Like this site? Help us to make it better.

Hawk Racing Derailleur Pulley Set



Superb aftermarket jockey wheels for top-flight rear mechs

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

What the scores mean

Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.

  • Exceptional
  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Good
  • Quite good
  • Average
  • Not so good
  • Poor
  • Bad
  • Appalling

The Univega's old but worthy LX mech might seem an odd recipient of Hawk Racing's Derailleur Pulley Set characterised by super smooth stainless steel bearings and 7075 construction but shifting tag-alongs, trailers and full to the brim expedition panniers day in, day out calls for plenty of gear changing. Oh and they coordinate perfectly with the tubby tourers' red and black livery.

Retailing at a cool 35 quid and available in two alternative colours (green/black or plain black) they're very nicely executed but more interestingly Hawk shun the trend for ceramic bearings in favour of stainless steel-ABEC3 certified Foher Technologies types chosen for the last words in precision and longevity. Machined to Shimano and Sachs patterns, I feared we'd be on a hiding to nothing with an eight-speed mech but a quick wander round the Hawk website assured compatibility with 8,9,10 and even 11 speeds.

Installation is simply a question of splitting the chain (leaving it to marinate in some solvent) and unbolting the existing models from the rear mech, remembering to hang on to the bolts since the Hawk's aren't supplied with any. Take this opportunity to purge residual grime from the derailleur cage before treating those retaining bolts to a quick lick of grease. Snug the Hawk in position with the lazer etched detailing facing the hub; refit the chain and check shifting across the block.

With a fresh drizzling of wax based lube we were ready to go. Don't be surprised if you need to tweak the barrel adjuster slightly and there seemed a very brief bedding in period of around 20 miles and ours haven't skipped a beat since.

Despite high mileages, there's nothing worn or sloppy about the host mech but the Hawks' refinement was immediately obvious. Deliberately leaving down-changes late on the climbs and provocatively shifting under load, shifts were snappier in both directions-even with my full weight dancing on the pedals.

The song remained the same through town, approaching the lights in that gear or so too tall before powering away with a deft flick of the Ultegra bar con. It wasn't long before we felt the call of the wild but I'm pleased to report machined edges churn out gloop and grime with consumate ease, boding well for the not so gentile sport of mud plugging. Ultimately, while they've transformed the persona of an old but worthy mid-range derailleur, in the real world 35 quid would be better invested in a replacement. That said, I wouldn't hesitate to ship them aboard a Dura Ace, Sram Red or similarly top-drawer groupset.


Superb aftermarket jockey wheels for top-flight rear mechs. test report

Make and model: Hawk Racing Derailleur Pulley Set

Size tested: Red/Black

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

"Finally the great same bearing technology is available now as well for your Shimano rear derailleur pulleys.

Replace even your ceramic rear derailleur pulley set with our very low friction, service interval free pulleys. Instead of using plastic pulleys we decided to go with Alloy 7075 to make them last longer and still be lighter than most other brands.

"Use our pulley set with Hawk Racing bottom brackets and wheels and you are all set with a low friction weapon on everything that moves you forward".

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

maintenance free

Pulley Material: Alloy 7075 for long lasting performance.

Weight: 17g/set

Works with Shimano and SRAM 10 speed/11T

Folmer Technology Bearings, ABEC 3 certified, Made in Japan

Available in black/red, black/black and black/green

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:

Too early to tell but looks very promising indeed.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:

17g by my scales

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
Rate the product for value:

Depends on the value of your rear mech-horses for courses.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Extremely smooth glitch free shifting under load and in both directions accross the block. However, this sort of technology is best saved for top-flight race mechs.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Precision, maintenance free shifting on and off road.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing but it's a little too early to confirm some of the claims made.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Quite possibly- but only for a high end mech

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, in the above context.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 38  Height: 1m 81  Weight: 70 kilos

I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset  My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,


Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)

Add new comment


jgb | 7 years ago
1 like

There is a big problem with these pulleys. Shimano pulleys have differing thicknesses. The G-pulley is 7.5mm thick and the T-pulley is 8.1mm. The Hawk pulleys are both 7.5mm. The problem occurs when threading the pulley bolt through the T-pulley, the threads can't seat properly... the too-narrow King pulley causes the bolt to become cross threaded, and subsequently, the two chain guide plates become skewed in their alignment.  Even if one can avoid cross threading, the alignment is still off. The result of this misalignment is as follows. In order to stay in the largest cassette sprocket while on the small chainring, one can't shift into the smallest sprocket while on the large chainring. Even worse than this, the chain will jump off the guide pulley intermittantly and get jammed between the pulley and the chain guide plate causing the derailleur to jump and snap back intermittently. Hawk Racing refunded my purchase, that's about the only good thing I can say about their pulleys intended for Shimano 11sp. 

withnails | 12 years ago

Any idea where you can get these in the UK? I couldn't find the details on the distributor's website.

Shaun Audane | 12 years ago

Not per se, although some of the thinner wax based chain lubes called for a more generous helping. As for chain splitting, that's what the installation instructions recommend and proved easiest in my instance.

amazon22 | 12 years ago

Why split the chain (unless you want to of course)? I put some Tacx replacements with stainless bearings on my XT a while ago (road use only) and they've worked pretty well. Do the alloy wheels increase the noise level?

Latest Comments