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Old 05-28-07, 10:51 AM   #1
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Flak Jacket's anyone?

It seems that every time I ride in the slop and wash my bike...the shifting is crizzap. I wipe the cables dry and pull the housings out of the cable hangers and wipe them dry. There's still a bit'o water in there though. Enough to make the freakin' thing not shift well when it dries out.


I was considering getting some Flak Jackets or something with sheilded inners. Any opinion?
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Old 05-28-07, 11:03 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chelboed
It seems that every time I ride in the slop and wash my bike...the shifting is crizzap. I wipe the cables dry and pull the housings out of the cable hangers and wipe them dry. There's still a bit'o water in there though. Enough to make the freakin' thing not shift well when it dries out.


I was considering getting some Flak Jackets or something with sheilded inners. Any opinion?
you can do that stuff, but... yes, it's better sealed, but all the multiple joining points can still get gunked up, and they do add more friction to the system.

get a set of them, and run full length housing from shifter to derrailleur. only two ends to potentially get gunked up. make nice clean cuts at the housing ends, do as straight a run of housing/cable as you can.

zip tie or tape the housing to the frame if you don't have housing stops that'll let you run full length. or, dremel/drill them open (granted, this may screw with potential warrantee stuff down the road, if you care). that's what i've done; been using full housing runs for several years now on all my bikes. works much better, lasts much longer.
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Old 05-28-07, 11:21 AM   #3
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With full length housings...should I run the Delta Aztec's with the metal "knuckle joint" housing that combats compression? Do you notice housing compression with full length housing?
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Old 05-28-07, 11:56 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by chelboed
With full length housings...should I run the Delta Aztec's with the metal "knuckle joint" housing that combats compression? Do you notice housing compression with full length housing?
not really. not if you use decent compressionless housing. the flak jackets are good stuff, as are the jagwire generic compressionless sets. (i think, but am not 100% sure that jagwire makes the stuff for avid)

i've played around with the aztec metal stuff. not so hot. if you want to go that route, spend the dough to get the nokon sets. i've messed with those a bit too, and still prefer plain housing.
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Old 05-28-07, 12:27 PM   #5
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When the shifting gets stiff like that I just trickle some triflow down the cable into the housing. Works decent enough.
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Old 05-28-07, 12:33 PM   #6
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I use triflow on cables after every wash and it still doesn't shift "perfectly". If it's not perfect, sad to say, it won't be sufficient for me. (what a snob...I know) I just feel that when you spend enough money and get to a certain component level...things should be seemless.

Good lube though...I've used it since 1994.
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Old 05-28-07, 12:41 PM   #7
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Mmmmm triflow smells soooo good.
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Old 05-28-07, 12:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chelboed
I use triflow on cables after every wash and it still doesn't shift "perfectly". If it's not perfect, sad to say, it won't be sufficient for me. (what a snob...I know) I just feel that when you spend enough money and get to a certain component level...things should be seemless.

Good lube though...I've used it since 1994.
full housing run + good end caps + straight as possible cable runs + good quality stainless cables = good shifting. a setup like that can last a good long time.

you can also trickle a little dry teflon lube into the housing when putting things together. nice and slick.
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Old 05-29-07, 02:15 AM   #9
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Flak Jackets are really good. However, installing them will make you curse like a sailor. Everything has to be perfect or it will not work. If your housing cuts are not the best cuts you've ever seen, then it won't work and the red lining is extremely fragile. They are so much work I decided to use them only for my RD, but they are good.

I don't have a FD and I use Straight Jackets for my brakes with full housing runs and nice cables.
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Old 05-29-07, 02:53 AM   #10
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The best option is full length XTR housing and cable, hard to beat it!!
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Old 05-29-07, 05:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrublover
not really. not if you use decent compressionless housing. the flak jackets are good stuff, as are the jagwire generic compressionless sets. (i think, but am not 100% sure that jagwire makes the stuff for avid)

i've played around with the aztec metal stuff. not so hot. if you want to go that route, spend the dough to get the nokon sets. i've messed with those a bit too, and still prefer plain housing.
+1 I put a set of Aztec powerlines on my hardtail, can't say that I've noticed any improvement in shifting performance!
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Old 05-29-07, 05:58 AM   #12
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I avoid washing my bikes and I never lube cables. It just attracts dirt. However, when I replaced my Avid cable-actuated disc brake calipers, the instructions suggested putting a little grease in that little rubber boot at the end of the outer housing just before the caliper. Never thought of that.

I'm thinking of putting some silicon grease in the boot at the bottom end of the rear derailleur cable to keep the water out when fording streams. The disadvantage would be that more water might get trapped in there and it could make things worse.

If I do use water, I avoid cable ends and bearings and just trickle it on the rest of the bike, relying on a brush to do the actual cleaning.

I have had problems with metal ferrules or housing-ends corroding and interfering with shifting. I stay with plastic ones now.

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Old 05-29-07, 08:24 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al.canoe
I avoid washing my bikes and I never lube cables. It just attracts dirt.
Dry lube does not attract dirt. The use of a teflon based lub in cable housing is a very good thing.


For the OP, flack jackets work well. They were not difficult to install. Just remember, that cutting a bit too long is better then cutting a bit too short.
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Old 05-29-07, 08:51 AM   #14
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I had Dry Cables (http://www.drycables.com/) installed on my full suspension and am pretty happy with them. I cannot tell you how easy or hard it was to install as my friend put them on for me. I'm running the derailleur set and the brake set since I have BB7s on my bike.

I've run the bike in some pretty crappy conditions including a rainy day that was more gritty than muddy and had no problems.
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Old 05-29-07, 09:08 AM   #15
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[QUOTE=willtsmith_nwi]Dry lube does not attract dirt. The use of a teflon based lub in cable housing is a very good thing.


QUOTE]

The dried teflon can cake up in there and mix with the dirt. Besides, cables are coated with teflon to begin with. It's hard to find those that are not. If you get too much junk in there, the water won't drain out. All speculation of course.

I just know that I don't lube either my atb or my road bike and don't have problems except for those metal housing ends.

Al
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Old 05-29-07, 10:43 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chelboed
If it's not perfect, sad to say, it won't be sufficient for me...
Lemme guess - - "The way [you] ride requires the toughest, most advanced cable sets available."
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Old 05-29-07, 01:03 PM   #17
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Yeah...I'm gonna go with the new '09 XTR hydraulic shifters.
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Old 05-29-07, 10:11 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by born2bahick
+1 I put a set of Aztec powerlines on my hardtail, can't say that I've noticed any improvement in shifting performance!
Powerlines are the epitome of crap.
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