20 years ago, Danish skater Jacob Csizmadia broke the inline skating 24-hour world record, covering 505km wearing skates fitted with ceramic ball bearings. In what was a first for the sport Jacob became the first man to break the 500km barrier.
The feat brought about the beginning of what became CeramicSpeed. Since then, Jacob has gone from setting the world record in 1998 to supplying WorldTour cyclists with a range of performance-enhancing products. To commemorate the anniversary of this event CeramicSpeed has released the Gold Limited Edition Oversized Pulley Wheel (OSPW) System and pulley wheels
The company adds that this product offering reduces friction in the drivetrain, wasting fewer watts and enabling cyclists to ride faster.
“Sometimes it’s hard to find the right way to celebrate a special event,” said Jacob Csizmadia, now CEO of CeramicSpeed. “Some people gather memorabilia, others keep a memento, a token, while there are those who put together photo albums or collect newspaper cuttings.
“However, we have created something tangible to remind people to celebrate every single high point in their lives, to enjoy it and be proud of it. The result is the Gold Limited Edition OSPW System and pulley wheel series, which we hope will inspire everybody to pursue their dreams and celebrate all victories, no matter how big or small.”
Environment and equipment
In 1998 when he was preparing for his world record attempt, Jacob chose to skate inside a supermarket because the environment was ideal for the task at hand, as he said: “In a supermarket there are no hills, no sun, heat or wind to slow me down, and this created the perfect context for me to pursue the absolute best advantage in my roller skates.
“However, there was a downside to choosing the supermarket, and that was the floor. The surface is much softer compared to concrete, increasing friction and slowing down my time by 5%. So I took a risk and replaced the steel bearings in my skates with ceramic bearings that I had assembled myself.”
Two years later Jacob introduced ceramic bearings to professional cycling. “It was hard in the beginning, without a doubt,” he said. “Nobody could understand why they should replace steel bearings with ceramic bearings, for them it wasn’t broken, so why try to upgrade it?”
He eventually persuaded the CSC Tiscali team, with leading rider at that time, Bjarne Riis, feeling the benefits of CeramicSpeed Bearings.
Jacob said, “I was given an opportunity to sponsor a WorldTour team, which is not an opportunity that comes easily. The products needed to work. The riders could easily feel the difference, so I thought that once a team was using them, interest would grow. But it didn’t. I had to work hard to prove the advantages of this new product and finally, we were successful in proving through rider performance how valuable they were.”
From this beginning, CeramicSpeed flourished, and in 2010 Jacob agreed a partnership with Bob Stapleton and Rolf Aldag of HTC-Columbia to make a move into the WorldTour peloton. The deal was made in the mechanics’ truck at the Tour de France only hours before the start of the prologue. ‘And the rest, as they say, is history.’
Jacob continued, “We have the power to control our success. We’re all afraid of the unknown but once I had the world record more and more people started to see the difference.”
The Gold Limited Edition follows the release earlier this year of the Victory Limited Edition OSPW System, ridden by Tour de France double podium-finisher Romain Bardet of AG2R La Mondiale Team, and by IRONMAN World Champion Patrick Lange in his record-breaking performance at this year’s Kona World Championships.
CeramicSpeed’s OSPW Systems reduce friction in the drivetrain, ‘wasting fewer watts and meaning more efficiency and speed, through a unique combination of superior bearings, oversized pulley wheels and quality cage design enabling high cage tension.’