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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today, I took out my steel-framed LeMond which has a ceramic bearing SRAM bottom bracket. Honestly, after riding my Ridley Orion for about three months straight, and which has the standard DA bottom bracket, I was shocked at how much smoother the ceramic bearing bracket is, which I think is worth the money.

So my question is, what are my options to convert the BB on the Orion, which has Dura Ace? VRCR has a setup, but I wonder if I have to buy the bottom bracket and the bearings, or do bearings already come with the bracket.

Also, does anyone have experience with ceramic wheel bearings and pulleys? If so, please share. I'm interested.

Thanks
 

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Our BB comes as a complete unit with the bearings installed. I will stay out of the debate on whether ceramic is worth it since we sell them and you are about to get a lot of opinions both ways. If you want to email us we can give you our take that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the heads up, VCRC Bike, and sorry for misspelling your company acronym. I enjoyed the review of your bottom bracket that recently appeared online. It's good to see a ceramic BB that is Shimano compatible. One question I have is what are the main differences between the VCRC BB and a fully-ceramic BB, and is there a difference in performance between the two.

I do know how the debate goes, btw. But I also know that the 13-26 SRAM cassette on the LeMond, with standard Rival crankset, pulls uphill like it were connected to a compact crank, which isn't the case with the Ridley, which does not have a ceramic bearing BB but does have a 13-27 Ultegra cassette and standard crankset.
 

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Full ceramic (races and balls) are lighter but also more fragile. Ceramic is not an ideal material for a race as the impact from riding (hitting potholes, bumps, etc.) usually results in the race cracking.

This is why we have never offered a full ceramic BB. We have had several reports of competitors full ceramics cracking in both the wheels and BBs.
 

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I agree with you, ceramic bottom bracket is nice. I don't kid myself that it makes me any faster... It just seems to spin forever and feels so smooth.

If your Dura Ace is 7800 or 7900, you'll have no problem finding a BB with ceramic bearings.

I really like ceramic wheel bearings, too.

On the other hand, I see no difference with ceramic bearings in the jockey wheels. I wouldn't bother with them in a headset, either.

One thing about ceramic... Supposedly they should be serviced with fresh grease after any significant wet conditions, such as riding in the rain.
 

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Feelings

dd74 said:
Today, I took out my steel-framed LeMond which has a ceramic bearing SRAM bottom bracket. Honestly, after riding my Ridley Orion for about three months straight, and which has the standard DA bottom bracket, I was shocked at how much smoother the ceramic bearing bracket is, which I think is worth the money.
Are you saying that you could feel it through your feet? Recognize that for comparable quality bearings, ceramic doesn't bring anything to the table for bicycling applications. Ceramics are of benfit for high temperature, high RPM, and corrosive environments. If your DA bottom bracket is not smooth, then it is either an adjustment issue or it needs replacing. If this smoothness is determined by hand turning the cranks, then likely what you are feeling is the difference in bearing seals, not the bearings themselves.
 
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