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Ceramic hybrid Bearings(11 posts)

Ceramic hybrid Bearingsmxb
Dec 1, 2003 2:32 PM
If you read this month High Tech article in Bicycling, you'll see them metioning this new material for cartridge and loose bearing. I found a company called boca bearing ( that supplies a variety of these bearing for your biking needs. Give them a try.
Have you priced them? Any actual advantage? (nm)Kerry Irons
Dec 1, 2003 5:09 PM
Have you priced them? Any actual advantage? (nm)mxb
Dec 2, 2003 2:02 PM
Yes, installed on my wheels. I feel the difference on the hills and in a quick sprint.
FeelingsKerry Irons
Dec 2, 2003 4:47 PM
Unless you had really crappy bearings before, there is no way you can feel the difference, on hills or in a sprint. If you did some actual measurements, like precisely measured coast down tests, you might be able to find tiny differences, though they would more likely be caused by how much grease you packed or how you adjusted the hubs with the new bearings. There's plenty of data showing that in the real world of cycling, ceramic bearings would not have an effect that you could feel.
Maybe not, but with the return from my absence -----------------Synchronicity
Dec 2, 2003 10:51 PM
I see that you havn't changed a bit.

Look, what's wrong with ceramic bearings? They're harder, therefore they last longer and they produce less friction. They're also marginally lighter. That, in turn, means they're better suited to the task at hand.

Is it just because they're "ceramic" and not some kind of new steel that you retain this prejudiced aversion to them? I bet you'd go for them if you thought they were some kind of new hyper-alloy steel that still possessed all of those reported benefits.

People that think of these types of ceramics as the same kind of stuff house bricks are made of should re-think their preconceptions.

Some of these ceramics are quite tough indeed. What is it with some cyclists? You're not by any chance a UCI official are you Kerry? You're always so darned conservative.

And what's wrong with improving things with new materials?
I'm all for it. Anything to get people to do more cycling. If bicycle design was left to you we'd all be riding around on traditional rusting steel framed beasts that weighed a ton.

You claim that you can't feel the benefit of ceramic bearings. Perhaps that is true. But can anyone feel any small change they make on any of their bicycle parts? What about if someone made an unknown change to your bike, would you be able to pick it if you were told not to look down at your bike while riding?

Don't have a go at this one guy when he suggests something about bearings. Why stop there? You'd have to pick on everyone that changes over their cranks, seatposts, cassettes, quick releases whatever...............

The cycling world is full of people who upgrade the bicycles. You'll have to learn to live with that. Take his post for what it is, and if you don't like it, don't read anything else that involves new technology.
Personal attack,Eric_H
Dec 4, 2003 11:24 AM
Wow, that was a lot of frustration in one posting. Maybe you should consider staying away if the forum does this to you. Kerry provides a lot of useful information, and more than anything it is PRACTICAL. If you want a rebuttal, I'll simply say that you are exactly every bike industry CEO's wet dream - you will obviously drop serious money on any new and unproven technology in your quest to have the latest, greatest toy. You believe the marketing hype spewed forth by reputable rags like Bicycling. But, you probably ride with at least one rider on a lugged steel frame with 8spd that can kick your butt, despite his machinery.

Back to the original issue: saying that by simply replacing steel bearings with ceramic bearings makes one quicker in a sprint and uphill smacks of "the princess and the pea" syndrome. I mean, the wheels are the same, are they not? Same hubs, same cones, same spokes, same rims. There is just no way the change in bearings can make a difference that can actually be quantified on the bike.
I would call that a personal attack.Synchronicity
Dec 4, 2003 7:33 PM
OK so it was an attack. But I didn't really insult the man.

I am most certainly not "every bike industry CEO's wet dream", as you so eloquently put it. I happen to know a lot about materials, that's all. For example, I think we could all benefit if someone made a moderatley-priced cassette from silicon nitride or some such material. Some things just wear out too fast, and it doesn't have to be that way. :-(

Incidentally, how can I get smilies to work on this forum + insert pics? I've done it before but don't know how now.
If you want to see a proper attack, click on this link --->Synchronicity
Dec 4, 2003 7:39 PM
Sorry, I meant to say "wouldn't", "wouldn't" call that an attack. I've just been hanging out over at this other motorcycle forum, and its, well, different. This forum is so polite with the language and everything, but still usually very opinionated.

Check out this for a bit of a laugh:
(towards the end it heats up)
Nothing wrong with ceramic bearings, except expense.Kerry Irons
Dec 4, 2003 4:51 PM
My objection is not at all to the performance of ceramic bearings. There is nothing wrong with them. My objection is that they offer insignificant improvements for significant cost. Same applies to boutique wheels, for which I am roundly and freqently lampooned in my objection. It's not the performance that is the issue, it's the value.

When it came time to upgrade my last bike, I bought a Litespeed Vortex with Campy Record, a Ti seat post and stem. We've been looking at a new bike for my wife, and it will probably be the same frame/kit. I consider this kind of investment appropriate for performance and long term durability/maintenance, and it doesn't seem like opposition to new technology.

I'm all for performance upgrades, I'm just questioning spending money for no improvement. I realize my choice of Campy Record opens me up to many who would claim that Record offers nothing over DA or Chorus or whatever, but I've been riding Campy Record in various incarnations since 1969 and have not been disappointed in the value delivered. On my current bike, I got Campy Electron wheels, and I am disappointed with the value delivered - no advantage over built wheels at higher cost and more difficult maintenance. I hope that addresses some of your objections, though I doubt it.
Nothing wrong with ceramic bearings, except expense.Synchronicity
Dec 4, 2003 7:26 PM
So you're objecting to costly products that don't yield a noticeable benefit? Alright then. But that coming from a man who has purchased campy record since 1969 won't sit well with a lot of readers........... :-P
benefit of ceramic bearings...DougSloan
Dec 5, 2003 11:23 AM
Isn't the primary benefit that, since they are harder and rounder, you can use less lube or less viscous lube, and still have the necessary durability and performance? For a top notch time trialer, particularly a heavy one, if it makes in a second difference in a 40k, it may be "worth it."

What about bearing races, though? Are they similarly hardened and smooth?