What's the difference between different cables and housings? I'm replacing some STI cables and I thought they looked the same as every other cable. I know the cable ends are different, but don't most cables come with both ends and you cut off the one you don't want?
I saw some mentioning of spiral vs lateral wound and lined vs unlined housing. I should also mention I'll be replacing brake cables as well. This is a flip so I don't want to spend top $ but I do want the future owner to be happy with what she gets. I'm pretty much all set on sources from reading other threads now I just want to make sure I buy the right stuff.
The important thing with STI is that you don't want the cables to stretch or the housing to compress; if those happen, your shifting will get all out of whack. So pre-stretched shifter cables and really stiff, STI-specific housing are essential.
And be sure not to use shifter specific cable housing for brakes, since even though it is designed for minimal compression for precise shifting, it is not designed to handle the greater forces exerted on brake housing.