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by James Huang
September 19, 2020
Photography by Muc-Off
Oversized rear derailleur pulleys have repeatedly been shown to reduce drivetrain friction, and Muc-Off is now getting into the game with its new Lightweight Oversized Precision Shifting (LOPS) cage assembly, which Bahrain-McLaren rider Mikel Landa will supposedly use during the Stage 20 individual time trial at the Tour de France.
Reducing friction was obviously a primary goal with LOPS, and Muc-Off includes special surface coatings on the 13-tooth upper and 19-tooth lower aluminum pulleys that supposedly produce, “friction coefficients over three times lower than hard anodized equivalents.” Additionally, the ceramic bearings are lubricated with some sort of magic sauce for further claimed friction reductions, and the seals have been “optimized specifically for the individual time trial” — which, in other words, means you perhaps shouldn’t head out in the rain in these things, or expect them to last very long in day-to-day use.
It’s much more common to see rear derailleur pulley cages made of fiber-reinforced composite or aluminum. Muc-Off’s use of 3D-printed titanium suggests a stiffer cage, but also one that’s much more expensive.
Muc-Off has also focused on maintaining shift performance with LOPS, which has often come up as a complaint with these sorts of aftermarket systems. To combat that, Muc-Off builds the LOPS with a stout 3D-printed titanium body, and the bearings are supposedly built with tighter radial and axial tolerances to help keep the pulley teeth in-plane under load.
No release date has been announced for LOPS just yet, nor has Muc-Off released official retail pricing.
More information can be found at www.muc-off.com.