Prepared specifically for Spanish rider Mikel Landa’s Merida TT bike at this year’s Tour de France, Muc-Off is getting into the upgrade parts business with their new oversize derailleur pulley kit. Because, when you can’t make any more of a (legal) chemical advantage, it’s time to go mechanical…

muc off lops oversize derailleur pulley upgrade parts

Here’s the tech details: It’s called L.O.P.S., for Lightweight Oversized Precision Shifting. It uses a titanium cage body that they say is both lighter and stiffer than its competitors. The alloy pulleys are coated with a low-friction finish, as are the bearings.

muc off lops oversize derailleur pulley upgrade parts closeup of lower pulley wheel

The device was created as part of Muc-Off’s “Project Landa”, with the goal of developing an oversized pulley wheel system alongside its fastest ever lubricant for Team Bahrain McLaren’s Tour de France leader, Mikel Landa.

Landa is a Grand Tour stage winner and widely regarded as one of the world’s best climbers (Muc-Off’s words), and as of this post he’s going to start Stage 20’s TT in 5th overall. At more than 3 minutes down from yellow, he’ll need every incremental advantage he can get.

muc off lops oversize derailleur pulley upgrade parts in their case

 

Here’s how Muc-Off explains it:

L.O.P.S is an oversized pulley wheel system developed by Muc-Off’s scientists and engineers in partnership with McLaren. Comparative tests conducted using the sophisticated equipment in the new, leading-edge laboratory at the brand’s headquarters in Poole, Dorset, confirmed it as the lightest and stiffest of any of those selected from leading competitors.

The titanium body is created using a sophisticated additive manufacturing process. The pulley wheels (13t upper, 19t lower) are made from aerospace grade aluminium and finished with a supremely efficient coating that delivers friction coefficients over three times lower than hard anodised equivalents.

The bearings were manufactured to aerospace level specification. The size of the bearing used was optimised for the number of rolling elements and application speed to help reduce frictional losses. Ceramic rolling elements are lubricated with a special synthetic hydrocarbon to further reduce the coefficient of friction and tighter radial and axial tolerances improve shift accuracy.

Optimised specifically for the individual time-trial, the final piece of the puzzle to help maximise performance, was the lower sealing requirements, which led to further bearing drag reductions and to incorporate highly compatible material expansion rates.

That last part’s interesting, using minimal seals to reduce friction and drag. Combine that with a specific new lube and chain treatment, and you’re looking at a no-expense-spared attempt to give Landa every possible advantage.

Stay tuned for their promo video on this to go live at 12:55pm EDT.

No word on commercial availability, but you can get an extremely deep tech dive into this products development on their website, and register your interest in buying one.

Muc-Off.com

18 COMMENTS

  1. I know big pulleys are dumb and don’t really do anything extra, but I still love how overdone and silly they look. I guess if you have the cash…

  2. I too have an irrational desire to acquire this setup, but Muc Off seems pretty thin on relevant details….like projected availability, cost, and whether there will be versions to fit anything other than the Dura Ace RD-R9150 Di2 derailleur that Landa’s team uses.

    Don’t bother looking for answers in the Muc Off video. It has nice product views but no new information.

  3. I hope it doesn’t require any extra chain links?

    Also, you would think that being aero would be an important property for a TT bike component!

  4. Sure…we clean bugs off lorry windscreens and now specialize in wattage micro-efficiencies solutions… Seems like a logical brand extension.

  5. “Ceramic rolling elements are lubricated with a special synthetic hydrocarbon to further reduce the coefficient of friction and tighter radial and axial tolerances improve shift accuracy.”

    I like this part… Could have just said “slightly smoother bearings” but they went all-out tech on us!

  6. There’s absolutely no mechanical advantage for the “pulley system”. To their credit – the manufacturer doesn’t state so – just the article/Ad title is misleading. It’s not a pulley since it’s not doing any work – that’s between the cassette and the chainring. I miss the days when a rider just jumped on a steal bike, added a little EPO and it’s a day. This reminds me of the 1980’s rage to measure “Q” the distance between pedal or some other nonsense. This gadget will be over before it begins.

  7. These are a swan song to a (thankfully) dying fad whose real-world performance gain is about as significant and measurable as oval chainrings.
    Though I do commend this manufacturer for doing a “register your interest” before releasing a XX00€ derailleur cage with custom pulleys onto unsuspecting customers. I’m just not sure about their “two for the price of one” strategy… if that plastic valise that Landa’s unit was delivered in is anything to go by.

  8. Less chain wrap and lower pulley rotation speed on a high spec bearing might save a couple of W. Big deal, right? Yo me and you that’s not of interest. Yet a dynamo hub only sucks 3 to 5W and no pro would add that to their bike, so why reject removal of half the equivalent?

  9. The benefits of this system are there, and can and have been measured. Broken down in three main effects.
    1 Less friction in the drive train due to slower moving pulleys.
    2 Less friction due to smaller angles of the chain going through and over the pulleys
    3 Less tension in the drivetrain through lower case tension.

    Win is somewhere between 2,5 and 4 Watt, being around 1% of power output in Landa’s time trail.

  10. along with ceramic bearings than can save a rider maybe 8-12 watts. Combine that with cermaic wheel bearings and bottom bracket bearings and you might be talking over 20 watts of savings from less resistance. This is a savings for an average person of probably over 10% of their FTP assuming their FTP is 200.

  11. I sense many big pulley system owners are trying to justify the 500 dollar or more investment to gain 1 watt jajajaja hey guys this is bicycle jewelry just a status item go buy all ceramic stuff you can add the disc package and aero frameset and you get a bike with more jewels than Mr.T

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