Carmichael Alloy Pulleys Chain Accessories

2.77/5 (62 Reviews)
MSRP : $20.00


Product Description

Carmichael Alloy Pulleys


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Reviews 1 - 15 (62 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Mark a Cross Country Rider from Chichester, NH, USA

Date Reviewed: July 27, 2007

Strengths:    They look good, and they worked well during their somewhat short life on my GT.

Weaknesses:    They wore out.

Bottom Line:   
I replaced these pulleys during a bike overhaul to add a little extra bling to the bike. I noticed that they worked a little bit better than the stock pulleys when I shifted, which was a pleasant surprise. 1500 muddy miles later, the plastic around the middle sleeve bearing was pert-near disintegrated, and I replaced them with my original pulleys once again. I would think they would have lasted longer...

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Many (found on my 'adventures')

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $20.00

Purchased At:   Performance?

Similar Products Used:   Stock XT plastic pulleys.

Bike Setup:   2000 GT Avalanche with not much original equipment left on it.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Scott a Weekend Warrior from Pasadena, Tx

Date Reviewed: October 27, 2003

Strengths:    Looks sharp and is smooth; alloy not plastic

Weaknesses:    Haven't found any yet.

Bottom Line:   
First off yeah I am a roadie not a ATB guy. I bought the Carmichaels to replace the stock sealed jobs in a Dura Ace deraill. I did it partially for looks (haven't seen any plastic ones in anodized blue) and because I have seen the plastic ones get chewed up. I have had mine for at least a year (closer to 2 I think),logged around 3 thousand miles on them no problems at all. I haven't had any shift problems with the Carmichaels and they seem better than the stock ones by far. As far as loctite on the screws when you replace them, never got around to it and never had problems. I guess it depends on the person doing it and the amount of abuse you dish out (potholes, railroad tracks and bad roads in general - no probs here). Shimano uses blue loctite when they build the deraills, so I could see where it would be re-applied. Before anyone says 'roadie, figures' I have a couple of die-hard ATB guys using them and have yet to hear any complaints from them. If they had problems, I would be the first to catch flack because I (1) suggested them (2) work at a bike shop & sold them the pulleys in the first place. The pulleys are a must for anybody wanting a decent upgrade (especially if your stock pulleys aren't sealed) and doesn't want to shell out the bucks for a high end deraill or somebody just wanting to accent the bike beyond the QR skewers.

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Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $18.00

Purchased At:   bike shop

Similar Products Used:   stock shimano pulleys (plastic of course)

Bike Setup:   stock '99 Schwinn Peloton

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Mark a Racer from Ottawa, ON Canada

Date Reviewed: June 30, 2003

Strengths:    Don't appear to be toxic

Weaknesses:    Design, quality, instructions, support

Bottom Line:   
I wish I had come across this forum before I bought these things. Even though they are marketed as Shimano replacments there is definetly none of the float that, depending on your view, is either required or desirable for the upper pulley to work correctly. When I discovered how little float the design seemed to offer I contacted the manufacturer via the support email listed on the package to see if there was a fix or if I was missing something. Having heard nothing in a week, I even thought about jerry rigging them for more float. Then I discovered that the bearings on one of the pulleys was binding and this was right out of the package.

I'm returning them. This forum has convinced me that as counter-intuitive as it may seem, the stock pulleys seem to be the way to go.

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Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $20.00

Purchased At:   Nashbar

Similar Products Used:   Control Tech

Bike Setup:   Kona Jake the Snake
stock except for seat, brake pads, tires and brake boosters

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Shawn a Weekend Warrior from Ellicott City

Date Reviewed: March 11, 2003

Strengths:    ••••••••••••••••
If Carmichael is reading this I got to say something to you. I don't see too many strengths here. See below.


Weaknesses:    I have not bought them yet but thanks to review websites like this I saved myself a grande on Garbage Forks from Hanebrink. I also now saved money on your gears. Read on.

Bottom Line:   
I hear a lot of complaints and I keep getting the same complaint. I have sealed bearings in my front Rolfe Rims. I have pulled them out, used a pin at the center to pry out the rubber seal, gasolined them to clean them and re-greased them with automotive grease. My bearings work fine and pashaw to all you people cringing when I told you about the auto grease. I also use MOTORCYCLE Chain lube, yes WET lube to the guy out there that plugged white lighting wax, give me a break! Metal needs grease and lube. GET IT!? Secondly when you wash your bike after every weekend ride, BUY a SRAM CHAIN with the power link (SO YOU CAN TAKE IT OFF SHERLOCK!) and clean your chain once each week WET chain lube is fine. What do you think the PRO motorcross circuit is using, White Lightning? Give me a break. And they are kicking up more mud than your pedalling will. Wet lube is fine. SO LISTEN UP Carmichael, I hear bad news on the same thing. EVERYONE says LOCTIGHT. If the quality of workmanship and performance on your product relies on someone using Loctite then you need to re-evaluate your product and make changes to fix the problem.

FIRST, you need to address the loctite issue, You need to design a bearing that does not lock up under tightening. HELL, make it heavier, no one cares over a few grams on the mountain bike trail. TWO, make them work on the upper pulley. I hear nothing but complaints about the upper one locking up. THEREFORE homer, Shawn ain't going to be buying anytime soon. I was looking at the Titanium set and then heard the horror stories of it being a mud catcher and I do believe the story of you patenting them as a mud reducer, but eitherway, if there is a mud collecting problem with the holes, make a titanium set WITHOUT the holes.

LASTLY, let people send back their old ones for new ones if you can do it. OR let them send them back with a few bucks, COST to upgrade to the new improved model.

You need to fix the upper pulley sticking and the loctite issue, MAKE IT WORK the FIRST TIME!

In this case, I will not be buying then on account of all the bad pub here. I do know that in HANEBRINKS case here on MTBR, it is OBVIOUS that the company that is being panned sends it's own employees into this forum to counter a lot of the bad publicity but if you have any brain you can figure who is working for the company and putting in a bogus review to help the company out. So cut that bull out and fix your product rather than act like the US goverment that decides to save your their ass and their reputation first before fixing the situation. Admit a problem, FIX it and move on. It's called Product research. Why do you think DUNLOP gives free tires to AMA racers? To test in real conditions and to get feedback , WELL... look below, and check your feedback, it ain't too good is it!? So get the windage and do right by the product and the people. If you are AMERICAN, stand up and make a good product without flaws, fix them and stand by the AMERICAN BUYER!

I upgraded to a Cloud Nine Shock from Cane Creek as I had TWO AD-5's blow up on me on the trail. Cane Creek said, "Send it back, we'll give you a new one." After the second I told them I had no faith in the shock, they informed me that it was maybe a nylon part inside that broke each time. The newer Cloud Nine Shock had metal according to them. I did not have to threaten, they offered me a new shock or my money back but the guy said he was more worried over my loss of confidence in their product. He offered me the chance to try out the Cloud Nine shock for no extra charge just to try and make me happy. NEEDLESS to say, I am very happy Cane Creek stood by me, the customer, WAY out of warranty. Not to mention eventually a blown shock in mid-air could have turned into a serious injury. They did right by me, I got a new shock that was a better shock and cost more but they gave it to me for nothing.

STAND BY YOUR FELLOW AMERICANS. Instead of denying theres a problem with it, fix it and move one. Help those who have already bought to send them back and send them the newer improved design or allow them to upgrade for cost if they send the old ones back.

As to me, I am not buying them untill I hear they are fixed and working flawlessly, with NO LOCTITE!

Capice?

For the 20 bucks, I am not being a sucker. Fix them, make them better and allow them to be tightend with a screw without loctite.

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Favorite Trail:   Widow Maker

Duration Product Used:   Tested or demo'ed only

Purchased At:   Did not purchase

Similar Products Used:   Shimano Stock XT derailer with plastic pulleys

Bike Setup:   Trek VRX 300 full suspension, Manitou 125mm Dual Crown Xvert fork, Cane Creek Cloud Nine, set up for X-country/downhill. Modified.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Mike S a Cross Country Rider from Huntington, WV

Date Reviewed: October 13, 2002

Strengths:    Silky smooth shifting, good looks. Good customer support.

Weaknesses:    pully bearings freeze up when used in mud. is it just mine?

Bottom Line:   
These were a large improvement over the stock Shimano pullies on my XT derailleur. The shifting is smoother. I had no problems with the float described by other reviewers. After a phone call to the company, and the advice of people on this board, I learned that these pullies don't actually need to "float". My one gripe is that I've had 2 bottom pullies freeze up (and become useless) after rides in moderately muddy conditions. I'm not sure what I've done to cause this. Luckily the company has great customer support and sent me 2 new pullies at no charge. I haven't heard of anybody else having their bearings freeze up, so I'll assume it's problem that was my fault. Still though, buyer beware.

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Favorite Trail:   currently Lake Vesuvius

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $20.00

Purchased At:   Performance retail store

Similar Products Used:   Shimano stock pullies

Bike Setup:   Fisher 2001 Paragon, basically stock.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by David a Cross Country Rider from San Clemente,CA

Date Reviewed: May 13, 2002

Strengths:    Bolted right in place of the old pulleys. No hassel at all. Shift are faster and more positive than ever.

Weaknesses:    none

Bottom Line:   
Should have bought these a long time ago.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $22.00

Similar Products Used:   Bombproof and they exploded, literally.

Bike Setup:   Moutain Cycle Moho XT group

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Matt a Cross Country Rider from Bay Area, CA

Date Reviewed: March 18, 2002

Strengths:    lower friction than any bushing-based pulley I've used

Weaknesses:    umm... anodizing wears off fast?

Bottom Line:   
I really like these pulleys. Admittedly I haven't tried the Control Techs, but I find these far superior to anything from Shimano I've tried. I feel like I can run at least one, if not two teeth higher because of the lower friction. I had absolutely no problems with the setup, even though I was putting 8-speed (10-tooth) pulleys on a 9-speed derailleur. Everything has been buttery smooth and I expect it to stay that way. When the anodizing wears off the teeth, I'll give them a closer inspection to check for signs of wear or binding, but I've never had a problem and this is my third pair on as many bikes.

Maybe it helps that I don't ride in mud or sand?

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $20.00

Similar Products Used:   stock derailleur pulleys for STX and LX derailleurs

Bike Setup:   Titus Racer-X, '00 XT 9-speed derailleur, XTR 12-32 8-speed cassette, SRAM PC-68 chain

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Red from Helena, MT

Date Reviewed: January 16, 2001

Strengths:    Inexpensive and easy to find on sale

Weaknesses:    Need futzing to set up properly
Not as strong as the solid Control Tech pulley
Hard to justify when there are competitive brands out there that work better


Bottom Line:   
This review relates to eight-speed 1997 (old style) XT derailleurs, I have no experience with the bulkier newer models. I have thousands of miles on the old ones & so have felt no need to buy new.

If you are interested in sealed bearing pulleys the Control Tech versions work much better. I replaced some wornout XT pulleys with Control Techs after a set of Carmichaels proved impossible to adjust, then the upper pulley broke in two. The solid Control Techs have worked extremely well after a short period of wearing in their teeth to the chain. I would say that performance is better than brand new XT, comparing it to a 1998 XT I got on clearance.

One word on the older (1997) XTR derailleur. I don't know if Control Techs are any better than 8-speed XTR pulleys, these XTR pulleys do seem to work better than standard XT (one of the very few real differences IMHO). But the Control Techs work AS WELL, and I find my upgraded Control Tech-equipped XT eight speed now shifts as well as the much more expensive 1997 XTR.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Matt a Cross Country Rider from Berkeley, CA

Date Reviewed: November 24, 2000

Strengths:    lower friction, easy to install, good shifting

Weaknesses:    none

Bottom Line:   
I love these pulleys. I noticed a significant decrease in friction when I switched out the stock Shimano bushing pulleys for these sealed bearing ones. The ones on my Performance use an older set of spacers, such that there is _no_ floating pulley. It works great.
I bought the pulleys for my Airborne ('99 LX rear derailleur) which have a floating pulley setup, but didn't follow the directions correctly the first time and set up one thin and one fat spacer on each pulley with no shifting problems. I then figured out my blunder, set it up with a floating top pulley, and have not noticed a difference in shifting. I also have not had any problems with the different bolts rubbing my spokes.
I'm running an XT 11-32 rear cassette, so using the 10-tooth pulleys hasn't been a problem for me. The 11-tooth pulleys were brought out in order to allow more chain wrap when using the extreme spacing of an 11-34 or 12-34 cassette.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $20.00

Similar Products Used:   stock Shimano pulleys, 6, 7, and 9-speed

Bike Setup:   '94 Performance M304 (commuter, 5 years on one pair of pulleys), '99 Airborne Lucky Strike (superlight XC, 1 year of use on pulleys)

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Paul a Cross Country Rider from Fort Worth, TX, USA

Date Reviewed: July 15, 2000

Strengths:    Looks, reduced friction in drivetrain

Weaknesses:    that float bushing - poor design

Bottom Line:   
$20 from Nashbar. Cheaper than the stock ones from my local shop, Bike's Inc. I ran my stock XT pulleys for 4 years. They were badly worn & something had to be done.

I'm already trying to find the Bebops if that tells u anything. I had the same problem as many other posters with the float on these. First off - u shouldn't use ANY torque on the guide pulley screw - just snug it up, & count on the locktite - the instructions need to scream this & they don't. Once you've applied just a hair of torque - you've lost float - its just a bad design. I was able to fix this by running an exact-fit drill bit trough the bushings to regain near-perfect roundness; then I used the bit on a drill & some duck tape to spin the bushings and ran over them with a narrow strip of 400 grit sandpaper to resmooth them; then I reflattened the bottom of each bushing / cylinder on the same grit. This got me back & now I have float using the correct no torque / locktite procedure. I have only tested then around the block - very nice and smooth shifting with a hair's less friction. I'll repost after some trail abuse to see how they hold up. Three flamers coz the actual pulleys seem solid, quite and feel & shift very nice after going through all that abouse trying to get the float right. As bad as that is - it brings up the average up a bit from here.

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Favorite Trail:   Northshore on Grapevine Lake

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Similar Products Used:   Shimano XT stock

Bike Setup:   GT teamRTS, XT Hollowtech, XT, Hayes discs, Panaracer

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Ralph Jordan a Cross Country Rider from Norris, TN (USA)

Date Reviewed: July 1, 2000

Strengths:    Very Easy to install, once I figured out that instructions were not for the nine speed (11 tooth) model. Very quiet and shifting is quite smooth

Weaknesses:    None so far

Bottom Line:   
Purchased through Nashbar fro around $20. Installation went very smoothly, once I figured out that instruction sheet was actually for the 7-8 speed (10 tooth) model. A call to Carmichael helped in this regard. Their representative was extremely helpful in explaining that instruction sheet was wrong. Thereafter everything went smooth as silk. Pulleys work really well with minimal noise and very smooth, and reliable shifting. No problems with this product and they do look cool on the bike. The reason for the 4's is because they are not worth $20 and they should have better quality control to ensure that correct instructions are included with their product.

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Favorite Trail:   Norris Watershed

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Similar Products Used:   Only Shimano OE

Bike Setup:   Bontrager Privateer "S". XT rear derail and LX front.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by smokey strodtman a Weekend Warrior from gilliam, MO usa

Date Reviewed: June 9, 2000

Strengths:    smoother shifts. quieter than stock cogs. appearance.

Weaknesses:    tricky to install, must use correct shims, hold several parts in place, and avoid over-tightening. price.

Bottom Line:   
two points for everyone who has had problems with this product; shim them according to instructions and DON'T OVER-TORQUE when tightening down. use loctite on the bolt threads. if your bearings are not working, you have probably over-tightened the bolts. you may have to re-adjust the screw that sets the angle of the derailleur body, mine were one tooth larger than the stock cogs. with a well-lubed chain, this should give you quick, quiet shifts.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   too many to list

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Similar Products Used:   stock cogs on sram 5.0 rear derailleur.

Bike Setup:   fisher marlin, moxey seatpost, oury grips, azonic barends, michelin wildgripper sprints, and lots of tlc.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:1
Submitted by j marc a Cross Country Rider from Middle Park, CO

Date Reviewed: March 7, 2000

Strengths:    Cool appearance

Weaknesses:    Cost over twice as much as stock Shimano, didn't hold up half as well. Bought them to be long-lasting/low maint., they seem to be the opposite.

Bottom Line:   
My stock pulleys wore out and I saw these and thought they looked like they would last forever, without having to mess around with them very often. They worked great for 1 1/2 yrs. or so (meaning I did have them installed correctly)then I got into a little mud & water & the top one just quit. "Sealed" bearings allowed in some water & grit & ground themselves to death. Other reviews here say they need to be cleaned & lubed a lot, but come on, the stock Shimanos are bomb proof, quiet, and long-lasting with just some lube and an occasional cleaning, for

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Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Similar Products Used:   Stock shimano

Bike Setup:   12 yr old "rigid" ritchey ultra

Overall Rating:2
Submitted by Larry a Weekend Warrior from NYC, PA

Date Reviewed: April 29, 1999

Bottom Line:   
Recently installed on a 1999 XT
Findings:This is a 10 tooth pulley; Shimano OE is now 11 tooth
Installation of pulleys with bushings widens the distance between the cage plates from the stock setup. Additionally, now that Shimano has set up the upper pulley bolt with the head on the inside pulley cage, and because the Carmichael bolts (which are longer than OE to accomodate the increased cage width) have heads which are not beveled on the thread side (unlike OE, whose heads are essentially flush with the cage; countersunk, in other words). The combination of increased cage width and the protruberance of the upper pulley bolt head requires a very precise adjustment of the limit screw to prevent the bolt head from hitting the spokes.
Both upper and lower bushings have inside diameters which are noticeably larger than the outside diameter of the pulley bolts. Because of this slop around the bolt, the upper left and right bushings have a tendency to line up eccentrically, that is not parallel to the bolt, and not parallel with respect to their outside diameters. This results in a ridge or shoulder where the two bushings meet; this is probably why the upper pulley does not float as well as it should (it catches on the ridge).
I hope this verbal description makes sense; one simple drawing would make this condition very clear.
I cannot speak to the durability of the bearings or of the entire assembly for that matter, as it hasn't been used for any significant length of time.
In a recent phone conversation with Carmichael, they said that they would have an 11 tooth pulley around Aug. 1999, and would have a mounting system that would presumably solve all the above problems. I didn't understand their verbal phone description of this system for the same reasons you probably don't understand what I've just written (visuals are much better). The pulleys themselves impress me as being well crafted.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   
less than 1 month


Overall Rating:5
Submitted by >_< a Weekend Warrior from SD

Date Reviewed: April 22, 1999

Strengths:    
They work, they have holes where the most of the gunk goes, very easy to install if you can follow simple instructions, several colors available to match your bike's color scheme.


Weaknesses:    
Pricey, anodized is out of style :-)


Bottom Line:   
Slapped these on a long long time ago. I clean my bike regularly on weekends, so I clean these too. I stick Q Tips in the holes to push out the gunk that White Lightning gets off the chain. It floats too, if you follow the installation procedure. Never had a problem with it. One of the parts of a bike that just does it's job day in and day out, on the trail or on the road, in the dry or in the mud. I even forget that I have it at times coz it just works.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   
Desk

Duration Product Used:   
6 months

Similar Products Used:   
Shimano XT ceramic pulleys


Bike Setup:   
Stumpjumper

Reviews 1 - 15 (62 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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