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CeramicSpeed 3D Printed Hollow Titanium Jockey Wheels

The pursuit of marginal gains knows no budgetary bounds.

Ceramic Speed Jockey wheels
Sam Challis
14 Oct 2016

If you were going to spend in the region of £690 on an upgrade for your bike, chances are jockey wheels wouldn’t be top of your list. Some stealthy carbon finishing kit? Yes please. Or a nice set of training wheels, perhaps. But jockey wheels? A set of Shimano Dura-Ace jockey wheels costs £35, so why on earth would you spend over 19 times as much for these from CeramicSpeed? 

According to CeramicSpeed managing director Martin Banke, there are plenty of reasons: ‘The price is a fair sum up of all the processes that go into the product and the cost of four years of extensive research and development. But aside from that, these wheels form a product that is truly innovative. 

‘The project was a joint collaboration with the Danish Technological Institute, which worked alongside our team during the entire process,’ he adds. ‘We created these wheels with the thought of achi eving the ultimate jockey wheel, so managed to create a product that demonstrates the pioneering use of new technology. The finished product is thus lightweight, it’s durable and it delivers extremely low friction.’

The new technology to which Banke is referring is 3D printing. The process, which is also known as additive manufacturing, builds the wheels up by combining thin sequences of titanium dust, which are superheated by a laser and imprinted together in layers. 

‘However, after the 3D printing process the resulting jockey wheels are still far from the finished product,’ Banke says. ‘They go through a series of after-treatments to neaten them up, and then they must be polished. Only then can they be fitted with our proprietary CeramicSpeed coated bearings, which is when they resemble a finished product.’

The wheels are then engraved with a unique serial number, registered and packed up. But who buys them?

‘They are a set of jockey wheels desired by many but attainable only for some,’ says Banke. ‘But it isn’t only one subset of buyer. We have had everyone from technology geeks interested to those wanting to use something really unique, to performance-oriented riders who want every advantage.’

This advantage comes by way of a 10% reduction in weight compared to CeramicSpeed’s aluminium jockey wheels and, despite this, triple the lifespan. So you can think of these jockey wheels as less of an extravagant indulgence, and more of a long-term investment in the health of your drivetrain. At least, that’s how you can justify it to your partner when the credit card bill comes in.

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