Ceradure are a Benelux-based engineering company with a great reputation in pro motocross and motorsport for lightweight sprockets and disc rotors, proven in such races as the Dakar Rally. Recently they've been working on lightweight bicycle-specific components, and this is the first road cassette they've made available to test.
The cassette and sprockets are all four-axis CNC machined from one piece of aluminium, then after machining the cassette is given a ceramic then a Teflon coating. The 12-25 Shimano/SRAM-compatible cassette offers a decent spread of gears – 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25 – so no glaring jumps or omissions.
Each sprocket features decent chain ramps and a machined tooth to help the chain shift. These aren’t as aggressively machined as those on a Shimano cassette, and you can sense a more robust shift compared with the smooth jumps from the Japanese drivetrain wizards. But what the Ceradure lacks in smoothness it more than makes up for in good, positive shifts.
The Teflon coating keeps the cassette free of grit and grime – for best results we’d say keep lubing to a minimum, the slick coating simply doesn’t need extra help. Chain compatibility was excellent with an aftermarket KMC chain, as well as the SRAM PC1091.
Shimano’s latest directional Dura-Ace chain coped fine but wasn’t as slick as when it’s combined with a Dura-Ace cassette. Ceradure assert that the cassette is good for in excess of 5,000km (3,107 miles), and while we’ve only managed to put a few hundred miles on ours it’s shown very little signs of wear.
A Dura-Ace cassette will set you back £179.99 and SRAM Red £205.99, so at just over £300 at current exchange rates the Ceradure is expensive, but it does weigh a significant amount less. At 85g, including a 4g lockring, it’s 104g less than Dura-Ace and 88g less than Red. So if weight reduction is your main concern the Ceradure is certainly worth considering; it’s not as slick as Dura-Ace but it's the best lightweight aftermarket cassette we’ve tried.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine.