Recommendations for wheel bearings?

You would think I would learn my lesson. I bought a used set of wheels off ebay and thought they were perfect upon inspection but yesterday I started to mount my new GP 5000s to them only to realize the front wheel bearings spin rough, choppy and slow. They are supposed to be DT Swiss 240 hubs so I’m actually surprised and really bummed. I removed the bearings and have the part numbers. I just ordered all the proper tools and plan to replace front and rear wheel bearings. I would like to know if anyone has experience with different brands or suppliers. Ceramic Hybrid seem to be a little more money than steel and I’m not sure if stainless steel is a option? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I replace wheel bearings with Enduro regular steel bearings. Ceramic wheel bearings for a bike is a marketing gimmick IMO.


I have done the Enduro ceramic, twice. Spent a ton of cash, twice. Second time for the X-15’s.
Yep they roll nice. And as Fred Mathney told me what Max Tessta once said, " Everyone needs a good placebo".
Whatever bearings Chris King uses that set of wheels have been my fastest yet.
When I feel as though I need to replace wheel bearings again I’m going to follow Hambini’s recommendations.
Just my two cents.


Just checked out Hambini’s website. Great info. Thanks

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I wouldn’t bother with ceramic bearings. They are marketing hype, and I don’t think last particularly well. I haven’t had good experiences with the ceramicspeed bearings in my hubs or BB. I got one season out of a £200 BB, and a set of rear wheel bearings lasted less than 4 months. All replaced with high quality stainless steel bearings, that feel smoother than the ceramicspeed ones ever did.


Do you remember what brand SS bearings you installed? I believe that’s what is currently in my hubs

Sorry, no I can’t remember I’m afraid. The bike shop did it for me and I just gave them some money!!!

Enduro bearings for me. I get mine from WychBearings in the UK and they are pretty cheap.

Replacing wheel and freehub bearings is a good skill to learn and can save you a fortune, it’s surprisingly easy to do and if you are just paying for the bearing you can do it more frequently at less cost. thing of all those watts you save :slight_smile:

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enduro,ntn,skf,eizo … all work well
ceramic ones doesn’t worth the money

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NTN - order them from a reputable dealer.

Avoid ceramic anything it’s just marketing crap and performance is generally worse under load after a short beading-in period.

Check out Hambini and his youtube channel.



If I’m only doing fair weather riding, should I look at fully sealed, or non contacting seals? I’ve read and watched some of the Hambini stuff but cant decide which to go with and if there’s really any kind of tangible difference. I never ride in the wet or off road, so I would think the non contacting would be the way to go.

I ended up going with NTN 6902LLB bearings. They are non contact. I’ve been caught in the rain a handful of times this year and so far they spin as well today as they did on day 1. I do pop off the end caps after being caught in the rain and wipe out any moisture. It wouldn’t hurt to pop of the bearing seal this winter to check the grease. Just a side note on my wheels I noticed when I tightened the skewer my front wheel wouldn’t spin very well at all. So I bought some super thin metal shimms that are made for RC cars and added them to each side of my wheels and it completely solved the problem. They spin excellent

SKF Better. It is recommended to buy some spares often.

Here is some data.

Slightly different application, bottom brackets, but same question: Is ceramic better than steel. Top of the line ceramic threaded bottom bracket generates 0.31W of resistance. Top of the line steel threaded bottom bracket generates 0.32W of resistance. That’s Jason’s data (which I paid for but is now available for free on the internet…I’m so smart). And yes, he can really measure 0.01W.

So while it’s techincally correct that ceramic is better the improvement is de minimus and on a $/W basis, astronomical.

Ceramic has a little more advantage in a wheel because ceramic performs better at higher RPM. Let’s be honest, though, even on the fastest downhill, RPM in a wheel bearing isn’t that high. Ceramic probably has some slight resistance advantage and might weigh a little less but neither advantage is worth the cost IMO. I’d bet that the difference between a quality ceramic wheel bearing and a quality steel wheel bearing is less than a couple hundred milliwatts.


SKF, FAG, NTN are all fantastic quality bearings.

Please, make sure that you buy them from your local distributor rather than places, such as eBay, where majority of those (as discovered by yours truly) are fakes.

His website and youtube channel are a great source of information.

Ceramic bearings have their place, namely high speed applications.

For a 6902 bearing, which is what’s found in a front DT 240 hub, we’re talking something north of 40,000 RPM, or over 3,000mph on a road bike wheel.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never even broken 2,500mph.