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Whats the big deal about sealed bottom brackets??
#1
Most of the new bicycles and motorcycles too have started using sealed bearings and bottom brackets. I can see some maintenance advantage. For newbies. However a well maintained bearing system lasts a long time while many sealed systems require periodic replacement.

For instance the BMW motorcycle used thrust bearings with a seal on the outside. Properly maintained and set they last much longer than the sealed bearings.

So whats the advantage of sealed bottom brackets? They sure cost a lot more.
Never Give Up!!!
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#2
(04-23-2010, 01:42 PM)GeorgeET Wrote:  Most of the new bicycles and motorcycles too have started using sealed bearings and bottom brackets. I can see some maintenance advantage. For newbies. However a well maintained bearing system lasts a long time while many sealed systems require periodic replacement.

For instance the BMW motorcycle used thrust bearings with a seal on the outside. Properly maintained and set they last much longer than the sealed bearings.

So whats the advantage of sealed bottom brackets??? They sure cost a lot more.

Don't have too much time here but I will try and answer your question simple as possible, easy answer it is a cheaper way for manufacturers to use in production and to bolster that they are "better" or "new" and "improved" (never got that last one lol) they hype up just that so they can charge you more. Personally I think they should have left them alone! It is the way of ever cheaping (actually changing lol Smile)engineering
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#3
Yep 10-4 to that. I just serviced my BB and they were fine and simple to do. You can buy a whole replacement kit for less than $10. Some high end BB are over $100. I am a KISS believer. (keep it simple stupid) :-))

I suppose if you ride in Lakes they may be better sealed.
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#4
The main reason is the ease and speed of replacement. A lot of people don't like to deal with loose bearings being dropped, lost, etc. If you drop a sealed bearing, no big deal, you were going to replace it anyway. The other reason is to charge you more money.

One other reason, albeit small, is to keep some standards on bikes, mainly dual suspensions, because you can't have loose bearings at the pivot points, you have to have cartridge bearings, so why not just have all cartridge bearings...

Some people like how easy it is to replace them, and don't mind spending the money. And yes, some of the bearings can be VERY expensive, but I have NEVER seen a report that suggests the higher end or ceramic cartridge bearings are ANY better than the good 'ol toss away ones. Those are CHEAP.Big Grin

Sheldon Brown states the ceramic bearings are on par with regular bearings.

*edit* And if Sheldon says it, it MUST be true!Big Grin
Dedicated scholar of bicycles
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#5
Yes same thing with motorcycles. Most owners did not know how to set preload and service bearings, so sealed throw aways were developed. Easier for mechanic too. They work OK so its not a bad thing.

Ye I read Sheldons post .
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