D.I.Y. Cyclocross Derailleur Pulley

This would cost $15 from a bike company.

I love D.I.Y. solutions to cycling problems. Clever work-arounds using parts not manufactured for a particular use, tools made with hardware store bits, etc.

I got the chance to try my hand at a new D.I.Y. solution this weekend while building up Becky’s new cross bike. Long backstory short, Becky is going to try cyclocross this Fall. She bought a Scattante cross frameset from a friend of mine a while back and we’ve slowly been collecting parts for it.

I thought we finally had everything we needed to put it together, but discovered that I was missing one small and crucial part. Her frame has top-routed derailleur cables, but we put a bottom-pull front derailleur on the bike. It’s fairly common for cross bikes to use standard road derailleurs with top-routed cables. They just employ a small pulley on the back of the seat tube that the derailleur cable loops around so that it routes under the derailleur.

This is a stock pulley.

We went hunting for a pulley all over town on Saturday. We went to three different shops to no avail. I thought in a town as cyclocross-crazy as Seattle someone would have one, for sure, but I guess it’s still an obscure part to stock. That left me with the option of ordering one online, or waiting for one of the shops to order one for me. The pulleys–which basically consist of a M5 bolt, a washer, and the plastic pulley itself–run about $15 + shipping online. I decided to head to the hardware store and see if I could find a reasonable solution.

It took a bit of searching, but I eventually found what I needed in a plastic screen door wheel. The wheel, bolt, and washer only cost a few dollars and seem like they’re going to work perfectly.

I assembled it last night and frankly, I think it looks pretty dang solid.

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