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  1. #1
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    Ceramic BB Bearings

    I have an Ultegra BSA bottom bracket hosting a hollowtech crank. Does anyone know if I can replace just the bearings with ceramics? Or, do I have to go with an entirely new bottom bracket?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GKSki View Post
    I have an Ultegra BSA bottom bracket hosting a hollowtech crank. Does anyone know if I can replace just the bearings with ceramics? Or, do I have to go with an entirely new bottom bracket?
    Sure, if you want to waste your money you can replace the bearings w/ ceramic. You've never seen any of the threads here about them? Really?
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Sure, if you want to waste your money you can replace the bearings w/ ceramic.
    ^This.^

    Is there anything wrong with your BB right now, or do you just have extra time and $$ on your hands?

    A fool and his/her money are soon parted.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

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    Well, I wasn't really asking whether or not ceramic bearings would do anything for me, and if they were worth the money. What I was asking is can I buy just the ceramic bearing cartridges to fit into the cups of the Shimano Ultegra Bottom Bracket, or do I have to buy a complete ceramic bearing bottom bracket?

    As for efficacy, I have some first person reports that ceramic bearings for the derailleur pulleys and for the bottom bracket, do make a significant difference in drivetrain friction.

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    I *think* those bearing cartridges are replaceable, but you probably won't save much $ doing it that way either. Probably easier to just get the whole new BB. I too have first-hand observations about ceramic bearing/OSPW efficiency. The rear disk free-wheeling on my TT bike (ceramic BB and OPSWs) keeps the drive train turning for an insane amount of time. That wasn't the case with "regular" bearings/pulleys. Might only be a few watts, but I'll take them!
    Well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion man. - The Dude

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    Contact Hawk Racing. Best bearings on the planet and not too expensive at all. Great customer service as well.

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    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    If they were the same price as good quality steel bearings I wouldn't buy them. As for putting them into Shimano cups, yes...it's possible. Done it w/ regular bearings dozens of times. You just have know someone that has the proper tools.

    The ideal application(s) for ceramic bearings are:
    High speed...thousands of rpm. Not something you'll ever encounter on a bicycle.
    Pure radial load. Again, not a bottom bracket.
    Clean working environment. You know what I'm gonna say.
    High heat. Again...
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    Thanks, CX. All valid points.

    I just think there is way to much friction in the average drivetrain. Seems more riders are addressing this with ceramic bearing oversized derailleur pulleys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GKSki View Post
    Thanks, CX. All valid points.

    I just think there is way to much friction in the average drivetrain. Seems more riders are addressing this with ceramic bearing oversized derailleur pulleys.

    There really isn't....and those people are wasting their income.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by GKSki View Post
    I just think there is way to much friction in the average drivetrain. Seems more riders are addressing this with ceramic bearing oversized derailleur pulleys.
    That's what the expensive bearing seller's want you to believe.
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  11. #11
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GKSki View Post
    Thanks, CX. All valid points.

    I just think there is way to much friction in the average drivetrain. Seems more riders are addressing this with ceramic bearing oversized derailleur pulleys.
    You're kidding right? Chain drivetrains are about 98% or more efficient. Derailleur pulleys are a very minimal part of that...so if you reduce pulley friction by even 50% you're still wayyyy less than a fraction of a percent overall. And people spend $500 for that? That's how I define a sucker. And most of these guys are riding for 'fun'?
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by GKSki View Post
    Seems more riders are addressing this with ceramic bearing oversized derailleur pulleys.
    Ask those riders about addressing the rolling resistance of tire. If they say something like tires are fine, then you know they are shills for ceramic bearing and oversized derailleur pulleys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bvber View Post
    Ask those riders about addressing the rolling resistance of tire. If they say something like tires are fine, then you know they are shills for ceramic bearing and oversized derailleur pulleys.
    Or just plain stupid.

  14. #14
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    You're kidding right? Chain drivetrains are about 98% or more efficient. Derailleur pulleys are a very minimal part of that...so if you reduce pulley friction by even 50% you're still wayyyy less than a fraction of a percent overall. And people spend $500 for that? That's how I define a sucker. And most of these guys are riding for 'fun'?
    They're all tricked into looking at the big "%" savings and not the actual numbers. CeramicSpeed boasts that their BB's have 75% drag reduction compared to standard bottom brackets. Sounds huge. But it's only ~0.2watts (even less so with a decent standard BB). So going by their own 75%... 0.2watts = a whopping one second savings over 20mi. $300 for the equivalent of a good fart.

    A fool and his money... easily parted. Maybe I could sell them some farts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    $300 for the equivalent of a good fart.

    A fool and his money... easily parted. Maybe I could sell them some farts.

    Be careful with this information, it just may catch on. Play your cards right and get in right at the start of popularity, then the market would probably be quickly flooded, reducing the value of a good fart to below profitability. You may not even make enough to cover 'fuel' costs at that point, and if you're not careful you'll end up living in a box in a dark alley begging for one more can of Bush's just to get on your feet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GKSki View Post
    Thanks, CX. All valid points.

    I just think there is way to much friction in the average drivetrain. Seems more riders are addressing this with ceramic bearing oversized derailleur pulleys.
    Nope. Minuscule compared to things like rolling resistance, wind resistance, etc.

    I have a bridge up for sale. Would you like to buy it?
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Maybe I could sell them some farts.
    Quote Originally Posted by bilbo View Post
    Play your cards right and get in right at the start of popularity, then the market would probably be quickly flooded, reducing the value of a good fart to below profitability.
    Are you guys talking about beans?

  18. #18
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    Ceramic bearings are great for jet engines, where shafts rotate at 100,000 rpm. For a bike rotating at best 100 rpm, they are a colossal waste of money. Only an easily duped moron would buy them for a bike.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

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    Quote Originally Posted by GKSki View Post
    I just think there is way to much friction in the average drivetrain. Seems more riders are addressing this with ceramic bearing oversized derailleur pulleys.
    There is a big difference between "I think" and "there is." In this case, you have zero data (because there is zero data) to support your belief. So piling on with what everyone else has said, ceramic bearings in bicycle applications are a complete waste of money, and with some experience with bearing fracture, maybe they are worse than a complete waste of money.

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    There's a market for $500 power cords and $1000 speaker cables, so if that's what you want no problem. For me, if I were spending money on ceramic bearings I would probably pop for the whole BB and not have to worry about making a mistake installing the bearing.

    scott s.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott967 View Post
    There's a market for $500 power cords and $1000 speaker cables
    I think in the Ceramicspeed pulley thread we discussed that you can easily pay $50k for speaker cables.

    https://www.thecableco.com/cables/speaker-cables.html

    And $55k is for the 2m cables. An extra meter will cost you another $21k.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ogre View Post
    I think in the Ceramicspeed pulley thread we discussed that you can easily pay $50k for speaker cables.

    https://www.thecableco.com/cables/speaker-cables.html

    And $55k is for the 2m cables. An extra meter will cost you another $21k.
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    The benefit isn't zero (unlike speaker cables) and I can prove it, everything costs something, value (or "worth it") is a personal decision. Some people just like to pimp their ride and/or want to have the most efficient (or lightest or most aero) bike possible. If you don't, that's fine too.
    Well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion man. - The Dude

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldChipper View Post
    The benefit isn't zero (unlike speaker cables) and I can prove it, everything costs something, value (or "worth it") is a personal decision. Some people just like to pimp their ride and/or want to have the most efficient (or lightest or most aero) bike possible. If you don't, that's fine too.
    Go right ahead...
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Go right ahead...
    From my previous post...
    Quote Originally Posted by OldChipper View Post
    The rear disk free-wheeling on my TT bike (ceramic BB and OPSWs) keeps the drive train turning for an insane amount of time. That wasn't the case with "regular" bearings/pulleys. Might only be a few watts, but I'll take them!
    That's good enough for me.
    Well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion man. - The Dude

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