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Cartridge bearings(14 posts)

Cartridge bearingsmmquest
Sep 5, 2002 4:51 PM
Am considering a new wheelset and have heard that the cartridge bearings in Mavic wheels are great...but what are they. When you replace a cartridge bearing, do you end up replacing the races as well (so that you basically have a new hub) or is it just that the bearings are contained so that you don't have to worry about them flying all over when you are trying to replace them. Will such bearings last longer than normal bearings (i.e. should they be a factor in deciding between Campy and Mavic wheels)?

re: Cartridge bearingsSnowBlind
Sep 6, 2002 1:10 PM
Cartridge bearings have the races and bearings in one neat package. Sometimes they require special tools to insert/remove.
BUT, you cannot service them very easily. Plus, the precision is not as good as most standard free bearing hubs. Especially Record.
sure about the precision???C-40
Sep 6, 2002 1:50 PM
Cartridge bearing can be purchased with different levels of "precision". The balls and races must both be considered as part of the level of precision.

High levels of precision are mainly needed for high speed operation. Bicycle hubs are lightly loaded and spin at low speeds.

A friend of mine still has the original 1984 cartidge bearings in the Suzue hubs that came on his 1984 Centurian. This bike has logged a lot of miles and been ridden in wet conditions. I'm amazed that they're still going.

Cartidge bearings suitable for bikes can be purchased at good prices from Most bikes use standard metric sizes.
So it would seem to me that cartridge is better...mmquest
Sep 6, 2002 3:30 PM
as you basically get a new hub everytime you replace the bearings. Or if you get a damaged race in a standard (such as Record) hub, you have to replace the hub whereas with a cartridge bearing hub (such as Ksyrium) you get a new race with the bearing.

Thanks for your response
Sep 6, 2002 4:24 PM
You don't know jack about bearings. "Precision" bearing is not some marketing concept dreamed up on Madison Ave. What it means is that all of the manufacturing tollerances have been designed to be maintained over the life of the bearing with minimal service. The critical difference between your beloved Campy Record is that while the precision of the actual individual balls may be exactly the same in the two style of bearings there is no way that you can set and hold the critical tollerance in a loose ball race. There isn't anything precision about this setup and it's why it's not used on any critical machine component. The key concept with a precision bearing is that you don't need to service them. Loose balls in open races is the stuff of lightly loaded bicycle components and dime store roller skates.

What loosens up in a Mavic wheel and requires adjustment, for example, is not the actual race, but the entire stainless steel precision bearing assembly sitting in the aluminum hub. The aluminum is soft and malable.
geez what a bitch!!!C-40
Sep 7, 2002 10:40 AM
You take this shit too seriously. I assume that your nasty response was for my benefit. You response is not devoid of crap.

Perhaps you should do some serious research and note the difference in tolerances between ABEC-1 and ABEC-3 bearings. There is a difference. Try for some accurate info on bearing tolerances and press fitting cartridge bearings.

ABEC-1 cartridge bearings are most aften used on bikes. They are cheap and have ample precision to handle the loads and speeds produced by any bike. Their maximum rpm rating is in the 20-30,000 rpm range depending on the size.

I don't get your point about the soft aluminum hub. The bearings are usually a light press fit in the hub. The hub should be good for many years and several sets of bearings. If you've got a point to make, try stating it clearly without all the negative remarks.

My point is that cartridges seem to work well over a long period of time with little or no maintenance, if they are properly sealed. If you replace a cartridge bearing it produces the same result as replacing the race, bearing balls and cone in a loose bearing hub (at far less cost).
But replacement parts/availability?Spunout
Sep 8, 2002 3:14 AM
If you re-pack your campy hubs regularly, you will not have to purchase any new parts. After a few thousand miles, the bearings in there actually 'polish' to the races and cups and become even faster. So, you have many tens of thousands of miles without buying new parts. Will these parts be available in a few years? Could you sell your cartridge-bearing wheels when buyers know that replacements will be difficult to locate? (see Rolf and any problem had with their wheels over three years old).

Only if a bearing becomes pitted or chipped would I replace the balls and cones.
off the shelf bearings....C-40
Sep 8, 2002 6:16 AM
As I noted, the cost of a new cartridge bearings is a lot less that the cost of repair parts for loose-ball hubs.
Most cartridge bearings are only about $6 - less than the price of a single campy bearing cone.

The cartridge bearings used in bicycle hubs 20 years ago are the same sizes used today.

It would be very rare to find a cartridge bearing on a bike that was not an off the shelf item. It is simply too expensive to have a bearing manufacturer build a custom size for something as low-volume as a bicycle hub. All you need to know is the OD, ID and thickness to purchase a new cartridge bearing.
Don't be so hypersensitivegrzy
Sep 9, 2002 2:43 PM
My "bullcrap" reply was meant for the poster above, as in it was a reply to his message not *yours*. If it were meant for you it would've been indented under your message. One might assume that it is you that is taking this stuff too seriously.

I'm a big fan of precision bearings, any precision bearing, over the loose ball route. What was implied was that some how the loose ball setup in a Campy Record hub was far superior to anything in a precision race, regardless of ABEC rating. I agree with what you've said, sorry about the negativity, but it wasn't directed at you. The part about the soft aluminum hub is that a Ksyrium wheel, for example has to periodically have the "bearings" adjusted. You're not actually adjusting the bearings, but rather the assembly that contains the bearings. On the beloved Campy Record hub for example, one can easily replace the cones and balls when they become worn, but NOT the part of the race that is the hub. If anyone has tried to salvage a worn hub they know what I'm talking about. The idea of fawning over something simply b/c it was made in Italy at the temple of Campagnolo is ludicrous and people should recognize this. These are the same people who can't make cost competitive road bike parts or even compete in the MTB world. It's like saying you need a Ferrari for all of your needs. Beautiful yes, pricey absolutely, necessary well......
bullcrap not needed...C-40
Sep 9, 2002 6:19 PM
Glad that blast wasn't meant for me, but the intended victim didn't deserve it either. Now you've made your point more clearly, without resorting to a personal assault. A great improvement.
Don't worry about it.SnowBlind
Sep 9, 2002 7:28 PM
Grzy is entitled to his opinon.
So am I, and based on his response, he has about as much respect for mine as I have for his.
He wants to get all worked up about it, it's OK with me, grzy is a light weight compared to the rants on kuro5hin.
"Intended victim" of what? A driveby wet noodling?
bullcrap not needed...bobobo
Sep 10, 2002 3:47 AM
Why do all you guys feel the need to advise others on correct posting behavior. Do you have some kind of maternal instainct in you that prevents you from simply sticking to the topic?
Don't be so hypersensitivebobobo
Sep 10, 2002 3:43 AM
Yep, great analogy grzy. It is like the guy who contends that you need a Prosche 991 turbo or a Ferarri for rushhour traffic or to runb down to Lowes to pick up some 2/4's for a weekend project. I personally get a kick out of all the guys who babble about the superiority of Mavic, Campy and shimano hubs for example. Go take a look at the engineering design of American Classic hubs versus these hubs and tell me that the previous 3 are in the same league. not a chance!!
Just out of curiosity...SnowBlind
Sep 9, 2002 8:09 PM
Looking at the tables for ABEC-1 I see a 3 micron tolerance in the inner and outer races, so that could be +/-6 microns if I am reading correctly. That means they could be perfect, or as much as 6 microns out of "perfection"
Now, the adjustment threads for the Campy hubs are 29 TPCM, and I can get 1/16th turns out of it, or .00254cm so that is a play of +/-.8 microns after converting to microns.
Unless I am reading it wrong (and I could be), race bearings could be more accurate if adjusted properly.