Who doesn’t want to go faster? Speed comes from less rolling resistance, increase stiffness and reduced weight.
Ceramic bearings reduce rolling resistance because the balls are generally smoother, rounder and more uniform in size than steel balls. This results in each ball carrying close to the same load, rather than larger balls carrying more than smaller ones within the same bearing / race. And unlike aerodynamic friction, which becomes more of a drag as riding speed increases, mechanical friction is linear.
Because ceramic bearings are harder than steel bearings they are said to be more durable and last longer. This also equals an almost zero risk of bearing seizure. Also, since they also do not rust, they are less sensitive to moisture and lubrication, and some even come with no lubricant at all.
Keep in mind there are different grades of ceramic bearings, hybrid and full ceramic. Hybrid ceramic bearings have steel races and ceramic balls. Full ceramic bearings have both ceramic balls and races.
There are many places in the internet where you can buy ceramic and hybrid ceramic bearings but make sure you do your homework.
Is it a difference one would notice? They do reduce friction and they do roll longer then steel bearings. After much research we looked for measurable gains but did not find any published results. Let us know your thoughts.