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  1. #1
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    hub bearings alternatives

    any bearing geeks out there who are interested in the bestest hub bearings they can find?

    is there any alternative to Enduro bearings, or are they the lick?

    which bearings have the best most weatherproof seals?

    highly opinionated opinions welcome.

  2. #2
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    I found Enduro bearings to be mid-grade at best.

    SKF and F.A.G. bearings are the ones to get. Bearings with a metal cage have the least amount of drag. Seals are about all the same.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fajita Dave View Post
    I found Enduro bearings to be mid-grade at best.

    SKF and F.A.G. bearings are the ones to get. Bearings with a metal cage have the least amount of drag. Seals are about all the same.
    NTN could be included in this list as well. INA, too.

    The fact that I9 uses Enduro as their stock bearing means they arenít serious about durability. Very strange choice for a purportedly premium brand.


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  4. #4
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    i gotta imagine distribution and sourcing play a major role. i have an i9 Hydra and the rear hub contains 4 different sized cartridge bearings. sourcing these all separately from a bearing company or distributor that isn't focused on serving the bicycle market is probably difficult.

  5. #5
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    I got Enduro bearings one time just to check them, quality and smoothness isn't one of the adjectives that comes to mind to describe them, back to SKF I went. The other brands already named above also have good reputation, there are others.
    Bearings usually aren't bike industry specific, at least most of them, Chris King comes to mind as one of the exceptions, but most of the times you can get bearings for your hubs and pivots from any place that sells bearings. In my case I get them from a specialized bearing seller that has the textile industry as the major client.

  6. #6
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    You can get all you need from hambini's site.

    You can't get 2437 bearings from anywhere but Enduro, but that's bb.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    NTN could be included in this list as well. INA, too.

    The fact that I9 uses Enduro as their stock bearing means they arenít serious about durability. Very strange choice for a purportedly premium brand.


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    And NSK bearings (quality).
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  8. #8
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    The blue enduros are just trash.

    INA and NTN are obscenely expensive. You can sometimes find them "cheap" for $35 a piece. $60-90 isn't uncommon either though. I think NTN does dt Swiss branded bearings though, and they sell for $15ish a piece, but I can't find them from NTN for anything reasonable.

    Skf are one of the best and generally under $20 a piece. I use those and dt's, both about as good as you're going to find in the US.

    I put ezo's in one hub, and they're pretty good too. I need more time on them to see how they hold up, but so far so good.

  9. #9
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    Apparently counterfeit bearings are a thing. Factories in China will stamp SKF, Enduro... on the seals making them look identical to the real thing. Skip to 13:40

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...ature=emb_logo


    OP, take a look at solid oil bearings like what cane creek is using in headsets and BB's. I can't remember who makes those bearings, maybe SKF? At any rate, they are expensive, but will outlast anything with traditional seals and grease. Of course drag will be increase, but considering you want robust seals, drag isn't top priority for you.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by slimat99 View Post
    Apparently counterfeit bearings are a thing. Factories in China will stamp SKF, Enduro... on the seals making them look identical to the real thing. Skip to 13:40

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...ature=emb_logo


    OP, take a look at solid oil bearings like what cane creek is using in headsets and BB's. I can't remember who makes those bearings, maybe SKF? At any rate, they are expensive, but will outlast anything with traditional seals and grease. Of course drag will be increase, but considering you want robust seals, drag isn't top priority for you.
    SKF MRTX are the solid oil bearings. The inside of the bearing is filled with a self lubricating polymer that seals to the race leaving nowhere for dirt to get in. I plan on trying them when my suspension pivots need to be replaced! No idea where to find them for sale.

  11. #11
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    I have the SKF MTRX bearings in my BB. PF92-30 type. Work as advertised. Sold by Cane Creek as a collaboration with SKF.

    https://www.canecreek.com/product/he...ottom-bracket/
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    And NSK bearings (quality).
    Yeah.

    The list is as follows, in no particular order.

    INA
    NTN
    NSK
    F.A.G.
    EZO

    www.hambini.com is a good place to find the common sizes of bearings used in bicycles. The guy who owns the site is, ahem, eccentric and perhaps very off-putting, based on his public persona. That said, his reputation as a seller depends on making sure people are getting authentic product.

    A bit of a lesson about fake or B grade bearings.

    https://www.hambini.com/warning-coun...-ntn-bearings/
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  13. #13
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    If you avoid all the stuff about road biking and aero this and that, hambini is a great resource for bearing information. Hes in the UK though, but considering US prices, its still probably cheaper to get bearings from him.

  14. #14
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    oh yes, love me some Hambini. have enjoyed coming across his ludicris videos about a year ago, introduced him to my mates.

    i've learned more about bearings from watching his master class videos about them than i could any other way. yet i didn't realize i could order bearings from him, good to know.

  15. #15
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    KOYO is another reputable bearing company. Japanese.

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  16. #16
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    I knew you knew about hambini because you said "the lick" in your first post.

  17. #17
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    I ordered from https://www.qualitybearingsonline.com/ the last time I ordered some. Not cheap, but good bearings aren't.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    I ordered from https://www.qualitybearingsonline.com/ the last time I ordered some. Not cheap, but good bearings aren't.
    To add on to what Jayem said. Their website is a bit hard to navigate, but this sub-section of their website is where you'll find bike-sized bearings.

    https://www.qualitybearingsonline.co...s/thin-section

    Using the multiple filters to select a 17x26x5mm (6803) bearing, with dual rubber seals, from SKF, F.A.G. or NSK, I get:

    https://www.qualitybearingsonline.co...h+%28mm%29=5mm

    Note that there are multiple entries from SKF, for example. The more expensive one (W-series) is stainless. It has a lower dynamic load rating than the standard series bearing.
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  19. #19
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    Stainless is less hard and generally less round than carbon steel bearings.

    It should only be used if maintenance won't happen, and water intrusion is likely. It's far better to use a standard bearing, and keep up with maintenance. It's also a lot cheaper.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Stainless is less hard and generally less round than carbon steel bearings.

    It should only be used if maintenance won't happen, and water intrusion is likely. It's far better to use a standard bearing, and keep up with maintenance. It's also a lot cheaper.
    What do you mean "keep up with maintenance"? Unbolt your bike every week and punch the bearings out to pry the dust-seals off and repack then replace and re-bolt it up? What maintenance are you referring to?
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  21. #21
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    Just pulled my BB trying to chase down a creak somewhere on the bike, E13BB, comes with NTN bearings stock. 1.5 years after building bike. Bearings are still smooth as silk, no issues here.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  22. #22
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    Is you want indestructible bearings that will last a long time go with Enduro Max cageless 40% more load capacity, if they have your sizes. I have used these in few hubs and they work very well. Old HopePro 2 I have keep eating up bearings every 500 miles and replaced them with these and going on 7000 miles now with no issues.
    https://www.endurobearings.com/products/bearings/max/

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    What do you mean "keep up with maintenance"? Unbolt your bike every week and punch the bearings out to pry the dust-seals off and repack then replace and re-bolt it up? What maintenance are you referring to?
    Yes, you need to pop the seals off and add fresh grease every now and then. Not sure how you took that as doing it weekly. Once a year is usually fine.

    The only reason to use stainless is if you just refuse to pop a seal off ever.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Yes, you need to pop the seals off and add fresh grease every now and then. Not sure how you took that as doing it weekly. Once a year is usually fine.

    The only reason to use stainless is if you just refuse to pop a seal off ever.
    In my experience, this is simply not practical. Pulling and resetting the bearings usually introduces some level of damage to them, even with the correct tools, as does popping the dust-seals to re-pack/clean out. Given the level of work associated with this (and it's not even always possible with every bike), IMO it's better to just replace the bearings at this time, unless you are in a jam where you won't be able to for a few more weeks for some reason. This is a major operation and you don't want to be doing it mid-season because one of the bearings conked out. Preventative maintenance, replace them before they become a problem, ahead of the season.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

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