Transmission Cage Upgrades from Kogel, Ceramicspeed, and Cascade Components

Apr 18, 2024 at 22:28
by Dario DiGiulio  
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Every edition of Sea Otter seems to have a few sub-trends that proliferate the grounds, with numerous companies unveiling similar products all within close proximity to the show. One of this year's little trends is the aftermarket SRAM Transmission derailleur cage; admittedly niche, but suited to those that want all the finer things in life.

All three make similar claims: increased durability and impact resistance, crisper shifts due to the stiffer construction, and better shifting performance thanks to the oversized pulley wheels. I'll call myself an open-minded skeptic, as I've had very few issues with my stock GX Transmission setup, but could be convinced if it meant never having to try to true a derailleur cage again.

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Cascade Components

Fresh off the machines for this year's Sea Otter, the folks at Cascade Components have finalized their design after a few months of iteration. Milled from a single piece of billet, the cage features some webbing and braced angles to keep things stiff along the length, while removing as much material as possible to shave weight.

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Also comes in not silver.

Cascade is offering a warranty on any manufacturing defects, as well as premature bearing wear, and will be offering spare parts should any individual component need replacing.

Pricing isn't quite ironed out yet, but should be somewhere in the $300 USD range.

More info at cascadecomponents.bike when available.




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Kogel

Also milled from solid aluminum, the Kogel cage strikes a more traditional silhouette and two-sided construction. The two halves are pinned at a few points beyond the two pulley wheels to keep things stiffer, with some webbing and pocketing to keep reduct some weight.

The pulley wheels run on Grade 3 ABEC 5 ceramic bearings.

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Claims.
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Kogel also manufactures in some wild colors, such as this Cerakote-coated number.

Priced at $475 USD, the Kogel cage comes with a two year no-questions-asked warranty.

More info at kogel.cc when available.




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Ceramicspeed OSPW

As the most expensive of the bunch, it makes sense that the Ceramicspeed option tries to pack the most features into what is typically a fairly simple item. Featuring what they're calling the Active Debris Remover, the Ceramicspeed cage both protects the bearings and actively cleans their mount points as the pulleys rotate. Just about everything is composite of some sort, all the way down to the pulleys themselves. The inner faces of those pulleys are solid aluminum discs, to prevent any sort of sticks or debris from stopping you in your tracks.

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Priced as a $669 USD, this is firmly a luxury item, but at least it looks the part. It also comes with a lifetime warranty. The carbon construction is certainly stiff, and could be more durable than the bendable alloy alternatives.

More info at ceramicspeed.com.



Stay tuned for a possible review roundup of all three options, to see which piece of speed jewelry takes home the prize.

Author Info:
dariodigiulio avatar

Member since Dec 25, 2016
194 articles

70 Comments
  • 96 4
 I can’t believe there’s a market worth persuing for these, hey ho.
  • 5 19
flag heinous (Apr 19, 2024 at 1:50) (Below Threshold)
 Flexy sram cages have been a thing for ages.
  • 26 0
 OVERSIZED, in other words “hits every rock” does look cool though.
  • 12 0
 @heinous: No torque goes through the cage... As long as it can reasonably accurately hold the upper jockey wheel in place while shifting (which hasn't been an issue since like 1995) then no more stiffness is required
  • 9 4
 @gabiusmaximus: since ‘95? GX and below have been famously prone to exploding cages due to flex. There was a time sram were basically giving away replacement derailleurs under warranty due to it.
  • 3 2
 @heinous: what exactly do you mean by "exploding due to flex"? In what situation is enough torque being applied to the lower cage for it to explode?
  • 8 5
 @gabiusmaximus: have you ridden a bicycle off road?
  • 3 0
 I am glad someone asking the hard questions, like: "SRAM's transmission is not expensive enough, how could we make it more expensive by adding a modification made out of soft metal like aluminum that will increase failure?"
  • 3 0
 @heinous: Ahh, so now you are talking about smashing the cage on rocks? Why would Sram replace that under warranty? You aren't making yourself very clear, what fault are you actually trying to describe here?
  • 3 0
 Love me some kegels
  • 1 1
 @Cooper09: That is what I used to think, so I asked the mountain bikers about it. Most of them said they never had a problem with the derailleur arm hanging low. I suffered a lot of ridicule asking about it. Maybe I should not have started things off by saying that I would never ride a bike down a mountain.
  • 2 0
 @gabiusmaximus: my best guess (and attempts to decipher snide internet comments) is that the flex happens when the derailleur has to push the chain up into the easier gear under load. This would possibly meet some resistance from the chain and a weak cage could bend from the force of the derailleur pushing into the gears but the pulley wheels not going into gear due to the resistance. Maybe
  • 1 1
 @gabiusmaximus: no. Mud, chain tension changing with suspension and clutch forces, sloppy main pivot tolerances all contribute to twist, which throws out the ‘but cage experiences no torque’ perspective. You don’t need to factor in rocks, sticks or whatever else. Add in shifting as described above.
  • 1 0
 Spencermon is correct in saying that the only twisting loads induced on the lower cage (without smacking it into a rock) are from shifting into a lower gear. As I mentioned in my initial comment. This only requires the cage to be stiff over the very short distance between its main pivot and the upper jockey wheel, which essentially hasn't been an issue sincce ~1995. I believe the spate of failures @heinous has been referring to is actually a number of main pivot failures sram have had. Unfortunately these huge and unnecessarily overbuild lower cages are only going to make that particular problem worse.
  • 55 0
 Cool, a derailleur that now costs more than my hardtail.
  • 71 0
 Half a derailleur
  • 8 34
flag kopaczus (Apr 18, 2024 at 23:42) (Below Threshold)
 then maybe, just maybe, you should entertain the thought that this is not a product for you?
  • 4 0
 @effi92: Yep, $300-$700 for an illeur
  • 31 1
 3 brands?!
i mean why is this even a thing?
  • 5 0
 See Rapha.
  • 31 1
 First upgrade anyone should make to their bike tbh.
  • 2 0
 Hehe
  • 1 0
 Fits perfectly on my clunky e-bikes.
  • 5 0
 Look at me! No, down here! Look!
  • 18 0
 forgive my ignorance.... but what is the advantage of these?
  • 17 0
 only advantage I can see with the oversized lower wheel is LESS ground clearance
  • 14 0
 bragging rights.
  • 147 0
 In very specific circumstances, some people occasionally find their bikes are less expensive than those of others. Products such as these can help.
  • 12 0
 @v7fmp You save weight by making your wallet lighter.
  • 7 1
 @R-M-R: Comment of the year material. Big Grin Unfortunately not many people will open this article so it won't get there.
  • 6 0
 In theory, less friction because the chain bends less. It does indeed help, that's why bigger idlers help with friction, but $/watt gained isn't great.
  • 5 0
 Instead of having to tell everyone you meet on the trails you have more money than sense, you can let one of these do the talking for you.
  • 1 0
 Worse shifting.
  • 3 0
 @R-M-R: Very true! AKA D*ck Measuring Contest.
  • 1 2
 They look kinda drip. Thats about it tho
  • 13 0
 Someone should go one more step and do spoked jockey wheels for the ultimate baller conversion.
  • 8 0
 SRAM kicking themselves for not releasing cage replacements at a higher price than the derailleur
  • 6 0
 The cage is usually what gets damaged or destroyed when I slam into rocks or make poor line choices. I could replace 10 cages on my XT derailleur and still not spend as much as these cost. WTF?
  • 4 0
 Very clever move: Make those parts of the bike most prone to damage and/or wear the most expensive ones.

OK, back to consumer perspective now...
  • 5 0
 For real tho who the fuk unironically buys a cage more expensive than the derailleur itself
  • 2 0
 So question, transmission is already super stiff and kinda eliminates the traditional derailleur hanger, a part meant to save your expensive derailleur and frame in the event of impact. These cages both reduce ground clearance AND are claimed to be even stiffer and stronger than stock cages. So where's the force supposed to go, straight into your carbon frame?
  • 2 0
 when you keep on breaking your already expensive, over engineered for durability, bling derailleur, and decide AH THIS IS WHAT I NEEDED, instead of admitting you actually just need to work on your line choice and bike handling abilities...
  • 5 1
 Thing is, if this design has any advantage, surely derailleur manufacturers would allready use it??
  • 4 0
 Completely out of my budget, but if I had the money I would buy that fugly pink one.
  • 4 0
 Thursday Fails is new section?
  • 3 0
 Just jewelry for someone with a transmission derailleur. I don't wear jewelry and neither does my transmission.
  • 3 1
 "Ride faster with less effort" - how much less effort do the bougie $20k e-bikers need?? All the less effort??
  • 1 2
 Nice try. This garbage predates e-bikes.
  • 3 0
 A fool and his money are soon parted.
  • 2 0
 The ONLY reason I would consider this is for fun bling factor. I'll bet thats actually why most people get them.
  • 3 0
 As soon as they make these for microSHIFT 10 speed I am in!
  • 2 0
 "Hey look at me! I love extra unsprung weight!"
  • 2 0
 is only to be look at....
  • 2 0
 Easy to honor the warranty when your customer barely rides
  • 1 0
 Can buy these types of cages off ali express for £20. They don't actually do anything though.
  • 1 0
 These companies need to find better ways to lower their manufacturing cost...
  • 1 0
 When your lower pulley diameter is the same diameter as the biggest cog on your 1980's road cassette.
  • 5 4
 Cascade cage is drool worthy
  • 1 0
 French made Nova Ride look good also...
  • 2 1
 I still prefer the Garbaruk one.
  • 1 0
 Seems like a nice market entry for o-chain /s.
  • 1 0
 Cascade punching down with these.
  • 1 0
 Can't wait for the SX version to bling my bike
  • 1 0
 the CeramicSpeed one has the same ground clearance as stock.
  • 1 0
 The middle aged rich guy category must be thriving.
  • 1 1
 Stiff and length. Both are critical.
  • 1 0
 Is this Friday Fails?
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