Rider Cropped
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…

Prototypes4

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.

3

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.

Graph4

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.

CeramicSpeed.com

40 COMMENTS

  1. @FoolCyclist, what if you’re already at race weight and your bike is 6.8kg?

    Is possible, just maybe, that these aren’t aimed at you?

  2. Oh snap, I thought it was bigger wheels too. Tall men demand a new wheel size! Everything caters to the small fries 650b etc. Bring out the 750c rims.

  3. @Dave – yes, it will also be Altus/Tourney compatible. When you’re peddling a 50lb bike, every extra bit of power saving is needed!

  4. “According to CeramicSpeed, by reducing the drivetrain’s friction by 60%…”

    Except that it doesn’t reduce “the drivetrain’s friction”, it reduces the idler pulleys’ pasasitic losses by a claimed 60%. The total drivetrain losses are dominated by the high tension side of the chain where, as the article points out, the pulleys are NOT located. Idler pulleys, no matter how good, cannot offer savings anywhere near 60% of total and, even if they could, 60% wouldn’t matter much anyway as chain transmissions in good working condition are very efficient.

    (deleted)

  5. Does seem a little funny seeing a promotion photo of a product that’s going to save 3 watts of mechanical drag of a rider on a TT bike with a bunched up jersey (so note it’s not a tri in Kona), road helmet, and no shoe covers. That investment makes no sense unless all the other boxes are ticked and you’re nailing every apex on the course.

  6. i’m thinking the 8 extra links now required in the chain has added a bit more to your bike weight, thus negating the 2 watt savings. But if it shifts better than stock, i’d pay the extra $45.90.

  7. @SamSkjord: this product is aimed at people willing to spend >$800 to save a dubious 2 watts. I.e., people with more money than brains. If this was the best way to pick up 2 watts, you wouldn’t be buying your own equipment.

  8. ok wait what?
    How can you justify charging that much for jockey wheels?
    Come on you arent selling this at all, youll price yourselves out of the market

  9. For all the yanks: 459GBP is $707.

    Step right up folks, step right up! Come see the newest, fastest, energy saving devices you have never set eyes on! Thats right folks, these little gizmos will save you fractions of Watts, and make you hundreths of seconds faster in your next race! And what about the added weight and extra chain you may tack on you may ask? Well, folks, that is easy, just dump a few ounces of water out of your water bottle and we are back where we started.
    So you can see the for the mere price of a dream bike for a young aspiring kid in need, you can exploit all the benefits of a less bent chain! Thank you and good night!

  10. I eagerly await the eventual press release from CeramicSpeed that contains nothing but a screenshot of their bank account and a picture of them Scrooge McDucking it into a swimming pool full of cash. They seem to exist only to prove that a fool and his money are, indeed, soon parted.

  11. A smaller company could produce larger diameter road wheels by using tubulars, which wouldn’t be so expensive to produce (compared to the up-front cost of the tire molds requires with clinchers.)

    The problem is that as soon as it began to sell well, the larger players in the industry would conspire to develop their own unique, large wheel standard, and the little guy would be crushed.

    The big companies have no incentive to produce a larger road wheel standard. Bigger folks need it, though.

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