CeramicSpeed BB - really worth it?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
Stueys
Posts: 470
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 1:12 pm

by Stueys

The friction facts come as a package for 14 or 16usd if I recall correctly. Makes interesting reading. Their view was that the quality of the BB and how it was manufactured made a bigger difference than whether it was steel or ceramic.

Zigmeister
Posts: 939
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:09 pm

by Zigmeister

I've recently switched back to RWC/Enduro and the offering they having with standard/hybrid/full ceramic BBs, using a KCNC shell/aluminum. PF86 I use Pricing is good as well.

http://www.enduroforkseals.com/id180.html

by Weenie


youngil
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2016 5:59 am

by youngil

Bb is a ceramic parts really do not need.
Go down the price will be a good choice.

TomColnago
Posts: 151
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2015 4:05 pm

by TomColnago

I am using a rotor steel pf4130 bb and it spins nearly as good as a ceramic bb. I was adamant I was going to have a smooth bb so I removed the seals of the rotor bb and it was packed full of thick grease so I flooded the BB with a degreaser and then oiled it with WD40 (please don't kill me for using WD40 :lol: ). The bottom bracket is now super smooth maybe not ceramic speed coated smooth but it is working well with no creaking or rust. :D

froze
Posts: 215
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:47 am

by froze

If you were racing and could get the parts for free than go for it otherwise why waste that kind of money for an extra 1/2 a watt? maybe not even that much? Look that video is a BS video did you notice there was no chain attached? So that got me to thinking, I have chain off on one my 80's era bikes so I took and spun the crank, guess what? it spun for as long as that one did and actually longer, but I might have spun it harder who knows. Now add a chain into the mix and suddenly all that supposedly less friction is gone, add a human to the pedals and any other advantage is also gone. Ceramic bottom brackets usually don't use seals, and seals generate friction, but as soon a load is placed upon the bearings than all that "advantage" is lost.

The hammer thing is hype, I don't know where they got the cheap bearing that turned to powder, the bearing they use in that video that turns to powder is a cheap Chinese ceramic bearing not a steel one. There is all kinds of crap coming out of China that would fail any test and that was just one of them. I have original steel bearings in my 1983 Suntour Superbe bottom bracket and hubs, they have over 160,000 mile on them and they aren't ceramic.

Here's a very interesting read concerning ceramic crap.

This info came from EpicriderGMAC on weightweenies:

In the low temperature, low speed applications that bicycles face, there is no benefit to ceramic bearings over steel bearings in an apples to apples comparison.

Here's why:

A hub or bottom bracket bearing faces axial loads while the cyclist applies power to the bike. Axial loads must be distributed by the balls of the bearing on the bearing race.

A misaligned bearing, even by the smallest of margins (outside +/- 0.0005''), will cause substantial increases in rolling friction.

Ceramic balls on steel races, commonly marketed as Hybrid Ceramic bearings (such as Enduro and Boca bearings), are not good unless perfectly sized. This is because ceramic balls are much harder than the steel races. If the balls are not perfectly toleranced (as they rarely are for hybrid ceramics) to the race outer diameter, once axial loads are applied to the bearing during bicycle riding the race will be damaged. Once the race is damaged due to the hardness of the ceramic balls, friction increases and the bearings will deteriorate quickly.

Alright, so you purchase a set of perfectly toleranced, high precision full ceramic bearings from Ceramic Speed for your Mavic wheels. You install them noticing that they are so light and spin so smooth in the bike stand.

Why are the bearings so light? Why do they spin so smooth in the stand? The dirty secret about ceramic bearings in the bicycle industry is that the key ingidient is less grease and fewer seals.

That's it. Zipp uses 85% fill for steel bearings and 50% fill for ceramics.

FSA reduces the number of seals in their ceramic bottom brackets from 4 down to 2, as well as fills their ceramic BB's with lower viscosity grease. They feel great in the stand!

The truth is that ceramic bearings DO NOT work for long without proper grease! The balls still need to be protected from the race, just like in every steel bearing. You can get away with it for a while (or even just use oil as fill), but the bearing will deteriorate quickly and increase in friction yet again.

Even if everything is perfect, comparing good bearings to good ceramic bearings, we are talking a MAX net power gain in IDEAL conditions to be 0.5-1 watt.

So--you want fast bearings? Get a good set of steel bearings, lube them up well with low viscosity grease, and take out the seals. Check up on them every couple of weeks to regrease.

User avatar
ProfessorChaos
in the industry
Posts: 753
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:10 am

by ProfessorChaos

I am not so sure about the wattage savings, but my 2015 Venge came with Ceramic Speed BB bearings, and they have been the longest lasting most maintenance free BB bearings, I've ever used. I'm sitting at 13,000KM on that bike to date, with not as much as the slightest indication of a creak, the bearings are smooth as day one. I've done nothing to them other than occasionally wipe off the outer seals, and apply grease to the cranks spindle. No internal greasing at all. In contrast on my old Cervelo, I was using a Zipp Ceramic BB with Lightning cranks, and if I would get 3000km out of them it was kind of a miracle. They would get gritty, make noise, and fail to spin smoothly. I'm sold on Ceramic Speed purely as a lack of maintenance required aspect. I literally can forget about my BB at this point. If I ever have a creak, it's always the pedal, or cleat that it is coming from. In my personal opinion they are worth the extra money. I've had similar success with their bearings in my Roval wheels as well. I have not had to replace a Ceramic Speed bearing yet.

addictR1
Posts: 1829
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:11 am

by addictR1

TomColnago wrote:I am using a rotor steel pf4130 bb and it spins nearly as good as a ceramic bb. I was adamant I was going to have a smooth bb so I removed the seals of the rotor bb and it was packed full of thick grease so I flooded the BB with a degreaser and then oiled it with WD40 (please don't kill me for using WD40 :lol: ). The bottom bracket is now super smooth maybe not ceramic speed coated smooth but it is working well with no creaking or rust. :D


interesting.. i have wheelmfg PF30 bb that doesn't spin very smoothly. maybe i should do the same and clean it up. but instead of WD40.. i'd probably use ballistol oil instead. if it's good for firearms.. should be just as good at both lube and protecting the metal parts.

nemeseri
Posts: 787
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 5:40 pm

by nemeseri

Stueys wrote:The friction facts come as a package for 14 or 16usd if I recall correctly. Makes interesting reading. Their view was that the quality of the BB and how it was manufactured made a bigger difference than whether it was steel or ceramic.


This. Highly recommended.

Oswald
Posts: 795
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 10:11 pm

by Oswald

froze wrote:A misaligned bearing, even by the smallest of margins (outside +/- 0.0005''), will cause substantial increases in rolling friction.


I think this makes the biggest difference when comparing to older BB, which seem to run forever. Mostly because the bearings in the older types are perfectly aligned. I can't imagine pressfit bearings ever being perfectly aligned.


addictR1
Posts: 1829
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:11 am

by addictR1

my riding buddy just installed the CeramicSpeed PF30 bb onto his parlee. it only had 9 revolutions. probably will break-loose after riding some more.

Zigmeister
Posts: 939
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:09 pm

by Zigmeister

froze wrote:If you were racing and could get the parts for free than go for it otherwise why waste that kind of money for an extra 1/2 a watt? maybe not even that much? Look that video is a BS video did you notice there was no chain attached? So that got me to thinking, I have chain off on one my 80's era bikes so I took and spun the crank, guess what? it spun for as long as that one did and actually longer, but I might have spun it harder who knows. Now add a chain into the mix and suddenly all that supposedly less friction is gone, add a human to the pedals and any other advantage is also gone. Ceramic bottom brackets usually don't use seals, and seals generate friction, but as soon a load is placed upon the bearings than all that "advantage" is lost.

The hammer thing is hype, I don't know where they got the cheap bearing that turned to powder, the bearing they use in that video that turns to powder is a cheap Chinese ceramic bearing not a steel one. There is all kinds of crap coming out of China that would fail any test and that was just one of them. I have original steel bearings in my 1983 Suntour Superbe bottom bracket and hubs, they have over 160,000 mile on them and they aren't ceramic.

Here's a very interesting read concerning ceramic crap.

This info came from EpicriderGMAC on weightweenies:

In the low temperature, low speed applications that bicycles face, there is no benefit to ceramic bearings over steel bearings in an apples to apples comparison.

Here's why:

A hub or bottom bracket bearing faces axial loads while the cyclist applies power to the bike. Axial loads must be distributed by the balls of the bearing on the bearing race.

A misaligned bearing, even by the smallest of margins (outside +/- 0.0005''), will cause substantial increases in rolling friction.

Ceramic balls on steel races, commonly marketed as Hybrid Ceramic bearings (such as Enduro and Boca bearings), are not good unless perfectly sized. This is because ceramic balls are much harder than the steel races. If the balls are not perfectly toleranced (as they rarely are for hybrid ceramics) to the race outer diameter, once axial loads are applied to the bearing during bicycle riding the race will be damaged. Once the race is damaged due to the hardness of the ceramic balls, friction increases and the bearings will deteriorate quickly.

Alright, so you purchase a set of perfectly toleranced, high precision full ceramic bearings from Ceramic Speed for your Mavic wheels. You install them noticing that they are so light and spin so smooth in the bike stand.

Why are the bearings so light? Why do they spin so smooth in the stand? The dirty secret about ceramic bearings in the bicycle industry is that the key ingidient is less grease and fewer seals.

That's it. Zipp uses 85% fill for steel bearings and 50% fill for ceramics.

FSA reduces the number of seals in their ceramic bottom brackets from 4 down to 2, as well as fills their ceramic BB's with lower viscosity grease. They feel great in the stand!

The truth is that ceramic bearings DO NOT work for long without proper grease! The balls still need to be protected from the race, just like in every steel bearing. You can get away with it for a while (or even just use oil as fill), but the bearing will deteriorate quickly and increase in friction yet again.

Even if everything is perfect, comparing good bearings to good ceramic bearings, we are talking a MAX net power gain in IDEAL conditions to be 0.5-1 watt.

So--you want fast bearings? Get a good set of steel bearings, lube them up well with low viscosity grease, and take out the seals. Check up on them every couple of weeks to regrease.


Yes, hence the Angular contact bearing Wheels Mfg/Enduro Fork seal offer on the DS side to alleviate all of that "angular" issues you have quoted from somebody.

Also, maybe only 2 watts at most. But anything is better than nothing.

Ceramic/hybrid bearings can be made rounder, lighter and stronger than steel to greater tolerance, hundreds of times tighter than steel. Since it is such a small contact area and part of the bigger picture of total drag, it doesn't add up to much.

If people have the money, they can do what they want with it I suppose.

http://enduroforkseals.com/id460.html

perwjensen
Posts: 86
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2016 2:09 am

by perwjensen

TomColnago wrote:I am using a rotor steel pf4130 bb and it spins nearly as good as a ceramic bb. I was adamant I was going to have a smooth bb so I removed the seals of the rotor bb and it was packed full of thick grease so I flooded the BB with a degreaser and then oiled it with WD40 (please don't kill me for using WD40 :lol: ). The bottom bracket is now super smooth maybe not ceramic speed coated smooth but it is working well with no creaking or rust. :D



It's super smooth at no load, once you apply load you're going to realize it won't last that long and actually have higher friction.

GothicCastle
Posts: 272
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2016 1:52 am

by GothicCastle

addictR1 wrote:i've seen a lot of vids on CS BB spinning like crazy and it's got me itching thinking if it will really help average joes like me to ride or climb faster?


It will not. Most applications on a bicycle are poorly suited to ceramic bearings. Derailleur bearings are the most reasonable places for ceramic bearings, and even there the advantages are vanishingly small. At speed, you are fighting much more wind than mechanical losses.

Maintain your steel bearings well and they are perfectly suitable.

solarider
Posts: 519
Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:08 pm

by solarider

If you have shaved every last % of body fat, have optimised your power output, have invested in a super nice bike and want that finishing touch then yes they are worth it.

If not, I would look elsewhere for performance advantage.

Having said that, a little bit of bike bling never does anybody any harm right?! Hard to justify objectively, but so are half of the things that we buy!

by Weenie


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