Ceramic speed BB bearing experience

Getting bike ready for a race tomorrow, I was a bit miffed to discover the non drive side bearing in the ceramic speed BB sounds a bit rough.

I’ve done 120 miles since they were installed. One very wet ride last weekend seems to have caused it.

Do I really need to be servicing the bearings after a single wet ride? Seems a bit ridiculous.

I have a noncoated ceramic speed bottom bracket. I live in Florida and have ridden in rain and wet conditions numerous times in the 1500 miles that I have ridden my current build. I have never serviced the bottom bracket and it is as smooth as the day I bought it. It is recommended to re-lube the OSPWs after riding in the rain.

[Edit] Ceramic speed says they only need to be serviced every 3-5k miles.

Not normal then :sweat_smile::face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

I’m sure they’ll survive a 10 mile TT tomorrow, then I’ll see if cleaning and regreasing helps.

Funny it’s only non drive side, could be all the crap that’s built up on the side of the road over the uk winter getting kicked up by the rain? :thinking:

I looked a little further and it does say 600-1800 miles if wet and harsh conditions (I read that as UK winter). Even then it still seems early. Maybe whoever installed them didn’t grease that side as well, you used a pressure washer, or you got degreaser in there? If something was done wrong then maybe the bearings do need to be cleaned and re-greased in which case I would be worried debris and the ceramic bearing could damage the stainless steel race (unless yours is coated).

@DFH my experience with ceramic bearings in general is that they are glass cannons.

After a lot of futzing around with cheap and expensive options for bottom brackets I’ve settled on Hawk (non-ceramic) bearings. They give up a few milliwatts to a true ceramic solution but the additional reliability is more than worth the power savings.

Hawk BSA bottom bracket for Shimano cranks cost about USD130. Ceramic speed for same cost USD250 to USD300.

Here is Jason’s data:


I have ~4,000 miles on my Ceramic speed bottom bracket on my gravel bike, and it hasn’t been overhauled / lubed yet, and it is running super smoothly. So if it is running rough after so few miles I would check the installation, especially if it is in a non-threaded installation.

Hmmm… I’ll pop the seal off the drive side tonight and see how much grease is in there too.

speed concept doesn’t have much to protect the bearings. Just a plastic top had that doesn’t even sit flush with the frame, so I can imagine water getting in there easily.

Ceramic speed was a “nice” upgrade over the stock bearings that spin perfectly smoothly but were a bit draggy. Oh well :man_shrugging::roll_eyes:

Edit to add: popped the seal off the other side, little or no grease in there, so I’m guessing not enough grease to start with! Lesson learned I think!

thanks, easy “Jason bottom bracket frictional losses” search!

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I recently had a BBinfinite installed on my bike and towards the end of the first ride it was sounding rough. Uninstalled and re-installed and realized the pre-load adjuster (SRAM Red Crank) wasn’t set correctly. After I corrected that, it was silent.

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What’s the y axis on that?


watts. So the first gradation on the y-axis is 500 milliwatts. Meaning that the difference between those first 8 or 9 options is just about meaningless. My right pedal has a creak in it…so that right there is probably more than enough to undo an advantage ceramic bottom bracket bearings might provide.

But everyone who rides with me loves that creak so much. I don’t want to get rid of it for their sake.


I mean the scale, it’s cut off on my end. So the top is what, ten watts?

Edit: ohhhh so it’s 2.5 watts on the full Y scale. Yeesh.

Press fit…threaded? Sounds like it might be slightly out of alignment? Frame needs to be faced if threaded? I have a BB infiniite GXP on my roadbike, every year I flush the bearings per their recs and inject new grease that they sell…thing spins forever…Its 4 years old now. I just had one of their press fit BB’s installed on my MTB…the shop was amazed at how smooth it was.

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I hadn’t thought of that, could explain why the old BB never spun freely.

The speed concept is push fit - bearings go straight into the frame.

How would one diagnose a misaligned frame?

It depends on whether they just had light oil or if they were serviced with grease. I have Campagnolo Cult bearings which call for just oil but I grease them for maintenance longevity. I could care less about the 1/2 watt savings (probably less).

You would have to have the BB shell faced to make sure its all square. Many high end bottom bracket are one piece now…the entire shell is pressed into the frame, it eliminates creaking and alignment issues.