Bought a second hand bike that needs the hubs serviced. The hubs are Campagnolo Shamal Ultra which have Ceramic bearings.

I'm yet to tear them down and take a look at the insides but heres a pic from outside.

enter image description here

I know it's a downgrade but I don't really want to pay the price of the bike again on new bearings, I've only ever seen questions and threads about people upgrading .. can I replace ceramic bearings with steel ones?

For clarity, I will be looking inside the hubs to check what actually needs replacing before making purchasing decisions, however, I want to know if it is technically possible to replace ceramic for steel and or if there might be any issues with the races used for ceramics accepting steel, are they different materials etc..

I found the technical manual here

enter image description here

  • 1
    Bikes of this bike range usually come with paperwork. Could you check it?
    – ojs
    May 24, 2018 at 16:03
  • @wez This question is now 6 months old. Did you achieve your goal of fixing the hub? How did it work?
    – Criggie
    Nov 19, 2018 at 18:00
  • 1
    @Criggie Oh hey, I stripped, cleaned and re-grease the hub, there didn't appear to be major wear on races or bearings but there is still slight play. rides fine.
    – Wez
    Nov 20, 2018 at 9:41

2 Answers 2


You haven't checked inside the hub but are planning on a possible downgrade? Best to open it and check first.

I don't personally own anything ceramic, but one of their main advantages is durability. I've seen estimaguesses of 50k-100k km life for "quality" ceramics. Its unlikely Campagnolo used knockoff bearings from new.

Answer: Yes, but check inside hub first. No point fixing a non-problem.

  • 4
    Definitely check before the you consider replacing. Caged ceramic bearings should just need removed, degreased, dried, reinstalled and re-greased.
    – Jackson
    May 25, 2018 at 6:24

I think all ceramic bearings are of the cartridge type. That means you should be able to swap out the ceramic ones for new steel ones.

  • If the cartridge inner & outer diameters match. May 24, 2018 at 11:58
  • 2
    @DanielRHicks yes obviously with bearings of the correct size May 24, 2018 at 12:05
  • 3
    If you check the spare parts catalogue, the bearings are cup and cone type.
    – ojs
    May 24, 2018 at 16:02

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