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Old 03-30-18, 12:59 PM
A Roadie Forever
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, OR
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Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder

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The reason we were all told that loose bearings were better than caged bearings wasn't friction, it was wear and impact (headsets) to the races. With (say) 11 balls instead of 10, that would be ~9% less weight and force transmitted by each ball, making life a little easier for the races (where we have money invested).

Before I sweat the friction from the contact of loose bearings, someone is going to have to show me real numbers on just how high this friction really is. The bearings may be touching, but there is very little force being transmitted between them. NASA being able to detect some drag there and finding it is more than the drag of the retainers isn't going to sway me. I'm guessing these are very small numbers.

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