Two days into the whirlwind that is Eurobike, new products are already piling up. So far, we have not been disappointed, and CeramicSpeed is one of those reasons. Reminiscent of some of the blinded out wheels you were supposed to put on your ride half a decade or so ago, these wheels are HUGE, and from amount of material they used…. or lack thereof, these look as light as they do fast.
Check out why CeramicSpeed says these are the FASTEST pulley wheels on the market and see the data that backs it up…
Yes, we’re not talking about bike wheels, rather derailleur pulley wheels. CeramicSpeed wanted to find the optimal size pulley gear and cage to decrease the drivetrain’s friction while maintaining or improving the stock derailleur’s shifting capability. They extensively tested wheels between 15 and 17 teeth and found that 17 teeth hit the sweet spot in reducing drivetrain friction by a boggling 60% over stock common pulley wheels. The cage went through several prototype phases as shown above, (in what appears to be masonite that was cut using a dull pair of scissors) that blossomed into an aerodynamic carbon and polyamide compound cage with titanium hardware and of course, their CeramicSpeed ceramic bearings.
To help understand how this works, anytime you can reduce the bend in the chain, the less the individual links have to pivot under tension on those little bitty pins. When you see racers doing a mountain stage in the big ring, especially when standing and mashing, the drivetrain’s friction is at its peak and by reducing how much the chain has to bend, (big ring in the front requires a bigger cog in the back when compared to being in the small chainring), it is simply more efficient to be in the big ring than being in the small chainring if at a similar gear ratio. Though there is practically no tension on the lower part of the chain other than the derailleur’s spring tension, the chain switches direction 3 TIMES in that one little area and the bigger 17 tooth wheel reduces the chain’s bend in 2 of those places.
According to CeramicSpeed, by reducing the drivetrain’s friction by 60%, it nets a minimum 2.4 watts increase over the stock pulleys. CeramicSpeed has been testing the plus-size pulleys under triathlete and multiple world champion Tim Dons. Tim said, “The shifting performance of the OSPW is sweet. Being involved in the project from the begining and testing the OSPW System has been great. Racing with it on a 90km triathlon was flawless”.
The CeramicSpeed Oversized Pulley Wheel System with non-coated bearings is £459 and £539 with coated bearings. The system is available with both red and black pulleys, and CeramicSpeed will also have replacement pulley wheels available. They are currently available to order on their site and should be available by the first week in October.