Jockey wheel conundrum

by daviddb   May 23, 2014  

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.... Plain Face

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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.

posted by Chuck [381 posts]
23rd May 2014 - 13:08

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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...

cheers m'dears

2011 Rose Pro-SL 3000 Road
2006 Lemond Alpe d'Huez Broken
1997 Marin Sausaulito Urban bimbling/shopper
1980 Orbea project

daviddb's picture

posted by daviddb [121 posts]
23rd May 2014 - 13:38

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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.

drmatthewhardy's picture

posted by drmatthewhardy [314 posts]
23rd May 2014 - 21:56

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AFAIR the sideways play in the top wheel also minimises chattering if the indexing is slightly off.

posted by Pauldmorgan [177 posts]
23rd May 2014 - 23:13

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

All Campag

posted by Flying Scot [543 posts]
24th May 2014 - 9:14

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Thanks everso for the infos - problem solved. Hurrah! Party

cheers m'dears

2011 Rose Pro-SL 3000 Road
2006 Lemond Alpe d'Huez Broken
1997 Marin Sausaulito Urban bimbling/shopper
1980 Orbea project

daviddb's picture

posted by daviddb [121 posts]
25th May 2014 - 11:52

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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.

joemmo's picture

posted by joemmo [815 posts]
25th May 2014 - 22:34

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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 Laughing

My eyes prefer Celeste, my bum prefers titanium.

Jack Osbourne snr's picture

posted by Jack Osbourne snr [305 posts]
26th May 2014 - 9:35

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