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anybody know where to get non-chinese ball bearings (1/4")??

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anybody know where to get non-chinese ball bearings (1/4")??

Old 07-03-11, 12:29 AM
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hujev
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anybody know where to get non-chinese ball bearings (1/4")??

Hi - I want to replace the bearings in a BB, and need 1/4" loose ball bearings... anybody know where I can get non-chinese ones?
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Old 07-03-11, 02:13 AM
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Campy sells them.
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Old 07-03-11, 07:24 AM
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https://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...+Bearings.aspx

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/bearings.html#balls

Are these what you're looking for?
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Old 07-03-11, 01:51 PM
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The bearings sold by Jensonusa are manufactured by Wheels Manufactoring, they state in their catalog that all of their products are proudly MADE IN THE U.S.A.

https://issuu.com/wheelsmfg/docs/catalog#download
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Last edited by bhchdh; 07-03-11 at 02:00 PM. Reason: information i provided was inncorrect
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Old 07-03-11, 03:46 PM
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Industrial bearing supply houses , ask for grade 25, stainless.
likely one in Anchorage and Fairbanks.

they come in lots of a thousand., in a bag..
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Old 07-03-11, 04:49 PM
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A few thoughts-

1) .....how do you know they are 1/4"? If you were not told the dimension by the bearing manufacturer, then you would need a vernier/machinist caliper or a test caliper to measure them. MOST balls do fall on typical fractional-inch or 1/2-mm diameters, but not all do. A vernier (non-dial) caliper doesn't cost much and lets you measure accurately to a thousandth of an inch or 1/50th of a millimeter- https://www.amazon.com/SE-Stainless-S...9732174&sr=1-6

2) .....I would ask why you are replacing the balls and not the races too? Both degrade as they wear out. You can try new balls if you want, you could even get ceramic balls (black or white), but you're not really fixing the problem.

3) .....I also tend to think there's not a great deal of difference in Chinese bearings vs. others, at least that you'd see in a bicycle use. If the generic China bearings lasted "only" one year, spending more for US-made bearings might get them to last two years, but the US-made bearings will probably cost over 2X as much. If you insist on a brand-name, you can look for them on eBay: NSK, Nachi, SKF, Timken, ect.

4) .....I don't use grease much in bearings I re-lube anymore, since a bit of oil with a bit of teflon powder will lubricate better, and the teflon never dries out. Spurlock Tools sells teflon powder online pretty cheap.
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Old 07-03-11, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug5150 View Post
3) .....I also tend to think there's not a great deal of difference in Chinese bearings vs. others, at least that you'd see in a bicycle use. If the generic China bearings lasted "only" one year, spending more for US-made bearings might get them to last two years, but the US-made bearings will probably cost over 2X as much. If you insist on a brand-name, you can look for them on eBay: NSK, Nachi, SKF, Timken, ect.
The problem with Chinese bearings is that you can't trust that they meet any of their claimed specs.

I recently had a Chinese* cartridge bearing in a front hub fail in just 500 miles. It should have gone for 5000 or more miles. I haven't yet taken apart the cartridge for a postmortem, but I think it wasn't greased enough. I had to choose between a) a warranty replacement that would have the same junk cartridges, b) replacement with no-name no-provenance $1 cartridges, c) replacement with no-name no-provenance ceramic cartridges or d) replacement with name brand steel bearings. I chose to spend $35 on the last option.

* Yes, the Chinese manufacturer was proud enough of their junk to put their name on the cartridges.
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Old 07-03-11, 08:24 PM
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Why does the OP want non-Chinese bearings? Previous problem with quality control? Political issue?

Are differences common between grade 25 bearings from different manufacturers or countries?
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Old 07-03-11, 09:03 PM
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My experiences with Chinese precision items is that they aren't. Precision that is. Truly junk. I've been told there are differing levels of Chinese products but I've not found any of the good stuff. I avoid them at all costs.
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Old 07-04-11, 10:12 AM
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bocabearings.com Made in the USA
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Old 07-04-11, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by laura* View Post
The problem with Chinese bearings is that you can't trust that they meet any of their claimed specs.

I recently had a Chinese* cartridge bearing in a front hub fail in just 500 miles. ...
They usually do meet the specs, but in the very-cheap varieties the metallurgy is poor.

If these were OEM bearings, then that was the fault of whoever sold the wheel/bike as they likely used the very-cheapest bearings they could get. And unfortunately for consumers, that practice is not uncommon, with all kinds of mechanical things.



Among cartridge bearings, you can also (often) get better materials--stainless or hybrids. Stainless bearings have stainless races and chrome-steel balls; hybrids have stainless races with ceramic balls. Hybrids sound expensive but they don't cost nearly as much as full-ceramics do.

ABI Industries https://www.abiindustries.com/ carries a line of hybrid cartridge bearings in common bicycle sizes. Click on Products->Enduro->Bicycle
They do not sell direct, so you need to google for the size & type you want



Also we note: if you search eBay, you can often find name-brands of bearings for the same prices that places sell the China generics, but not always.
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Old 07-06-11, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by XR2 View Post
My experiences with Chinese precision items is that they aren't. Precision that is. Truly junk. I've been told there are differing levels of Chinese products but I've not found any of the good stuff. I avoid them at all costs.
I work for a semiconductor manufacturer that has a plant in China. If "they" can make structures that are mere atoms in thickness then I think they can make ball bearings. It all comes down to quality control (which is an added expense to the overall part cost).
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Old 07-08-11, 05:13 PM
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Hi - thanks for all the info! Looking for non-Chinese because I don't think it's good to have so much of our stuff come from china... various reasons, but mostly political and economic, not mechanical. replacing bearings w/o races in BB for the hell of it; 28 year old bike with no use other than ~100 miles in 1983 (see the univega appreciation thread for more). I'm sure the originals are OK too, but when I posted I wasn't sure, since they were dry. Good to have a small stock on hand anyway.
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Old 07-08-11, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Greg_R View Post
I work for a semiconductor manufacturer that has a plant in China. If "they" can make structures that are mere atoms in thickness then I think they can make ball bearings. It all comes down to quality control (which is an added expense to the overall part cost).
Don't recall saying "they" could or couldn't do anything. My experience is "they" won't.
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Old 07-09-11, 12:18 AM
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VXB (in the USA) mostly sells China generic bearings.
Below is all the different varieties of 1/4" loose ball bearings I could find listed there.


100 1/4" inch Diameter Chrome Steel Bearing Balls G25 - $3.33

100 1/4" inch Diameter Chrome Steel Bearing Balls G10 - $9.95
10 Loose Ceramic Balls 1/4" = 6.35 mm G10 ZrO2 - $14.95
10 Loose Ceramic Balls 1/4"= 6.35mm G5 Si3N4 - $19.95
10 Loose Ceramic Balls 1/4"= 6.35mm G5 SiC - $19.95
10 Loose Ceramic Balls 1/4" Al2O3 Alumina Oxide - $19.95

...prices ranging from 3.33 cents to about $2 each.

It's much the same story with other common sizes of bearings--if you look for skateboard bearings at the same place (8mm ID x 22mm OD x 7mm W) you find about 14 different types with different race, bearing and seal materials, with prices ranging from fifty cents, for the cheapest chrome steel ones bought in bulk--to $40, for the full-ceramics.
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