Waste Not, Watt Not, With New Zipp Ceramic Bearings

SRAM Zipp Bearing KitFor road riders, Zipp Wheels represent some of the highest performance options available on the market today. But for those cyclists looking to eke out every performance gain possible, the company is now offering an upgrade kit.

By teaming up with Ceramic Speed, Zipp has developed a new Upgrade Bearing Kit for use in all of their hubs and freehub driver bodies. Each of the kits includes low resistance hybrid ceramic (ceramic balls and steel cages) bearings, and offer a measurable wattage savings between 1.5 and 9 watts per bearing set, depending on the condition of your existing bearings.

Pricing and more kit information after the break.

Zipp CeramicSpeed Bearing Kit 61803
One kit required for:
– Zipp 88, 30 and 60 front hubs
– Zipp 188v8 rear hubs
– Zipp ALL free hub driver bodies

• Inner Dia: 17mm
• Outer Dia: 26mm
• Width: 5mm
• MSRP: $255 / €227 / £194
• Availability: Immediate

Zipp CeramicSpeed Bearing Kit 61903
One kit required for:
Zipp 188v9, 30 and 60 rear hubs

• Inner Dia: 17mm
• Outer Dia: 30mm
• Width: 7mm
• MSRP: $255 / €227 / £194
• Availability: Immediate

Zipp CeramicSpeed Bearing Kit 61803/61903
One kit required for:
Zipp Super-9 and Sub9-disc rear hubs

• Inner Dia: 17mm, 17mm
• Outer Dia: 26mm, 30mm
• Width: 5mm, 7mm
• MSRP: $255 / €227 / £194
• Availability: Immediate

Note: 88 front and 188v9 rear hubs are on all 2014 and newer Zipp 101, 202, 303, 404, 808.


iperov - 06/10/14 - 8:12am


Stamps - 06/10/14 - 8:22am

Ooohhh….1.5 watt gain! For only $200+ more! Who buys this stuff?

gibbon - 06/10/14 - 8:43am

Triathletes (actually It’d need to be $400 for them to buy it).

Collin S - 06/10/14 - 8:45am

Am I reading this correctly that one kit is required per wheel, so your talking a $500 upgrade per wheelset on a wheelset that already costs $2600? How are these 3-5x better than Endro Ceramic bearings?

CXisfun - 06/10/14 - 9:08am

$510 for 3 watts. Jesus.

k - 06/10/14 - 9:13am

Regular Zipp bearings are so smooth already, this stuff is a total waste of time.

nightfend - 06/10/14 - 9:25am

Don’t believe the marketing, you will not get 3 watts improvement over standard steel bearings.

Mike - 06/10/14 - 10:22am

Damn the haters – I’m buying them purely for the packaging!

Matt Holland - 06/10/14 - 10:25am

Ha! They cost more than the super precision bearing we use at work (for space applications) and 6-8x more than other ceramic bearings. I would love to stick them in one of our test rigs and look at the torque versus a range of other options

AV - 06/10/14 - 10:31am

Overpriced bearings on overpriced wheels. Zipp rims are decent, but their hubs are junk. For a $3k wheelset they could at least give you decent hubs and not try to pry another ~$500 out of your hands for snake oil bearings. You would likely save more watts with shoe covers.

NASH - 06/10/14 - 10:45am

Zipp up your pockets!

Bas - 06/10/14 - 10:54am

zipp surely knows how to make money. design sh*t wheels, sell an expensive upgrade to fix a problem all their products have..

who has a good source for super precision steel brgs that ships to EU / NL? matt?

Lander Jennings - 06/10/14 - 11:10am

Call me picky but I could use a bit more packaging.

Matt Holland - 06/10/14 - 11:20am

GRW or Barden come to mind, if i were into that kind of thing (which i’m not), i’d have training wheels and then race wheels, with metal shielded bearings running oil impregnated phenolic cages, you’re likely to get lower torque resistance than any rubber shielded bearing

Dr. Sartorious - 06/10/14 - 11:31am

This is the equivalent of someone racing a F1 race car made by Toyota, and then Toyota sending them a mailer telling them that their car isn’t all that it could be, and that upgrading the paper air filter is the difference between second place and world fame.

“You have the very best wheels, but…they could be better.”

Colin - 06/10/14 - 11:44am

Good Dr., Toyota has been out of F1 for near a decade…

I’m with some of the others, I can’t see how these are that expensive. Enduro Zero bearings seem to have a lot more going for them, at least on paper. Ceramic Speed also doesn’t list any spec on their bearings, at least that i can find.

What grade are the balls? 5? 3? 100? What is the ABEC rating? 9, or 1?

Alex - 06/10/14 - 12:16pm

This is part of the reason why I purchased Rolf Prima wheels, instead of Zipp. Rolf’s carbon wheels already include factory-installed ceramic bearings (made by Enduro), and are priced still several hundred dollars below Zipp, despite Rolf being handbuilt in Oregon. Moreover, Rolf’s hubs are made by White Industries in California, while Zipp’s are made I don’t know where exactly in Asia.

cio - 06/10/14 - 12:23pm

“waste not, watt not” clearly the waste is in the $250

Mindless - 06/10/14 - 12:27pm

Now I will win!

Victor - 06/10/14 - 12:28pm

Zipp is fully aware that this is not for the regular consumer. There’s an interview with Zipps technical director who said that this would be absurd for the average rider. Their steel bearings are one of the highest grades and better than most ceramic bearings in the market. But they offer these high precision ceramic bearings so the ultra elite riders who want it have that option.

Mindless - 06/10/14 - 12:29pm

..I do not believe the 3W claim. No way good steel dissipates that much. Lies.

PeterFal - 06/10/14 - 12:44pm

You can buy ceramic hybrid bearings from the HubDoctor, (Orange, California), for about $10 each. I replaced my PF30, front and rear hub – 8 bearings in all for less than half what ZIPP is charging.

In your hand, they are smoother and with less resistance compared to regular new bearings. After the seals break in and bearings loosen up a bit after a few rides, you will notice how much better they freewheel in the stand. This translates into less energy expended. How much better I couldn’t tell you, but according to ZIPP, a measurable amount.

Alex - 06/10/14 - 12:54pm

@Victor: the “ultra elite riders” are sponsored. They’ll never need to spend money on Zipp (or any other) after-market ceramic bearings. Zipp is clearly offering these ceramic bearings for non-professional cyclists.

Rico - 06/10/14 - 1:52pm

Lots of brands offer this type of upgrade or just super high end hubs like DT 180s. I agree though that you can get bearings just as nice for super cheap. I get smaller ceramics online for dirt cheap from an RC car shop. They work perfectly in my AC hubs.

Also, Zipp wheels do not suck. Try the latest gen 404 tubs with some FMB tires and then find me a better feeling road wheel.

goridebikes - 06/10/14 - 2:35pm

Ceramic HYBRID bearings?!

THIS IS NOT PRO ENOUGH. Need full ceramic plz.

phyclist - 06/10/14 - 2:42pm

If there is measurable wattage savings between 1.5 and 9 watts per bearing set, then there would be measurable heating of respective steal bearing.

Boris - 06/10/14 - 2:47pm

haha, what a nonsense, if you have the legs to win, you win, even with old fashion style hubs with single steel balls!

Rico - 06/10/14 - 5:46pm

Boris – what about when 5 or so guys have the legs to win or at a photo finish? I personally don’t need them, but some people make tiny gains via equipment after they are in perfect form and fit.

Adam - 06/10/14 - 7:18pm

It grates me how much unnecessary packaging waste this company generates.

ifbikes - 06/10/14 - 7:22pm

i’m going to totally thrash my bearings, then buy these, so it’ll be a 200 watt savings, totally worth it!!!

BocaJeff - 06/11/14 - 9:18am

Boca bearings offer the best upgrade ceramic bearings around

Marcin - 06/18/14 - 5:50pm

That’s rip off!!!

Martin - 01/16/15 - 1:55pm

A sophisticated article on this topic…

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