On board his Merida Time Warp time trial bike, Mikel Landa (Bahrain McLaren) leaves no stone unturned in the pursuit of speed, and Cycling understands that the Spaniard will turn to a brand new oversized jockey wheel system from Muc-Off.
In fact, Muc-Off’s work with Bahrain McLaren led to the creation of the ‘Landa Project’, in which both sides of the partnership would work to maximize the effectiveness of Landa’s time trial bike specifically for the time trial. -the stage 20 watch of the Tour de France.The new Muc-Off system is to be known as the LOPS (Lightweight Oversized Precision Shifting) system and, according to a recent press release from the British brand, is “the lightest and most rigid of all those selected among the main competitors “.The name hardly suggests an increase in speed or a reduction in friction, but like any oversized pulley system, the Muc-Off system is clearly designed with reduced friction in mind. The two aluminum pulley wheels, of which you will find a 13T rod and a lower 19T rod, are said to be finished with an “extremely efficient coating” which offers “friction coefficients more than three times lower than those of the hard anodized equivalents”. The bearings are, of course, ceramic and coated with a “special synthetic hydrocarbon”, in order to further target friction reduction.
The ‘light’ and ‘precision shifting’ are thanks in part to the cage’s 3D printed titanium body, and while no specific weight is provided by Muc-Off, it is claimed to be 10% more lighter than the nearest competitor – but fails to mention which.
Not only did the Landa project lead to the creation of the LOPS system, it also led to a new lubricant which is not available to the public (for reasons which will soon become evident). The lubricant was designed to maximize efficiency at the expense of longevity, designed to be effective for 36.2 km, no more.
Landa starts the time trial on stage 20 in fifth place, 3:28 behind leader Primož Roglič and 1:31 behind the third podium currently occupied by Miguel Ángel López