Ceramic Bearings-Are they worth the extra expense?

Are ceramic bearings worth it? Definitely not - I agree with all of you.

But, they do make a tiny difference. If you spent $2000 at Ceramic Speed and bought everything they sell you might save a cumulative 3-4 watts. It might be worth it for a world tour rider and it’s still less than 1% of their threshold.

As previous said - aero road helmet 10 watts - aero road bars - 5 watts - wheels - everything is cheaper watts.

1 Like

The Ceramicspeed BB on my last two S-works Tarmacs both required replacing within a year. The Ceramicspeed bearings in my Rovals needed replaced within a few months. All swapped out with high quality stainless steel. They are now way smoother than the Ceramicspeed.

My SL6 was replaced under warranty and I have a brand new, unused set of Ceramicspeed BB bearings as I put the Wheelsmfg threaded BB on straight away.

On the plus side, I have the Ceramicspeed stickers on the frame so it still looks cool!!

5 Likes

Compared to what?

Regular bearings. It’s not the ceramic that makes them faster though. It’s having no seals or less tight seals or only seals on once side, or being able to run light oil instead of grease.

On wheels I would pay $50 bucks extra for full ceramic. $0 extra for hybrid ceramic.

On jockey wheels, $0 extra for ceramic.

On a bottom bracket…$0 extra. Maybe $5 extra for full ceramic.

On a headset…are you kidding me? Nobody except Peter Sagan puts ceramic bearings in the headset.

Generally speaking ceramic bearings are overvalued in the cycling application. Good hybrid ceramic bearings are probably worth less than good steel bearings on a bicycle.

2 Likes

That’s realistic on a bike if your 5 minute power is 8000 watts.

3 Likes

So… 10 horses pulling a cart? :joy:

Maybe. But I think the pro’s might have other tricks up their sleeves.

I remember a podcast with Kate Courtney’s Mechanic, where I think he was describing how they would remove seals & grease from bearings for races.

For the price of ceramic bearings, I bet you can buy a new set of quality steel bearings for races, run them without seals and with oil instead of grease, and get an even bigger advanatge

Posted this in the meme’s thread a while ago, but it summarizes my opinion pretty well:

image

3 Likes

Yeah but who wants to do that? Kate Courtney can pay her mechanic for some hours of maintenance before and after every race to gain a handful of watts.

The one example of really good ceramic bearings is Campagnolo Cult bearings. First, they last forever so they end up paying for themselves. Second, they are super easy to clean and service. I can remove my UltraTorque crankset in just a few minutes.

image

if you haven’t already go with gp5000s (or similar fast tries) and latex tubes … supposed to be 5-10 watts savings. Has been great so far

2 Likes

Short answer… no, they are not.

This is possibly the very last thing a cyclist should invest in for marginal gains, literally right after a jersey made from banana skins… slippery :slight_smile:

Training makes you faster. Buying overpriced cycling gear based on almost no real science, simply makes you a sucker.

Yes, gizmos are great. We all like bling gear. Use your brain, resist BS marketing. It’s virtually always complete fabrication.

Use every spare cent to facilitate more actual time to train and recover effectively. That WILL make you faster.

1 Like

For additional context I don’t race, I have no plans to race but any advantage I can get over my mates is welcome and given my improvements over last winter which were down to TrainerRoad I have been put on notice by my cycling buddies they will be following the same route as me over the coming winter.

This is backwards thinking. You’re aiming for fruits on the tree you probably wont find when there is a clear low hanging fruit - the training and behavioral changes required to get fit for racing. If you think you’ll get an “advantage” over your mates with ceramic bearings, dream on.

Why is this? I’m genuinely curious. Did you do any maintenance? I replaced the CeramicSpeed BB on my Tarmac at 20,000km, although I suspect it had some more life in. On my Crux I changed it at 12,000km, but it was abused in CX races and gravel rides with minimum maintenance.

To answer the OP, no, I don’t by ceramic replacement BB’s, just steel angular bearing variants.

They wore out, despite not ever even getting wet!! They became rough as anything. The high grade SS bearings were much smoother and have lasted now three years.

Exactly the same on two sets of wheels- each time a different bearing became really rough.

A waste of money for a bike IMHO.