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Bicycle Drivechain & Jockey Wheel

Jockey Wheels when Cycling


Jockey wheels, also known as derailleur pulleys, are small, spinning wheels that are part of a bike's drivetrain. They are found on the rear derailleur and are responsible for guiding the chain from one cassette cog to another. Jockey wheels come in a variety of sizes and materials, and their quality can greatly affect the performance of a bike.

Components of Jockey Wheels


Jockey wheels come in different sizes, with 11-tooth and 12-tooth wheels being the most common. Smaller wheels can reduce friction and weight, while larger wheels can provide smoother shifting.


Jockey wheels are typically made of either plastic or metal. Metal jockey wheels are more durable and can last longer, while plastic jockey wheels are lighter and can reduce friction.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to replace my jockey wheels?

Over time, jockey wheels can wear down or become dirty, which can affect shifting performance. It is recommended to replace jockey wheels every 2,000-3,000 miles or if they show signs of wear.

Can I upgrade my jockey wheels?

Upgrading to higher-quality jockey wheels can improve shifting performance and reduce friction. However, it is important to ensure that the new jockey wheels are compatible with the derailleur and cassette.

How do I clean my jockey wheels?

To clean jockey wheels, remove them from the derailleur and soak them in degreaser or rubbing alcohol. Use a small brush to scrub off any dirt or grime, then rinse with water and let them dry before reinstalling.

What is the difference between ceramic and steel jockey wheels?

Ceramic jockey wheels are more expensive than steel jockey wheels, but they offer smoother and more durable performance. Ceramic jockey wheels are also lighter and can reduce friction.

Can I mix and match jockey wheels with different brands?

While it is possible to mix and match jockey wheels with different brands, it is not recommended. Different brands may have different designs or compatibility issues that can affect shifting performance.


Jockey wheels are a small but important component of a bike's drivetrain. Upgrading to higher-quality jockey wheels can improve shifting performance and reduce friction. It is important to consider the size, material, and compatibility when choosing jockey wheels. If in doubt, it is best to seek the advice of a professional bike mechanic.

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