Ceramic BB

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
nemeseri
Posts: 701
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 5:40 pm

by nemeseri

Friction facts tested a lot of BBs and the winner was a steel bearing designed for track. I firmly believe that there is no real world advantage in performance between high quality steel or ceramic bearings.

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lewolive
Posts: 105
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:10 pm
Location: Gien, France
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by lewolive

nemeseri wrote:Friction facts tested a lot of BBs and the winner was a steel bearing designed for track. I firmly believe that there is no real world advantage in performance between high quality steel or ceramic bearings.


On track, you can lube bearings with just oil and reach outstanding smoothness with any bearings, steel or ceramic. At the end, the difference is, according to my experience, close to zero.

BUT

On the road, you cannot lube with just oil except for a TT maybe... The grease is the key and then:
-the gap between jockey wheels will be significant (lets say 1-2W for a set of ceramic/Dura Ace) because the ceramic is not subject to rust and has limited lube on bearings, and the Dura Ace, made of steel bearings has a thick grease.
-ceramic bearings for BB and hubs are usually different, they use different features. Manufacturers of steel BB use a bad quality grease that has a major advantage, it's waterproof and the longevity of these products is good. But ceramic manufacturers can use better quality greases, anyway if their grease goes out, the bearings will not rust.

So, at the end quality ceramic bearings can be used for a longer time than steel bearings with a better smoothness, but the reason is more on the quality of the materials than on the difference of smoothness itself.

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wheelsONfire
Posts: 1902
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:15 am
Location: NorthEU

by wheelsONfire

If anyone could make a complete drivetrain with lower friction.
I guess it had to be sealed all through, then my interest would peak.
It has alot to do with seals, grease and tolerances that need to be spot on.
I have several ceramic bearings and in a blind test i would never know which is steel and which is ceramic.
Once in the drivetrain, i think it's almost impossible to say which is what.
Perhaps placebo effects has some sort of value?
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ichobi
Posts: 638
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:30 pm

by ichobi

With quality light oil, good set of steel bearing will feel just as fast. Try clear all the grease from your bearing and use quality light oil the smoothness is night and day different. Obviously if you use oil make sure to check up the bearing regularly. It’s like F1 car, if you want it to spin fast and smooth, you need regular pit stop.


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