The friction-fighting specialists at CeramicSpeed are at it again. The company’s new oversized pulleys are lighter, more durable and astronomically more expensive than ever before.
CeramicSpeed’s jockey pulleys take a two-pronged approach to fighting friction.
Unlike traditional jockey wheels, which generally have 11 teeth, CeramicSpeed’s design has 17 teeth per wheel.
Oversized jockey wheels require the chain to articulate less than smaller diameter pulleys. Less movement between the links of the chain results in a small but measurable reduction in friction. You can learn more about the benefits of oversized pulleys here.
In addition to being larger, CeramicSpeed uses high-quality, ceramic-coated bearings.
CeramicSpeed claims its system can save up to three watts (presumably when riding at high power) over stock jockey pulleys from the likes of Shimano and SRAM.
The company’s latest featherweight pulleys are constructed from 3D printed titanium. This manufacturing process allows for some very intricate designs that wouldn’t be possible to produce any other way. The ‘spokes’ are hollow for maximum weight savings.
3D printing allows for some very intricate (and expensive) manufacturing Josh Patterson / Immediate Media
CeramicSpeed claims the system is 10 percent lighter than the company’s alloy pulleys and twice as durable. This slippery drivetrain upgrade is compatible with Shimano and SRAM rear derailleurs. The complete system weighs 70g.
The downside to the 3D printing process is that it is incredibly time-intensive. It takes approximately 24 hours to manufacture each wheel.
Given the materials and time involved, it should come as no surprise that this upgrade will command a premium price tag.
This derailleur upgrade could save you watts and grams, but it will cost you your first-born Josh Patterson / Immediate Media
This derailleur upgrade kit, which includes both jockey wheels with a composite derailleur cage retails for a jaw-dropping €1,500 / $1,700.
This kit will be available in May. We can think of a lot of other ways to spend that type of scratch, but it just goes to show, there’s a market for anything.