We’ve seen some insane modifications to rear derailleurs before, but they’re mostly the work of artisans and probably not intended for daily use. And there are plenty of boutique machined alloy or carbon caged pulley system upgrades from the likes of Kogel, CeramicSpeed, and even Muc-Off.
But this beauty from Elilee-Titan takes things to a new level, with looks that elevate the derailleur as a whole while potentially offering real performance benefits, too.
They call it a “high-end carbon jockey wheel” (and also “TITAN”) and it’s compatible with Shimano 9150/9100/8050/8000 road rear derailleurs. It features a 13-tooth upper wheel, and 14-tooth lower wheel. But those aren’t any ordinary wheels.
For starters, the guide wheel (top) is made of 3D-printed carbon fiber. They say it’s not only lighter than a metal wheel, it also produces much less chain noise. And because they’re using printed carbon versus molded, they can produce much more complex shapes.
The cage is made with NTPT carbon, which is a brand, standing for North Thin Ply Technology. Essentially, it’s ultra-thin carbon fiber plies pressed together under high pressure to create dense, yet extremely light, blocks of solid carbon. These are then machined into shape, and for the TITAN, it’s one heckuva shape.
The other outstanding feature of the design is the oversized rings supporting the pulley wheels. It’s not just for aesthetics, it offers several performance benefits.
First, they say it allows them to use an oversized bearing, which rolls more smoothly and is stiffer, and with less play so shifting should be more precise. And they use premium SKF Zirconia Ceramic Bearings, with an extremely high P5 precision grade. Not only will those roll very smoothly, but they’re self lubricating, so you won’t need to worry about grease.
But wait, there’s more…
To protect the extremely high end bearings, they add sapphire covers for the bearings, allowing you to see the moving parts inside while also protecting them even from high pressure water spray.
As such, the bearing and regulating wheel have a lifetime warranty…and how they replace it is as unique as the design. If the regulator wheel wears out, just slide it off and they’ll end you a new one to slide on. The bearing remains in place, you just slide the new wheel over it.
Claimed weight is 53g, and for now it’s only for the latest Shimano 11-speed road rear derailleurs. Word from Topcarbon is they’re for sale, but sold out and available for pre-order, but we’re waiting to hear back on price and where to order. Stay tuned…
UPDATE: We originally listed this as being from Topcarbon, but the product is from Elilee-Titan. We will update with a product page when it’s available.
UPDATE 2: You can buy it on Alibaba, retail is $498.00 US.