Today’s Tour de France time trial will see Muc-Off's Lightweight Oversized Precision Shifting (LOPS) oversized pulley wheel system make its debut on the bike used by Team Bahrain-McLaren leader, Mikel Landa.
Seemingly a direct rival to CeramicSpeed’s oversized pulley wheel system, LOPS was developed by Muc-Off in partnership with McLaren.
Larger pulley wheels are considered more efficient because the less the chain has to articulate as it engages and disengages the wheels, the less friction is produced.
The trade-off is weight, but Muc-Off says LOPS is lighter and stiffer than pulley wheel systems from leading competitors.
The 13-tooth upper pulley wheel and 19-tooth lower one are made from aerospace grade aluminium, which are then coated to further reduce friction. The cage is titanium.
“Project Landa” will also see the rider benefit from the firm’s, “fastest ever lubricant and chain combination.”
Geared specifically towards the 36.2km time trial, this basically means they decided, “to tip the efficiency-durability axis heavily in favour of the former and go all-in for speed.”
The bearings are ceramic, lubricated with “a special synthetic hydrocarbon.”
Speaking about the project, Muc-Off managing director, Alex Trimnell, said: "Our partnership with Team Bahrain-McLaren presents us with opportunities to work with world-class athletes and world-class engineers.
“Together, in the earliest days of the partnership, we identified an opportunity to develop an oversized pulley wheel system. To lead on its development and delivery during a pandemic is a testament to the people I'm proud to call colleagues.”
He added: “Our people dug deep to meet a non-negotiable deadline, and Mikel will now start what might be the most important time-trial of his career with a significant technical advantage.”
Landa begins the Stage 20 time trial in fifth overall, 3m28s behind leader Primoz Roglic.