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Scribe Cycling - Bearings Explained

Confused about bearings? We've got you covered...

Bearings are a component that you generally don’t give too much thought to as you don’t see them and you kind of forget that they’re there as they go about silently doing their job. They are a crucial, often overlooked component however as they are needed to help you move and most importantly, move fast!

Wheel bearings in particular are generally not considered when you’re buying those shiny, slick, aero carbon wheels but in fact, the bearings are one of the most crucial elements of your wheel and here at Scribe, we have put a lot of thought into them.  

Lots of numbers, but what do they mean?

There are three measurements that you need to know for any bearing: (i) Bore (inside diameter), (ii) Outer diameter and (iii) Width. 
These are straightforward, and they then relate to the size name. 
Let's use a 6802 as an example...

(6)802 - This first number relates to the bearing type, typically most bicycle bearings will be a “6” which is a “Deep Groove”. Occasionally you will find a “7” bearing which is a “Single Row Angular Contact”

6(8)02 - This second number relates the bearing series, which reflects the robustness of the bearing. As you go up the scale below from 9 to 4 the inner and outer race thickness will usually increase along with the ball size, this will be to help cope with extra load.
9 - Very thin section
0 - Extra light
1 - Extra light thrust
2 - Light
3 - Medium
4 - Heavy

68(02) - The 3rd and 4th digits of the bearing number relate to the bore size of the bearing, numbers 00 to 03 have a designated bore size depending on the number.
00 - 10mm
01 - 12mm
02 - 15mm
03 - 17mm

Measuring diameter of a wheel bearing

Bearing Seals: contact / non-contact...

Contact seals have a positive connection to the inner and outer races, where non-contact seals have a positive connection at one race and sort of “float” against the other. Contact seals have better weather resistance, while non-contact seals have lower friction, and thus lower resistance to the elements.

*You can see the difference between the seals below... (Left: contact seal Right: non-contact seal)

Wheel Bearings Explained

Each brand has their own 'lettering system' for the same thing 

If you've ever searched for any bearing, they each have their own terminology for the seal type and this handy table below should help you understand the main brands, seal and lettering used!

Seal Type Z Z Z Z 1 Side Steel Seal, 1 Side Non-Seal
ZZ ZZ ZZ ZZ 2 Side Steel Seal
V LB RU NK 1 Side Rubber Seal (Non-Contact), 1 Side Non-Seal
VV LLB 2RU 2NKE 2 Side Rubber Seal (Non-Contact)
DU LU RS NS 1 Side Rubber Seal (Contact), 1 Side Non-Seal
DDU LLU 2RS 2NSE 2 Side Rubber Seal (Contact)

What bearings does Scribe use?

As riders ourselves, we know it's the small things that make the difference; especially when it comes to bearings. As many of us like to ride our bikes everywhere, regardless of the weather, we give you the option to run a Race or Endurance bearings.

Endurance (specced as standard): 

  • High quality TPI stainless steel bearings (doesn't rust or corrode)
  • Sealed cartridge units with 1x contact seal (outer facing seal interfaces with ball bearings to resist water penetration), and 1x non-contact seal (no interface between ball bearings increases rolling speed)
  • Precision engineered to produce incredibly high roundness, with low friction surface
  • Aqua grease: repels water and allows your bearing(s) to spin smoothly long term
  •  *These bearings are designed to stand the test of time so you can ride as much as you want, with confidence your bearings will keep spinning smoothly - oh and they are still fast!

     Scribe Cycling Endurance Bearings

    Race (Upgrade at no additional cost)

  • High speed Japanese EZO stainless steel bearings
  • Sealed cartridge, with non-contact seals (no interface between ball bearings increases rolling speed)
  • Precision engineered to produce incredibly high roundness, with low friction surface
  • Race grease: light, and fast. Bearings spin up effortlessly, and will hold pace when up to speed     
  •  *Please note: Race bearings are FAST, but they have non-contact seals which are less resistant to water.  If you ride in all weather a lot of the time, we recommend Endurance bearings.

    Scribe Cycling Race Bearings

    What size bearings do I need for my Scribe wheels?

    You can see the bearing size you need for your wheels in the table below. If you need any help selecting bearings just let us know. 

      Front Hub Rear Hub  Freehub
    Carbon Rim Brake 6802 x2 6802 x2 6802 x2
    Carbon Disc Brake 6802 x2 6902 x2 6802 x2
    Pace, Race 6802 x2 6802 x2 6802 x2
    Race-D, Duty-D, Gravel 6802 x2 6902 x2 6802 x2
    365, Duty 6900 x2 6802 6802 x2
    365-D 6802 x2 6802 x1 & 6902 x1 6802 x2