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Old 03-30-18, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by sweeks View Post
I stand corrected on the friction issue. Still, there must be some reason separators are not used in many bicycle applications.
I think the spacing is wider between balls than in other, high performance applications. I've also seen it claimed that the balls naturally spread themselves out in the available space, which means that sliding friction between the balls would be negligible. In that case, the primary advantage noted by NASA would not be applicable.

Personally, I see no downside to leaving the retainers out. Retainer in, I have seen (poorly maintained) retainers disintegrated with pieces in amongst the balls, which has to be degrading efficiency and possibly damaging to the races over time.
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