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Zipp bearing quality?

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:12 pm
by PLuKE
I have had my Zipp FC 404 with the 77/177 hubs for 3 years now. Bearings are still running smooth, I have replaced the free hub bearings twice though.

I read that Zipp uses Swiss bearings? Is this true, on there website they mention there Swiss ABEC 5 bearings, but only in the NSW wheelsets, I guess they will mention this due to marketing, but on the Firecreast wheels they mention nothing?

The bearings have a black inner seal and the orange outer seal, which has to be placed facing OUT. So I am guessing that's more of a contact seal, maybe a 2RS?

Thanks
Luke

Re: Zipp bearing quality?

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:12 pm
by FIJIGabe
I started a thread on the same issue regarding the older 88/188 hubs. The stock Firecrest hubs use pretty crappy bearings, and replacement is called for pretty frequently. Through Hambini's help, I was able to figure out the proper bearings to use, and sourced some NTN bearings from the local US supplier. Those bearings are much higher quality, without having to pay CeramicSpeed's exhorbitant prices.

Re: Zipp bearing quality?

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:12 pm
by Weenie

Re: Zipp bearing quality?

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:21 pm
by PLuKE
I think from memory the 77/177 use the HUK bearings. I have seen the NTN bearings via Hambini.

I had no issues with mine, apart from the freehub bearing. But the wheels spin great, i was more looking for the quality, and how they perform under load.

Thanks
Luke

Re: Zipp bearing quality?

Posted: Thu May 16, 2019 7:43 pm
by MrMagura
If you have problems with your freehub bearings, it is most likely due to tolerance issues.
Buying C3 bearings, will allow for more play, so poor tolerances doesn't overload the bearing.

Re: Zipp bearing quality?

Posted: Thu May 16, 2019 7:47 pm
by FIJIGabe
That's not necessarily true. The freehub bearings on my 188 hub were shot from water ingress, not because of load.

Re: Zipp bearing quality?

Posted: Thu May 16, 2019 8:14 pm
by MrMagura
Yes, all bearings die from water, it's just a matter of when.
That's not really a bearing issue, but a matter of the environment the bearing is exposed to.
At some point it begins to make sense to use stainless bearings, in spite of their lower load bearing capacity, and generally shorter life span.

Re: Zipp bearing quality?

Posted: Fri May 17, 2019 2:57 am
by pdlpsher1
Besides water ingress, the biggest factor in determining bearing life is not so much the bearing themselves but rather the machining quality of the metal structure which supports the bearings. If the structure is not round, too small, too big, etc., it puts a non-uniform load on the bearing surfaces. In a wheelset this would be the hub shells in which the bearings are pressed in. Even low quality sealed bearings can last forever if the hub shells they are in are machined to tight tolerances. Premature bearing wear is a sign of the hub shell being out of tolerance.

The above could also explain why Shimano and Campy like the cup/cone bearing vs. sealed bearings. With cup/cone the hub shells don't need extremely tight tolerances that cost a lot of money.

Re: Zipp bearing quality?

Posted: Fri May 17, 2019 12:26 pm
by hambini
pdlpsher1 wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 2:57 am
Besides water ingress, the biggest factor in determining bearing life is not so much the bearing themselves but rather the machining quality of the metal structure which supports the bearings. If the structure is not round, too small, too big, etc., it puts a non-uniform load on the bearing surfaces. In a wheelset this would be the hub shells in which the bearings are pressed in. Even low quality sealed bearings can last forever if the hub shells they are in are machined to tight tolerances. Premature bearing wear is a sign of the hub shell being out of tolerance.

The above could also explain why Shimano and Campy like the cup/cone bearing vs. sealed bearings. With cup/cone the hub shells don't need extremely tight tolerances that cost a lot of money.
+1

Re: Zipp bearing quality?

Posted: Fri May 17, 2019 12:26 pm
by Weenie

Re: Zipp bearing quality?

Posted: Fri May 17, 2019 12:30 pm
by MrMagura
Exactly, hence the suggestion to buy C3 bearings with more play, as that to some degree can make up for poor tolerances.