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Ceramic Bearings: Acer vs Avid

Old 09-12-2019, 04:55 PM
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Default Ceramic Bearings: Acer vs Avid

There was a thread having to do with ceramic bearings "in general", created in 2015, with the last post also from 2019. Obviously, ceramic technology has advanced in the past 4 years (the most "advanced" bearings mentioned in the previously-thread was Avid's "Revolution" bearings). As most people are aware, Boca's offerings might be very good, but they are also wire expensive...thus, I am interested in keeping this between Acer & Avid.

Personally, I have a full set of Avid ceramic bearings in two vehicles. However, I'm prepping to build one new kit (which I've been leaning towards getting Avid's Revolution Aura), I have another kit in mind (just haven't purchased it, yet), both of which I plan on installing ceramic bearings as I build. Additionally, I have 3 Traxxas vehicles, as well as another kit, all currently containing the stock bearings, and of of which I'm considering replacing said bearings with ceramic bearings. The 'question' is "what to go with" - Avid, or Acer.

Wanting to keep costs down somewhat...but, at the same time, not interested in the "bottom level" offering...if I were to go with Avid, I'm seriously considering the Revolution Aura. So, here's the real question: Between these two brands, for those familiar (and, preferably, having used both brands) work ceramic bearings, which had proven to be if better quality AND longer-lasting? In regards to Avid, which specific model. Again, I'm not looking for the "best of the best", but also not wanting the "budget" level.
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:40 PM
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Stick with avid 1$ bearings for your traxxas. If you want a little less drag, get metal shielded avids, spray out the grease and oil them.

Keep in mind that a lot of top racers use cheap bearings in 1/8 scale. Why? They would rather run fresh bearings and replace them often. Just some food for thought.
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by 071crazy View Post
Stick with avid 1$ bearings for your traxxas. If you want a little less drag, get metal shielded avids, spray out the grease and oil them.

Keep in mind that a lot of top racers use cheap bearings in 1/8 scale. Why? They would rather run fresh bearings and replace them often. Just some food for thought.
Only 3 of my vehicles are Traxxas. Not counting the 22T 4.0 I'm prepping to build, or the 22SCT 3.0 I'm still planning to buy, I also have an XRAY T4 (w/ Acer), and 2 TLR (1 w/ Acer, 1 stock). As for top/pro racers, few (if any) are actually paying for them from their own money...sponsors typically provide them (free, or at extreme discounts).
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Old 09-12-2019, 10:35 PM
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Wheel bearings: Buy cheap and buy often. These bearings take a beating, a $10 tube of bearings every couple of months is no biggie.

Transmission bearings: This is the only place I run ceramic bearings in off-road. Keep in mind that ceramic bearings need proper maintenance. I bought an ultrasonic cleaner because I value my time.

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Old 09-12-2019, 11:16 PM
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I've found Avid bearings pretty sloppy out of the box, the clearances are overly high and in my book they are a low-quality bearing priced accordingly.
I'd still use them as wheel bearings in a pinch, but for transmission bearings (mostly because more labor-intensive to change) I'd use something with better tolerances and smaller clearances.

Cheap ceramic bearings are notorious for this problem, huge static clearances and most would be destined for the bin before seeing use in any outside-RC industrial application.
I'd much sooner run regular steel bearings from a reputable industrial manufacturer (NSK, SKF, NMB), either rubber sealed if you value longevity or metal shielded if you want the lowest rolling resistance.
They usually cost a little more than RC ceramics, with good reason.

As for running junk bearings and replacing often, it depends how much you value your time, as well as the actual bearing size. Common industrial sizes like 8x16x5 are inherently more durable (larger ball size and greater load bearing area than thin-section bearings) so you can get away with cheaper bearings for equivalent life, or longer life with equivalent price/quality. For smaller sizes like 8x14x4 or 13x19x4 (or basically any 4mm bearing), I'd rather not use cheap bearings because I've had them fail completely.
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Old 09-13-2019, 12:46 AM
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The advance of ceramics is hardly noticeable, just get steel bearings if you want to keep the costs down. On ebay when buying 20 or more you can find any RC size bearing for less than a dollar a piece.
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Old 09-13-2019, 07:26 AM
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Old 09-13-2019, 07:37 AM
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I've been running AVID Ceramic Revolution Aura's for a while now and I couldn't be happier with them. I have grown to appreciate cleaning and re-oiling them after every 2 race days to get the best results (for me). I know some guys will clean and oil them after every single race day but I think that's just a little overkill. I have also seen some guys go as long as 4 race days between cleanings, but I start to see my lap times drop a pinch around the 3rd and 4th race days which is why I choose to clean them after the 2nd race day.

I use
WD-40 PFTE WD-40 PFTE
spray to flush my bearings and have been experimenting with both https://www.avidrc.com/product/5/accessories/263/Slip-Bearing-Oil-AV-LUBE-SLIP-accessories.html and https://www.teamtrinity.com/trinity-perpetual-motion-ultra-lite-ball-bearing-oil-tep5010.html bearing oils and I'm finding that SLIP tends to last a little longer before performance starts to drop off, but Perpetual Motion tends to feel just a pinch faster but definitely won't last more than 2 race days before performance drop becomes more noticeable.

So there is a lot more to just selecting a quality bearing, you need to have a solid maintenance program with the right lubrication to get the best results too

There is a big improvement between the traditional AVID ceramic bearings and switching to the Aura bearings, you can free spin the Aura bearing on your finger and it will rotate for up to 10 seconds in some cases where the older ceramic bearings might free spin for about 5 seconds if you're lucky, any traditional non-ceramic bearing might free spin for about a second... just to give an idea of how much better the Aura's are. When I free spin, I do this right after flushing the bearing with PFTE spray, they won't free spin after applying the oil drops. I use the free spin method to determine if a bearing is starting to slow down and replace a slower bearing if necessary. I have been using all the same Aura bearings for over 6 months now and that is rare, I normally have to replace a bearing here and there every couple of months so I feel that the Aura bearings are far more cost effective even though they have a little higher initial price point.

Last edited by billdelong; 09-16-2019 at 06:21 AM.
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Old 09-13-2019, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Panther6834 View Post
Only 3 of my vehicles are Traxxas. Not counting the 22T 4.0 I'm prepping to build, or the 22SCT 3.0 I'm still planning to buy, I also have an XRAY T4 (w/ Acer), and 2 TLR (1 w/ Acer, 1 stock). As for top/pro racers, few (if any) are actually paying for them from their own money...sponsors typically provide them (free, or at extreme discounts).
You failed to understand that maintenance is a lot more important than the cost of the bearing. Bearings are often considered to be a wear item.

If you want bearings to last as long as possible, then you'll want rubber shielded and greased. But that defeats the purpose of having ceramics. But if it makes you feel good to have a traxxas with ceramic bearings, then you might as well buy the auras, right?
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Old 09-13-2019, 10:11 AM
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You're going to get a lot of different advice, so you do you because in the end it's your rc stuff not ours... but IMHO:

Ceramic bearings are probably the absolute last thing you're going to want to do as a modification. It is a large sum of money that proves only beneficial if you are an A-main driver looking for that extra 10th in the stock class. Not to mention the maintenance on something like an Avid Aura kit is pretty labor intensive. I have a kit, and they're excellent for what they are, and I do notice a difference between myself and other stock buggies in an A main... but I would never go out of my way to own them. In fact, the stock steel bearings that came in my YZ2 kit were 99% as effective and had mildly tighter tolerances and metal seals. On my Ebuggy, I'd rather run cheap bearings so I can just toss it away and replace when I toast one. The conditions are just too harsh. You would be much better off spending the money on better electronics, tire packages, suspension packages, and spare plastics to keep your kits fresh. (If you haven;t done this already).

I would recommend getting rubber sealed steel bearings for the traxxas kits and metal shielded bearings for any 1/10 indoor racing kits. As for which bearing is better... I'm not really sure. I have always stuck with Avid. If it it was easy to get parts through SKF or Koyo, I would.
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Old 09-13-2019, 11:10 AM
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The difference between running Aura ceramics and standard rubber shielded bearings is about the same difference in performance as charging your battery pack at 40A compared to 10A, neither tuning option is earth shattering, but when you make enough upgrades to your race program they will all add up to give you a clear advantage in the field. I would say that the investment in Aura ceramics ($100) is significantly less expensive than a $300 charger that dumps out 40A of juice, plus the added expense of having to buy higher quality battery packs that can handle 40A charge rates.

Adding extra maintenance is a good thing, this helps you identify signs of wear throughout the car to replace other parts before they break and potentially save you from a DNF
With a power screw driver, it shouldn't take more than a hour to do a full bearing swap for most brands of cars anyway.

Last edited by billdelong; 09-13-2019 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 09-13-2019, 12:09 PM
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I have had great luck with longevity from the Avid Aura line of bearings, but I only run them in the transmissions of my 1/10th scale cars. I run the standard Revolution Bearings in the hubs and have got respectable life from them as well.
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Old 09-16-2019, 02:03 AM
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For those of us "old guys" who actually remember when the B5M was first released, those kit tranny bearings were absolutely horrendous and only marginal when cleaned out and oiled. It was like having a drag brake right out of the box! We would throw in a set of Schelle Black Diamond oiled ceramic bearings and the tranny would spin for days, literally! There is no difference, seriously Yes there is a HUGE difference! Yes, deramics need a "little" more maintenance but the maintenance/performance ratio is very tolerable considering! Kinda like the crazy/hot scale. if you can find somebody who is hot with a tolerable crazy level to live with. Just think about all the results of a free tranny, less stress on the motor/battery, quicker acceleration, and the ability to run more gear = more top end compared. Plus if you run them on your hubs you can get even more of a benefit! No, it's not "necessary" but you CAN tell the difference!

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Old 09-16-2019, 09:00 AM
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by zipperfoot View Post
Metal shielded bearings are fine for inside the transmission. Actually spins with less drag. Rubber sealed for anything exposed. Keeps the dirt out.
This might make sense for a non prepped dirt track with lots of loose dirt/mud, but I have seen some dirt tracks with glue sprayed on the track to where it's like racing on asphalt, and have also raced on some carpet/turf tracks where a single metal shield on the exposed side of the bearing produces significantly less drag without compromising any dirt concerns on those track conditions.
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