Living well and cash back programs

We have launched a fun program called 7DBike cashback program. We know how much Singaporeans love to bargain but retail these days are expensive to run and we do need to remain viable, we are trying hard to get a win win situation to reward those who cycle well.

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When the founders set out to build this business, we wanted to help people get fit and at the same time get into a low impact sport – Cycling! We were reminded that when we grow old, being able to age well is an act of kindess to those who have to take care of us!

So based on living well in 7 steps – Get active is the number one call and to incentivise our new folding bike owners for 2018, we have launched our Cashback program. The basis is simple:

Cycle 100km in 10 days and show proof via Strava, MBS/BRU will give you CASH back. Terms and conditions apply.

The level of Cashback varies on the model that you purchased and it ranges from S$80 – S$400!  No vouchers, no points,  real cash back!

Cashback is NOT applicable for bikes on promotions or discounted items.

 

Other steps to aging well:

2. Eat Better

3. Lose Weight

4. Stop Smoking

5. Control Cholesterol

6. Manage Blood Pressure

7. Reduce Blood Sugar

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For those who are already MBS/BRU card holders, watch this space as we will be launching a rewards based cycling where you will get discounts at our stores WHEN you achieved those kilometres cycled.

Hold on to your MBS Tune up cards – you get 10% off your 2nd purchase for bikes and Free return delivery for full serviced folding bikes

  • 10% discount on 2nd bike purchases*
  • Free return transport for Folding bikes sent for FULL service**
  • Applicable from 1 October 2017

MBS Card 1 Oct

Yes it’s true. Cardholders can get 10% discount for their 2nd purchases and help their friends enjoy these discounts too. Discounts cannot be combined with promotional and clearance items.

Terms and conditions are as follows:

* Cash terms and not applicable on promotional and clearance itemsImage result for 10% discount

* Inner tube replacement is no longer extended

* Not applicable for Clearance or bikes on Sale and limited to 3 bikes per purchase

* Owner of original card MUST be present

WAIT… there’s more.

When you book your bikes for FULL service (Folding bikes ONLY), it now comes with free returned delivery to your home or office.Image result for delivery return

Terms and conditions are as follows:

** Service must be paid in full when folding bike is deposited

** Delivery within Singapore and delivery between 10am to 4pm. ADD S$10 for after 4pm requests

** S$25 will be refunded if bike is self collect

Why scooting isn’t just for kids — 5 health benefits- Strengthens core muscles and your tush

Reposted from https://swiftyscooters.com/blog/%E2%80%8A5-health-benefits-for-scooter-mums/

Yes we see many PMDs around, powered by motor and a rechargeable battery and offering many a commuting choice. However, take a look at Swifty Scooter premium adults skate scooters, they strengthen core muscles and for those who need to get back into shape, using that Skatescooter for your errands or exploring the city or neighborhood REALLY gives you a workout. PLUS it gives you that longer range than running or jogging. We are really helping everyone try to own one of the latest SwiftyOnes and they not only offers you the mobility, they allow you to fold, roll and bring them onto the SMRT (Now that that they have extended folding bikes onto trains the WHOLE DAY!) For December, GET your Swifty Scooter SwiftyOne at S$699.00. The SwiftyOne take up to 150kg.

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If your kids love their scooters, investing in a quality adult version not only gives you a ticket to join the fun on the school run, but also provides a host of additional benefits.

quality-adult-scooter-swifty-one

  1. Scooting can increase core strength

How often do we find time in our daily routines for the planks and sit-ups that aid core strength? Scooting is excellent news for core strength, as you balance a scooter you engage your bum. The need for stabilising whilst standing on a scooter places a positive demand on muscles that we all too often take for granted. In particular, having a good foundation of the muscles around the stomach, back and pelvis, can protect against back problems that affects as many as half of us in adulthood.

core-strength-for-scooting

  1. Aerobic and anaerobic fitness systems get a look in

Scooting on the flat provides an opportunity for gentle aerobic exercise by elevating the heart rate. On even ground, you’ll spend the majority of your scoot-time in the aerobic ‘fat burn zone’, but you’re never far away from an anaerobic challenge, especially if you live near any steep inclines. The moment you hit a hill on a scooter is where anaerobic capacity comes in – hills will challenge you more than on a bike. By challenging yourself in bursts and then giving yourself a break, you’ll give yourself a high intensity interval training (HIIT) session, which is known for greater post-workout benefits including elevated metabolism, for longer fat-burning effects. Scooting up hill also means one thing – there will be a down hill!

  1. core-muscles Say hello to your new bum and thighs

We’d forgive you for thinking that it’s only the kicking leg that gets a workout on a kick scooter. Whilst it’s true that propelling yourself along by pushing off the ground provides a powerful workout, it’s your supporting thigh and glute muscles do the majority of the stabilising work. If you want to go that little bit further for a really good conditioning session, think about engaging your bum whilst in action, and ‘squeezing’ the glute on the kicking leg. Don’t be surprised if your glutes and quads ache for a few days after scooting for the first time, and always remember to swap legs for an even work out!

swifty-fitness-quads-glutes

  1. Challenge your stability ( even more so for ladies after pregnancy )

    Overall stability from top to toe is so important for everyday activities. When we talk about stability we’re referring particularly to even strength in the abdominal muscles and pelvic floor, the areas that gets stretched and weakened in pregnancy. It’s important to get those muscles working again for your long term physical well being, and especially so if you enjoy high impact sports like running, where any imbalances are accentuated and can lead to injury.

We all have a stronger and weaker side, yet don’t often have a chance to discover which is which. Scooting can improve your stability as the neurological messaging between your brain and muscles improves when challenged. It’s really important to use alternate legs for an even work out. Try 3 kicks with the left, swap and 3 kicks with the right, once you get into the rhythm, any imbalances should even out as you feel your core muscles engaging.
Exercise: If you aren’t sure which is your weaker side, stand on one leg and bend your knee, then straighten it again keeping as still as possible. One side will feel more stable than the other. For a real test — do this with your eyes shut! Use this awareness in your training.

  1. Mental wellbeing

It’s joie de vivre for all ! It’s hard to resist a smile on a family scoot, and that’s good for the heart and the mind. What’s more, getting involved in an activity that your children already love enables more family ‘togetherness’ time. There aren’t many activities that us grown-ups and young children can share, equally enjoy and you’ll feel the benefits too.

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Diabetes – a concern for Singaporeans

A silent killer especially Type 2 Diabetes. we should watch this very carefully. This blog entry is adapted from Texas Diabetes Council. Some hard facts that will make one sit up. That by 2050, 1 million Singaporeans could be affected by diabetes. But diabetes has other longer term complications that makes this disease so dreadful.

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In 2005 when we decided with a goal to make exercise convenient but avoid the membership gyms was our goal. Hence the notion of a pair of inline skates, folding bike or that you could unpack  anywhere an exercise you reach home from the office came about.

Many people have diabetes and don’t know it because they don’t have any symptoms. Diabetes causes your blood glucose (also called blood sugar) to be too high. Because the cells in your body can’t turn the blood sugar into energy, the sugar builds up and can damage many parts of your body, such as your heart, kidneys, eyes, and nerves. Over time, diabetes can cause stroke, heart attack, or coma.

Some helpful Myth busters

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In so many years, exercise is one thing but we believe that diet remains the key – what we ingest from carbo and liquids makes that difference! Go for low GI rice – basmati rice, drink alkaline, high oxygen water and take your slow release Vitamin C.

Go for low GI rice – basmati rice, drink alkaline, high oxygen water and take your slow release Vitamin C AND complement that with regular exercise. Those who are high risk to diabetes or already diagnosed with Prediabetic, you can manage this dreaded disease.

There are 3 types of diabetes

What is type 1 diabetes?

Watch video »

Type 1 Diabetes (Insulin-Dependent Diabetes)

  • The body’s own immune system fights the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.
  • Sometimes called juvenile diabetes, but it can affect people at any age.
  • Symptoms include thirst, frequent urination, dehydration, blurred vision, and weight loss.
  • No cure, but patients can control their blood sugar with daily insulin shots.
  • Not preventable.

What is type 2 diabetes?

Watch video »

Type 2 Diabetes (Non-Insulin-Dependent Diabetes)

  • The body doesn’t make enough insulin, or it can’t use the insulin correctly, so the cells can’t process blood sugar correctly.
  • Most common type of diabetes.
  • Often has no symptoms.
  • Family history can increase risk.
  • Being overweight, eating unhealthy foods, not exercising, and having high blood pressure increase risk.
  • Can be prevented with healthy eating and physical activity.

What is gestational diabetes?

Watch video »

Gestational Diabetes

  • Affects some women during pregnancy.
  • Family history can increase risk.
  • Being overweight, eating unhealthy foods, not exercising, and having high blood pressure increase risk.
  • Often prevented with healthy eating and physical activity.
  • Increases risk of problems during pregnancy.
  • Usually disappears after pregnancy, but mom has increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Babies are more likely to be obese and have diabetes.

Taking a few simple steps can help you reduce your risk and prevent type 2 diabetes.

Set a weight loss goal.

If you’re overweight, the key to preventing diabetes is to lose weight. The most successful plans use a combination of eating healthy foods that are lower in fat and calories, and being physically active. Set a goal that you can achieve. A loss of five to seven percent (3 to 5 kgs for a 75kg person) can have a big impact on lowering your risk of diabetes.

Eat healthy foods.

Choosing to eat healthy foods will help you reach your weight loss goal. Figure out how many calories and fat grams you should have per day. Set a goal for losing one to two pounds each week.

Move more. Walk, Run or Cycle!

Image result for walk run cycle

Pay more than S$2500 for a folding bike?

We have almost all the marques from all over the world- Japan, UK, USA and Taiwan. So when it comes to folding bikes, we get customers who appreciate their top end bikes like they enjoy their fine dining, exquisite cars and their finer things in life. Like cars, the exquisite bicycle brands have models with very much similarity.

First, the Alex Moulton range, the cycling equivalent of owning a Bentley or Rolls MBSRoyce. The Moulton Bicycle is the original full-suspension, separable, small- wheeled, high-performance bicycle, world-renowned for speed, efficiency, durability and comfort.

Alex Moulton Speed with a Bentley in the backdrop


Double Pylon with Rolls Royce.  Expertly engineered for over 50 years and handcrafted in England, these bicycles are the world’s most efficient form of transport – designed for universal use, real performance and comfort. These bikes are not hard to spot, whether gleaming in Stainless Steel or resplendent in a custom paint job. Starting at just over S$8,000 (AM Speed) and running as high as S$32,000 (Double Pylon) the powerhouse of the range is the Moulton Speed in Stainless Steel at just over S$15,000.

Alex Moulton Double Pylon. Did you know that the late Alex Moulton pioneered the suspension design  that went into the Mini?

As a radical design, the Moulton bicycle – the first small-wheeled adult bicycle – needed credibility in the market and Alex Moulton realised the importance of this when planning the launch of the bicycle in 1962. Aided by his Marketing Manager David Duffield, himself a record-breaking cyclist, several riders were actively supported by Moulton. Coventry CC pursuit team were unstoppable on the track, their Moultons allowing them to keep in a tight group to reduce aerodynamic drag; road riders benefited from the reduced aerodynamic drag of the small wheels and, with reputation established, the Moulton became acceptable to the most discerning club cyclists. Following the introduction of the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) rule 1.3.018, Moultons are not permitted in road-racing events – this is why you never see them in events like the Tour de France – but they are still used in time-trials and for ultra-distance events.
Moulton Coventry CC 1962

Moulton Jubilee Sportive

How do you know you are staring at one of the high-end,  handcrafted Moulton and not the standard Moulton TSR range (that gets you on a Moulton for just under S$3,000)? Other than the refined components, you will notice the “kinked” bottom section of the spaceframe. This is a dead giveaway that you are looking at a top end Moulton, with the enhanced performance and comfort characteristics. The Moulton Jubilee, is all about comfort, whether you are planning a touring trip or want comfort, control, and ease of riding as a weekend warrior. 

The TSRs are truly awesome to ride, thanks to the late Dr Alex Moulton’s pioneering work on suspension design for small wheels. Moulton have taken everything they learnt in engineering design and conceived the SST.  Although no “kinked” spaceframe, Moulton wanted to improve on the TSR series, and have introduced a whole host of engineering innovations – the SST is the result and costs less than S$6000.

Moulton SST

If you want something lighter on your pockets – Tyrell FSX , retailing above S$4,000 and you get 406 wheels on lightning-fast frames and they come with a choice of Ultegra or 105

dahon_logoNext came the American revolution and putting the first man on the moon. Dahon. 35+ years in folding bikes. They celebrated with a 35th-anniversary bike Curl i8 but see challenges as they attack the Chinese markets. But still they have a few really nice new folds and innovation like the Dahon EEZZ.

Tern – HQ-ed out of Taiwan, management team trained in the USA and possessing a Ternglobal mindset. Armed with innovations, Tern is like the Tesla brand of cars. Fast, eco-friendly in mind, innovations at many levels,  a new look at folding bikes, putting together innovations at the component levels and winning awards across the globe.Tern introduced the 26 inch wheeled Eclipse X22.  The Eclipse X22 is designed to be the fastest folding bike in the world. With hand-built 26” wheels and race-tuned geometry, it’s a full sized road bike, but it folds down small in 10 seconds. It boasts an Ultegra drivetrain, and—just in time for the UCI’s new regulations—a set of Shimano hydraulic disc brakes. With a stealth black finish, hydroformed fork, red Syntace accents, and perfected engineering, the X22 inaugurates a new chapter in Tern design. It sells for S$3800. The Eclipse P20 is a very affordbale S$2300.

26 inch based folding bikes that can rival roadbikes

For 2017, their answer for a top of the line premium bike – Verge X11 retailing at S$3,800. With a transmission range that spans a very wide range, you do away the dual chainring requirement.

So if you have S$2400 – S$2700 as a budget, that Dahon Mu SLX, Verge P10, Eclipse P20, Tyrell FX, Chedech, Moulton TSRs and even Tern Surge Pro (minivelo) is looking really within reach

 

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Bike prices and accessories depicted on the bikes are subject to change. For avoidance of doubt, please check with the store staff.

 

Spokes – Spoken or Silent?

Why Spokes Break

Bike spokes are a pretty simple part of your bike. They support your weight and transfer power from the hub to the wheel. Problems with spokes are pretty infrequent, but still do happen from time to time. The most common problem a cyclist will have with their spokes is the occasional broken spoke. This happened to me with some regularity as I’m what they used to call in boys’ jeans sizes, “husky.” You’ll just be going down the road and suddenly hear a noise like TWANGGG! (and it does sound like that). Even if you don’t hear the spoke break, you’ll likely feel it, because the your wheel will usually go all wobbly. Sometimes if you mash down particularly hard on the pedals or hit a pothole it can spur spoke breakage too, but usually it just kinda happens. Spokes break most frequently where the head of the spoke laces into the hub, because the curved head of the spoke is the weakest part and yet still has to bears a lot of the weight and force of power transfer. If you have this happen, stop, get off your bike and inspect your wheel. You want to make sure your spoke isn’t flopping around to where it can get entangled with your frame or chain as your wheel turns. To keep it secure, you can tape it to a neighbor or unscrew it from the nipple and remove it completely. You’re okay to ride it a bit longer if necessary to get home, but you don’t want another forty miles or continue riding days and days with a broken spoke if you can help it. It puts additional stress and strain on your other spokes (which can then cause them to break prematurely at some point down the road too) and can make your wheel go out of tru

How Spokes work?

How the spokes accomplish these terrific and heroic feats? First, spokes don’t push outward, holding the rim at bay, like it might seem. Rather, the rim is evenly pulled inward by spokes that are laced through the hub, the center part of the wheel that rotates around the axle, which makes it extraordinarily strong. These spokes coming from the hub then radiate outward to the rim, where they attach to nipples, which are almost like little nuts resting in the rim. The nipples can be screwed down onto threaded tips of the spokes, which increases tension on the rim, and also pulls it slightly to the left or right.

When are wheels not true?

No, its not when they’re lying to you… its when they’re not straight. A true wheel is rounder, centered, easier to pedal and they wobble less.

Thus knowing how to make a wheel perfectly round, replacing broken spokes and damaged nipples and fixing damaged rims can be quite important for keeping a bicycle in tip-top shape.

A lot of the tasks required to true a wheel require tools only found in a well-equipped bicycle shop (like a truing stand), so you will likely need to contact a local bicycle mechanic.

The information are taken from About.com and the Bike Mechanic

Cycling Myth Buster #6 Crank lengths – is longer better?

LoL don’t worry, this is not a R(A) article about length but about crank arms of what you are riding.  We came across several Bike fitting sites, books and they offer some information on Hip Angles and Knee Angles. Thanks to all the articles that cover this.

Most crank lengths are available in 170 and 175mm lengths. This is fine if your inside-leg measurements is on  the long side of average, otherwise it can reduce pedalling efficiency.

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Cranks that are too short do not allow the full leverage of the legs to be used, those that are too long force the knee, hip and ankle to bend more often resulting in slow cadence.

 Extracted from Bike Dynamics  & The Racing Guide by Haynes

Indicators your cranks are too long.

You are the first to get out of the saddle when climbing in a group.
You feel your upper body bobbing?vertically when spinning fast and lightly loaded.
Your transmission occasionally clangs?as you hit a dead spot at the top of the stroke.
Your knees / hips hurt.
Your knees come uncomfortably close to your chest when on the drops or tri bars.

Indicators your cranks are too short.

You feel strong on hills but seem to struggle on the flats.

inseammeasurement11.png

A good guide is to apply 20-21% of your inside-leg measurement but bear in mind your saddle height plays a role.  As a guide:

Inside leg measurement(cm)           Crank length(mm)

72-75                                                         155 – 160

76-79                                                         160-165

80-83                                                         165-170

84-87                                                         170-175

88-91                                                          175- 180

92- 95                                                         180-185

After that, adjust your saddle position and see if you can get into the “zone”. Minimum knee angles should exceed 70° to avoid any discomfort issues. It has been captured over time and measurements that  really fast, powerful people have tended to be in a range around 75°.  So anything within the “zone” 74°-77° is ideal.

So for those who want to get optimum knee angles for power, shorter cranks may be the answer to help you achieve that ideal angle but not too short or you lose the leverage on straights… Still with me?

How to Choose Crank Length? Various authorities on this:

So, what crank length is right for you? Just like everything else with bike fitting, some general guidelines exist, but they won’t work for everyone. Formulas for computing crank length (in mm) from height, inseam measurement (in cm), and femur height (in cm, measured from the floor to the top of the femur bone) include:

  • Graeme Obree method: crank length = 0.95 * height
  • “Machine” method: crank length = 1.25 * inseam + 65
  • Lennard Zinn method, upper end: crank length = 2.16 * inseam
  • Lennard Zinn method, lower end: crank length = 2.10 * inseam
  • Bill Boston method: crank length = 1.85 * femur height

 

Cycling Myth Buster #5 Gear range – how does that really work?

A gear range is a set of figures that allows you to caculate the combined effect of a given cassette cog, chainring and wheelsize. This calculation was based on the Penny Farthing bike  where one measured the length of 1 revolution of the front wheel  (see below) and provide a length called X inches of development. Mind you that the Farthing Penny Bikes were very unstable due to the short wheel base and the rider sometimes sitting at a abnormally high position and the your legs peddling forward that actually reduces leverage…hmm reminds you of the A bikes and A design frames with small wheels.

So often for the misinformed,  when they see us on our Minivelos, comments usually are said like  “are you sure you can keep up?” and “don’t you cycle like a hamster?” , “Small kids bike” then have their expression in disbelief when we overtake them with ease.

So how do we do it? In the laws of physics, it is  true, a smaller wheel means you need to peddle more and faster BUT with folding bikes that we range, a bigger chainring ( not to to point where you need tremendous leg power to drive a 75T chainring) gives you the necessary range. You can still get your speed up and peddle at a comfortable pace BUT you need the right combinations.

Let’s do a few baseline understanding.

Gear size (inches)

<40         Mountain and touring bikes

41-50      Hill Climbing

51-60      Lowest gears for flattish course

61- 70     Lowest gears for flat time trials

71-100    Normal gears

>100        Flat out gears

Some Maths formulae.

Chainring size (no of teeth) xwheel diameter(inches)/cassette cog x tread to tread

e.g. (52×26.4 inches) (aka 700C)/14 = 98 inches

So for a Dahon MuEX where they use the top of the  line SRAM Red cassettes, the max range is 55Tx20 inch/11 = 100 inches so now you understand why the MuEX can attain such high velocities.

Even if you take a standard Vitesse D7 or Boardwalk D7 52X20/13 = 80 inches. Most entry level MTBs are using 44T , (44X26/13=88 inches). So you NOW understand why most D7 series bikes actually overtake these MTBs without seeing the rider huffing and puffing away.

Depending on the terrain, but for Singapore where there are  gradual hills and Beginners/Training is usually the initial goal, a gear range from 45 – 114 inches is what you need. ( 52/39 x 12-23). So when you do the specs, you understand why these Flamingos HSF1 and MuP24s can really give you  that mileage.

OK with the ideal gear range…you still need TWO Ls – strong LUNGS and LEGS or all the gear ranges in the world mean nothing.

Cycling Myth Buster #4 Chainring size – is bigger better?

Basics about Chain Rings

Ranges are measured in the number of teeth. For road bikes, the larger sizes are around 52T/53T, going as small as 39T for hilly rides or a 42T in flatter terrains.If you’re riding a mountain bike, you’ll want a slightly different range, of 24T-28T teeth for hill climbing and a larger ring of 46T-50T teeth for use on faster courses. Mountain bikes nearly always have a triple set of chain rings up front; road riders can consider this, too, if their rides tend to be hilly.

Mini Velos or Folding bikes by virtue of the smaller tires compensate gearing range by the use of bigger chainrings so it is no surprise that you will find 53T or 55T chainrings configured on folding bikes.  The bigger chainring actually helps small wheeled bikes attain the same speed without the need to peddle like a “hamster” or “lab mice”. On the contrary,  smaller wheels have the advantage of faster pick up.

Some of the stronger riders have actually configured a 57T or 60T chainring but this is where bigger does not mean better as we are relying on muscle and stamina to drive the transmission, NOT a foot pedal  that feeds fuel to a engine in a car.  You really got have the legs to power such a large chainring.

For those who can settle for a 53T 130 BCD, we have Ovalised Chainrings. Oval-shaped chainrings may not be a new invention, but these days they’re proving more effective than they ever did in the past. Advocates include the 2008 Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre, and the UK’s Bradley Wiggins who finished fourth in 2009. They’re designed to eliminate something known as the dead spot when you pedal.

BMC UK Racing Team’s training bikes are already being equipped with Rotor’s Q Rings to enable team riders to gain the benefit of the rings when training.

General rule

Long rides  and hills – smaller chainring

Acceleration on flats – bigger chainring

Transmission efficiency is also affected by the wheel hubs and BB.

Buying chainrings

Before you go rush out and buy that 55T or 60T chainring. Make sure you check the BCD – bolt-circle diameter It si the Diameter of the bolts that hold the chainring to our crank. It is typically 130 mm or 110 mm

Cycling Myth Busters #3 – Balls of ceramic are better than balls of steel?

This blog is really about Steel ball bearings versus Ceramic ball bearings. Enough has written about this subject but I thought I put together the topics the guys are pre-occupied with. But for those who already burn their wallets swapping out all their existing ball bearings to ceramic based ones – the answer is Yes.

First principles:

Metal balls are rolling, spherical elements that are used in check and ball valves, bearings, and other mechanical devices that provide rotary or linear motion.  For us bikers, it means Headsets, Bottom Bracket, Hubs and Cranks .  Surface Roughness measures the irregularities that form on the surface, but are not significant deviations. Basic diameter Tolerance is the maximum allowable deviation average diameter from the diameter specified.   

Ceramic balls are made from inorganic, nonmetallic materials that are processed at high temperatures. Many ceramic balls are capable of achieving an extremely smooth surface finish to a high degree of tolerance. As a result Ceramic Balls have an extremely low coefficient of friction as compared to Metal Balls. Grinding removes cuts, scratches, scuffs, and other irregularities. Many ceramic balls exhibit much greater hardness than steel balls, resulting in longer life and improved reliability. Ceramic balls can also provide high stiffness, low thermal expansion, light weight, increased corrosion resistance, and electrical resistance. A wide assortment of Silicon Nitride Ceramic Balls, Alumina Oxide Ceramic Balls and Zirconia Ceramic Balls are now available.

Ceramic bearings benefits

35% less Thermal Expansion:
Think of putting a coke in the freezer. You have to allow for its expansion or you’ll blow the tin. Steel bearings are like the tin of pop. Ceramics on the other hand change size significantly less then steel with a given shift in temperature, thus raceways, rings and seals from a typical bearing can be made to much greater tolerances. They can even be fabricated with a smoother finish so vibration goes down and stability goes up.

50% less Conductivity:
Ceramics are electrically NON-conductive, and chemically inert, thus do not suffer from oxidation and the rust that degrades the surface of a traditional steel ball bearing. They suffer less heat damage since they don’t heat up as easily. This helps to maintain the spherical geometry of the ball bearings and significantly reduces your repair time.

60% less Weight:
Since silicon nitride is only about 40% of the weight of bearing steel the savings are obvious. Think about tying a heavy rock to the end of a rope. Its hard to get in motion and hard to stop. The lighter the rock the easier it is.

The issue of bearing weight is the same story. The heavier they are the more effort it takes to get them rolling and stopping. Thus ceramic bearings, with less then half the weight, and thus less rotating mass, will be much more responsive in acceleration and deceleration, with much less effort.

50% Higher Modulus of Elasticity:
that’s just a fancy way to test how easy it is to deform something. Ceramic has a 50% higher modulus of elasticity, so it takes a lot of work to alter its original shape. That gives you a much longer life expectancy in a hard wear zone like a bicycle’s bottom bracket.

Cold Welding:
Steel on steel has a nasty habit of welding itself together, that’s why you use anti-seize on some fittings. In a bearing the lubricate helps to prevent this but when bearings sit over the winter this can happen. Ceramic is NOT able to weld itself to steel. Steel and Ceramic are incompatible in that respect so cold welding is another difficulty you can avoid with ceramic ball bearings.

Research suggests that Bottom brackets equipped with ceramic bearings have a 5-10 times longer life. Industrial literature might suggest ceramics add 3-5 times the life expectancy. Either way we know they’ll be there longer than their carbon steel cousin.

Equally exciting, in tests with Olympic and professional racers and in controlled lab tests with wheels, ceramic bearings repeatedly show significantly less friction, making for faster speeds, acceleration and deceleration with less force.

So whats not to like? Only the price. Ceramic Bearings are easy to justify with longer life, less vibration, more speed but at maybe 5 times the price of traditional bearings the questions still remains as to whether you can justify the added cost?

Approximate values: Silicon Nitride Zirconium Oxide Steel
Density .11 lb/in3 .21 lb/in3 .28 lb/in3
Hardness (Vickers Hardness Scale) 1580 kg/mm2 1300 kg/mm2 700 kg/mm2
Maximum Use Temperature 1000C 1500 C 300F
Corrosion Resistance Excellent
-Chemically inert
  Poor

 

Adapted from various articles from ezinesarticles.com and mywheelsandmore.com