My previous wheels were also Fulcrum, but with regular hub bearings. I never had to service them, just opened once after ten years of use and the grease inside was as white as snow. Like it was greased yesterday. But CULT (ceramic) bearings use oil and I have a feeling that I need to oil them now. Do you have any advice on this? How often do I need to oil ceramic bearings?
I’ve no idea but you could look in their support page. IIRC it has some quite good videos when I was looking to service my standard fulcrum 7 hub. Catalogues, technical docs, videos - Fulcrum Wheels
I did. All I could find is the following:
Designed with unprecedented levels of precision the bearings don’t have to be greased, but simply lubed with a drop of oil. This way they can last forever: no corrosion, rolling resistance or maintenance.
Well, it looks like they indeed do not require maintenance (this is not an advertisement )
Your probably don’t. I have a set of hubs with DTSwiss ceramic bearings (I think they may have the same source) that have never needed anything after years of everything. I bought the hubs used, and it seemed like the person who sold them to me was an insanely clean person who wrecked the donate wheels. In my case, they can survive snow, salt, rain, years of use, and a crazy clean person sanitizing them.
I bought SRAMs ceramic grease, but couldn’t even get the seal off when I went to grease them. Anyway, I heard decent ceramic bearing happen to last forever in the real world and I believe it.
I’d bet money that Campagnolo has a maintenance interval for cleaning and lubricating. The Cult bearings actually need more frequent maintenance since you are just putting a drop of light oil. You can grease them if you wanted to do less maintenance.
Here they say “periodic cleaning, and lubricating with a light film of synthetic oil”:
This says checking every 2,000km for all wheelsets (very bottom):
Did a little more looking here….
CULT are made by FAG and use a light oil, which basically washes itself out and protects steel on the non-contact area of the bearing race. Cronidur Steel (super hard/corrosion resistant compared to normal bearing steel) is used for the races. Maybe it helps the seal do it’s thing. If that’s the case, I wouldn’t risk damaging the seal to re-oil it.
DT Swiss are made by TPI. Unclear what steel the races use, but it looks like surface treated traditional bearing race steels.
Enduro does the races in-house with XD-15 steel which is similar to FAGs but slightly softer.
I think BikeRumor had a podcast with Enduro over the importance of the Bearing-race materials. IIRC Basically, the ceramic balls can beat up common steels, so fancy steel races mean the bearing will roll efficiently longer and kick out any junk more effectively. Ceramic bearings only roll better because you can get away with using lighter oils (grease that doesn’t stay put). adding grease/oil is only needed to protect against corrosion, which isn’t critical because the ceramic balls can mill down any corrosion imperfections, the balls don’t corrode, and the fancier races don’t corrode. Re-greasing probably only serves the unloaded steel, giving everything a flush, and maybe serving the cage/seal.
FWIW, I have Cult bearings in one of my Campagnolo cranksets and I just greased it last time. My BB is open at the bottom and I didn’t want to service/oil the BB every couple of months as specified.
Generally, I tear apart my bottom brackets once a year and the grease mostly looks fresh with a tiny amount of dust/grit in the middle/exposed part of the spindle. The grit doesn’t seem to make it to the bearings. And I don’t ride in the rain on purpose (only on accident once or twice a year).