Ceramic BB question

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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SteadyState
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 1:15 am

by SteadyState

When I was putting together my Cdale I was interested in using a ceramic BB but was steered away by users because they said that the bearings would pit out after 1000 miles roughly. Does this only apply to the BB 30 systems or is it pretty much across the board with all ceramic BB systems. I know it's tough generalize a question like this but any responses would be helpful.

rbrtwyn
Posts: 253
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 1:57 pm

by rbrtwyn

I've been riding ceramic BBs for 5 or so years now and have never had one die at 1000 miles. I have one with over 20,000 miles on it and still works like new. I grease them a couple times a year and that's pretty much it. All 4 of my bikes have ceramic BBs with the least amount of mileage around 8-10,000 on it.

I should also add that riding conditions can make the life of the BB vary if you do not maintain them much.

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madcow
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by madcow

I agree with the above, a ceramic bb doesn't necessarily wear out quick. A crappy ceramic bb might.

The jury still seems to be out on the advantage of ceramic bearings. I have heard valid arguments on both sides, and while I don't believe that there is any significant advantage to them, I also don't think there's any particular disadvantage either. I use hsc ceramic bearings in most of my wheels/bb's and have yet to have one wear out quickly.

fdegrove
Tubbie Guru
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Location: Belgium

by fdegrove

Hi,

Pitting of a ceramic hybrid bearing is just impossible.
Crappy ceramic balls, yes. Crappy lubes, seals, cages, etc., yes.

For as long as you stick with a quality ceramic hybrid and it's mounted correctly it should outlast its steel equivalent by several thousands of miles even if you don't maintain it properly.

I've been running the same ceramic bearings for 4 years (Ceramic Speed, Campa, SKF and HSC) on Triflow oil and Krytox grease with no problems whatsoever.
It's the lube and lack of friction from seals that makes the difference in wattage, not the ceramic balls by themselves.

Ciao, ;)
Last edited by fdegrove on Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
Being a snob is an expensive hobby.

2002SaecoReplica
Posts: 1944
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 10:02 pm
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by 2002SaecoReplica

SteadyState wrote:When I was putting together my Cdale I was interested in using a ceramic BB but was steered away by users because they said that the bearings would pit out after 1000 miles roughly. Does this only apply to the BB 30 systems or is it pretty much across the board with all ceramic BB systems. I know it's tough generalize a question like this but any responses would be helpful.


I had the OEM ceramic bearings in my caad9 crap out after a few months. That bike ate regular bearings too so I'm not sure. I think I remember Starnut saying that cannondale had a bad run of the ceramic bearings which mine were part of.

This incident aside, it has been my first hand experience that ceramic bearings from vcrc are awesome. Their quality is good and their customer service is even better.
- Zipp rims will break if you look at them too hard
- R-Sys wheels will spontaneously explode
- The ZG crankset will never, ever exist
- Everyone needs Lightweights, even if they're fat and old
- Parts actually made of metal are SO 10 years ago

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yourdaguy
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Location: Southern Indiana USA
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by yourdaguy

Well I had a set of Cannondale ceramic bearings go bad in 6 months (about 2,000 miles) and that is my only bad experience with the many ceramic bearings I have. I replaced them with a non-Cannondale ceramic bearing and they have over 4,000 miles with no issues. I think Cannondale must have had a bad run of them then. Makes me wish I would have returned them now.
For certain parts stiffer is more important than lighter.

shady
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:37 pm

by shady

My advise would be buy a good quality BB not just the first one you come across,
i brought a HSC ceramic BB that are made in China that only lasted a few months
cranks started to creak badly, when they were taken out the bearings fell out of the cups
i sent them back but they didnt not know what was the problem was and gave me a refund

i had a set of VCRC fitted since and have had no problems

artek
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Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 8:35 am

by artek

and some people have their good teeth extracted to have them replaced by gold ones.

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