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Discussion Starter #1
The ball-bearing electrical conductivity wheels have saved me from the poor Bachmann cast-driver wheels on my 0-4-0 locos.

By installing those LGB wheels on a companion car and wiring the leads to the loco means virtually trouble-free operation. At least not cleaning those crummy cast wheels every 15 minutes.

However, the current pricing for a pair of LGB's is, gasp, nearly $ 40.00

Okay, are the Aristo ball-bearing wheels with the electrical pickup (still offered?) similar to the LGB versions? Full comparable quality?

Any opinions from users appreciated.

Note: Of course, our champion of Large Scale, from the far reaches of Washington, would say (I'll spell it out) B-A-T-T-E-R-Y power is THE answer.

Meanwhile, from usrail-power groundlings, any comparisons?

Thanks,
Wendell
 

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Discussion Starter #2
To all who are thinking of the graphite-based tubular "rubbing" wheel contacts, yes, I agree they are an alternative. However, I'm interested in the resistence reduced benefit from the combo ball-bearing/electrical contact package options.

Wendell
 

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AML now makes a ball bearing wheel set. They look just like aristo's but are priced about ten dollar less--RLD Hobbies has them for $21. I have not tried them. But I have a set of the aristos and they've been fine--roll easy, pikc up power nicely.

AML BB wheels

An inexpensive alternative, if you want power pickp, is to get a set of aristo's brass axle bushings. Drill out the sideframe, (if needed: it isn't always) then solder a wire to the bushng and insert the bushing in the sideframe
 

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I have 3 sets of Aristo bb wheels (That's 3 cars). After several years they still roll very smoothly.
 

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Right now, from what I have seen, there is a direct relationship between cost and quality.

The question is the lower quality good enough? Currently I have both the LGB and the Aristo, no comparison in quality level. I will use more Aristo or possibly the AML due to skyrocketing costs of LGB, but you can tell the difference.

Regards, Greg
 

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1. Quality of wheels - better machining, smoother finish
2. Quality of plating - no comparision between LGB and others (although gary raymond is often SS and very nicely made)
3. Quality of ball bearings - LGB silky smooth, others you can feel roughness
4. Quality of contacts, Aristo has solder on tabs, LGB has pins with connectors.
5. Rolling resistance - LGB is great, better than aristo but have yet to do side by side comparision with others
6. Electrical pickup - My LGB equipped units definitely pick up better than my Aristo ones.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head that I have directly experienced.

Regards, Greg
 

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Please, please, let me know where you are getting LGB ball bearing wheels for $40.00.
 

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50-70 on ebay, and they do not look like the ones I bought, mine are all metal, these look like a metal tire on a plastic center...

Suspicious...

Regards, Greg
 

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If the "new" AML power pickup wheelsets are the same design as what's on the AML K4 then I'd stay away from them, intermittent power pickup at best


I swap them out with Aristo 29123B
 

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The Train-Li wheels look to be the best replacement for the ball bearing wheelset. They have improved on the old design in several key ways, look to their site for more information!
 

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May have to pick up a pair, their picture sure looks like the wheels are not plated, and the only material that would stand up to unplated would be nickle silver or ss.

I was mistaken, my LGB ball bearing wheels indeed have a plastic center... the non BB ones are all metal..

Like I keep saying, there is a relationship between cost and quality. In some applications, the Aristo ones are fine for me, in others, I need higher quality.

Regards, Greg
 
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