Campagnolo Bora Ultra Ceramic Upgrade Possible?

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mtbnoob
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by mtbnoob

Has anyone tried upgrading their Bora Ultras with ceramic bearings? Can it be done easily and what brand bearings did you use?

rustychain
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by rustychain

You can buy the loose individual bearings, they are not cartridge bearings. The race will still be steel. Using grease means little if any improvement and possible accelerated race wear.The stock bearings in Boras Ultras are very very good. I decided not to replace mine. If you want ceramic a better choice is the Ultra 2 Boras.
WW Velocipedist Gargantuan

by Weenie


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coloclimber
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by coloclimber

HB-HY100 Campagnolo upgrade parts to CULT level ceramic.
-Deacon Doctor Colorado Slim

mtbnoob
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by mtbnoob

@coloclimber: thanks for the part number.

Is the difference between the Bora Ultra and Ultra Two just the ceramic bearing or are there any other subtle differences?

Does swopping out the bearings on the Bora Ultra for the CULT bearing kit effectively make the Bora Ultra "similiar" to the Ultra Two?

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coloclimber
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by coloclimber

Ceramic bearings, retainer, races and special cups/wahtever see diagram-
http://www.campagnolo.com/jsp/en/downlo ... id_141.jsp
Look at page 85/86
You can replace the steel balls with ceramic and keep your existing retainer from the Bora Ultra, or you can buy just the Campagnolo ceramic bearings already in the Campagnolo retainer, or you get get the whole CULT level 8 piece set per wheel.
Whether its worth it is up to you in the $ dept.
-Deacon Doctor Colorado Slim

fdegrove
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by fdegrove

Hi,

The problem with that kit is that it's pretty darn expensive and you can't just replace the cups of the Bora hubs as they're glued in place.

I upgraded my Boras with Ceramic Speed and have been using them for about a year now with no problem whatsoever.
Also I have a set of Eurus Carbons which were upgraded as well using Campa's kit: HB-HY023. Again no problem.

I can't remember where I read it but it appears the new bearings (HB-HY123) are said to be even higher tolerance still and come in retainers made of PEEK (IOW, the cream of the crop).

In my case, I could opt for the Cronitect treated cones (HB-HY022) but I doubt it's worth the expense.

Ciao, :wink:
Last edited by fdegrove on Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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mtbnoob
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by mtbnoob

@fdegrove: did the Boras ride better after the ceramic upgrade?

fdegrove
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by fdegrove

Hi,

In all honnesty I don't think that particular upgrade alone made me ride faster.
Reducing friction in all the other bearings as well (BB, pulley wheels and freehub) makes the difference much more noticeable.

If anything the wheels seem to take less effort to bring up to speed and feel all in all less tiring to keep going.

Keep in mind though that typical cup and cone bearings need careful setup or the benefit of using ceramic may well be lost.
This means adjusting the bearings with the bike on the workstand with skewers tightened as you would use them on the road and using oil as a lubricant instead of grease.

I feel the benefits come mainly from the possibility to use oil as opposed to grease and the possibility to remove seals in case of cartridge bearings. Use regular bearing grease with the ceramic balls and I'm sure you won't notice any difference over steel balls.
Not even when the bearings aren't loaded......

So, is it worth it?
Yes, provided you already have a finely tuned bike, have low rolling resistance tubulars that are correctly glued on and so on.
If not I suggest to take care of that first.

Just to give you a broader picture of what to expect. In order of importance to me:

1. Health
2. Aero
3. Rolling resistance of tyres (that includes picking the right pressure for the circumstances ahead)
4. Friction in the drivetrain including wheels
5. Maintenance of all above :lol:

Hope this helps, :wink:
Being a snob is an expensive hobby.

mtbnoob
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by mtbnoob

The whole process is beginning to sound a little tricky and I'm thinking only a person very qualified in replacing the bearings should be doing the job.

Is there any difference replacing the entire kit using HB-HY100 or just replacing the bearings using HB-HY123?

Is the process any easier or less tricky if only HB-HY123 is replaced?

Phill P
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by Phill P

The process is not that hard for somebody with enough experience with tools.

If you have ever adjusted the cones on campy or shimano hubs you will have no problems. One of the great features of these hubs is that you can finely tune the load on the bearings, fdegrove is just highlighting the gains of a well prepared machine. If you are not confident get somebody else to do it.

Whether you use any campy kit, or aftermarket parts the process is no different.

All the campy kits do is either rplace the balls and give you a new retainer, give you new balls, or balls retainer and fancy hardened cones. Nothing magic involved.

I think somebody should tell the OP what the cost of these campy kits are :evil:

mtbnoob
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by mtbnoob

The HB-HY123 kit (bearings + retainer) retails for US$175 in my country. Does that seem like a lot compared to where you are?

fdegrove
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by fdegrove

mtbnoob wrote:The whole process is beginning to sound a little tricky and I'm thinking only a person very qualified in replacing the bearings should be doing the job.

Is there any difference replacing the entire kit using HB-HY100 or just replacing the bearings using HB-HY123?

Is the process any easier or less tricky if only HB-HY123 is replaced?


Hi,

As said before, the only part of the upgrade that seems impossible (to me at least) to carry out yourself is to replace the cups from the Bora Ultra hubs with the Cronitect ones.
The rest is very straightforward and in no way different from replacing steel bearings in other cup and cone bearing wheels.

Other than that all you need are two M5 Allen keys to remove the axles, one 2M5 Allen key to remove the bearing adjustment nuts.

Replacing just the steel bearings with ceramics would bring the wheels up to current USB level (as per Hyperon Ultra from a few years ago) and you could just as well use either HB-HY023 or the newer HB-HY123 kit.
HB-HY123 is said to have a superior quality retainer, in casu PEEK instead of the phenolic material used even for the HB-HY023 kit.
The ceramic balls of the HB-HY123 kit are also reportedly higher grade.
If anyone could confirm this?

The next step up would be to replace the current cones for the Cronitect ones which are hardened to the point that they approach the hardness of ceramic.
But after all this you're still stuck with the current cups which need special tooling to replace and someone willing to work on your wheels.

So the Cronitect cups as per HB-HY100 kit are useless to us and your bearings will be rolling on a very hard cone on one end whilst on the other it will be riding against a cone that's said to be ceramic ready but not nearly as hard a surface as the Cronitect treated ones.

My point being is that if you intend to keep the Bora Ultras and want to upgrade them to CULT level yourself it's pretty much impossible.

If, however, you want to upgrade them to USB level it's very easy as all it takes is either 4 HB-HY023 (cheapest) or 4 HB-HY123.
In the latter case I'd think it's wise to use special ceramic bearing grease (Dupont de Nemours Krytox 200 or similar) instead of oil.
Or use oil for all bearings except for the one at the driveside as it's invariably that bearing that takes the bulk of the torque transfer, it's also the most exposed to contaminants.
If using oil you'll inevitably will have to check the bearings on a regular basis as it just won't stay put as grease would do.

As for the asking price of the HB-HY123 kit, I wouldn't know.
There's just not enough on the net yet to start comparing.

Ciao, ;)
Being a snob is an expensive hobby.

mtbnoob
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by mtbnoob

Very informative post. Thanks for sharing.

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WideAMG
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by WideAMG

campagnolo CULT bearing upgrade kit available here for $450 USD

http://www.cbike.com/index.asp?PageActi ... rodID=3079

Image

Upgrade your Campagnolo or Fulcrum wheelset to Campagnolo's new CULT bearing system. CULT bearing technology increases the extraordinary performance of USB technology another step. The ceramic ball bearings are always the best in existence (silicon nitride), but in this case Campagnolo has gone an extra step compared with the competition by working on the races the ball bearings run in. In collaboration with the German company, Schaffler INA-FAG, Campagnolo has realized ball bearing races made of Cronitect steel; this raises the resistance to corrosion to the maximum level to the point that no grease is necessary for lubrication. These bearing must be lubricated with oil alone. This solution incredibly increases the smoothness of ceramic ball bearings and will delight those for whom racing is a way of life.
riding Pinarellos with Super Record since 84
2009 SR Pino
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by Weenie


Phill P
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by Phill P

16 piece kit? What is included in that?
4xcronitec cones
4xretainers
4xballs (15 pieces per set)
4xcups??

Image they show is a hybrid deep groove ball bearing, not a cup and cone setup.

maybe instead of the 4xcups it is 2x BB beairngs and 2xcassette body bearings.

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