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So, being a bear of small brain, why is it that Ultegra jockey wheels, or "Tension & Guide Pulley Kit" as they would have it, come with one ceramic bearing and one plain steel bearing?

Supplementary question if I may, which bearing gets the higher and which the lower position and why does the plain bearing spin much more freely.

Yours in a state of some perplexity....  22

8 comments

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Chuck [546 posts] 2 years ago
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Dunno about the rationale behind the bearing materials, but the 'guide' one goes at the top and the 'tension' one goes at the bottom. When I replaced my 105 set the other week one of them said which it was on it- one of them was apparently directional too. I had to squint to see that though!

The guide one is supposed to have more side-to-side movement in it but dunno which of the 2 materials that would be.

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daviddb [132 posts] 2 years ago
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Ah-ha! Well now.... the plain steel bearing has more side to side movement than the ceramic bearing so we're possibly heading towards the plain steel at the top and ceramic in the lower position. The steel bearing one is also marked as being directional and the ceramic one isn't....

So we're partway there. There are about 142 you-bend vids on jockey wheels but the first three I looked were silent on the subject and as for the remaining 139, well, life is short and I'm planning a spin round Thirlemere this afternoon rather than getting google-eyed.

Thanks for the infos...

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matthewn5 [776 posts] 2 years ago
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Plain steel at the top, it has rubber bushings that allow it to move sideways on the axle very slightly and cushion the shift for that characteristic soft Shimano shift action.

If you like a crisper shift, swap out the top one for an aftermarket ceramic bearing jockey wheel and get very crisp shifts indeed, you'll need to refine your shifting technique, but after that you'll appreciate it.

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Pauldmorgan [225 posts] 2 years ago
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AFAIR the sideways play in the top wheel also minimises chattering if the indexing is slightly off.

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Flying Scot [918 posts] 2 years ago
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Go campag....they have upper and lower marked on the wheels last time I looked!

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daviddb [132 posts] 2 years ago
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Thanks everso for the infos - problem solved. Hurrah!  36

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joemmo [1164 posts] 2 years ago
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Easiest way to select the right jockey wheel is that the top one is usually marked 'centron'and should have a small amount of side travel on it.

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Jack Osbourne snr [437 posts] 2 years ago
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Flying Scot wrote:

Go campag....they have upper and lower marked on the wheels last time I looked!

As do Tacx generic replacements... As do SRAM.

That's me got another reason not to use Shimao lol  21