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Ceramic bearings

Old 06-11-2015, 06:45 PM
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Default Ceramic bearings

Hello to all.

I don't know if this topic was discussed in the past.

My questions:
1. Is there a significant performance gain when you upgrade to ceramic bearings? Is it really worth the extra expense?

2. If yes, what are the most popular brand of bearings in the market which are reasonably priced?

3. If no, what would be the best alternative to ceramic bearings and what are their brands?

After all these time, I am still in the learning process. There are so many areas of RC that I don't know yet.

Thanks!
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Old 06-11-2015, 07:03 PM
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1. Is there a significant performance gain when you upgrade to ceramic bearings? Is it really worth the extra expense?
  • there is definitely a gain in smoothness. not sure if the cost is justified. marginal gains for sure. but 3x+ the cost of plain metal or rubber bearings.

2. If yes, what are the most popular brand of bearings in the market which are reasonably priced?
  • I have Acer. other brands that are popular are Avid and Boca. Boca make some HIDEOUSLY expensive ones. typically a full set for a TC is around $60-$90 US. vs $1 per bearing (under $20)

3. If no, what would be the best alternative to ceramic bearings and what are their brands?

  • this is my first season running ceramics. Last year I used two sets of normal bearings. I would need to get 2 years out of the ceramics for the cost to be neutral.
  • ceramics also have higher maintenance. they need to be cleaned after every race ideally. two sets would make life easier (takes time to clean, dry, re-oil)

for me, comparing what I have used

Smoothness when new
Teflon - Acer Ceramic (about equal)
.
Avid "revolution" - seals removed!
.
.
Avid "revolution"

Smoothness after a race meet
Acer Ceramic
.
Avid "revolution"
.
.
Teflon

Cost
Avid "revolution" $20
.
Teflon $30-40
.
.
Acer Ceramic $80

Life
Acer Ceramic = if you clean them!!
Avid "revolution" = ditch when gritty
Teflon = ditch when gritty. tried to clean these and the seals fell out under the pressure of the brake cleaner!
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Old 06-11-2015, 07:10 PM
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A new steel one is better than an old dirty ceramic so in dirty conditions like parking lot racing or some such, get cheap steel ones and replace them regularly. Carpet I love ceramics. Really smooth and free and seem to last a bit longer.
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Old 06-11-2015, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by cplus View Post
1. Is there a significant performance gain when you upgrade to ceramic bearings? Is it really worth the extra expense?
  • there is definitely a gain in smoothness. not sure if the cost is justified. marginal gains for sure. but 3x+ the cost of plain metal or rubber bearings.

2. If yes, what are the most popular brand of bearings in the market which are reasonably priced?
  • I have Acer. other brands that are popular are Avid and Boca. Boca make some HIDEOUSLY expensive ones. typically a full set for a TC is around $60-$90 US. vs $1 per bearing (under $20)

3. If no, what would be the best alternative to ceramic bearings and what are their brands?

  • this is my first season running ceramics. Last year I used two sets of normal bearings. I would need to get 2 years out of the ceramics for the cost to be neutral.
  • ceramics also have higher maintenance. they need to be cleaned after every race ideally. two sets would make life easier (takes time to clean, dry, re-oil)

for me, comparing what I have used

Smoothness when new
Teflon - Acer Ceramic (about equal)
.
Avid "revolution" - seals removed!
.
.
Avid "revolution"

Smoothness after a race meet
Acer Ceramic
.
Avid "revolution"
.
.
Teflon

Cost
Avid "revolution" $20
.
Teflon $30-40
.
.
Acer Ceramic $80

Life
Acer Ceramic = if you clean them!!
Avid "revolution" = ditch when gritty
Teflon = ditch when gritty. tried to clean these and the seals fell out under the pressure of the brake cleaner!
Very informative sir. There is a brand I saw on Ebay - Fast Eddy. Not sure if they are ok or not.
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Old 06-11-2015, 07:21 PM
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Theirs also unshielded steel bearings which are very smooth but will require more maintenance, though the maintenance is easier.

Avid for sure is my favorite bearing company. Can't beat $1 a piece for quality bearings.
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Old 06-11-2015, 07:34 PM
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Just an FYI. There are some "ceramic bearings" that have steel balls in them that are ceramic coated, and there are those that have real ceramic balls, and there are some that have a ceramic lining in them for the ceramic balls to roll on, and then there are full ceramics, which are insanely expensive (almost $100 a bearing). Just be aware of what you are buying.
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Old 06-11-2015, 07:35 PM
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There's no such thing as set and forget I guess... Either one gets two sets of ceramic bearings and alternately clean them or get buy several sets of steel bearings and dispose when they go bad.

I saw this guy on the track with his shaft driven car. Pinion disconnected, got his car, spun the wheels and it just kept on spinning. Wow. Those must be ceramic bearings I told myself. Smooth.
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Old 06-11-2015, 08:16 PM
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new, de-shieled steel bearings cleaned of any grease and oiled with a light oil will spin as free as any ceramic. and at $1 a throw, plus a bit of effort prior to installing, hard to beat for ultimate speed.

but after just a race meet....
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Old 06-11-2015, 11:00 PM
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Would a dry lubricant keep the de-shielded clean some runs longer compared to light oil? The oil sucks up dirt imo. I use the avid revo bearings and im quite happy with them. But havent tried dry lubricant.
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Old 06-11-2015, 11:51 PM
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I use normal steel bearings but lubricate them with oneway bearing oil, makes them very smooth.
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Old 06-12-2015, 03:24 AM
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Originally Posted by tbrymer View Post
Just an FYI. There are some "ceramic bearings" that have steel balls in them that are ceramic coated, and there are those that have real ceramic balls, and there are some that have a ceramic lining in them for the ceramic balls to roll on, and then there are full ceramics, which are insanely expensive (almost $100 a bearing). Just be aware of what you are buying.
What brand do you use sir?
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Old 06-12-2015, 07:57 AM
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I heard that this 3 in 1 oil is good. Is that true?
Attached Thumbnails Ceramic bearings-41lflv5bifl.jpg  
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Old 06-12-2015, 07:59 AM
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Can you guys comment on these bearings as well? Cheap but are they ok?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/14-PCS-Metal...item5aef2ba4db
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Old 06-12-2015, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by SagadSetup View Post
I heard that this 3 in 1 oil is good. Is that true?
From what I've seen, 3-in-1 is approximately equivalent to 20W or roughly 150cst. I have used Spintech bearing oil and have no complaints about it, but I can't find a stated viscosity for it. It seems to be a bit lighter than 3-in-1, maybe because it is purer? (I think 3-in-1 has penetrants mixed in) Lately though, I've been using sewing machine oil. Available at many sewing machine repair shops, is ridiculously cheap, about $4.00 for a lifetime supply for you and four of your friends too. It is about 4W. Yes, 4. I can only say it works well in my bearings. Still, I wonder sometimes if running too light of an oil decreases the life of a bearing, so I change mine out about once a year just to be on the safe side. So far, no problems.
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Old 06-12-2015, 11:48 AM
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better cheap ones replaced often than expensive ones that go gritty

go cheap and buy more tires!
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