Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 50
  1. #1
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Lebanon (Liberty Hill), CT
    My Bikes
    MASI Gran Criterium S & Guru steel
    Posts
    3,342
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    St Peters, Missouri
    My Bikes
    Rans Enduro Sport, Hase Kettweisel Tandem, Merin Bear Valley beater bike
    Posts
    24,101
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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.

  3. #3
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Uncertain
    My Bikes
    2006 GIANT TCR, Kevin Winter custom road bike, Thorn Nomad, Kona paddywagon FG/SS
    Posts
    7,145
    Mentioned
    11 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  4. #4
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Edwardsville or Chicago Illinois
    My Bikes
    Peugeot PX10, Serotta Nova X, Simoncini Cyclocross Special, Origin8 monstercross, Pedal Force CG2 and CX2
    Posts
    9,534
    Mentioned
    12 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Medina, OH
    My Bikes
    confidential infromation that I don't even share with my wife
    Posts
    5,708
    Mentioned
    12 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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

  6. #6
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Uncertain
    My Bikes
    2006 GIANT TCR, Kevin Winter custom road bike, Thorn Nomad, Kona paddywagon FG/SS
    Posts
    7,145
    Mentioned
    11 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  7. #7
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Chapin, SC
    My Bikes
    surly LHT, paris sport fixie, trek 5000, fuji ss
    Posts
    1,517
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Never discount the effectiveness of the marketing people to create a real placebo-effect.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    So Cal
    My Bikes
    91 Klein Quantum Road Bike,2011 CF Specialized Tarmac road bike. 2013 Haro FL Comp 29er MTB.
    Posts
    2,470
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  9. #9
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    YEG
    My Bikes
    See my sig...
    Posts
    26,458
    Mentioned
    24 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(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.

  10. #10
    Member xtrout1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    plainfield, Illinois
    Posts
    41
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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 Attached Images

  11. #11
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Upstate NY
    My Bikes
    Simoncini, Gary Fisher, Specialized Tarmac
    Posts
    4,052
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  12. #12
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    YEG
    My Bikes
    See my sig...
    Posts
    26,458
    Mentioned
    24 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(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.

  13. #13
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Upstate NY
    My Bikes
    Simoncini, Gary Fisher, Specialized Tarmac
    Posts
    4,052
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  14. #14
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    North Carolina
    My Bikes
    Pinarello Prince/Campy SR; Cervelo R3/Sram Red; Trek 5900/Duraace, Cervelo P2C/Duraace
    Posts
    6,192
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have them on 3 bikes but I'm no faster. Just like the technology.pp
    Ride your Ride!!

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    636
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Pars's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Aurora, IL
    My Bikes
    '73 Raleigh RRA, 1986 Trek 500 commuter
    Posts
    2,145
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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...

  17. #17
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Lebanon (Liberty Hill), CT
    My Bikes
    MASI Gran Criterium S & Guru steel
    Posts
    3,342
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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.

  18. #18
    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
    My 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)
    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

  19. #19
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    So Cal
    My Bikes
    91 Klein Quantum Road Bike,2011 CF Specialized Tarmac road bike. 2013 Haro FL Comp 29er MTB.
    Posts
    2,470
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    So Cal
    My Bikes
    91 Klein Quantum Road Bike,2011 CF Specialized Tarmac road bike. 2013 Haro FL Comp 29er MTB.
    Posts
    2,470
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  21. #21
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Texas Hill Country
    Posts
    2,087
    Mentioned
    18 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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

  22. #22
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Lebanon (Liberty Hill), CT
    My Bikes
    MASI Gran Criterium S & Guru steel
    Posts
    3,342
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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.

  23. #23
    Member xtrout1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    plainfield, Illinois
    Posts
    41
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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,

  24. #24
    Senior Member LarryMelman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    593
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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.

  25. #25
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Uncertain
    My Bikes
    2006 GIANT TCR, Kevin Winter custom road bike, Thorn Nomad, Kona paddywagon FG/SS
    Posts
    7,145
    Mentioned
    11 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(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?
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •