VCRC Ceramic Bottom Bracket (Shimano Compatible)
- VCRC Grade 5 Full Ceramic Si3N4 Balls w/ ABEC 5 Races
- English 68mm
- Actual weighed weight: 98g
- MSRP – $179.95
- Company website – www.velocarbon.com
To go ceramic or not to go ceramic has been a hotly debated topic for some time now. Cost versus benefit being the biggest argument between those that choose to and those that do not. With the price of ceramics on average costing 3x more than their normal non ceramic counterparts, it’s hard to justify the cost for some. While others will pay it gladly for any gains, actual or perceived that they may benefit from. With hybrid ceramics becoming more widely available, the cost has come down somewhat. We recently received one of these hybrid ceramic bottom brackets from VCRC, an online company that sells ceramic upgrades as well as a handful of carbon bits.
Our tester was VCRC’s Shimano 10 compatible bottom bracket. First thing we noticed was how light it was, a quick check on the scale and to our surprise it actually weighed the same as what the manufacturer claims, coming in at 98 grams. At first glance the bottom bracket looks no different than your standard Shimano outboard bearing bottom bracket. What separates this particular bottom bracket though is the Grade 5 ceramic balls used inside paired with steel races. This is what makes this a hybrid solution, a full ceramic setup would costs up to twice as much.
Installation is a breeze as with all outboard bearing bottom brackets. Once installed we gave the crank a spin and were very impressed with how smooth and free flowing the crank spun. Impressive given that a brand new Dura Ace bottom bracket usually takes some time to break in. Now that we’ve put on several hundred miles, we’re happy to report that the bottom bracket is still preforming as well if not smoother than when first installed. A quick check of the bearings show no excessive contamination.
Video of crank spinning with the VCRC bottom bracket installed here.
Overall, we’re happy with the performance of this upgrade. We weren’t able to produce any objective data to show power savings, but there is definitely a noticeable difference over the standard Shimano bottom bracket. Given the relative price of the upgrade, we would feel confident in recommending this as one of those upgrades that one might look into to squeeze every last bit of performance out of their rig.