What started out as a way for founder Jacob Csizmadia to break the world 24 hour inline skating distance record became one of cycling’s most extravagant upgrade options. So, naturally, to celebrate such a milestone of 20 years of making performance enhancing ceramic bearings, they’re releasing a Gold version of their OSPW system.
Unlike the $2,000 limited edition Victory OSPW model offered in August, these will carry the standard retail of $499-$599. They’re available for all current and recent Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo rear derailleurs, too.
Worth noting, the OSPW system for prior generation Di2 and Ultegra is shown here and gets 17-tooth upper and lower pulleys. For the latest 9100 and 8000 groups, you get a 13 upper/19 lower tooth count with a new cage that’s designed for easier installation. All use their polyamide/carbon fiber cage with anodized alloy wheels. The price range is for uncoated or coated Ceramicspeed bearings, the latter getting a coated race that they say is 75% harder than their regular steel race.
They’re also offering the Gold pulleys in standard sizes for upgrading your stock Shimano, SRAM and Campy road derailleurs, as well as SRAM Eagle derailleurs.
Now, about those skate bearings, here’s the story from CeramicSpeed about how they came to be…
FROM CERAMICSPEED: Twenty years ago, Jacob Csizmadia broke the world record for 24hour inline skating, covering 505km with skates fitted with ceramic ball bearings.
This was to prove the very beginning of what became CeramicSpeed and to celebrate this landmark event we have released the Gold Limited Edition, a series of pulley wheels and oversized pulley wheel systems.
‘Sometimes it’s hard to find the right way to celebrate a special event,’ Jacob says. ‘Some gather memorabilia, others have a token of luck, others still make a visual album of these big moments.
But how about having something to remind you to celebrate every single high point in your life, enjoy it and be proud of it?’ This is the thinking behind the Gold Limited Edition and the series is to inspire everybody to pursue their dreams and celebrate all victories, no matter how big or small.
It is also to draw attention to the importance of the right equipment and environment when pursuing success. Jacob explains he chose to skate inside a local supermarket because the environment was ideal for the task at hand. ‘Inside a supermarket, there are no hills, no sun heat and no wind to slow me down, and this created the perfect context for me to pursue the absolute best advantage in my roller skates. However, there was a downside to choosing the supermarket, and that was the floor. The surface in a supermarket is much softer compared to concrete, increasing friction and slowing down my time by 5%”.
‘I took a risk and replaced the bearings in my skates with ceramic bearings, that I had assembled myself.’ The bearings made the difference between world record attempt and world record holder.
Two years later Jacob introduced ceramic bearings to professional cycling. ‘The beginning was hard, without a doubt,’ he says. ‘Nobody could understand why we should replace steel bearings with ceramic bearings, for them it wasn’t broken, so why try to upgrade it?’
He persuaded the CSC Tiscali team, presided over by Bjarne Riis, to try the ceramic bearings. ‘They could easily feel the difference, and I thought that once a team was using them, the interest would grow,’ he says. ‘But it didn’t. I had to work hard to prove the advantages of this new product and finally, we were successful in proving how valuable we were on rider performance. I was given an opportunity to sponsor a world tour team, which is not an opportunity that comes easily. The products needed to work.’
From this CeramicSpeed began to flourish and in 2010 Jacob agreed on a partnership with Bob Stapleton and Rolf Alldag of HTC-Columbia to make a major move into the world tour peloton. The deal was made in the mechanics truck at the Tour de France only hours before the start of the prologue. And the rest, as they say, is history. ‘We have the power to control our success,’ he says. ‘We’re all afraid of the unknown but once I had the world record more and more people started to see the difference.’