AbsoluteBLACK’s HOLLOWcage gets a Dura-Ace 12-speed upgrade – or rather it promises to transform your latest Shimano Dura-Ace or Ultegra Di2 groupset into a quieter running drivetrain with the best shifting yet from any low-friction ceramic oversized pulley wheel system. The single-sided, aero-dimpled carbon composite cage and huge hollow lower pulley concept are the same, now updated with a claimed 40% noise reduction as you ride with Shimano’s latest 12sp electronic groupsets.
absoluteBLACK HOLLOWcage Shimano 12sp upgrade
Just over a week ago, AbsoluteBlack’s unique one-armed aero ceramic HollowCage derailleur upgrade made the leap to 12-speeds for SRAM eTap AXS, with a new focus on even greater noise reduction. Now, Shimano’s best gets the same quieter treatment. AbsoluteBlack didn’t like the noise of their chains running over the cassette & derailleur ruining the peaceful silence of a calm road ride, so they set out to quiet the drivetrain.
They say much of the common “clunking noise” you hear while riding is the chain engaging the derailleur pulleys – with stock plastic/composite pulleys being “fairly loud” and aftermarket alloy pulleys being “even worse”. So AbsoluteBlack developed their patented Silent Xring pulley solution that adds a rubber bumper to dampen the noise & vibration of every bushing of your chain engaging the derailleur pulley.
The result they say is a 5-7dB reduction when compared to stock Dura-Ace pulleys – an approximate 40% noise reduction. “Practically speaking, the cage becomes very silent… From now on, your ride is going to be more silent than it used to be and you will hear sounds that you haven’t noticed before.”
The one-sided HollowCage upgrade is said to shift “as good as with the original Dura-Ace cage” and is one of the lightest oversized pulley cage kits available on the market. Technically, this new cage shares many of the characteristics of the original HollowCage: aero-dimpled carbon-reinforced single plate cage design, a design with a stiff-mounted 12T upper pulley for precise shifts, a more flexible lower 18T pulley (than conventional 2-plate layout) which could reduce drivetrain friction, fully-ceramic bearings, all made in Europe.
AbsoluteBlack HollowCage Shimano 12sp – Pricing & options
There are two distinct HollowCage versions to fit Shimano Dura-Ace R9200 & Ultegra R8100 Di2 12-speed derailleurs, compatible with cassettes up to 34T max. Each 71g cage upgrade is available now for $579 / 499€ / £429 in limited numbers with black, gold, red, titanium silver & PVD rainbow hollow lower pulleys.
Feel free to continue to debate the real-world merits & marginal gains promised by oversized pulley wheels and ceramic bearings, but who wouldn’t like a quieter-running bike?