Frictional Losses of Bearing Lubricants and Bearing Seals

Summary

Seven lubricants of various viscosities were tested at low and high fill levels on three pairs of BB30 bottom bracket bearings to measure the frictional losses of each combination. In another series of experiments, bearing seals were removed from the BB30 bottom bracket bearings to measure the effects of bearing seals on frictional losses. A total of 45 different lube, bearing, fill, and seal combinations were tested.  Data presented is per pair (set) of bearings.

 

 

   

CS TT

Slip

Finish Line

3-in-1

Shimano

Tenacious

MoS2

CeramicSpeed       BB30 Bearings

Low Fill

.14

.15

.20

.24

.46

.48

.65

High Fill

.21

.13

.24

.39

.50

.87

Enduro Zero       BB30 Bearings

Low Fill

.14

.19

.21

.18

.38

.19

.63

High Fill

.23

.17

.34

.36

.41

.61

Gold Race        BB30 Bearings

Low Fill

.12

.15

.21

.27

.32

.73

.45

High Fill

.31

.14

.29

.35

.46

.90

 

Frictional losses (watts) of lubricants, bearings, and fill levels. Seals installed.

 

 

   

Slip
 Low Fill

Shimano High Fill

CeramicSpeed       BB30 Bearings

No Seals

.12

.35

Seals

.15

.50

Enduro Zero       BB30 Bearings

No Seals

.14

.28

Seals

.19

.41

Gold Race        BB30 Bearings

No Seals

.15

.42

Seals

.15

.46

 

Frictional losses (watts), at two fill levels, of seals vs no seals.

Average Frictional Losses (watts) by lubricant and corresponding fill level per pair.  Seals installed.  Lower is better.

  • The most efficient lubricants, with the lowest average frictional losses are:
  1. Ceramic Speed Time Trial Grease  Fill Level – Low (25%)                        0.13 watts/pair
  2. Avid Slip R/C Bearing Racing Oil  Fill Level – High (5 drops)      0.15 watts/pair
  3. Avid Slip R/C Bearing Racing Oil  Fill Level – Low (1 drops)       0.16 watts/pair

 

  • The least efficientlubricants, with the highest averagefrictional losses are:
  1. Phil Wood Tenacious Oil  Fill Level – High (5 drops)      0.79 watts/pair
  2. Powdered MoS2  Fill Level – Light Dusting        0.58 watts/pair
  3. Phil Wood Tenacious Oil  Fill Level – Low (1 drop)         0.47 watts/pair
  • The difference in frictional losses between the most efficient lubricant and least efficient lubricant is 0.66 watts/pair.

Average Frictional Losses grouped by Lubricant.  Seals Installed.

Frictional Losses of Seals Installed vs. Seals Removed. Grouped by Lubricant and Bearing.

ALL DATA - Frictional Losses of each bearing, lubricant, seal, and fill combination.  Standard deviation between bearings for each lubricant/fill combination was added (green bar).