New British cyclocross champion Tom Pidcock using low friction pulley system from the Danish brand

CeramicSpeed says that its new OSPW X pulley system is designed for off-road riding and offers 30 to 40 per cent less friction than a conventional pulley system. It’s been used and abused by rising cyclocross and road star Tom Pidcock, who won the British National Championships while using it on one of his bikes.

The OSPW X system is designed to replace the derailleur cage of SRAM Force 1 and Rival 1 single ring clutched derailleurs on cyclocross and gravel bikes. It uses CeramicSpeed’s low friction bearings, but pairs these to a specially designed pulley tooth profile to produce a cage designed to cope with harsh conditions.

Clutched rear mechs have been shown to generate greater friction in the drivetrain than a non-clutched mech, although that’s balanced out by the more consistent chain tension leading to less chainslap, more consistent chain tension, better pedalling dynamics and less risk of losing a chain.

CeramicSpeed offers a warranty of up to six years on its off-road pulleys, despite the harsh treatment they are likely to get

CeramicSpeed says that the new OSPW X is the first oversized pulley wheel system designed to work with clutched mechs and helps to lower that efficiency gap.

The CeramicSpeed OSPW X pulleys use wide-narrow tooth profiles, like those on SRAM 1’s chainrings, to mesh more closely with the two link widths in the chain. There’s also a new lightweight carbon fibre mech cage.

According to CeramicSpeed’s executive vice president Martin Banke: “When we realised our first OSPW System back in 2015, we always knew the product could provide major benefits to the off-road rider.

“We have learnt so much over the years in developing OSPW Systems. Gravel and CX is the natural progression from road. With thousands of testing kilometres banked, this is a brilliant product that is already proven in the harshest environments.”

>>> CeramicSpeed Driven: no chains, no mechs for a super-efficient drivetrain

It will be interesting to see if the CeramicSpeed OSPW X is forward-compatible with SRAM’s rumoured new flagship 12-speed Red eTap 1 groupset and whether there will be a version for Shimano’s two-ring Ultegra RX clutched rear mech.

CeramicSpeed offers a warranty of up to six years on the OSPW X system. Given the damage that muck and water can do when riding off-road, that shows a lot of confidence in the new system’s durability. It claims that its pulleys will last between three and five times as long as a standard cage.