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How important is bearing quality for casual endurance?

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How important is bearing quality for casual endurance?

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Old 08-09-18, 12:14 PM
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How important is bearing quality for casual endurance?

Longevity for sure is better on high quality stuff. But does it affect performance for casual riding?

For example, there's definitely feeling of roughness when I turn the spindle of the BB with my fingers on a cheap bike.
Is this something that makes much difference for a casual rider riding a 35-pound bike during a century touring?
Will the century be more enjoyable with a new high quality BB like a UN55?

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Old 08-09-18, 12:21 PM
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I can't imaging a slightly rough bottom bracket (or hubs) will have any noticeable effect on a non-competitive rider on a heavy bike. It may cost them a few seconds overall but so what. Reducing the bike weight by a few pounds would be more beneficial.

That said, good bearings and components are smoother, lighter, more durable and better operating. Good components shift better, brake better and steer better.
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Old 08-09-18, 12:36 PM
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Noting your lower cost tastes in bikes, don't worry about it

unless you are willing to spend the money on premium stuff..


Mirror ground and polished races on Wheel hubs will perhaps be lower rolling resistance contributors.

Crank bearings , UN 55 vs 26 is insignificant in difference ...
but you are not turning the BB with your fingers, riding.
and so, at the pedal, with your feet, you may not feel any difference at all ..

Mistaking seal drag for bearing drag can fool many people..

and in loose ball BB , use can burnish rough surfaces smooth ,

over time... and if you clean and replace balls & grease often enough,
they can stay that way for quite a while...





....

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Old 08-09-18, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Noting your lower cost tastes in bikes, don't worry about it

unless you are willing to spend the money on premium stuff..
The Shimano UN55 is about $30. Small price to pay, if it'll make my touring experience more enjoyable.
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Old 08-09-18, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Reducing the bike weight by a few pounds would be more beneficial.
Yeah...I been thinknig it might be a good time to keep serious and start fresh with a real good bike from LBS.

I'm pretty sure I know what I want from cycling now that I've dabbled in almost every form of cycling.
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Old 08-09-18, 12:51 PM
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Going for better wheels and higher spec hubs too?
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Old 08-09-18, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Going for better wheels and higher spec hubs too?
I take your point. I am thinking of taking my riding to the next level when Fall starts, and get more serious with higher quality.

Makes sense to start fresh with a complete bike from high quality like Trek/Giant/etc.
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Old 08-09-18, 01:20 PM
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or Specialized/Merida ,, Merida and Giant are multi brand source companies.. Its a thing now ..

As I Often say 'pick the dealer, then the bike', since many brands in bike shops
are sourced from very large companies, like those..

the service behind the sale will be of lasting value..
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Old 08-09-18, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
or Specialized/Merida ,, Merida and Giant are multi brand source companies.. Its a thing now ..

As I Often say 'pick the dealer, then the bike', since many brands in bike shops
are sourced from very large companies, like those..

the service behind the sale will be of lasting value..
+++++++++
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Old 08-10-18, 02:22 AM
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I ride 46 year old bikes and 7 year old bikes but all of them have properly adjusted bearings with smooth cups and cones. Bearings should be smooth and bottom brackets are maybe the easiest and cheapest to swap out. Un26 can be had for $10.
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Old 08-10-18, 08:13 AM
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I'd be more concerned about reliability than a small amount of added friction while riding. Is it out of adjustment enough that it's going to fail soon?

When you consider the greater forces at work on a cyclist, like gravity and wind resistance, bearing resistance is minimal.

And when you add the mass of the crankset and pedals, and the rolling resistance of the chain, it's very hard to feel slight resistance in the BB.
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Old 08-10-18, 08:39 AM
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"But does it affect performance for casual riding?" - no.

"Will the century be more enjoyable with a new high quality BB like a UN55?" - compared to a worn out cup and cone, for sure. As opposed to the cheaper and ubiquitous UN-26, no but ... the bigger question is why NOT the UN55? What is it, $5 more? $10? I'm more pecuniary than most regarding bike components, but for something that's going to last for years and unimaginable number of miles, does it really matter that it costs a little more?
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Old 08-10-18, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
. . . What is it, $5 more? $10? . . .
But can an additional $5 or $10 of value be derived over a UN26 -- especially in a cheap short-life BSO? If "no" then every additional dollar is wasted.
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Old 08-10-18, 01:06 PM
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So, you guys are saying low quality bearing can assplode on you during a ride?

I mean, the cup-n-cone is new...but it's no doubt of cheap origin...and I can hear the courseness when I spin it with my finger.
Did somebody suggest it'll smooth out over time?

Also, I bought some Pyramid ball bearings from NiagaraCyccle before they went out of business.
Is Pyramid ball bearings consider good?

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Old 08-10-18, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
So, you guys are saying low quality bearing can assplode on you during a ride?

I mean, the cup-n-cone is new...but it's no doubt of cheap origin...and I can hear the courseness when I spin it with my finger.
Did somebody suggest it'll smooth out over time?

Also, I bought some Pyramid ball bearings from NiagaraCyccle before they went out of business.
Is Pyramid ball bearings consider good?
If you can feel roughness, the likely suspects are: the adjustment is off (too tight probably), there is no grease in the bearing, or the BB it is already dead or dieing

I have used this phrase before: Lipstick on a pig. I recommend not putting a penny into cheap BSO's, save for a better bike.
It sounds like you are heading that way.... great
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Old 08-10-18, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
or Specialized/Merida ,, Merida and Giant are multi brand source companies.. Its a thing now ..

As I Often say 'pick the dealer, then the bike', since many brands in bike shops
are sourced from very large companies, like those..

the service behind the sale will be of lasting value..
Yup. Before you shop for a bike, shop for a bike shop. You'll know it's the right one by the people.

Once you find the right shop, pick a brand that they carry in a style and price point that suits you and you'll never go wrong.
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Old 08-10-18, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
So, you guys are saying low quality bearing can assplode on you during a ride?
Yes, that's what they said. Anyone who really wants to understand anything must look into the grey areas.
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Old 08-10-18, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by AnkleWork View Post
But can an additional $5 or $10 of value be derived over a UN26 -- especially in a cheap short-life BSO? If "no" then every additional dollar is wasted.
It CAN, because I think it was worth it on mine. Whether it WILL be worthwhile over the long run, who knows. That's a really low bar to get over, and probably the cheapest improvement you could make on those bikes.
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Old 08-10-18, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
It CAN, because I think it was worth it on mine. Whether it WILL be worthwhile over the long run, who knows. That's a really low bar to get over, and probably the cheapest improvement you could make on those bikes.
Huh? There are cheaper BBs that function just as well, thus the UN55 (or UN26) can't be "cheapest."

The UN55 may be lighter (?) and may have a better finish which may effect perceived value, but that does not make them cheaper or cheapest.

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Old 08-10-18, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by AnkleWork View Post
Huh? There are cheaper BBs that function just as well, thus the UN55 (or UN26) can't be "cheapest."

The UN55 may be lighter (?) and may have a better finish which may effect perceived value, but that does not make them cheaper or cheapest.
Changing the BB is the cheapest, whether the UN26 or 55. 55 has better bearings, metal cup and better axle. Even if it was just some nebulous "better" that a person didn't understand or want to understand, $7-$10 more for nebulous "better", that's going to last the life of that cheap bike, isn't worth arguing about
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