are the only ones that can afford to spend that kind of money on balls.

What is the point of my post? None really, just whining. I can never afford the really cool tech. Grease and metal it'll have to be for the time being.
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Old 02-15-08, 02:09 PM   #2
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I guess I should have looked a little closer. Cost is actually closer to $36 a wheel for Shimano 105/Dura Ace.

http://www.bocabearings.com/main1.as...d=1928&pgid=14
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Old 02-15-08, 05:17 PM   #3
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Did you calculate the overall weight savings in grams then convert it to ounces?

If so, you could be a true weight weenie...
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Old 02-15-08, 05:50 PM   #4
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"They are the only ones that can afford to spend that kind of money on balls." QUOTE.


We are not going to go there are we!


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(ROTFLMAO)
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Old 02-15-08, 05:51 PM   #5
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I spent more than that on my balls...


Then again, that saves me $200K/kid.
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Old 02-15-08, 06:03 PM   #6
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There are sources less expensive than Boca.

http://www.vxb.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?

I've purchased from them and can speak for their service. It's very good, in my experience.
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Old 02-15-08, 08:09 PM   #7
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Fairie dust is expensive too, and about as useful.
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Old 02-15-08, 08:20 PM   #8
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Fairie dust is expensive too, and about as useful.
Ceramic bearings sprinkled with Fairy dust will save you 17.5 seconds over a 40kmTT.
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Old 02-15-08, 08:36 PM   #9
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Fairie dust is expensive too, and about as useful.
As much as I love bicycle technology...I can't disagree.

The cost/benefit ratio for ceramic bearings just isn't there yet, even figuring that they are rated to last 5X longer.

I look at bearings much like chains: Run decent quality gear and replace it more often rather than buy expensive gear and wait longer than you should due to the prohibitive replacement cost. Unless you're at the top percentile of pro racing, the benefits are negligible, if not immeasurable.
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Old 02-15-08, 08:43 PM   #10
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I can agree with the whining on this one, but not because I can't afford it. I'll whine because the people who can afford these things (or other high-tech, useless things) have more money than sense while I have to build my bike as cheap as possible out of the used parts bin.

Nobody said it was fair though. I like my $250 Trek 710 better than I would like a $2000 CF anything, because I put it together myself.
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Old 02-16-08, 07:30 AM   #11
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"I'll whine because the people who can afford these things (or other high-tech, useless things) have more money than sense" QUOTE.


I suppose one may 'lump', computers during the '80's/'90's into what you have to say?

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Old 02-16-08, 07:53 AM   #12
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Ceramic bearings sprinkled with Fairy dust will save you 17.5 seconds over a 40kmTT.
The Fairy Dust alone will save 17.49 of those seconds.
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Old 02-16-08, 01:33 PM   #13
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"I'll whine because the people who can afford these things (or other high-tech, useless things) have more money than sense" QUOTE.


I suppose one may 'lump', computers during the '80's/'90's into what you have to say?

Regards,
J T
Note that I said "useless." That doesn't really apply to computers even in the 80s, definitely not in the 90s.

I was really only speaking to inappropriate and expensive bike components. Ceramic ball bearings are not necessary in any bike component (no high heat, no high speed, no high loads), and weight savings are going to be minimal at best. You will lose far more weight in sweat over the course of a ride than you can ever save in bearing material.
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Old 02-16-08, 01:38 PM   #14
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Ceramic ball bearings are not necessary in any bike component (no high heat, no high speed, no high loads), and weight savings are going to be minimal at best. You will lose far more weight in sweat over the course of a ride than you can ever save in bearing material.
Couple that with the fact that the weight is at the hub and not rotational weight.

Be careful with that Faerie Dust: It just made the UCI's banned substances list.
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Old 02-16-08, 02:22 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Grease and metal it'll have to be for the time being.
Surprisingly enough, that's all they had for many years of bike racing.
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Old 02-16-08, 02:54 PM   #16
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I thought the main advantages of ceramic was less friction, smoother running and longer life?
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Old 02-16-08, 02:59 PM   #17
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I thought the main advantages of ceramic was less friction, smoother running and longer life?
Those are the claimed advantages. The actual differences in bicycle use are so tiny as to be insignificant. The only real and measurable difference is the tremendous cost penalty.
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Old 02-16-08, 03:54 PM   #18
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I used to use Boca's ceramic bearings when I raced R/C cars at a competitive national level. These cars were electronically timed to the 1/100 of a second per lap. There was absolutely no difference in lap times between ceramic bearings and steel bearings. They also did not last longer. One slip into the outer wall and you needed 2 new right front bearings.
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Old 02-16-08, 06:48 PM   #19
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all right now, let's all stop the damm whinning, all of you know that if you REALLY want these nice ceramic bearings for your bikes you can afford them, now stop and think if you really want it you will save up for it. and i will tell you that i have ceramic bearings on all of my bikes and they are worth every penny.
you will be able to go faster with less effort and coast much longer.
i used syn grease with Slick 50 to lube all of the bearings.
i have ceramic bearings throughout the entire drivetrain of my bikes including the pedals and derailuer pulleys.
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Old 02-16-08, 08:44 PM   #20
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all right now, let's all stop the damm whinning, all of you know that if you REALLY want these nice ceramic bearings for your bikes you can afford them, now stop and think if you really want it you will save up for it. and i will tell you that i have ceramic bearings on all of my bikes and they are worth every penny.
you will be able to go faster with less effort and coast much longer.
i used syn grease with Slick 50 to lube all of the bearings.
i have ceramic bearings throughout the entire drivetrain of my bikes including the pedals and derailuer pulleys.
Some people need the boost...whether it be actual or placebo.
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Old 02-17-08, 08:38 AM   #21
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Hmmm, they could just be fairy dust

"There was a measurable drag difference between ceramic bearings and steel bearings when we tested unloaded wheels, but the difference was small enough that we could not measure it on a loaded wheel."


http://www.hedcycling.com/wheels/ceramicbearings.php
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Old 02-17-08, 10:03 AM   #22
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And once again, as in every other ceramic bearing thread on this forum, everyone compares hybrid ceramic bearings to steel bearings in their discussion. Why not make the leap to a full ceramic bearing and see what difference they might make. For one thing, they require no lubrication whatsoever, so with the same low-drag seal used on the hybrid bearings, would have zip for internal resistance. For pure racing use, they could be run with no seals at all, maybe just a shield. Some full ceramics used in the bottom bracket should provide additional benefit. Someone like HED needs to put some of them in a wheel and do the measurements. Every little bit of drag adds up.

As much trouble as the manufacturers are going to, to reduce drag through aerodynamics, one would think that effort would spill over into every other facet of resistance encountered, also.

None of this would probably make any difference to anyone other than a pro, but to one of them, I would think every little increment would be a plus.
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Old 02-17-08, 10:32 AM   #23
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I have Delft glazed ceramic bearings decorated with miniature scenes from historic bicycle races.

Makes all the difference climbing Mt. Clemens!*





--
*Michigan joke

Last edited by bcoppola; 02-17-08 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 02-17-08, 10:47 AM   #24
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I have a set of full ceramic bearings sitting at the shop waiting to go into a Cannondale SI BB, and the difference between the normal steel bearing and the ceramic just off the bike is huge. I can already guess that there will be a definite difference, something I have not seen in the dozens of Hybrid ceramics I have installed into countless BB's and wheels. Also, compare a Zipp ceramic to an Enduro bearing, and you will feel the difference. Worth the price? Doubt that. Advantage? Very small, but possible. If you're out there racing to win, it might be a good option- if you're not, save your money for something else!!
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Old 02-17-08, 10:50 AM   #25
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None of this would probably make any difference to anyone other than a pro, but to one of them, I would think every little increment would be a plus.
Aerodynamic improvements are measurable and significant. Bike bearings contribute so little to total energy absorbtion that even major "improvements" are insignificant. Ceramic bearings are a marketing triumph and a physical waste of money.
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