Shifty is a beautifully crafted aluminium pulley that spins on a sealed, stainless steel ball bearing. Shifty replaces the plastic pulley which guides the cable around the back of SRAM's eleven and twelve-speed rear derailleurs. It looks sharp and it actually improves the feel and reliability of the shifting process. Its maker claims that the simple plastic pulley, which rotates on a metal axle, creates excessive friction that is compounded by dirt and grime. Replacing the stock item with a Shifty pulley is said to provide smoother, more consistent shifts in all conditions and weather. Bike Yoke's Shifty pulley is sold in either anodized gold or black and costs around $35 USD.
Features and Performance Shifty Details:
• Purpose: Reduce friction and increase accuracy
• Construction: Stainless steel sealed ball bearing, 6061 T6 aluminum pulley
• Direct replacement for standard pulley
• Installation: Uses existing SRAM hardware
• Colors: Anodized black or gold
• MSRP: Around $35 USD
• Contact: BikeYoke
Truthfully, I chuckled when I received my Shifty guide-roller from BikeYoke. Really? A $35 bling pulley that probably weighed more than twice as much as the plastic one that was operating perfectly well. Each time I saw that gold-anodized gem glinting in its zip-lock bag, however, I couldn't help but think, "That thing would look so sweet on my Eagle derailleur."
Okay, so I caved and installed the damn thing, which was stupid easy. The two pulleys can be switched without removing the derailleur cable. You could probably ace the job with the rear wheel removed and the derailleur in place. I removed the changer from the frame because I wanted to shoot pictures. Two 3mm Allen keys were required to unthread the sleeve nut and retaining screw. The housing then popped off, along with the plastic pulley. I used the Shifty pulley to push the derailleur cable back inside the housing and reinstalled the hardware. Boom!
So, I didn't expect much in the way of performance. I cared most about how great my gold pulley would look with my gold cassette and against the gold highlights of my Eagle derailleur. But, it did perform better. I rode around on three test bikes, each equipped with SRAM 12-speed transmissions, with run-times that ranged from three weeks to over one year. The Shifty-equipped changer felt smoother at the lever and shifted more crisply in two out of three cases. (There was no discernible difference between the new bike and my Shifty upgraded machine.)Pinkbike's Take: