On Jul 20, 2007, at 4:47 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org
> Jobst Brandt feels that regular grade 25 ball bearings are good enough
> in a bicycle cup and cone bearing situation. Campagnolo's overpriced
> matched bearing marketing of the same grade of bearings he believes is
> overkill. He says this because he believes the ball bearing is not the
> weak link ... it's the cups and cones. Ceramic bearings would also be
> overkill. A quick search reveals that all the common sizes of grade 25
> ball bearings used in bicycle work are available from Loose Screws for
> $22 in an assortment package. This includes a plastic divider box and
> 100 of each of the most common 5 sizes (500 bearings total). This
> appears to be about the cheapest price available anywhere for bicycle
Sounds about right. Back when I used cup-and-cone bearings, I never
had any trouble with the balls, but the cones would pit in a pretty
short distance regardless of how much grease i put in or how
expensive it was. I've had cones pit too, but bearing balls seemed
to last a long time.
> Jobst also states that Marine grade bearing grease available at auto
> parts, Home Depot, Marine stores, and monster stores is about the best
> grease and the best value around. He believes that Phill Woods and
> other specialty greases are overpriced and offer no advantages. He is
> however against Lithium greases which resemble the old problematical
> Campy or French greases. These he says break down, and I guess
> has noticed that old Campy grease did do exactly that.
Marine grease is designed for one of the most demanding applications imaginable, use in loosely-sealed bearing in salt water. It is great, great stuff. Get the kind with molybdenum disulfide ("moly") in it, and you have the ultimate bearing grease.
It's cheap because there's a big market for it. Economies of scale. It's good because it has to be.