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View Full Version : CULT v. USB


OperaLover
02-15-2012, 07:43 PM
Are CULT that much better? Both ceramic. Or, is it just marketing . . .

ultraman6970
02-15-2012, 10:17 PM
If you are tired after 2 hours, doubt have the best will help because at that point 1 gram will feel like 2 tons :D

oldpotatoe
02-16-2012, 07:38 AM
Are CULT that much better? Both ceramic. Or, is it just marketing . . .

Ceramic is one of the biggest hypes ever perpetuated on the cycling industry.

BUT Cult has hardened steel cups and cones, USB have ceramic balls but more 'normal' steel cups and cones. I sell Wheels double sealed UT bearings for $40 each, better than the Campag ones, IMHO, because of the 2 seals. BUT if you are looking to replace the bearings with Campagnolo ones, get Chorus, stainless steel, work great.

AngryScientist
02-16-2012, 07:43 AM
are we talking wheels or cranksets? i think my Shamal wheels use the USB ceramic bearings? i definitely cant tell a difference between them and steel bearings.

bikerboy337
02-16-2012, 07:56 AM
I can't tell a difference between my Zonda's and Shamals... Zondas have steel bearings, Shamals have ceramic... both spin forever...

forrestw
02-16-2012, 09:26 AM
Ceramic is one of the biggest hypes ever perpetuated on the cycling industry.
since ... ball bearings?

For the purposes of cycling the primary cause of bearing wear is road grit entrained in the bearings, basically very fine sand which is harder than steel and therefor causes significant wear.

Ceramic bearings are going to last much longer in any environment that's not a clean room. Seals are great but the better they seal, the higher the friction and IMX higher-end bike parts are built with very low friction and therefore they don't keep dirt out all that well and when you do maintenance, unless you clean off every last bit of grease -- easier said than done unless you have a proper solvent-wash system -- some grit will remain when you do maintenance.

Those of us who've maintained unsealed '70s bikes know this pretty well. I love how freely my 3pc BBs spun but didn't love so well the need to maintain them so often.

Where SR is unsealed, and use oil in place of grease, ceramics balls and Titanium Nitride treated steel races make a lot of sense and if their claimed 3+ watts holds any water, that's probably a number worth some money if you're racing and can afford to throw away pricy bearing sets.

Your Wheels Mfg option sounds great, just remember the additional seals do result in higher friction in turning the crank.

R2D2
02-16-2012, 09:45 AM
I think the point was. It could make a difference on a PRO level.
Like running track hubs using oil for the big event.
But for the average rec rider is costs a lot and doesn't help much.
Kinda like someone buying a Les Paul Goldtop thinking their playing will improve.

OperaLover
02-16-2012, 12:01 PM
Trying to rationalize my Campy purchase. Everyone has weighed in previously on the proposition that bang for your buck Chorus is the way to go. Still, I am buying this for the big 5-OH birthday and it is replacing the Campy Record 10 that was on the bike I bought for the big 40th. "Dropping" to Chorus feels a bit like a "step down" evetn though it really isn't a fair comparison. I wanted to know if the USB really makes a difference over steel bearings and CULT bearings.

The group is going on my 2002 Pinarelllo Opera (if that makes a difference). I would love a whole new bike, but I am trying to be fiscally responsible. The new group will refresh what I think is still a wonderful frameset.

Emotionally I want SR but rationally Chorus makes economic sense. Is Record a reasonable compromise?

jlwdm
02-16-2012, 12:11 PM
I was in your situation recently. Serotta with 2007 Record. Chorus was probably a good choice but felt like a downgrade for the bike - I know it is not really true.

Bought 2012 Record with SR Ti Crankset. Chorus cassette.

Jeff

summilux
02-16-2012, 12:13 PM
If you are buying for the 5-0, then only Super Record will do, performance benefit or not. You are going to ride that group for at least another decade, you are only going to feel the $$ pain once.

Ramjm_2000
02-16-2012, 12:40 PM
Emotionally I want SR but rationally Chorus makes economic sense. Is Record a reasonable compromise?

YES.

fatallightning
02-16-2012, 02:11 PM
Emotionally I want SR but rationally Chorus makes economic sense. Is Record a reasonable compromise?

Do what will make you happy to look at when your bike is leaning, ready to ride on that perfect summer morning. Logically, Chorus or even an Athena is the choice. But as a present to yourself? Record, Chorus cassette.

OperaLover
02-16-2012, 06:50 PM
I still need to talk to my wife about this, but I think I will go with Record as recommended. (Don't need her approval, but she will appreciate the good spousal communication and it keeps the household warm and happy. Right now we are united as the kids drive us crazy!)

Will post a pic of the build once completed!

Thank you!

reggiebaseball
02-16-2012, 06:58 PM
Buy your campy groupsets from Lickbike or Velo Mine (who sells via ebay as well).
They are real US brick and mortar stores, so you will have full warranty.

Chorus $1250 give or take
SR $2200 give or take

#1 - Chorus is every bit as nice as SR, just slightly heavier. I like it because it has NO RED GRAPHICS, which both record and SR have, and I didnt want another bike full of red bits in my build.

If you want to cover your bases, get the Chorus group and for $120 buy a set of SR CULT bearings, and install them on your cranks.

If this was my big 5-0 bike, I would go for Chorus and put more money into better wheels, which are going to help most.


Record is 100% the WORST compromise, neither the cache of SR, nor the frugality and bang for the buck of Chorus.

oldpotatoe
02-17-2012, 07:41 AM
Trying to rationalize my Campy purchase. Everyone has weighed in previously on the proposition that bang for your buck Chorus is the way to go. Still, I am buying this for the big 5-OH birthday and it is replacing the Campy Record 10 that was on the bike I bought for the big 40th. "Dropping" to Chorus feels a bit like a "step down" evetn though it really isn't a fair comparison. I wanted to know if the USB really makes a difference over steel bearings and CULT bearings.

The group is going on my 2002 Pinarelllo Opera (if that makes a difference). I would love a whole new bike, but I am trying to be fiscally responsible. The new group will refresh what I think is still a wonderful frameset.

Emotionally I want SR but rationally Chorus makes economic sense. Is Record a reasonable compromise?

Take away the titanium and you get Record(USB bearings in crank).

Or mix and match. Record thru out, Chorus cogset/chain, SR crank(ti spindle). Chorus FD(metal) and Record RD.

oldpotatoe
02-17-2012, 07:47 AM
Buy your campy groupsets from Lickbike or Velo Mine (who sells via ebay as well).
They are real US brick and mortar stores, so you will have full warranty.

Chorus $1250 give or take
SR $2200 give or take

#1 - Chorus is every bit as nice as SR, just slightly heavier. I like it because it has NO RED GRAPHICS, which both record and SR have, and I didnt want another bike full of red bits in my build.

If you want to cover your bases, get the Chorus group and for $120 buy a set of SR CULT bearings, and install them on your cranks.

If this was my big 5-0 bike, I would go for Chorus and put more money into better wheels, which are going to help most.


Record is 100% the WORST compromise, neither the cache of SR, nor the frugality and bang for the buck of Chorus.


Velomine $2795 for SR

Record was made as the group for sponsorship, why most pro sponsored bicycles have Record. Couple of $ more than Chorus but it says 'Record', so I'd say it has some cache.

MilanoTom
03-17-2013, 10:03 AM
As much as I REALLY hate to revive this thread, can anyone, without any of the previously posted digressions, say that one is superior to the other?

Thanks,
Tom

reggiebaseball
03-17-2013, 11:32 AM
They perform identically in cycling situations.

Steel bearings
USB
CULT

All perform the same.

Whether you want to pay extra for the psychological cache is up to you. Those that DO pay, tend to say that they are better, for psychological reasons (justification).

MilanoTom
03-17-2013, 12:05 PM
Thanks. There would have to be a big difference to have much effect on my riding.

Regards,
Tom

They perform identically in cycling situations.

Steel bearings
USB
CULT

All perform the same.

Whether you want to pay extra for the psychological cache is up to you. Those that DO pay, tend to say that they are better, for psychological reasons (justification).

Tony T
03-17-2013, 12:15 PM
...and don't forget the ceramic bearings for your headset (so you can turn faster!) :):):)

MilanoTom
03-17-2013, 01:01 PM
...and don't forget the ceramic bearings for your headset (so you can turn faster!) :):):)

Turn? Who turns?

Regards,
Tom

PS - All kidding aside, we installed a CULT-equipped Super Record crankset a few weeks ago. It spun so nicely in the stand that it even impressed the shop's retro-grouch shop manager. It's natural to presume that something that smooth might have a real-world effect when installed in a wheel. I think it's a legitimate question and I respect the opinion of those who have experience in the matter. In looking at some of the responses in this and other threads, I'm not sure respect is always mutual when questions are regarded by some responders as stupid or naive. None of us were born experts.

dd74
03-17-2013, 01:28 PM
I've experienced both. And on Shamal wheels, one set with CULT bearings, one w/o. The ones with CULT bearings do spin better. In addition, the Shamals with CULT bearings are clinchers, while the Shamals w/o CULT bearings are tubulars. So I'd say yes, the CULT bearings make a difference.

MilanoTom
03-17-2013, 01:46 PM
Thanks for the input. Part of the question brings up the "in for a penny, in for a pound" notion. If you can "upgrade" for a reasonable amount (and can comfortably afford it), why not go all the way? Now, the next question gets to be traditional clincher or two-way fit?

Regards,
Tom



I've experienced both. And on Shamal wheels, one set with CULT bearings, one w/o. The ones with CULT bearings do spin better. In addition, the Shamals with CULT bearings are clinchers, while the Shamals w/o CULT bearings are tubulars. So I'd say yes, the CULT bearings make a difference.

dd74
03-17-2013, 01:53 PM
Well, I think you can update a wheelset to ceramic bearings, though I'm not certain with all wheels. I don't think doing so is too expensive.

I know the Shamal tubulars I have can be updated to CULT. I just haven't done it yet.

Clinchers are easy to work with. I know nothing about two-way. Overall, I'm more of a tubular guy.

MilanoTom
03-17-2013, 01:58 PM
I think the Shamals might all use the lower grade USB bearing, but it's tough to tell from Campagnolo's web site.

I used to ride tubulars a lot. The day it took me 10 or so minutes to pry off a flat Conti ProTection on a 98 degree day sort of changed my mind about that.

Regards,
Tom

Well, I think you can update a wheelset to ceramic bearings, though I'm not certain with all wheels. I don't think doing so is too expensive.

I know the Shamal tubulars I have can be updated to CULT. I just haven't done it yet.

Clinchers are easy to work with. I know nothing about two-way. Overall, I'm more of a tubular guy.

reggiebaseball
03-17-2013, 02:07 PM
Tom,

The performance gains of the most exotic bearings, the placebo of the money spent, and how nice they spin in a stand with no friction will improve your cycling .1%

Stop whining and get back riding tubulars will improve the quality of your riding about 27%. Nice veloflex tubies on some nice Nemesis rims. Carry some Vittoria pit stop and it seals the punctured wheel and you can ride home.

Seriously, your are obsessing over expensive minutia and ignoring the 400-lb gorilla in the room.

The "grade" of ceramic bearing in your wheel, sheesh!

Jeff N.
03-17-2013, 02:41 PM
I think the point was. It could make a difference on a PRO level.
Like running track hubs using oil for the big event.
But for the average rec rider is costs a lot and doesn't help much.
Kinda like someone buying a Les Paul Goldtop thinking their playing will improve...Or like me, standing in front of a mirror with a Fender Strat pretending I'm Eddie VanHalen. (and I can barely play G-L-O-R-I-A!)Jeff N.

MilanoTom
03-17-2013, 02:45 PM
I'm afraid you've got me all wrong. I've never owned a ceramic bearing in my life. I'm thinking about getting a new wheel set and was wondering if the hype was at all justified. I don't need a lecture from a know-it-all.


Tom,

The performance gains of the most exotic bearings, the placebo of the money spent, and how nice they spin in a stand with no friction will improve your cycling .1%

Stop whining and get back riding tubulars will improve the quality of your riding about 27%. Nice veloflex tubies on some nice Nemesis rims. Carry some Vittoria pit stop and it seals the punctured wheel and you can ride home.

Seriously, your are obsessing over expensive minutia and ignoring the 400-lb gorilla in the room.

The "grade" of ceramic bearing in your wheel, sheesh!

dd74
03-17-2013, 03:32 PM
I'm afraid you've got me all wrong. I've never owned a ceramic bearing in my life. I'm thinking about getting a new wheel set and was wondering if the hype was at all justified. I don't need a lecture from a know-it-all.
No, you don't need a lecture. If it makes you feel good, do it. So I suggest Shamal clinchers. And not just because of the CULT bearings. They're light, don't flex, very strong, stay true, and just keep going and going. They're definitely the go-to clincher and money well spent.

earlfoss
03-17-2013, 03:45 PM
I just picked up a set of the Hyperon Ultra 2's with the CULT bearings and though they likely don't make a huge difference I do have to say that as a whole there is something about that wheelset that is unlike any other that I've ridden.

I'm going to have to say that if you have a chance to buy a wheelset with the CULT option, go for it. They spin better than my Neutrons and my Bontrager Aeolus 50mm wheels.

dd74
03-17-2013, 03:53 PM
I just picked up a set of the Hyperon Ultra 2's with the CULT bearings and though they likely don't make a huge difference I do have to say that as a whole there is something about that wheelset that is unlike any other that I've ridden.

I'm going to have to say that if you have a chance to buy a wheelset with the CULT option, go for it. They spin better than my Neutrons and my Bontrager Aeolus 50mm wheels.
How do you like the Hyperon Ultra 2s for climbing? Are they pretty good as an overall wheelset?

earlfoss
03-17-2013, 04:19 PM
They're the best wheelset I have owned. They are very lively on the hills particularly on hard accelerations and in/out of the saddle efforts. They wind up quick. They aren't the lightest set out there but they are darn light and from all reviews I have read extremely durable. They ride them in mountain stages of the tour and in Paris Roubaix.

I've mostly had carbon Bontrager sets which are plenty light and ride fine but the Hyperons have a level higher attention to detail and they ride great. I have 25mm Conti Competitions on them and was trying to figure out on my maiden ride today if the great ride was primarily due to the tires or the wheels themselves. The entire package is really a great ride.

I think that the CULT bearings have less internal resistance or whatever you call it. At least on the Hyperons, the wheels spin smoother and longer than the other Record level hubbed wheels I own. I had read somewhere that the ceramic bearings are lubed with a thinner light oil as opposed to bearing grease.

reggiebaseball
03-17-2013, 05:31 PM
I'm afraid you've got me all wrong. I've never owned a ceramic bearing in my life. I'm thinking about getting a new wheel set and was wondering if the hype was at all justified. I don't need a lecture from a know-it-all.

The answer is NO,

but why don't you dig up a year old thread and keep asking until somebody says yes so you can buy $4k clinchers.

You apparently don't need the right answer to your questions either.

oldpotatoe
03-18-2013, 07:05 AM
As much as I REALLY hate to revive this thread, can anyone, without any of the previously posted digressions, say that one is superior to the other?

Thanks,
Tom

Neither are 'superior' in any way to a stainless steel bearing, just more expensive. NOT more durable, not lighter in any real sense, they don't make you faster or improve your riding performance in any meaningful way. That's for any ceramic or ceramic wannabe.

oldpotatoe
03-18-2013, 07:12 AM
Well, I think you can update a wheelset to ceramic bearings, though I'm not certain with all wheels. I don't think doing so is too expensive.

I know the Shamal tubulars I have can be updated to CULT. I just haven't done it yet.

Clinchers are easy to work with. I know nothing about two-way. Overall, I'm more of a tubular guy.

You 'upgrade' a wheel with just ceramic balls and not hardened cups and cones, you WILL kill those in short order. The balls are SO hard, get some grit in there and you will pit the cups and cones almost Immediately.

Yes, you can put ceramic cart bearings in almost any wheel that uses them but if they are hybrids(stell and ceramic balss), and not real expensive, they will grind to dust just like the above.

Ceramics are designed for high speed, high pressure, high temps or places where no electrical conductivity of the bearing is essential. A bike is none of those. Ceramic sellers are selling a bi(u)ll of goods.

BumbleBeeDave
03-18-2013, 08:05 AM
Take a few deep breaths and relax . . . :rolleyes:

BBD

Tom,

The performance gains of the most exotic bearings, the placebo of the money spent, and how nice they spin in a stand with no friction will improve your cycling .1%

Stop whining and get back riding tubulars will improve the quality of your riding about 27%. Nice veloflex tubies on some nice Nemesis rims. Carry some Vittoria pit stop and it seals the punctured wheel and you can ride home.

Seriously, your are obsessing over expensive minutia and ignoring the 400-lb gorilla in the room.

The "grade" of ceramic bearing in your wheel, sheesh!

neiltron
03-18-2013, 08:08 AM
USB is a great connectivity standard, and the latest 3.0 revision has solved problems with the previous ones - extra power, higher transfer rates and an asymmetrical connector shape.

You give a lot of your money to a CULT to satisfy some deep emotional needs. I think your money is better spent on a therapist than a cult, unless you're in it for the sex, drugs and rock and roll.

BumbleBeeDave
03-18-2013, 08:24 AM
USB is a great connectivity standard, and the latest 3.0 revision has solved problems with the previous ones - extra power, higher transfer rates and an asymmetrical connector shape.

You give a lot of your money to a CULT to satisfy some deep emotional needs. I think your money is better spent on a therapist than a cult, unless you're in it for the sex, drugs and rock and roll.

. . . that there's anything wrong with that. :)

BBD

earlfoss
03-18-2013, 09:11 AM
It's the only CULT I can really see myself as a part of.

No jumpsuits, laced sugar drinks, or waiting for the mother ship to let me on board.