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Will a 3D-Printed Hollow Titanium Derailleur Hanger by Silca Make Your Bike Shift Better?

Silca 3D-printed titanium derailleur hanger shifting upgrade
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Silca’s new 3D-printed titanium derailleur hangers started out as a project to improve the shifting on WorldTour road bikes. Often overlooked from a performance perspective, most bikes feature a replaceable derailleur hanger. It’s a sacrificial part that means neither frame nor derailleur gets damaged in a crash. But adding a strategic weak link at a key point in your drivetrain sacrifices some shifting precision.

Silca hopes to overcome that limitation. Their lighter, stiffer hanger upgrade then, promises faster and more precise shifts for your road, gravel, and mountain bikes…

Silca hollow 3D-printed titanium derailleur hanger upgrades

Silca 3D-printed titanium derailleur hanger shifting upgrade, up close
all photos c. Silca

Mostly ignored until relatively recently – maybe outside of Shimano’s Direct Mount and the advent of SRAM’s UDH standard – the lowly derailleur hanger has the potential to actually decrease the overall performance of your bike. All in its attempt to safeguard against costly damage. But if willing to sacrifice some of that little insurance policy, stiffer derailleur hangers offer real potential shifting crispness gains.

Of note: Even though it is stiffer, Silca’s 3D-printed ti hanger still includes an “internal fracture notch”. Silca still designed the hanger to break away before damaging your frame. And you can align it with a conventional derailleur hanger alignment tool.

Pros have been running custom-machined stainless and special alloy hangers for years to improve shift precision. And the boom in powerful electronic derailleurs and ever-smaller gaps between rising numbers of cogs in the cassette, mean shift precision has never been more critical.

Silca 3D-printed titanium derailleur hanger shifting upgrade, GRX Di2 detail

Silca claims that “modern electronic derailleurs shift so fast and with such force that conventional hangers made from low-grade aluminum plates will flex up to 4 degrees during a shift, resulting in less precise, noisier, and slower shifting. Traditional hangers also bend easily, even in minor incidents, resulting in unnecessary bike changes and additional workload for mechanics.

Now, Silca is promising Pro-level shifting improvements, available for any cyclist who wants it!

Tech details

Silca 3D-printed titanium derailleur hanger shifting upgrade, nested parts

Silca’s 3D-printed derailleur hanger leverages their proven AI-generated hollow 3D-printed titanium lattice construction. That’s the same we’ve seen in their ultralight tools, over-engineered bottle opener, longer-lasting clipless cleats, and even the somewhat amusingly controversial-looking out-front GPS mount. What that means is it is light. It is strong and stiff. And you can relatively easily fit it to most bikes.

Available either in a universal fit for all derailleurs or a Shimano Direct Mount fit that replaces the upper derailleur link – Silca claims lighter weight and dramatic stiffness improvements. For SRAM & Campagnolo derailleurs, Silca says the ti hanger is 5-6x stiffer than conventional aluminum hangers and 2-6g lighter. For Shimano drivetrains dropping that upper link means the Silca 3D-printed titanium derailleur hanger delivers a claimed 8-10x higher stiffness. Plus, you get 4-12g savings, too (depending on bike model).

Silca 3D-printed titanium derailleur hanger shifting upgrade, angled structure detail

Word is that this 3D-printed Silca ti hanger has “already won Tour de France stages and resisted crashes, the ultimate sign-off by any pro cyclist and team”. Silca is a bit tight-lipped about which riders have been using it.

Silca 3D-printed titanium derailleur hanger shifting upgrade, bike fitment compatibility chart

But the list of currently compatible road bikes and some internet sleuthing could turn up more specifics if you are so inclined to find those 2 claimed 2023 Tour stage wins.

Silca 3D-printed derailleur hanger – Pricing, options & availability

Silca 3D-printed titanium derailleur hanger shifting upgrade, standard or UDH

At first, Silca offers the universal 3D-printed titanium derailleur hanger to fit 9 brands of bikes for $85 apiece. That then includes Cannondale, Canyon, Cervelo, Factor, Giant, Pinarello, Scott, Specialized, and Trek. They also make 3D-printed ti hangers for UDH-equipped bikes for $99, either for universal derailleur fits OR Shimano-specific Direct Mount. That likely already includes compatibility with hundreds of different bikes – across road, all-road, cyclocross, gravel, and mountain bikes.

Additionally, thanks to the adaptability of 3D-printing, Silca says they’ll introduce additional models for more compatibility “based on demand”. Find yours now at:

Silca.cc

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23 Comments
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Ry Dude
Ry Dude
7 months ago

it wont but its cool

what
what
7 months ago

what is the weight when it’s filled with mud and dirt?

Dave
Dave
7 months ago

Already have it for my Factor 02 and you can feel the shift work better. TY Silca

Ben
Ben
7 months ago

Ah, the Silca marketing machine at it again. Gotta give it to Josh – he is smart about where he focuses on marginal gains! (and getting cyclists to open up their wallets)

syborg
syborg
7 months ago

It’s not much more than my very fragile $50 der hanger. Unfortunately Silca doesn’t make one for my bike.

SteveT
SteveT
7 months ago

LOL

Beik Nord
Beik Nord
7 months ago

Here’s a great idea! Let’s make a part that is supposed to absorb energy by bending completely rigid so the frame and derailleur take the damage instead!

Harry V
Harry V
7 months ago
Reply to  Beik Nord

Please read, it says there is an internal fracture notch. And the way impact fracture works is that when there is an abrupt change of shape viz., notch, stress fracture occurs. In plain words, this will break during impact, protecting the frame.

Milessio
Milessio
7 months ago
Reply to  Beik Nord

Not quite;
Stock Al hangers bend too easily.
‘Pro’ steel hangers don’t bend to protect the derailleur/frame
Seemingly a Silca hanger splits the difference.(though being x10 stiffer than Shimano Direct Mount seems extreme)

Rather than beefing up a standard Al hanger or slimming down a steel one, Silca hyper-engineers theirs out of 3D printed Ti & charges accordingly. Not very aero though!

Alan
Alan
7 months ago

Maybe they function as intended, but dang those are ugly.

Collin S
7 months ago

As for the “longer lasting clipless cleats”, I beg to differ. At least compared to your lowly standard steel SPD cleats, I have a buddy that had not 1, but 2 different sets of the Slica Titanium cleats fail on him including one in the middle of BWR Asheville. Like him, I have NEVER had a shimano SPD cleat fail and can get sevearl seasons out of a set. Sure the Silca ones may be better than the brass Crankbrother or Time Cleats but laser sintered titanium is not going to match the durability of steel.

Patrick
Patrick
7 months ago
Reply to  Collin S

The Crank Brothers ones definitely last longer, but of course Silca ‘optimized’ the shape and they are incredibly difficult to clip in and out of of. They are near unusable on the metal pedals for mtb with how difficult it is to clip in and unclip. They are not as bad with the 1 series pedals like the candy 1.

Joenomad
Joenomad
7 months ago

Definitely guaranteed to lighten your wallet.

Jason DW
Jason DW
7 months ago

Well, does it actually do what its supposed to?

Joenomad
Joenomad
7 months ago
Reply to  Jason DW

You mean act as an actual derailleur hanger, probably. Just like oversize pulleys do the same thing as stock ones, just more expensive.

K.M.
K.M.
7 months ago
Reply to  Joenomad

I think the point was more to criticize a bit the author of this article who titled it with a question but does not answer it – making the form pointless.

ninja
ninja
7 months ago

Please make one for Cannondale Supersix EVO 2nd GEN 2016-2018

Rick Tan
Rick Tan
7 months ago

I’d rather have a hanger and another spare hanger in my saddle bag. The lattice holes will fill with dirt too.
3D printed parts are often weaker than traditional machined parts. I’m not racing and the weight saved by a Silca hanger is likely a glass water or less.
Sorry, but I’m not buying it.

Mr Pink
Mr Pink
7 months ago
Reply to  Rick Tan

3D Printed Ti will be significantly stronger than any alloy hangar

Fig Ciocc
Fig Ciocc
7 months ago

Who is getting slow shifting these days? I’ve heard this piffle about direct mount hangers as well but can’t remember a time (probably long before 5800) where rear shifting was slow, clunky, or inaccurate assuming if you where running cables that you had good cables and housings. Even on my steel bikes which don’t have a hanger the shifting feels the same as it does on carbon frames with wedge hangers.

Robin
Robin
7 months ago
Reply to  Fig Ciocc

If you run a 12-speed drivetrain on a bike that was designed in the time of 10-speed groups, you’ll find the RD hanger is quite up to snuff. From my own experience, over time my RD hanger would creep, moving out of alignment a little bit. That required periodic hanger straightening with a hanger alignment tool. This is even a problem on bikes designed during the 11-speed era. Given all that and how sensitive new drivetrains are to RD alignment, a stiffer RD hanger makes sense

As for quicker shifting, an RD hanger that moves slightly when shifting will make shifting less precise and slower, even if only by a little bit.

satanas
satanas
7 months ago

When is the 3D printed hollow toothbrush with titanium bristles coming???

Larry T
2 months ago

Back in the day they used to machine these out of steel. Cheap but not sexy…and far less than $85…but unless you run a pro cycling team, WTF?

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