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This week's column:

Should I Spring for Ceramic Bearings or New Wheels?

April 3, 2013




QHello, Bill. What should my next investment be as I look forward to the Northshore Inline Marathon: ceramic bearings or Matter G13 wheels? I already have a set of Road War Turbos and would like to shave some time off my personal best. I don't know if this matters but I weigh in at 180 lbs. - Allan from Thunder Bay, Ontario

Ask the Coach!

Hi, Allan: If you could guarantee the weather — unlikely! — and knew it was going to rain, then ceramic bearings would be the way to go, considering that you already have Road Wars which are better in the wet than G13s.

On wet roads, oiled metal bearings tend to gunk up with grit and rubbish and that increases friction and can cause bearings to seize.

On the other hand, ceramics are only lightly lubricated — if lubed at all — and collect less grit and usually don’t clog up.

But look before you leap. All ceramics are not created equal. I have come across some with irregular balls that were basically rubbish. Make sure your bearings spin smoothly with no vibration. If not, demand a refund.

Another option might be to buy set of MPC Storm Surge wheels. I have a business relationship with X-Tech MPC, so I have a bias. But even if I didn’t, I would recommend the Storm Surges.

I am involved in a lot of wheel testing. So I know what does what. And the Storm Surges are the only genuine wet weather wheels.

Cheers, Bill

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