An unreleased oversized CeramicSpeed pulley wheel system that sits inside an aerodynamic carbon shroud will reportedly debut at the stage two time trial of this year’s Giro d’Italia.
The new pulley system is said to have been developed in collaboration with Drag2Zero, an aerodynamic consultancy company founded by Simon Smart, and will cost $800, according to Triathlete.
Astana-Qazaqstan will race on prototype Wilier Turbine SLR time trial bikes fitted with the system at the Giro. The system will also be raced by, among others, Patrik Nilsson at the Ironman World Championships on his prototype BMC Speedmachine.
The system bears more than a passing resemblance to a boat’s rudder, with a narrow leading edge flowing into a smooth shroud that covers the whole pulley system.
Similar shrouded pulley systems are already offered by a number of smaller brands including RalTech, SLF Motion and, previously, Berner. The latter (pictured above) was used by Fabian Cancellara and Lance Armstrong in the 2010 edition of the Tour de France.
While we are yet to receive full details on the system (hence only having the image at the top of this article), we expect the shroud houses a fairly standard CeramicSpeed OSPW pulley system.
The OSPW system is claimed to save between 2- to 4-watts in drivetrain losses compared to a stock Shimano Dura-Ace rear derailleur cage, according to CeramicSpeed.
The aerodynamic savings offered by the shroud are likely to be similarly modest but, with time trials having proved decisive in several recent Grand Tours, and the growing importance of aero tech gains at the highest level, few teams will turn down the opportunity for free(ish) speed.