Some riders swear by them, others aren’t so convinced. Oval chainrings can be a bit marmite, but are certainly here to stay, with Absolute Black dedicated to the cause.
Cycling Ceramic Jockey Wheels & BB
Having been asked to review the Cycling Ceramic bottom bracket and jockey wheels, I was looking forward to seeing how they performed on my new titanium build. Having the knowledge that team IAM cycling were using these, as were various other Pro teams albeit under the radar of sponsors, it was with impish glee that I opened them and got them fitted. A very easy thing to do, and if you don’t feel so confident, then a local bike shop will do this for you for a small fee.
What makes them special? They start with high quality ceramic balls, and then polish them for 45 days to enhance the smoothness and roundness, which minimizes surface contact area. Then, they use a tougher, lighter polyamide carrier to position the bearings between the races. For the bottom brackets, which see higher forces than the other parts, they developed a special hardening process for the races to improve durability, overall smoothness and resistance to corrosion. Lastly, they developed their own seals that maximize the “fluidity” of the balls’ movement inside while keeping contaminants out.
It’s all hand assembled in France in their own facility, so they have control over the final product.
Cycling Ceramic Jockey Wheels and Bottom Bracket are reported to transfer power better and reduce rolling resistance, and I can honestly say they do that very well. I’m very happy with how they feel and roll plus the upside is as long as they are looked after they will last ages. I’ve been using these on some tough roads over the winter, in some ‘not nice’ conditions, but the power transfer has been noticeable enough to at least make the rides less arduous. The spin is smooth and effortless, allowing the cranks to do their thing, and the jockey wheels ensure that all of that effort is efficiently used when transferred to the chain.
Coupled with a good groupset, these products from Cycling Ceramic do what they’re intended for – they make the ride more enjoyable, easier and faster without the pain. It’s fair to say that this small French company are going places, and rightly so with such well-engineered products.
They’re priced at around £95 for the Jockey Wheels and £144 for the Bottom Bracket; so, if you have some spare cash and you are after a bit of bling with a slight advantage of a few Watts for your bike, then these are what to go for.