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Ceramic Bearing Question

Old 12-21-19, 11:43 PM
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sdmc530
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Ceramic Bearing Question

Please don't beat me up on this....I tried to search but didn't have any luck.

OK.....so I have ceramic bearings, the mfg says it has to have a special lube or they will go up in flames and I fall into a void in the earth. Ok being sarcastic but really, is the "special" ceramic bearing lube necessary? Can a appropriate weight standard lube work just a well?

I got the mentioned bearings from my wife as a present and I am working on taking my road bike apart to clean and lube like I do every off season but this s the first time with the ceramic bearings.

Thanks,
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Old 12-22-19, 07:23 AM
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My experience is with industrial ceramic bearings, not on a bicycle so I will follow this with interest. If you have full ceramic bearings (balls and races) or hybrid (ceramic balls only) the grease's purpose is to capture particulates and keep them out of the ball/race interface. Technically the grease is not needed if you keep the bearing clean with frequent preventative maintenance. This is unlike typical bearing greases which are there to prevent wear do to metal to metal contact and reduce friction and therefore heat. So I would say for best results with wheel hubs, bottom brackets, headsets, and jockey wheels use the recommend grease to get your full value out of ceramics.
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Old 12-22-19, 08:13 AM
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Thanks @easyupbug I was afraid that was the info I was going to get. I should have also said it for the ceramic speed jockey wheels is where the bearing are. I have standard bearing everyplace else. I would probably of never dropped the cash on anything ceramic bearings, I am not a racer or anything. A cool gift to receive though so I am not complaining. They are cool but for a regular guy I don't think the value is there. I will say they do spin forever though, its pretty cool.
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Old 12-22-19, 09:25 AM
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What brand of ceramic jockey wheels are these?
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Old 12-22-19, 09:49 AM
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From the BOCA bicycle bearings website:

Q: Do full ceramic bearings need lubrication?

A:No, full ceramic bearings can be run completely dry. They do not need lubrication to run. Ceramic is non-porous, unlike steel, as a result it is virtually frictionless. Ceramic also dissipates heat very quickly, which is the same reason they use it on the underside of the space shuttle. Because there is no heat buildup and virtually no friction, full ceramic bearings can be run completely dry. They can be cleaned out with regular tap water or any cleaner, they are impervious to corrosion and can operate in a vacuum environment.
This would be for full ceramics, not hybrid where the balls are ceramic but the races are metal.

Ceramic Speed brand on the other hand recommends one of several of THEIR lubes they sell for different riding conditions and an inflated price of course.

The answer is clear then.....Who knows??? The only solution is to tell your wife this is the greatest gift you've ever recieved and just ride them until they break.

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Old 12-22-19, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by bpcyclist View Post
What brand of ceramic jockey wheels are these?
Ceramic Speed
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Old 12-22-19, 01:01 PM
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...my wife has never given me anything bicycle related......ever. Not in 25 years of marriage. I think she knows I just buy whatever I want.
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Old 12-22-19, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
.
...my wife has never given me anything bicycle related......ever. Not in 25 years of marriage. I think she knows I just buy whatever I want.
+1 Only it's 53 years. Mine also is sure I'll buy the parts I need and/or want and she admittedly knows nothing about bikes. That said, she is an avid quilter and I know absolutely nothing about it either so we buy our own presents.
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Old 12-22-19, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
.
...my wife has never given me anything bicycle related......ever. Not in 25 years of marriage. I think she knows I just buy whatever I want.
My wife don't buy me stuff either, ever after 20 years. But I hit a weight loss goal she was really excited I was able to do it and she was watching enough GCN with me to know what to get to fit my bike. I was a bit shocked actually. It was still super sweet of her.
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Old 12-22-19, 09:55 PM
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From what I find on their website, their races are out of steel so your bearings are hybrid ceramic, not full ceramic.
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Old 12-22-19, 10:43 PM
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Wd40 then a wax [spray] frequently.
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Old 12-23-19, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
From what I find on their website, their races are out of steel so your bearings are hybrid ceramic, not full ceramic.

yep, this is correct. I honestly don't know what it means for what lube I should be using

I will just purchase the proper stuff and leave it be.
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Old 12-23-19, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by sdmc530 View Post
yep, this is correct. I honestly don't know what it means for what lube I should be using

I will just purchase the proper stuff and leave it be.
Well, you know the keyword needed for seeking further info . I use marine grade lithium based grease on such bearings like on any other on a bike.
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Old 12-23-19, 10:56 AM
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If you're buying $500 jockey wheels (or a $250 bottom bracket,) I would recommend using the lubricant recommended by the manufacturers of said $250-500 part. Seems a very odd place to try to economize.

I use $40 BBs and $12 jockey wheels, so I use this stuff called "grease."
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Old 12-23-19, 11:41 AM
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The guy in that video looks exactly the way I'd expect someone trying to sell me ceramic bearings to look.
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Old 12-23-19, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
If you're buying $500 jockey wheels (or a $250 bottom bracket,) I would recommend using the lubricant recommended by the manufacturers of said $250-500 part. Seems a very odd place to try to economize.I use $40 BBs and $12 jockey wheels, so I use this stuff called "grease."
yeah, I wouldn't probably choose to buy them but as a gift from my wife I was touched. I have ordered 10ml of lube for $15. Shouldn't complain I guess.....

FWIW every other bearing in my 4 bikes are just standard type. So I didn't want to have them go up in flames or lose that 4 watts I will notice saving with them
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Old 12-23-19, 08:06 PM
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I only have anecdotal information on ceramic bearings from a guy who lives on his bike and rides more than a few thousand miles per year. Charlie told me replaced the pedal bearings with ceramic four thousand miles ago, and he doesn't put any lube on them. They were pretty darned smooth. But the real deal is $3 per bearing ball and the costs add up pretty quick when you consider that pair of pedals had about $75 in bearings in them. But in the defense of that cost, no lube and virtually perfect performance after that many miles does make sense. Of course there are different grades of the bearings as well, and those rated for use in outer space are the ones we discussed. Smiles, MH
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Old 12-23-19, 09:21 PM
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Once you get away from the cycling context, the cost of ceramic bearings drops substantially. I had problems tied to the water penetration in a bottom bracket and in a recumbent type tensioner wheel mounted low and these problems were solved completely using ceramic bearings - I did not look back. I think I put ceramic balls into some wheel hubs - when you buy them in bulk on Ebay it is not a dramatic expense.
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Old 12-24-19, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by sdmc530 View Post
yeah, I wouldn't probably choose to buy them but as a gift from my wife I was touched. I have ordered 10ml of lube for $15. Shouldn't complain I guess.....

FWIW every other bearing in my 4 bikes are just standard type. So I didn't want to have them go up in flames or lose that 4 watts I will notice saving with them
Probably the best choice. It will most likely last a very long time.
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Old 12-25-19, 09:44 PM
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Ceramic bearings for bicycles are like "snake oil" for a serious illness, zero real world benefit.
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Old 12-26-19, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by calstar View Post
Ceramic bearings for bicycles are like "snake oil" for a serious illness, zero real world benefit.
Col. Harvey's Magic elixir comes to mind.


While I do respect your opinion, and don't even disagree with it I am not sure how this post contributes to the thread.
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