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Seal Drag, Is it a problem?

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Is it real? Most doubters of ceramic bearings claim what you feel with ceramic bearings is just better seals with less drag. That is partially correct. Our Ceramic bearings are more resistant to contamination so the seals can be lighter than what a steel bearing needs. Seal drag is real (though minor) and lighter seals make a small difference. Although that is not why ceramic bearings are faster.

Every time we hear a "forum expert" say ceramic bearings aren't any better than steel, they always talk about the seals being the only difference. First, we wonder if they've ever ridden a good ceramic bearing. Second, they are missing the entire point of ceramic bearings. The lighter seals are a nice byproduct, but not the reason for the better performance.

A common question about steel bearings is "why does my crank only spin once or twice?" "Experts" will say don't worry about seal drag because when you ride it goes away. Partly true, but if your crank only spins 1-3 revolutions compared to a ceramic that might spin 20, which would you rather ride?

Because of our ceramic bearings being less prone to contamination, not only can the seals be tweaked for less resistance, but so can the grease. We use a special grease that offers enough lube but also is light enough to allow the bearing to spin freely. So you have better seals and better grease in our bearings. But that is still not why our bearings are faster than steel, but it certainly is part of it.

The biggest reason our ceramic bearings are faster than steel is the ceramic balls and races we use. Our ceramic balls are among the best grade available (made by the top ceramic ball company in cycling) and our races are specially designed to match our balls. By using a near perfect ball (roundness) and a matched race, the bearing creates an extremely hard spinning surface when loaded (ridden). The balls create no heat or friction and combined with the race spin on a glass like surface.

This all adds up to near zero friction in the bearing. Most riders who switch to our ceramic bottom bracket notice an increase in cadence in the same gear. Most riders who switch to our ceramic bearings in their wheels notice an increase in speed but also the ability to hold their speed while coasting in a paceline (think about that next time you are barely hanging on in a race). And some riders notice they attack the field and solo away for the win!