When it comes to component upgrades, an oversized derailleur pulley system is probably the last thing most cyclists look for. But that hasn’t stopped it from becoming more popular, especially for those on a mission to squeeze every watt out of their drivetrain or those who simply want to have a little more bling because they can say “my pulley is so much bigger than yours”.
The price to pay for those pesky yet oh so darn cool hoops is pretty far and between these days. You can get one off eBay for about $80, you can get some CeramicSpeed, or you can go all out and get this $1,950 Victory Edition of the already top notch CeramicSpeed OSPW (Oversized Pulley Wheel System)
On paper, it shares the same design and material of the company’s flagship system featuring 3D-printed titanium pulleys loaded with coated race ceramic bearings housed on a carbon reinforced plastic cage with titanium bolts. The difference, with the addition of the $250 upcharge, is the hand-painted, one of a kind pearlescent cage by Ron Jones at Pro Bike Design. Only 25 of these beauts were made, with four already spoken for: One to Tour de France stage-winner Roman Bardet, triathletes Patrick Lange and Mario Mola, and one to the winner of a lucky TdF raffle organized by Ceramic Speed. Available online now on the CeramicSpeed website or at select retailers worldwide.
After Muc-Off made headlines claiming their new NTC Nanotube Chain saves 10 watts in a 112-mile Ironman stage over CeramicSpeeds’ UFO Speed Chain, CeramicSpeed is now counterclaiming that Muc-Off’s test results are based on flawed testing protocols.
CeramicsSpeed, in its ever data-driven fashion, has published a 2,000+ word report written by engineer Jason Smith, who developed his own chain treatment formula as well as labortaoy testing procedures before his company Friction Facts was acquired by the bespoke Danish component maker last year.
TLDR version: “Based on what we know of Muc-Off’s testing procedure, we assume this misleading data is caused by incorrect methods of acquiring ‘endurance test’ data. We describe the correct test methods and show the results of a correct test as well as the results of a test recreating the misleading data.” – CeramicSpeed
It was a little over a year ago when UK’s Muc-Off released what they claimed to be the world’s fastest chain, the Nanotube Optimised Chain.
It’s a chain of your choice impeccably cleaned, broken-in and hand-treated in their own secret nanotube-infused lube. It retailed for $162 in Shimano Dura-Ace/XTR instead of the normal $35, give or take.
Wiggins used it for his hour record, Froome used it in the 2017 Tour and Vuelta, and Team Great Britain used it with great results in the 2016 Rio games.
And now Muc-Off is back with another chain, the NTC Nanotube.
On paper, the NTC is essentially the same as version 1.0. The major difference here is the NTC forgoes the broken-in treatment, thus shortening production time and lowering the cost. The NTC chain is said to be 10 watts faster than the wax-based CeramicSpeed UFO Racing Chain over racing distance after four hours with no drop-off in performance.
The NTC chain will have identical performance as the original pre broken-in Nanotube Chain after four hours of riding at 250+ watts. That means a light to moderate spin for four hours. But you already knew that.
There’s even a top-up lube that is said to generate savings within 1-2 watts of the original chain. The Nanotube Lube will retail for $64.99
At $150, the NTC Nanotube chain is still by no means cheap for a few watts of saving but if you want a proven high-performance all-weather chain to further optimize your steed, then look no further.