Hi all, here is my view of the AFC Pulleys see link:http://www.afcbike.com/tr/?p=301
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These are the lightest pulleys on the market that im aware of, so when i decided to do a derailleur tune i brought a pair happily saving 16grams over my standard SRAM Reds, choice i thought!
Early riding reports suggested they worked fine, the shifting was slower than usual but i thought this was my tuning (although i was employed as a bike mechanic), so what i thought, slower shifting isn't the end of the world, and by slower i mean fractional. So i lived with it. The more i rode them, the more i forgot about them, they worked and that's all i asked. My good friend also had a pair he was using on a tuned SRAM red rear derailleur too, he encountered a problem where his outer cage snapped mid ride (ill get him to write up about it on here) we thought nothing of it at the time other than a section of tuning that went to far....
A few months on from this, still using these pulleys while racing (elites) in a dead flat section of road, not reacting to anything just rolling at 55 km/h, i hear a "click-click-click" from the rear derailleur, i just thought it was the chain rattle on someones bike, then all of a sudden hear a "crack" and that terrible noise when your derailleur hanger has broken. OR SO I THOUGHT!
Dismounting and seriously pissed off i see it wasn't the hanger that snapped, it was the derailleur mount bolt (Made by AFC as well as a special part) and the entire derailleur had snapped off, got caught in the wheel, swung round and snapped my chain stay. Upon further inspection i noticed the chain was jammed in-between the cages and the jockey wheels as the jockey wheel had slid sideways off the bearing. Again i thought this was just because the derailleur bolt had snapped.
Upon further talking with my friend, he had posed the question to whether both of our mishaps were to blame because the chain had hopped off the jockey wheels and jammed (I mean JAMMED) in-between the cages and jockeys. It was a valid theory, worth investigating in my opinion.
Anyway i emailed Selcuk (AFC) and explained what had happened, just telling him my thoughts. I rebuilt the derailleur, had the frame repaired and set about riding again (5 weeks waiting to get my baby back
) I had a small conversation with Selcuk expressing my views and possible improvements.
Again while riding around the hills a few weeks ago i heard the "click-click-click" again, i immediately stopped and had a look, the following photos are half way through my ride, up a hill. Again on a smooth section of road, i was in the saddle, not doing any efforts. So i have no idea why the body has slipped sideways off the bearing again.
Sorry for the crappy photos too but i was in no mood to take proper ones....
I decided to give them one last shot, i had an elite series race the weekend after this incident so i kept them on for the race, bad news though. After 5 km while descending a small but quick little hill i pedal and BOOM, "click-click-click" so i coast back to the team car and our mechanic has a crack at putting the chain back on the pulleys at 50 km/h, no avail, have to stop and fix it.
Spend the next 20 minutes at 90-95% HRM to catch on, only to ride the next 150 km on the back...
I'm convinced now that the bearings do not stay in the bodies of the pulleys, they slip sideways and cause damage to both derailleur, chain, and in my case frame and wallet. I've considered re gluing them myself but after fitting my old SRAM Reds back in the shifting is 10X better. I also built some end caps for them so they couldn't slide off the bearing (this was a suggestion to Selcuk) as the originals had the same diameter as the bearing, meaning the body could slide right over the cap. I built a pair that had a larger diameter and couldn't move sideways over the caps when clamped down. But it still didn't shift correctly and i wasnt happy enough to fit them back to my bike.
I believe the AFC are to thin at the contact point with the chain. This allows the chain to move side to side on the pulley which is the reason the bike wont hold tunes, and the pulleys flex as well which doesn't shift any where near as good as my SRAM Reds. The weight is exceptional of the AFC's but so far the 16 grams i saved has cost me nearly $800.00 NZD in repairs after faults. I would not use them riding again, but now i have a pair ill keep them for photos. I'm really disappointing with the product, they aren't cheap as a high school student, and functionally aren't up to par. I would advise against them unless your putting them on for show.