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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What is everyone's take on ceramic bearings? I don't see any downside to using them in wheels, headsets or bottom brackets. Maybe I wrong? :confused:
 

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Well....the ones that are actually "better" than high quality traditional material ones cost hundreds of dollars more. I don't think you'll notice a performance difference either, unless your current stuff is of marginal quality.
 

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I don't see a technical downside either. But ceramic bearings other than on derailleur pulleys strike me as a solution in desparate search of a problem. This usally means that there's a financial downside for the buyer: much money spent for not much gained.

Edit: . . . as divve said.
 

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Arrogant roadie.....
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Keep in mind-ceramics are both hard and brittle. Smack one hard enough, and it will break rather than squish.
 

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Well, depends

From my experience they dont seem to be brittle. I have Ceramic bearings in the front hub of my Amclassic micro hub and they are doing just fine. 2500 miles on them and absolution no problems. Took them out the other day to check and no noise, no crunchy spinning, perfect. Noticed a little difference Compared to my old bearings, cant wait to feel my bike after I replace BB, pulleys and pedal (currently on order) bearings along with rear wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
after more research

Zipp uses creamic bearing in their hubs. My quess is they are the utmost in precision bearings. I went to the Boca website but it didn't help me much. There is so much technical jargon that I don't understand. But if ceramic bearing are good enough for them.....
 

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Kant phuckin sphell
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zipp

arizonabev said:
Zipp uses creamic bearing in their hubs. My quess is they are the utmost in precision bearings. I went to the Boca website but it didn't help me much. There is so much technical jargon that I don't understand. But if ceramic bearing are good enough for them.....
used to have some of the worst bearings.

I always thought the best bearings (smoothest) were Shimano and Campy.
 

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Boca's for cannondale Si bottom bracket

I'm interested to see if anyone has installed the ceramics in a bottom bracket yet. The price difference on the ceramic hybrids is not that far outside of reality. For instance, Boca stainless bearings for Cannondale Si BB 50$, Boca ceramic hybrid bearings for Si BB 80$. If they last 2 to 5 times longer as advertised then it would seem to be a good investment (though I've never had to change BB bearings before so I don't know how much this is actually worth!)
 

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It doesn't tell the whole story but Boca ceramic hybrid stuff typically has an ABEC 1 rating....can't get much lower than that :)
 

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Spend your money elsewhere. Ceramic bearings for bikes are more a marketing driven thing than something that will provide an actual improvement in performance.
 

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Little performance increase is still increase

Sometimes its hard to spend money elswhere. Some people have a light bike with great components. Some people have a coach or a dedicated training plan and race often. For those people (i happend to fall in) getting a small performance boost from ceramic bearings is justifiable. Heck, if you just happend to have a couple hundred dollars in your couch that you want to blow that is totally justifiable to.
 

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SDizzle said:
Those are bushings.
They look like bushings, granted. But the ceramic bearings in derailleur pulleys are sleeve bearings. What's confusing matters is that folks use the term "bearings" for just the balls or rollers in a ball/roller bearing assembly.
 

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miketrackman said:
Sometimes its hard to spend money elswhere. Some people have a light bike with great components. Some people have a coach or a dedicated training plan and race often. For those people (i happend to fall in) getting a small performance boost from ceramic bearings is justifiable. Heck, if you just happend to have a couple hundred dollars in your couch that you want to blow that is totally justifiable to.
OK, it is your money. I'd rather have a nice case of wine. But when I say little I mean to the extent that any improvement will be lost in the noise of a hundred other uncontrollable factors. Good quality conventional bearings just don't rob that much energy, no matter what Zipp, FSA, et. al. say.
 

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This is the first time I have ever read a tech sheet on bearings for a bike. Although, FSA is using a silicon nitride ball, the steel race could be pitted if the installation isn't done properly. Also, the retainer material isn't very solvent proof.
Guess they are OK to use in dry environment but I wouldn't put 'em on a cross bike, with all of the rain and mud exposure.
 

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My 2cents

In the earlier days, aircraft are fitted with traditional hardened steel bearings and similarly other automotive application specially where the use of steel bearings would hamper prolong or extended use. At present, turbo jet and even F1 engines are now fitted with specialized bearings and mostly of ceramic material. I'm not saying ridng your bike will take so much pressure on steel bearings probalbly not but overtime, ceramic type would prove to be more durable. Efficiency-wise, the difference could be negligible. The cost of buying ceramic compared to the standard, you could buy 2 or 3 sets of the steel bearings and would probably last longer than the ceramic.

Ceramic material property is mainly used for high heat application where steel would most likely fail earlier as in Jet turbo. The material thermal resistance is higher than steel. Ceramic bearings can be used in hot condition better than steel, so for bike application, the difference would be negligible. either way it's your money. Cheers.
 
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