Ceramic pulley wheels

I was hoping to hear about people’s experiences with ceramic (or hybrid) bearings…

I get that they save a couple of watts, which can add up if you have full ceramic bearings everywhere… but my question is, is it worth the money to get just ceramic jockey wheels etc.?

What are your experiences with either full sets (BB, Jockey wheels and wheel bearings) or partial sets? Do you notice a difference just switching out one component with ceramics?

Hub bearings is where the biggest bang is for your buck is. Do your research, though, because those gains are pretty temporal. Don’t quote me, but something like 600 to 1.200 miles. Lubricants are a much bigger, and cost effective get for watts.

Waste. Of. Money.

The typical “watts saved” are when compared to the cheapest pulleys. When compared to Ultegra level or better, the savings are microscopic.


“marginal gains” is a silly concept, if you’re pulleys are totally clapped and you want to try some cheap Chinese ceramic pulleys, why not. If you want to fork $400 to replace your perfectly fine pulleys you are looking at the wrong things.
Not cost effective (you’d probably get better performance/money by optimizing your diet or sleep)

Pulleys with a bearing use almost no watts. Pullys with a bushing use about half a watt. 105 has 2 pullys with bushings and ultegra has one. If you already have dura ace your saving a couple tenths at the most.

I am a fan of marginal gains but there is absolutely no way anyone would notice one watt.

Your chain is probably costing you more watts than the pulleys. Now on the other hand, I have locked up some pulleys from riding in the snow/salt and mud on two bikes and replaced them with aftermarket pulleys but still not ceramic.

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The pulley wheels with ceramic bearings are not always as expensive, as some seem to think.

For example, the pulley wheels by Tacx.

Here the pulley wheels from a Belgian specialist brand used by Lotto Soudal WT team.


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Expensive and they wear quickly and don’t give the savings.

Loads of info here


The Tacx pulley wheels with (hybrid?) ceramic bearings cost 30€. Everything is relative, but I would not call that expensive. Also, the possible power savings are not the reason for choosing good bearings for everyone. Some of us live and ride in places, where the weather adds significant stress to all bearings of the bike. It is actually quite strange that only the best group sets come with real bearings in pulleys, instead of the bushings.

hambini.com has done a couple of custom BB’s one with low friction bearing one with winter bearings all to do with the seals apparently. Great source of info.

In real world, has anyone noticed any difference using ceramic bearings?
People don’t even notice their BB locked out and spinning races in the frame.

Campagnolo ultra torque bottom bracket bearings starting from the Chorus level are ceramic (USB). The bearings in higher level Campagnolo wheels are also ceramic. I think most people agree that both are very smooth.

I’ve had ceramicspeed bottom brackets and wheel bearings. I got less than 1 yrs riding out of a £200+ BB and the wheel bearings wore out in less than 500 miles. That’s an almost £400 wheel bearing set. I tried to get the wheel bearings warrantied by Specialized, and they refused telling me the bike had been jet washed. This was a load of nonsense. The bike had been wet once through rain!!

I’ve 2 sets of Roval wheels, and the ones that have been sent back to Specialized were replaced with high quality stainless steel bearings. They feel smoother than the ceramicspeed bearings in the other set which are my TT bike race wheels (which have never seen any water since purchase).

I’ve noticed no difference between the ceramicspeed bearings and the quality stainless ones, other than the RIDICULOUS price for ceramicspeed bearings.

I can see no point in the oversized pulleys or ceramic pulley wheels. Plus, the oversized ones look utterly stupid in my view.

£200 for a set of ceramic BB bearings doesn’t sound good: the ceramic bearings for campy UT are 60-65€. I have never bought a replacement set, though: the original bearings have lasted as long as the crankset. The non-ceramic ones are 30€, but seem not to last as long.

I know!! They came installed on the frame. Having used them, I’ll not be in a hurry to “upgrade” to ceramic bearings in the future. Over-priced and over-hyped!!

Ceramic bearings in your jockey wheels does not save a couple of watts. It doesn’t even save one watt.

The difference between Dura Ace stock steel bearings and top of the line ceramic jockey wheel bearings is on the order of 150 MILLIwatts. You read that correctly: 0.150 Watts saved. Not worth the money in my opinion.

Now, if you have a regular Shimano 105 rear derailleur and you want to replace the bushing pulley wheels with a quality steel bearing pulley wheel, that is WELL worth the money. That really can save you more than a watt. For less than $50. So go for it.

But, full ceramic in the jockey wheels? Not worth it. Save your money.

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Totally agree! It’s about as effective as taking vitamins when your body is not deficient in them. Complete waste of money.