|Remember these guys?|
|The Over Sized Pulley Wheel System,|
or OSPW (c'mon, why not O'SPEW?)
comes complete with a new
pulley cage to be retrofitted to the
user's Shimano or SRAM derailleur.
As always, I have doubts about such promises or claims of "minutes saved" in a time-trial, or a triathlon, or what-have-you. They make great marketing, but the reality is probably not nearly as impressive as the promises.
The way I look at it, even at the top levels of the sport, in the pro racing ranks, average speeds aren't really climbing significantly since the 1990s. Look at average speeds of Tour de France winners going back to the beginning, and you'll see speeds gradually, incrementally climbing through the years and decades as bikes and technology (and don't forget, roads, too) improved. The fastest races, with average finishing speeds in the 39-41 km/h range start happening routinely in the 1990s, with the introduction of EPO and serious, systematic doping, and peak in 2005. They've pretty much plateaued since then. Since 2006 (right after the nullified Armstrong streak), the finishing speeds have averaged 40 km/h. At this point, wringing the last bit of performance gains keeps getting harder and more expensive, and yielding smaller and smaller results.
Such realities won't stop the performance addicts, suffering from protracted cases of upgrade fever, from pulling their derailleurs apart to install O'SPEW wheels, though. Meanwhile, we retrogrouches can think of all the things we could buy for $500 - $600. Vintage frames. A bike's-worth of classic components. A trip to L'Eroica . . .