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View Full Version : Is changing to ceramic bearings worth the price?


mitchy2759
2011.09.01, 03:10 AM
Hi all. I was thingking to replace all the bearings in my awd and mr03 cars with ceramic bearings, but is it worthed? Since the price is likely 5 times the regular ball bearing. Any suggestion welcome. Thx.

Racer-HH
2011.09.01, 04:40 AM
Ceramic bearings are a little bit better than the normal ones. But in my opinion the premium on the price tag can be invested in other tuning parts to achiever better performance improvement. So finally it is up to you, to decide.

rock hard
2011.09.28, 02:50 AM
Look,there is no better investment if you can afford it.Bearings are what everything spins on,all rotation takes power,the better it spins,the less power it takes.

If everything is spinning more efficiently,then your motor isnt working as hard to push the car=longer motor life, and longer battery life.

z3zinho
2011.09.28, 02:57 PM
In my opinion you can get great non ceramic bearings for a fair price. I bet no one can distinguish a good set of bearings from ceramics once they are on the car. Ceramics should theoretically last longer, but for the price difference I wouldn't bother.

Of course I'm biased :D, but Reflex has some great high grade non ceramic bearings that kick ass ;)

rock hard
2011.09.28, 03:15 PM
In my opinion you can get great non ceramic bearings for a fair price. I bet no one can distinguish a good set of bearings from ceramics once they are on the car. Ceramics should theoretically last longer, but for the price difference I wouldn't bother.

Of course I'm biased :D, but Reflex has some great high grade non ceramic bearings that kick ass ;)



it may be hard to tell when a motor is doing the work,but in cycling,you are the motor and you can deffintly "feel" the differance.Its not about how long they last
its about getting the most out of something.

like I said "IF" you can afford it

any one battey/motor combo will only put so much power to teh ground.
The less resistance the less power that is lost,its really that simple.

ceramics are not cheap and thats the only negative,ceramics out perform in every other way...and if your gonna drop alot of money into a car,why not the bearings?

I have ceramic bearings in some of my motors:D
friction=heat,less heat is good,especially at the motor,and ceramics creat less friction;)

z3zinho
2011.09.29, 05:24 AM
Not all bearings are created alike. A good high grade bearing will outperform a mediocre ceramic bearing.

I would go for the most bang for buck. Performance is really similar if you get good bearings.

hrdrvr
2011.09.29, 07:45 AM
I am not biased and agree that the reflex bearings are the best buy. Actually, I think they are outright the best miniz bearing readily available. I know you can find some high grade ceramic bearings online, but the ones commonly offered aren't as smooth as reflex's hg bearings. I own PN, and ATM ceramics right now, and still only run the reflex hg ones. I've got them in all if my cars.

The precision of the bearing makes a much difference as the material, and it's hard to buy a set of ceramics without slop. The reflex bearings are so smooth because there it's no extra friction from movement in the wrong direction.

rock hard
2011.09.29, 05:19 PM
bearing ratings are often misunderstood

ceramic bearings (the balls) hold tighter tolerannces than a steel bearing
the abec rating is totall...the races have tolerances also.

I have notices no abec7-9 rated bearings for these small sizes.
Still,a ceramic in these small sizes is better than steel.

read these comments,pay attention to the LAST post,this conversation helps show the confusion in conversation about ratings of bearings compared to balls.
a bearing is the complete assembly....
http://www.rctech.net/forum/electric-road/41554-ceramic-bearings-ball-abec-grade.html

It is described better here how bearings are actually rated
http://www.f1ceramic.com/articles.asp?id=152


ceramic bearings have less outward force,thats why they are moore efficient.
some will say they wear on the race since they are harder material than steel,
actually they wear les on the race,since less force from the bearing is pressed againt the races.



You can easily test in real world the difference if you wanted to with little money,and time.

z3zinho
2011.09.30, 08:08 AM
Rock hard, in those two links you posted, you get to the same conclusion as I did... Although a bearing can have ceramic balls, the roundness of the balls and the rest of the tolerances in the bearing can make a steel bearing perform better than a ceramic one ;)

rock hard
2011.09.30, 05:04 PM
Rock hard, in those two links you posted, you get to the same conclusion as I did... Although a bearing can have ceramic balls, the roundness of the balls and the rest of the tolerances in the bearing can make a steel bearing perform better than a ceramic one ;)

Like eddie of brood said,even the low rated 25 ceramics are easily good onough for rc
the abec is tottal tolerances throughout the bearings parts

Read the quot below from the bike guys

("On the same note, some bicycle bearing manufacturers taut ABEC 7/9 bearings as their main selling point. While the ABEC 7/9 tolerance is tighter than an ABEC 5 rated bearing, the speed of the bearing will not be any faster.")

In some applications where heat is an issue,you DONT want tight tolerances,steel expands and contracts with temp.If tolerance is to tight then the bearing may not have room to expand under its expected operating temp.

For a custom bearing in industry,everything is taken into account

The tolerances of ceramics is tighter than steel..in the manufacturing phase of the balls

show me the steel (balls) that are built with tighter tolerances

The abec rating DO NOT rate the balls.

Look,ceramics are superiour,granted I have found that the top ceramics are not available in these small sizes. But a ceramic ball will spin smoother,cooler and with less energy than a steel ball....its simply a matter physics.

I will be searching during the next few months for a full plastic and full ceramics for this size

In the mean time,send me 4 of your best steel bearings,and I'll test them against my boca ceramic hybrids in some real world tests.

blt456
2011.09.30, 06:05 PM
I've used Atomic, PN Racing, Reflex and Avid. Reflex and Avid are the best hands down. I don't see the need for ceramic bearings. I have had one ceramic bearing fail on me before in my differential so I'm not going to buy anymore.

Rock hard, I don't think ceramic bearings will make a difference in mini-z. I know a lot of sponsored drivers and I'd say majority of them use their sponsor's STEEL bearings.

I would rather have steel balls than ceramic ones because at least they won't crack. Sure, they may "flat spot," but I've never encountered this issue yet.

As some readers may have already noticed, some theories may look good in text but do not translate the same in the real world.

rock hard
2011.09.30, 06:23 PM
I've used Atomic, PN Racing, Reflex and Avid. Reflex and Avid are the best hands down. I don't see the need for ceramic bearings. I have had one ceramic bearing fail on me before in my differential so I'm not going to buy anymore.

Rock hard, I don't think ceramic bearings will make a difference in mini-z. I know a lot of sponsored drivers and I'd say majority of them use their sponsor's STEEL bearings.

I would rather have steel balls than ceramic ones because at least they won't crack. Sure, they may "flat spot," but I've never encountered this issue yet.

As some readers may have already noticed, some theories may look good in text but do not translate the same in the real world.


You said the key word

Thier "sponsors"bearing
I tend to take sponsored drivers opinion with a grain of salt cuz they are going to be biased,they havnt a choice.

But if a product had let me down,it would leave a bad tast in my mouth also.

But,in the og post "is it worth it" I say yes,the cost of ceramics isnt that bad.
I mean if your in this hobby,its gonna cost no matter what your doing.
heli's,planes,crawlere,bugiies,ect.
There is like a 20 diffeence between steel and ceramics
Not gonna break anyones pocketbook.

Ceramics let you down once....steal is a pain for me,I like everything to spin super smooth...hell I will rebuild diffs with older ring and pinions cuz they are smoother than new.(in some cases)

But no matter how you slice it....I will always be able to honestly tell the girls
that "mine is harder than yours":D

blt456
2011.09.30, 06:35 PM
Well, even prior to their sponsors, they still used steel bearings. I don't think there are many differences between one company's bearing and the other. Those differences probably won't make a difference on anyone's car, especially their driving. :)

EMU
2011.09.30, 11:28 PM
At this scale, bearing play is much more important than how smooth they are. Of course, smooth bearings are great, but if they increase the slop to the wheels compared to steel, what good are they?

Even if I did not race for Reflex Racing, I would say that the bearings they sell are the best on the market especially for the price. I have used many different bearings on my Z's, and the Reflex and Avid bearings have been the best.

Another thing to note, when racing at events, I have 4-6 sets of wheels/tires/bearings installed to be able to make quick changes since there is limited time for practice to test setup changes. If I want to test a specific tire, I mount it on a new wheel and bearing so I can easily switch back. If I were to use ceramic bearings, this would get costly. I have not seen any increase in performance due to the ceramic bearings (I have used at least 5 sets of ceramic bearings, primarily in my F1 cars).

A lot of times, the shield and races will get damaged from side loads in collisions. This makes the bearing useless whether it is ceramic or steel. I prefer a bearing that is cheaper, and has basically the same performance when new.

If you are only working with one, perhaps two cars... and want to do them up to the max, then ceramic bearings may be worth the peace of mind so long as you dont have to change wheels a lot. For competition racing, or if you are a Mini-Z nut with more than 25 cars like me, then it doesnt make sense to use ceramic bearings over steel.

rock hard
2011.09.30, 11:43 PM
25 cars wuld sure increase cost

so in these cars have bearings in each wheel?
I guess I wil learn more soon,hopefully I will have something in the mail box by monday.

yasuji
2011.10.01, 01:00 AM
me personally .... i use regular old pn steel ball bearings...i degrease them lube them and replace them if they do not perform to my std.!
when i first started mini-z i ran ceramic sets and steel sets...in what i do i know the benefit of ceramics and why but @ this small of a scale i have found that ceramics did not last longer than the steel and never equated to faster lap times or race times! as i run +3 offsets all around and with my driving style it is inevitable that i will hit a wall :p steel is the way to go!
now if i was building a 100 yard lsr mini-z with 6 cells ..... id be putting ceramics on for that!:D

rock hard
2011.10.01, 01:17 AM
me personally .... i use regular old pn steel ball bearings...i degrease them lube them and replace them if they do not perform to my std.!
when i first started mini-z i ran ceramic sets and steel sets...in what i do i know the benefit of ceramics and why but @ this small of a scale i have found that ceramics did not last longer than the steel and never equated to faster lap times or race times! as i run +3 offsets all around and with my driving style it is inevitable that i will hit a wall :p steel is the way to go!
now if i was building a 100 yard lsr mini-z with 6 cells ..... id be putting ceramics on for that!:D

when you hit a wall,it sound like the bearings in the wheels is whats abused.
Are these the only bearings that get trashed from impacts usually?

yasuji
2011.10.01, 02:01 AM
when you hit a wall,it sound like the bearings in the wheels is whats abused.
Are these the only bearings that get trashed from impacts usually?

typically....but i think that the main post was about awd....i can see it making a bigger diff in awd but like i said.... for speed.....
oops jus re read it ... its got 03 as well....

bermbuster
2011.10.01, 08:51 AM
Besides the crashing it is how the bearing is installed and removed that gives you the best service. Bearings are not designed to be installed or removed from the inner race ID....It is very easy to damage ceramic bearings more so than with the steel ones. I have been running all kinds of bearings and I agree with Grant....Heck he is literally one of the fastest mini z racers on the planet....
Keep it simple. Make sure your bearings are clean, lubed and spin freely. If not replace them. Steelies are about a $1 a bearing.....