Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Ceramic Wheel Bearings

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Ceramic Wheel Bearings

Old 07-06-11, 03:08 PM
  #1  
Spinz
TCR Advanced SL
Thread Starter
 
Spinz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Ulah Proper N.C.
Posts: 1,043
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Ceramic Wheel Bearings

Have been unable to convince my riding buds that ceramics are a total waste of hard earned dollars. They are convinced they are dollars well spent for wheel applications only. Their points are: harder silicon bearings equal lower friction and faster spin-up. Pure horse squeeze and boulder-dash. Well maintained and lubricated steel bearings offer the same performance for the average joe. With that said how many of you average joes ( or below average) are blowing your or your parent's hard earned dollars on such fluff for your bikes? Lp
Spinz is offline  
Old 07-06-11, 03:19 PM
  #2  
datlas 
Beyond Bogus
 
datlas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Malvern, PA (20 miles West of Philly)
Posts: 32,320

Bikes: 1986 Alpine (steel road bike), 2009 Ti Habenero, 2013 Specialized Roubaix

Mentioned: 455 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12204 Post(s)
Liked 1,397 Times in 768 Posts
Probably a waste of money.

My Williams wheels do have "hybrid ceramic" bearings, but I would have purchased them even if they had regular ones.

ps I suspect I am a below-average Joe.
__________________
Originally Posted by rjones28 View Post
Addiction is all about class.

Last edited by datlas; 07-06-11 at 03:36 PM.
datlas is offline  
Old 07-06-11, 03:31 PM
  #3  
tagaproject6
Senior Member
 
tagaproject6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 8,530

Bikes: Wilier Izoard XP (Record);Cinelli Xperience (Force);Specialized Allez (Rival);Bianchi Via Nirone 7 (Centaur); Colnago AC-R Disc;Colnago V1r Limited Edition;De Rosa King 3 Limited(Force 22);DeRosa Merak(Red):Pinarello Dogma 65.1 Hydro(Di2)

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 546 Post(s)
Liked 248 Times in 131 Posts
Originally Posted by Spinz View Post
Have been unable to convince my riding buds that ceramics are a total waste of hard earned dollars. They are convinced they are dollars well spent for wheel applications only. Their points are: harder silicon bearings equal lower friction and faster spin-up. Pure horse squeeze and boulder-dash. Well maintained and lubricated steel bearings offer the same performance for the average joe. With that said how many of you average joes ( or below average) are blowing your or your parent's hard earned dollars on such fluff for your bikes? Lp
Better yet, on what bike fluff do you blow your or your parent's hard earned dollars? Seems futile to try and convince your buds on a belief system that they do not value.
tagaproject6 is offline  
Old 07-06-11, 03:36 PM
  #4  
AdelaaR
Senior Member
 
AdelaaR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Vlaamse Ardennen, Belgium
Posts: 3,898
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
I you are doing TT's and have a shot at the podium ... get the best bearings you can buy.
If not ... get something in between you can afford more easily and can replace without having to worry.
The difference is negligible.
AdelaaR is offline  
Old 07-06-11, 03:37 PM
  #5  
Elvo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 4,368
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 444 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 114 Times in 69 Posts
Anyone else waiting for ceramic headset bearings to come out?
Elvo is offline  
Old 07-06-11, 03:42 PM
  #6  
Nate552
Senior Member
 
Nate552's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: TX
Posts: 2,620

Bikes: Orbea Orca Trek 5500 Trek Equinox

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by ********** View Post
Anyone else waiting for ceramic headset bearings to come out?
Nope.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg
fsa_orbit_ext_pro_ceramic.jpg (33.1 KB, 33 views)
Nate552 is offline  
Old 07-06-11, 03:46 PM
  #7  
giantdefy
The "Mechanic"
 
giantdefy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: East Bay
Posts: 555

Bikes: 2013 Tarmac SL4 Pro; 2011 Lynskey Cooper, 2015 BH Quartz Disc, 2014 Yeti SB75

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
ceramics are overrated, specially on a headset that rarely sees movement. I have them on my williams wheelset and cant tell the difference between my other sets of wheels.
giantdefy is offline  
Old 07-06-11, 03:49 PM
  #8  
AdelaaR
Senior Member
 
AdelaaR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Vlaamse Ardennen, Belgium
Posts: 3,898
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by giantdefy View Post
ceramics are overrated, specially on a headset that rarely sees movement. I have them on my williams wheelset and cant tell the difference between my other sets of wheels.
People will now say that you are too dumb to tell the difference ... ahhh ... the emperor and his clothes.
AdelaaR is offline  
Old 07-06-11, 03:50 PM
  #9  
Shimagnolo
Senior Member
 
Shimagnolo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Zang's Spur, CO
Posts: 8,872
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1997 Post(s)
Liked 769 Times in 461 Posts
Originally Posted by Nate552 View Post
Nope.

Now that is funny!
Shimagnolo is offline  
Old 07-06-11, 03:51 PM
  #10  
AdelaaR
Senior Member
 
AdelaaR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Vlaamse Ardennen, Belgium
Posts: 3,898
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by Nate552 View Post
Nope.

A fine example of people being tricked into buying expensive stuff.
I once saw a SPDIF cable being advertsied as "gold plated" ... whatever gets people to go all wild and pay money for will be made.
AdelaaR is offline  
Old 07-06-11, 03:52 PM
  #11  
Sourpuss Magee
Senior Member
 
Sourpuss Magee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Middlesex
Posts: 326
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have them....waste of money.
Sourpuss Magee is offline  
Old 07-06-11, 03:53 PM
  #12  
tagaproject6
Senior Member
 
tagaproject6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 8,530

Bikes: Wilier Izoard XP (Record);Cinelli Xperience (Force);Specialized Allez (Rival);Bianchi Via Nirone 7 (Centaur); Colnago AC-R Disc;Colnago V1r Limited Edition;De Rosa King 3 Limited(Force 22);DeRosa Merak(Red):Pinarello Dogma 65.1 Hydro(Di2)

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 546 Post(s)
Liked 248 Times in 131 Posts
Originally Posted by AdelaaR View Post
A fine example of people being tricked into buying expensive stuff.
I once saw a SPDIF cable being advertsied as "gold plated" ... whatever gets people to go all wild and pay money for will be made.
Yes, then there's the directional tires
tagaproject6 is offline  
Old 07-06-11, 04:01 PM
  #13  
giantdefy
The "Mechanic"
 
giantdefy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: East Bay
Posts: 555

Bikes: 2013 Tarmac SL4 Pro; 2011 Lynskey Cooper, 2015 BH Quartz Disc, 2014 Yeti SB75

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by AdelaaR View Post
People will now say that you are too dumb to tell the difference ... ahhh ... the emperor and his clothes.
So you think you can really feel the difference?! Your butt dyno must be tuned pretty well!

Last edited by giantdefy; 07-06-11 at 04:05 PM.
giantdefy is offline  
Old 07-06-11, 04:10 PM
  #14  
Psimet2001 
I eat carbide.
 
Psimet2001's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Elgin, IL
Posts: 20,822

Bikes: Lots. Van Dessel and Squid Dealer

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 764 Post(s)
Liked 227 Times in 117 Posts
Here's the thing - ceramic bearings in cycling applications are fairly pointless.

Now...

Yes sometimes ceramic bearings are of a higher grade. then they are a "bettr bearing", but the grade usually only describes the rolling elements themselves and only with respect to their "roundness". Most ceramic balls are fit into steel retainers. This makes it a "hybrid ceramic" at that point....really...the majority of the material in the bearing is steel anyway.

OEM's know that customers will buy ceramic. Trust me on that. You would poop your pants if you knew how many customers I have had ask me if my wheels used "ceramic bearings, you know, like Williams"....

Thing is because of the costs most of the OEM's who use "ceramic hybrid" bearings usually save some money - meaning they usually get lower grade of rolling element making the whole bearing assembly one with wider tolerancing.....but...it's "ceramic" right?

I learned by watching those that know. White Industries uses all steel bearings. In fact they actually use ABEC3 bearings. You know what? They're great. Alchemy uses ABEC3 and ABEC5 mixed. They used to have some cermic hybrid bearings but switched. The steel are nicer/better.

Ceramic require more frequent service. You need to grease them. Yet...I don't see many customers pulling their hubs apart and pressing out the bearings to get at the seals to re-grease them. Ceramic balls don't corrode like steel ones can....but you can get steel ones with Stainless Steel balls to help with that (over chromed).

I like bearings. I buy a lot of them. I don't mind spending money on better ones. What makes a better one? It's a combination of the quality and combination of materials and production control/tolerancing of all of the parts in a bearing assembly...including the seals. BTW - the seals will have a much great affect on the performance of the bearing than the rolling element material will for cycling applications.
__________________
PSIMET Wheels, PSIMET Racing, PSIMET Neutral Race Support, and 11 Jackson Coffee
Podcast - YouTube Channel
Video about PSIMET Wheels

Psimet2001 is offline  
Old 07-06-11, 04:13 PM
  #15  
Psimet2001 
I eat carbide.
 
Psimet2001's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Elgin, IL
Posts: 20,822

Bikes: Lots. Van Dessel and Squid Dealer

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 764 Post(s)
Liked 227 Times in 117 Posts
...so you can't say ceramic bearings are "better" or "worse" than steel bearings. Like all generalizations and stereotypes it is doomed for failure from the start.
__________________
PSIMET Wheels, PSIMET Racing, PSIMET Neutral Race Support, and 11 Jackson Coffee
Podcast - YouTube Channel
Video about PSIMET Wheels

Psimet2001 is offline  
Old 07-06-11, 04:26 PM
  #16  
AdelaaR
Senior Member
 
AdelaaR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Vlaamse Ardennen, Belgium
Posts: 3,898
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by giantdefy View Post
So you think you can really feel the difference?! Your butt dyno must be tuned pretty well!
Judging from your reply I don't think you got my meaning there.
Are you familiar with the tale of the emperor's new clothes?
AdelaaR is offline  
Old 07-06-11, 04:35 PM
  #17  
slushlover2
Senior Member
 
slushlover2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 447
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I used to be heavily into racing R/C cars. I raced carpet oval. The cars were equipped with transponders to time to 1/100 of a second. When ceramic bearings first came out everybody switched to them. The times were exactly the same, no improvement at all. All that happened was that if you hit the wall with your right front wheel, you spent $12 to replace the ceramic bearings versus $6 for regular bearings. That experience pretty much cooled me to ceramics.
slushlover2 is offline  
Old 07-06-11, 04:39 PM
  #18  
Nate552
Senior Member
 
Nate552's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: TX
Posts: 2,620

Bikes: Orbea Orca Trek 5500 Trek Equinox

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post

Ceramic require more frequent service. You need to grease them.
I think SRAM say every 100 hours on their Red Ceramic bearings. I wonder how many people actually do that?
Nate552 is offline  
Old 07-06-11, 04:46 PM
  #19  
tagaproject6
Senior Member
 
tagaproject6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 8,530

Bikes: Wilier Izoard XP (Record);Cinelli Xperience (Force);Specialized Allez (Rival);Bianchi Via Nirone 7 (Centaur); Colnago AC-R Disc;Colnago V1r Limited Edition;De Rosa King 3 Limited(Force 22);DeRosa Merak(Red):Pinarello Dogma 65.1 Hydro(Di2)

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 546 Post(s)
Liked 248 Times in 131 Posts
Originally Posted by AdelaaR View Post
Judging from your reply I don't think you got my meaning there.
Are you familiar with the tale of the emperor's new clothes?
Hans Christian Andersen was one of my favorites as a child

Den Lille Pige med Svovlstikkerne, however, made me cry
tagaproject6 is offline  
Old 07-06-11, 04:50 PM
  #20  
tagaproject6
Senior Member
 
tagaproject6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 8,530

Bikes: Wilier Izoard XP (Record);Cinelli Xperience (Force);Specialized Allez (Rival);Bianchi Via Nirone 7 (Centaur); Colnago AC-R Disc;Colnago V1r Limited Edition;De Rosa King 3 Limited(Force 22);DeRosa Merak(Red):Pinarello Dogma 65.1 Hydro(Di2)

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 546 Post(s)
Liked 248 Times in 131 Posts
Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
Here's the thing - ceramic bearings in cycling applications are fairly pointless.

Now...

Yes sometimes ceramic bearings are of a higher grade. then they are a "bettr bearing", but the grade usually only describes the rolling elements themselves and only with respect to their "roundness". Most ceramic balls are fit into steel retainers. This makes it a "hybrid ceramic" at that point....really...the majority of the material in the bearing is steel anyway.

OEM's know that customers will buy ceramic. Trust me on that. You would poop your pants if you knew how many customers I have had ask me if my wheels used "ceramic bearings, you know, like Williams"....

Thing is because of the costs most of the OEM's who use "ceramic hybrid" bearings usually save some money - meaning they usually get lower grade of rolling element making the whole bearing assembly one with wider tolerancing.....but...it's "ceramic" right?

I learned by watching those that know. White Industries uses all steel bearings. In fact they actually use ABEC3 bearings. You know what? They're great. Alchemy uses ABEC3 and ABEC5 mixed. They used to have some cermic hybrid bearings but switched. The steel are nicer/better.

Ceramic require more frequent service. You need to grease them. Yet...I don't see many customers pulling their hubs apart and pressing out the bearings to get at the seals to re-grease them. Ceramic balls don't corrode like steel ones can....but you can get steel ones with Stainless Steel balls to help with that (over chromed).

I like bearings. I buy a lot of them. I don't mind spending money on better ones. What makes a better one? It's a combination of the quality and combination of materials and production control/tolerancing of all of the parts in a bearing assembly...including the seals. BTW - the seals will have a much great affect on the performance of the bearing than the rolling element material will for cycling applications.
There you go...You can print this out and show it to your buds. Being one of the more respected wheel builders on BF should carry some weight

However, there are a few things I've learned from a few roadies with a set "X=Better" mentalities...they are stubborn asses.
tagaproject6 is offline  
Old 07-06-11, 06:42 PM
  #21  
Spinz
TCR Advanced SL
Thread Starter
 
Spinz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Ulah Proper N.C.
Posts: 1,043
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by tagaproject6 View Post
There you go...You can print this out and show it to your buds. Being one of the more respected wheel builders on BF should carry some weight

However, there are a few things I've learned from a few roadies with a set "X=Better" mentalities...they are stubborn asses.
Great plan Tp6, thanks for the direction Psimet! Lp
Spinz is offline  
Old 07-06-11, 07:00 PM
  #22  
byte_speed
Roadkill
 
byte_speed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: East Tennessee
Posts: 858

Bikes: 2002 Lightspeed Classic; 2010 Pedalforce RS

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by AdelaaR View Post
People will now say that you are too dumb to tell the difference ... ahhh ... the emperor and his clothes.
Me too. When the ceramic bearings in my rear wheel (Easton EA90SLX) went bad. I replaced them with steel.

The only difference I can tell is that the steel bearings haven't failed.
byte_speed is offline  
Old 07-06-11, 08:05 PM
  #23  
Runner 1
Cookies!
 
Runner 1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 629

Bikes: Red Huffy, CAAD10 Rival

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Ceramic bearings are like HDMI cables for cycling.
Runner 1 is offline  
Old 07-06-11, 08:18 PM
  #24  
giantdefy
The "Mechanic"
 
giantdefy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: East Bay
Posts: 555

Bikes: 2013 Tarmac SL4 Pro; 2011 Lynskey Cooper, 2015 BH Quartz Disc, 2014 Yeti SB75

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by AdelaaR View Post
Judging from your reply I don't think you got my meaning there.
Are you familiar with the tale of the emperor's new clothes?
That one flew right over my head, LOL!
giantdefy is offline  
Old 07-06-11, 08:25 PM
  #25  
bikepro
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Allen, TX
Posts: 1,916

Bikes: Look 585

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by AdelaaR View Post
A fine example of people being tricked into buying expensive stuff.
I once saw a SPDIF cable being advertsied as "gold plated" ... whatever gets people to go all wild and pay money for will be made.
Actually, there is an advantage to gold plating in electronics -- although I think the advantage is probably wasted on a cable. Basically, in high-end electronic equipment, it is common to gold plate circuit board connections. It conducts better and does not corrode.
bikepro is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.