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Ceramic Bearings on Wheels - Gimmick or Beneficial?

mr_goomr_goo Posts: 3,770
edited August 2013 in Road buying advice
Was having a chat with the owner of an LBS in Hampshire this week and got on to talking about wheels. He reckoned that the ceramic bearing thing is a gimmick ie Fulcrum Zeros. His logic is quite sound. Ceramic components were introduced into motor racing to cope with high revolutions and high temperatures. In cycling the RPMs are nowhere near the levels to benefit from the use of ceramic components.
Has anyone got any experience of said products and have they made a difference?
Always be yourself, unless you can be Aaron Rodgers....Then always be Aaron Rodgers.

Posts

  • patrickfpatrickf Posts: 536
    I haven't used ceramic bearings so I don't have first hand experience.

    My understanding though is that the biggest benefit is if your bike is subjected to a lot of wet weather as ceramic bearings don't corrode. Therefore your bearings don't wear out as quickly as normal bearings.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Snake oil
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Wirral_paulWirral_paul Posts: 2,476
    patrickf wrote:
    I haven't used ceramic bearings so I don't have first hand experience.

    My understanding though is that the biggest benefit is if your bike is subjected to a lot of wet weather as ceramic bearings don't corrode. Therefore your bearings don't wear out as quickly as normal bearings.

    Most bearings used in the cycle industry still have steel races - so those wear out instead. I have wheels with ceramic bearings and wheels with normal bearings - i cant tell the difference. I also have a Hope Ceramic Bottom Bracket on my winter bike and one of the bearings in that has worn out and a bit rumbly. A new bearing alone is £30 from Hope - i will fit a standard one.

    Any gains are so small that i recon they arent cost effective for us mere mortals. Maybe for the pro's where a watt or two saved can make a difference then ok they have their place.
  • smidsysmidsy Posts: 5,273
    Expensive, unneccessary gimmick IMO.
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,909
    Some ceramic is meant to be self lubricating, but as a consequence of this will eventually wear anyway. I can only see it as a gimmick in cycling, unless the manufacturers can claim some cost savings in the process over metal. If this saving is passed on to the customer then it may be worthwhile but I doubt it.
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