CeramicSpeed has been telling us for several years that oversized derailleur pulleys spinning ceramic bearings would make us faster on the road. Now the new OSPW X takes that same drivetrain friction reducing tech off-road, at least for gravel & cyclocross with a new setup for SRAM Force 1 & Rival 1 derailleurs.
CeramicSpeed OSPW X oversized CX & gravel pulleys
CeramicSpeed is calling the new OSPW X the future of efficient 1x off-road drivetrain. They promise the move from SRAM’s standard cage & pulley design to their OSPW X setup reduces drivetrain friction by 30-40%. And they’ve proven it on the cyclocross race bikes of Tom Pidcock, current national British CX Champ.
The X Series looks like it might be the first of more to come from the Danish company to bring their friction-reducing upgrades off-road, and to optimize them to work in harsher conditions like those round in cyclocross, gravel, and even mountain bike racing. For now the OSPW X works only with two Type 3 derailleurs – the clutch-equipped SRAM 1x Rival & Force.
OSPW X Tech Details
Clutched derailleurs already have higher drag as the maintain greater chain tension to avoid chain drops. CeramicSpeed’s OSPW X setup does retain clutch functionality. But to a greater extent than the road versions, OSPW X does reduce spring tension to cut overall drivetrain drag. That obviously will lower the SRAM derailleurs’ ability to eliminate all dropped chains, but CeramicSpeed feels confident that their solution keeps “the overall benefits of the clutch (chain retention on rough roads and 1x chainring setups)”.
CeramicSpeed is saying that their design is able to separate the clutch effect (which maintains tension over bumpy ground) from normal rearward spring tension. That way each could be adjusted independently (two spring tension settings) to lower chain drag while maintaining chain retention over cassettes with up to 42 teeth.
The new aluminum 14 & 18 tooth OSPW X pulleys also get a narrow/wide tooth design optimized for both low drag & positive retention on top of their CeramicSpeed bearings. And of course the cage was developed in carbon to keep shifts crisp and hold up to off-road abuse.
CeramicSpeed developed the whole 480€ OSPW X setup and produces it in-house in Denmark. It comes with a six year warranty, and promises 3-5x longer lifetime than the standard pulley system. Get it now straight from CeramicSpeed with standard ceramic bearings, or coated ceramic bearings for an extra 80€.
As for more off-road options, CeramicSpeed VP Martin Banke calls OSPW X “a fantastic step for us… the first step of many as we aim to bring our knowledge and expertise to the off-road segment.”