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  1. #1
    Senior Member swekarl's Avatar
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    A wire is a wire is a wire - or is it?

    Is there any reason to buy wires at the bike shop at $3 instead of at the mall at $1? (Except from supporting your LBS, which is a good reason.) Is it the same type of wire or do they differ in quality?

  2. #2
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    On index shifting, friction is the enemy. I can't get cheap shift cables to index to save my life. Brake cables will work fine, I just can feel the difference and since my wife has a great paying job, I don't mind spending the extra $.

  3. #3
    Just Pedal
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    Yes there are differences in cables. Some are braided steel, some are teflon coated, some are sheethed in Kevlar, some are pre stretched and nickel plated. There are several other ways to make cables. There are also many different maufacturesr's. Depending on your riding conditions and how lomg you want ot to last the more expensive cables will last longer, and will operate smoother. this is of course that the LBS isn't trying to smoke its cutomer's.

  4. #4
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    The wires sold at the mall are cheap inferior quality suitable for the type of bikes sold there.

    You're riding a quality bike, why not use quality parts?
    ljbike

  5. #5
    Senior Member swekarl's Avatar
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    Of course I want to use quality parts! Like my friends in the hifi industry use to say: A sound system is never stronger than its weakest loudspeker cable... Now I can feel good again buying $3 wires.

  6. #6
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    From a performance standpoint, you will notice a difference between cheap cables and better cables.

    The cheap cables tend to stretch. You will notice this especially when you brake. You can feel the cheap cables stretch when you brake. The brake lever has a mushy, spring-like feel to it - not very reassuring.

    It is not quite as noticeable with derailure shifting except, for some reason, front derailures often don't seem as responsive with cheaper cables.
    Mike

  7. #7
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    The cable outers make a big difference, but I too am a bit sceptical of the very expensive big name inner cables. My bike shop has very reasonably priced cables from Clarks, who make cables for the motor industry as well.
    I cant believe that Shimano and Campy make their own cables. Who do they buy them from ?

  8. #8
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Like MichaelW I am skeptical of the very expensive cables and housings. I just buy my cables and lengths of housing from my LBS. Things like cables and fasteners are too important to scrimp on. They are not that expensive to begin with, and you only replace them once a year or less often.
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  9. #9
    Just Pedal
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    Originally posted by MichaelW
    The cable outers make a big difference, but I too am a bit sceptical of the very expensive big name inner cables. My bike shop has very reasonably priced cables from Clarks, who make cables for the motor industry as well.
    I cant believe that Shimano and Campy make their own cables. Who do they buy them from ?
    Either Dia Compe or Nervz.

  10. #10
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    There's a difference, even in bike shop cables. (Just cables, not housing.) One local bike shop carries stainless shifter cables. I compared these to the standard cables I was buying at another bike shop. The stainless are somewhat thicker, when I put them on and adjust them, I don't have to readjust in a day or two, and they aren't as subject to corrosion. A dollar or two more, but worth it.

  11. #11
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    I put RideOn cables on my Aegis, and haven't had to change them in 4 years. The original cost was high, but longevity makes them worth it to me.
    ljbike

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