Were you looking at your 12-speed XTR or XT drivetrain and thinking that it's not nearly as expensive and efficient as it should be? Me neither, but there are certainly riders out there for whom CeramicSpeed's OSPW X derailleur cage and pulleys make complete sense. Those capital letters are short for 'Oversized Pulley Wheel' system, and they're claiming a 35 to 40-percent efficiency increase compared to Shimano's stock setup. That means fewer wasted watts which, if you're a racer who trains your ass off and eats like a small bird all year, is exactly what you want to hear. The $549 price tag, not so much. Okay, I'm gonna assume that a lot of just had a small WTF moment, but don't forget that most of the world thinks you're insane for spending $3,000 on a bicycle.
There are countless different levels of crazy, and we're all on one of them. Maybe you're interested in the $1,700 version with 3D-printed titanium pulley wheels?
Fancy bearings, carbon, and gold... What more do you need?
Anodized aluminum is used for the 14-tooth upper and 18-tooth lower pulley wheels, and you can order the kit with CeramicSpeed's standard bearings or a coated version that sees an extra slippery treatment applied to the races. It's just 3-microns thick but, according to CeramicSpeed, 75-percent harder and offers "virtually no wear on the bearing.
" They come with a 6-year warranty, too, and all of their coated bearings are assembled by hand in Denmark: ''The CeramicSpeed balls and steel races are matched to the micron after which, each set of races is coated. The races are kept together in pairs through the entire process and after coating, each set needs to pass the quality control before they go into production.
I'm picturing a bunch of really tall people wearing lab coats, a lot of microscopes, and so many small balls.
Larger pulley wheels would require a longer chain, of course, but CeramicSpeed sized the carbon-reinforced cage to compensate for that - it's a bit shorter than the stock Shimano version. It also has two different spring tension settings; less tension means improved efficiency, and the OSPW X system keeps the clutch but lets you reduce its force if your trails are smooth-ish.
CeramicSpeed's UFO range of pre-coated chains, lubes, and cleaners are, you guessed it, all about saving them watts. The cleaner (pictured to the right) is a biodegradable formula that's said to be especially effective at removing slippery wax treatments and to weasel its way into the rollers. CeramicSpeed says that it's what they use in-house, too. It's manufactured and bottled in Denmark, and a 1-liter bottle goes for $30 USD.
UFO Clean is said to be especially good at getting rid of wax lube.