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Ok, actually ceramic bearings in the derailleur wheels.

In the day-to-day-average-joe world of MTB, do these fancy bearings make that much of a difference? Worth the $$$?
I realize it’s subjective as to who might be able to feel an improvement (XC racer for example).

ALSO, any input regarding the composition of the wheels themselves? Seems like metal (aluminum, Ti, etc) would accelerate chain wear.

It’s not like I’m having any issues, it just that I’m running out of stuff to upgrade on the bike. It’s down to this now. SMH
 

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LoL! Ive literally asked myself the same thing.

Way i see it, for someone racing with a weight weanie bike, it might shed a few grams and possibly will spin a fraction better.

For me, an avg guy with a 31lb Rip 9 Al, probably not so much...lol

In the end, ive decided that I'm just gonna let the stock ones wesr n when i need new ones, maybe ill go for it then.


Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

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For average Joe mtb’er, stock wheels are best. I fell into the trap and bought some ceramic pulley wheels and I’m convinced they increased drivetrain noise vs stock plastic wheels. I went back to stock...
 

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First of all they are called pulleys.

Are the fancy ones better, yeah. Are they necessary, no. Will you notice a difference? maybe.

Probably a waste of money, but if you want them go for it. They add a little bling factor.
 

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Absolute waste of money. You're better off just servicing the ones you have occasionally. The lighter the oil, the less the drag. Although I usually fully pack mine with water proof grease & don't notice the difference.

Sure they might spin better but even on a road bike where pulleys would make a higher % of drag I'm sure you'd be hard pressed to notice.

On a mtb you'll find more performance staying on top of suspension maintenance and tuning. As well as optimizing your tire pressure.

In terms of material both aluminum & plastic are softer than steel so it will not wear the chain. Those pulley teeth are also very narrow compared to the holes in the chain. Only a NW ring will consistently touch the inner plates and that is only temporary as the NW will wear to below those tolerances over time due to grit & mud.
 

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There was one interesting article on ceramic jockey wheel bearings that I came across a few years ago (by Lennard Zinn). It was about him using a specific set on CX bikes. The bearings were totally ceramic, races and balls, and had no seals, covers or lube. They were so much harder than anything that they just pulverized any dirt/mud/grit that got in them and continued to spin freely without wear.

Jocky wheels? ....A few years ago Shimano was still calling them jockey wheels on their BtoB site. That's what I called them going back many many years. Jockey wheel has a specific use and definition, whereas pulley is kind of generic. Many SRAM mtb RDs have pulleys for the cable, not to be confused with the jockey wheels.

Jockey wheel: a guide wheel - usually operating as a pair - which is used to move, retain, locate and (usually) add tension to a chain, rope or cable which is then fed into the groove of another wheel, toothed wheel, cog or sprocket.

When I visit the LBS I like calling them jockey wheels just to exasperate the head mech.
 

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There was one interesting article on ceramic jockey wheel bearings that I came across a few years ago (by Lennard Zinn). It was about him using a specific set on CX bikes. The bearings were totally ceramic, races and balls, and had no seals, covers or lube. They were so much harder than anything that they just pulverized any dirt/mud/grit that got in them and continued to spin freely without wear. .
Ceramics are great when there is no load on them like in wheels or BB's. To get the true benefit of ceramic bearings, you need to spin them above 20,000 rpms. Once reason why ceramics are used in high speed electric motors. Also great when used as an insulation in electrical equipment.

Other than that, for a bicycle application, they just aren't worth the money. Get yourself a set of *** or SKS bearings for your BB or wheels. Much higher quality than OEM and even Enduro.
 

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Jockey wheels? ....A few years ago Shimano was still calling them jockey wheels on their BtoB site. That's what I called them going back many many years. Jockey wheel has a specific use and definition, whereas pulley is kind of generic. Many SRAM mtb RDs have pulleys for the cable, not to be confused with the jockey wheels.

Jockey wheel: a guide wheel - usually operating as a pair - which is used to move, retain, locate and (usually) add tension to a chain, rope or cable which is then fed into the groove of another wheel, toothed wheel, cog or sprocket.

When I visit the LBS I like calling them jockey wheels just to exasperate the head mech.
I've always heard them called jockey wheels?
 

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Here you go. I think Bullseye built the first sealed bearing pulleys. Modern bearings with ceramic balls will save about twice the energy. https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vintage/1058404-vintage-1979-bikecology-catalog.html?styleid=9
Yeah, I fell for Bullseyes way back then; bearings wore out, developed flop far quicker than OEM and the delrin lasts longer than aluminum while staying quieter, too. Shimano upper guide jockeys need to float in and out and the ceramic bushing they use only needs a drop of oil to work fine.
Also fell for ceramic balls, which ground up in a Campy Record hub, fortunately the races were replaceable. The blatant conflict between the supposed "neutral" Friction Facts testing, and subsequent purchase by Ceramicspeed is really galling, no bearing pun intended.
People fail to grasp there is no legal accountability in false marketing claims where performance gains cannot be absolutely reproduced. Is it worth it? At $500 a set, you bet it is. For them.
 
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