Bearings do not "break in" but if you have contact-sealed hubs then the seals will wear in and friction will drop a tiny bit. Likewise the grease will break down (not chemically - just the emulsion will break a little) and reduce friction a tiny bit. This will show up as the wheels spinning longer but it will be insignificant in the big picture.I just got a new rear hub with 4 sealed bearing inside.. it spin pretty well just wish it was longer. Is there break in period?
That reminds me of a story. Back many years ago (1960's) when I went to watch international track (cycling) in the UK, the top guys would, for the special occasion events, trick out their Campagnolo and Airlite hubs - they would remove the dust shields (there were no rubber seals back then), remove one ball, adjust the hubs to be a bit slack and replace the grease with a bit of thin oil. You could hear them rolling past with the hubs doing a click-click-click noise.You can take the seals off your steel bearing cartridges and lube them with oil and achieve the same thing.
I think we have to put it into context of the era. Hindsight is great stuff and club riders now know more useful bike science than pro riders did 40-50 years ago. Back then, time-trialers drilled their bike parts out to look like tin whistles. Now we know bike weight means almost nothing and aerodynamics of the body are everything.I understand using oil... but with no rubber seals, the dust shields weren't hurting anything, and I don't understand taking a ball out either. Seems like a clicking noise would indicate that something isn't optimal...
I was looking at some old (80s I think) Columbus tubing catalogs and noticed that they made some very light tubesets "for TTs".Back then, time-trialers drilled their bike parts out to look like tin whistles. Now we know bike weight means almost nothing and aerodynamics of the body are everything.
I remember the Excel tubing on a frame made in Italy (that I almost bought in Toronto) in the early '90s and I could flex the TT with my thumb - like a coke can. Scary. The Masi that I did buy is still going strong.I was looking at some old (80s I think) Columbus tubing catalogs and noticed that they made some very light tubesets "for TTs".
Old wives' tales still abound in cycling. We are getting slowly better.The lack of reason is baffling. The basic physics is as old as Newton, and subsonic aerodynamics was very well developed by WW2. And yet the best pros in the world made equipment choices based on nonsense.... and they still do... just not so much.