Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-23-13, 06:36 AM   #1
bruce19
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
bruce19's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Lebanon (Liberty Hill), CT
Bikes: MASI Gran Criterium S, Colnago World Cup CX & Guru steel
Posts: 4,465
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 49 Post(s)
Ceramic bearings

A friend just came back from an LBS fitting. While there he had some ceramic wheel bearing installed in his rear wheel. He said that the rear wheel seemed to spin forever when up on the stand and he was told that they are much more durable than stock bearings. When I asked if he could tell the difference on the road he said he wasn't really sure. So, I just got to wondering if anyone here is using them and if you can feel a significant difference on the road.
bruce19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-13, 06:49 AM   #2
Retro Grouch 
Senior Member
 
Retro Grouch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: St Peters, Missouri
Bikes: Rans Rockst (Retro rocket) Rans Enduro Sport (Retro racket) Catrike 559, Merin Bear Valley (beater bike).
Posts: 26,631
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 92 Post(s)
I kind of doubt anybody would be able to tell the difference subjectively because bearing drag is such a minor factor compared with aero drag for example. Maybe if you had a Power Tap or something like that you could tell.
Retro Grouch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-13, 07:42 AM   #3
chasm54
Banned.
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Uncertain
Bikes:
Posts: 8,657
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
dailypeloton.com

Manufacturer claims 10 -12 watts. Independent testers reckon 2 - 4 watts. Nice to have, but assuming it's 4 watts that's not a huge return on investment unless you're really into the marginal gains thing.
chasm54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-13, 07:57 AM   #4
Barrettscv 
Have bike, will travel
 
Barrettscv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Edwardsville, Illinois
Bikes: Colnago Nuova Mexico, Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra, Pinarello Gavia, Schwinn Paramount, Motobecane Grand Record, Peugeot PX10, Serotta Nova X, Simoncini Cyclocross Special, Origin8 monstercross, Pedal Force CG2 and CX2
Posts: 10,496
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 34 Post(s)
I have not used them, but the claims are real. Ceramic is harder and smoother than the best steel. Ceramic also improves the life of the races since it eliminated galling from metal-to-metal contact.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galling
__________________
When I ride my bike I feel free and happy and strong. I'm liberated from the usual nonsense of day to day life. Solid, dependable, silent, my bike is my horse, my fighter jet, my island, my friend. Together we will conquer that hill and thereafter the world.
Barrettscv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-13, 08:28 AM   #5
Allegheny Jet 
Senior Member
 
Allegheny Jet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Medina, OH
Bikes: confidential infromation that I don't even share with my wife
Posts: 5,708
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
I kind of doubt anybody would be able to tell the difference subjectively because bearing drag is such a minor factor compared with aero drag for example. Maybe if you had a Power Tap or something like that you could tell.
That’s my thought too. I don’t think that improving the wheel bearing’s efficiency will compensate for the remaining friction in the drive train. I understand that the drive train’s friction rob’s 3 -5% of the power. Supposing a rider produced 250 watts of sustained power, the loss of power due to friction in the drive train would be 7.5 to 12.5 watts. Parts that produce friction in the drive train include the chain, bottom bracket bearings, pedal bearings, two jockey pulleys and the wheel bearing. If upgraded wheel bearings could add 12 watts of power the user would have the beginnings of a perpetual motion machine.
__________________
oldschool areodynamic brick
Allegheny Jet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-13, 08:33 AM   #6
chasm54
Banned.
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Uncertain
Bikes:
Posts: 8,657
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
That’s my thought too. I don’t think that improving the wheel bearing’s efficiency will compensate for the remaining friction in the drive train. I understand that the drive train’s friction rob’s 3 -5% of the power. Supposing a rider produced 250 watts of sustained power, the loss of power due to friction in the drive train would be 7.5 to 12.5 watts. Parts that produce friction in the drive train include the chain, bottom bracket bearings, pedal bearings, two jockey pulleys and the wheel bearing. If upgraded wheel bearings could add 12 watts of power the user would have the beginnings of a perpetual motion machine.
Agree with this. The dailypeloton article I linked to says the hubs aren't the best place for your ceramic bearings, though, they suggest you eliminate more friction by going ceramic in the BB. FWIW.
chasm54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-13, 10:12 AM   #7
BigAura
 
BigAura's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Chapin, SC
Bikes: surly LHT, paris sport fixed, trek 5000, fuji ss
Posts: 2,430
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 97 Post(s)
Never discount the effectiveness of the marketing people to create a real placebo-effect.
BigAura is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-13, 10:14 AM   #8
Mobile 155
Senior Member
 
Mobile 155's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: So Cal
Bikes: 72-76 Peugeot, 89 Klein Quantum Road Bike,2011 CF Specialized Tarmac road bike. 2013 Haro FL Comp 29er MTB.
Posts: 3,710
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 246 Post(s)
I had my bearings in the bottom bracket replaced with ceramic and I did notice the difference. But I have to turn the crank so I guess it would be easier to feel. That being said it could also be the change from my old bearings. I have noticed as others have said with ceramics in hubs the wheel does seem to spin forever when not under load. And in some non scientific roll down contests on some long down hills it seems as if some of the guys with ceramics are faster and can roll farther. Still even with some high quality cup and cone Dura Ace hubs I have seen wheels spin almost as easily and my Hope road hubs are pretty close.
Mobile 155 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-13, 10:36 AM   #9
Sixty Fiver
Bicycle Repair Man !!!
 
Sixty Fiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: YEG
Bikes: See my sig...
Posts: 27,262
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Ceramic bearings are designed for high speed and high temperature applications and are smoother than the best steel bearings... the best steel bearings are grade 25 which means they have a variance of 25 millionths of an inch while ceramic bearings can be made to a grade 5 level.

If you run grade 25 steel bearings in your bike you should already have wheels that will spin forever and bearing interfaces that are as smooth as butter on glass if everything is properly adjusted.

One should note that a properly adjusted quality hub (with steel bearings) will also spin forever on the stand.

I don't find that rust and corrosion in bearings is a common problem if a bike is not submerged in the ocean and serviced regularly.

All in all, the benefits of running ceramic bearings might have the most appeal to weight weenies and people who need to save a few watts at racing speeds but normal mortals don't need them... consider that the upgrade to ceramic bearings in your hubs and bottom bracket would cost about $180.00 for a straight bearing replacement and closer to $400.00 if you went with cartridge bearings throughout.

You could also get the same power increase by removing one water bottle from your bike.
Sixty Fiver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-13, 10:52 AM   #10
xtrout1
Member
 
xtrout1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: plainfield, Illinois
Bikes:
Posts: 47
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Just put Fulcrum red wind XLR dark label with CULT (ceramic) bearings on my Bianchi Infinito. see image.
The bike is faster. 1-2 miles an hour without anymore effort.
I'm really surprised.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg KJM Bianchi Infinito compressed.jpg (104.0 KB, 30 views)
xtrout1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-13, 10:57 AM   #11
cyclinfool
gone ride'n
 
cyclinfool's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Upstate NY
Bikes: Simoncini, Gary Fisher, Specialized Tarmac
Posts: 4,051
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
A ceramic BB will have a big effect when climbing where your wind and rolling resistance are at the lowest so that's where I put them. I would attack the pedals next and then the rear hub followed by the spiders and the the front last.
cyclinfool is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-13, 10:58 AM   #12
Sixty Fiver
Bicycle Repair Man !!!
 
Sixty Fiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: YEG
Bikes: See my sig...
Posts: 27,262
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by xtrout1 View Post
Just put Fulcrum red wind XLR dark label with CULT (ceramic) bearings on my Bianchi Infinito. see image.
The bike is faster. 1-2 miles an hour without anymore effort.
I'm really surprised.
1600 gram carbon wheelsets will make you go a little faster.
Sixty Fiver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-13, 11:47 AM   #13
cyclinfool
gone ride'n
 
cyclinfool's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Upstate NY
Bikes: Simoncini, Gary Fisher, Specialized Tarmac
Posts: 4,051
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by xtrout1 View Post
Just put Fulcrum red wind XLR dark label with CULT (ceramic) bearings on my Bianchi Infinito. see image.
The bike is faster. 1-2 miles an hour without anymore effort.
I'm really surprised.
I would think that much improvement was mostly psychological or loss of weight in the wallet. If your average speed was 15mph and you went to 16.5mph you would have been loosing 22% of you power to your old wheels.
cyclinfool is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-13, 11:56 AM   #14
jppe
Let's do a Century
 
jppe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: North Carolina
Bikes: Pinarello Prince/Campy SR; Cervelo R3/Sram Red; Trek 5900/Duraace, Cervelo P2C/Duraace
Posts: 6,552
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
I have them on 3 bikes but I'm no faster. Just like the technology.pp
__________________
Ride your Ride!!
jppe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-13, 01:09 PM   #15
Dave Mayer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 1,018
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
So, I just got to wondering if anyone here is using them and if you can feel a significant difference on the road.
This issue has been beat to death. Anyway, I had one of my old bikes up on the stand - the wheels featured 30-year old Suntour hubs. Steel bearings obviously. When spun up by hand, the wheels rotated for several minutes. They would have spun a lot longer if it hadn't been for the air friction from 36 spokes. So how much were the mechanical friction losses? A fraction of a watt?

I suppose I could cut the bearing losses by using superior cup 'n cone bearings instead of the cartridge bearings in these. But it would not be worth the effort. Ceramics are a waste of money.
Dave Mayer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-13, 02:30 PM   #16
Pars 
Senior Member
 
Pars's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Aurora, IL
Bikes: '73 Raleigh RRA, 1986 Trek 500 commuter
Posts: 2,340
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
They do offer chrome steel bearing balls in G10 (and maybe G5?). The original Campagnolo balls (NR/SR) were supposed to be better than G25 also.

Not sure that a harder bearing is desireable, at least from race life point of view. I'd sure rather replace the balls than the races in a cup and cone system...
Pars is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-13, 02:41 PM   #17
bruce19
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
bruce19's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Lebanon (Liberty Hill), CT
Bikes: MASI Gran Criterium S, Colnago World Cup CX & Guru steel
Posts: 4,465
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 49 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
This issue has been beat to death.
FWIW when I did a search on this topic I got a lot of technical/academic info and virtually no "real world" experience reports. I was just looking for the experiential end of it all.
bruce19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-13, 02:49 PM   #18
stapfam
Time for a change.
 
stapfam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: 6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
Bikes: Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
Posts: 19,915
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by xtrout1 View Post
Just put Fulcrum red wind XLR dark label with CULT (ceramic) bearings on my Bianchi Infinito. see image.
The bike is faster. 1-2 miles an hour without anymore effort.
I'm really surprised.
It is a well known fact that a Bianchi in celeste is 5 mph faster than any of the fancy colours they now do them in.
__________________
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


Spike Milligan
stapfam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-13, 02:53 PM   #19
Mobile 155
Senior Member
 
Mobile 155's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: So Cal
Bikes: 72-76 Peugeot, 89 Klein Quantum Road Bike,2011 CF Specialized Tarmac road bike. 2013 Haro FL Comp 29er MTB.
Posts: 3,710
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 246 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
This issue has been beat to death. Anyway, I had one of my old bikes up on the stand - the wheels featured 30-year old Suntour hubs. Steel bearings obviously. When spun up by hand, the wheels rotated for several minutes. They would have spun a lot longer if it hadn't been for the air friction from 36 spokes. So how much were the mechanical friction losses? A fraction of a watt?

I suppose I could cut the bearing losses by using superior cup 'n cone bearings instead of the cartridge bearings in these. But it would not be worth the effort. Ceramics are a waste of money.
Pictures or it didn't happen. Superior Cup and Cone? Isn't that just an opinion that seems to be under great debate?

http://www.livestrong.com/article/24...-hub-bearings/

http://www.trails.com/list_30748_bes...-bearings.html

http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-...ramic-bearings
Mobile 155 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-13, 02:57 PM   #20
Mobile 155
Senior Member
 
Mobile 155's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: So Cal
Bikes: 72-76 Peugeot, 89 Klein Quantum Road Bike,2011 CF Specialized Tarmac road bike. 2013 Haro FL Comp 29er MTB.
Posts: 3,710
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 246 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
It is a well known fact that a Bianchi in celeste is 5 mph faster than any of the fancy colours they now do them in.
I like the fact they have come back with that color on the New Bianchi. I would consider buying a Bianchi frame if I could get the idea past my wife. On my TV the Radio Shack Treks had a color very close to Celeste, but that could simply be the TV even if it is HD. However let it be know I tend to be Blue/Green color blind in the lighter shades.
Mobile 155 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-13, 03:07 PM   #21
Bandera 
Ding!
 
Bandera's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Texas Hill Country
Bikes:
Posts: 3,910
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 126 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
He said that the rear wheel seemed to spin forever when up on the stand
He'll be showing off his hydraulic shifting and electronic brakes next.
Good for keeping the LBS going so you can get a bottle of chain lube or a patch kit when you need it w/o paying for shipping.

If you are concerned w/ hub bearing life/performance when was the last time your hubs were overhauled?
If you have decent quality conventional cup & cone hubs an annual service w/ cleaning & fresh quality grease will "spin forever" as well.
I rode a front hub this AM that I've had since the early '70's, it's probably the smoothest I own.

If I were concerned about a watt or ten I'd lube my chain and check my tire pressure more often.

-Bandera
__________________
'74 Raleigh International - '77 Trek TX900FG - '92 Vitus 979 - '10 Merckx EMX-3- '11 Soma Stanyan
Bandera is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-13, 03:31 PM   #22
bruce19
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
bruce19's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Lebanon (Liberty Hill), CT
Bikes: MASI Gran Criterium S, Colnago World Cup CX & Guru steel
Posts: 4,465
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 49 Post(s)
I went to see the owner of my LBS today to ask him about ceramic wheel bearings. He is also a friend and sponsor of our local cycling club. His shop is not the one that serviced my friend's wheel bearings. He said ceramic bearings were not worth the cost. He did not know about my friend. So, his remark was not in reaction to anything but my question.

I have a set of Mavic Aksium's that I bought at his shop at the beginning of last year so they have not needed service yet.
bruce19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-13, 03:33 PM   #23
xtrout1
Member
 
xtrout1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: plainfield, Illinois
Bikes:
Posts: 47
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yes. Its true.

Stapfam, As a youth I grew up (went to school) in Worcester, England.
My Moms a war bride, married one of those yanks back in the 40's.

Cheers,
xtrout1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-13, 03:53 PM   #24
LarryMelman
Senior Member
 
LarryMelman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Bikes:
Posts: 593
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
I have a set of Mavic Aksium's that I bought at his shop at the beginning of last year so they have not needed service yet.
There is a thread in the Mechanics forum about maintaining (removing, cleaning, lubing) the freehub in Mavic wheels, which is an annoyance that is specific to Mavic. But I am not aware of any other maintenance required for wheels. (i.e. "annual service w/ cleaning & fresh quality grease") The "A-class" wheels that came with my bike, don't appear to have any way to take them apart. I'm confused.
LarryMelman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-13, 03:54 PM   #25
chasm54
Banned.
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Uncertain
Bikes:
Posts: 8,657
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryMelman View Post
There is a thread in the Mechanics forum about maintaining (removing, cleaning, lubing) the freehub in Mavic wheels, which is an annoyance that is specific to Mavic. But I am not aware of any other maintenance required for wheels. (i.e. "annual service w/ cleaning & fresh quality grease") The "A-class" wheels that came with my bike, don't appear to have any way to take them apart. I'm confused.
What are the hubs?
chasm54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:54 PM.