All hail the Bullseye pulley. Tiny, candy-like parts, but some of my favorite nonetheless. A little bit more special, as they are no longer in production. [Update: I got a comment from SJ. He sounded pretty confident in his assertions, so I did some digging. I think SJ is Steven Jackson, the current force behind Bullseye. Found an interview at BMXUltra. Looks like they have on hand a bunch of NOS parts for sale and are ramping up production again. They have a website under construction here. Pretty exciting stuff. I wish Mr. Jackson the best of luck!]
I have one set on a bicycle today. Bough them when I was a kid and they are still going strong. I don’t notice performance improvements (stock plastic pulleys on metal bushings work fine when kept clean), but I am convinced they accrue. Fractional efficiencies aside, the pulleys are beautiful, durable and score big in the nostalgia category.
I wrote to an eBay seller who listed a Crane GS derailleur with Phil Wood pulleys. I said I though the pulleys were Bullseyes. He wrote back to say he knew Phil Wood (the man) and that Phil Wood (the company) manufactured the pulleys for Bullseye. I believe it, but am surprised. I would have thought that at some point in time the two companies were competitors. Also, it seems like Bullseye, makers of very fine BMX hubs, would have had the production ability to make the pulleys in house. Or maybe I am missing the larger truth. Maybe Bullseye had all their parts made by Phil Wood. The hubs sure do look similar. I wrote to ask the fellow if this was the case, but he didn’t know. Do you? Please share.
Anyway, if you want a pair of Bullseye pulleys, head to eBay. A seller is moving a fair number of pairs in many colors. Has been for some time, actually. The auctions are buy it now and the prices are steep, but the prices are not materially above the price of aftermarket sealed bearing pulleys made today. You can get a rough idea of what is out there by scrolling through the list here. If I needed just one pair, I’d be happy to fork over the listed price. As it is, I’d love to buy a dozen pairs (because I am sick that way). I still might buy one pair (which is one more pair than I currently need) just to show how well I can control my illness. Zero pairs doesn’t feel right at all.