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  1. #1
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    Brake/Shift Cables

    Hey folks, just lookin for some info/opinions on some good shift cables. What do you guys use? Any preferences? Over 3/4 of the cable is out of the housing on my paticular bike, so do you guys think I would benefit from using a Teflon coated cable like an Avid Flak Jacket, or a Jagwire PTFE type cable? I ask because both cables run underneath the BB, and over a small pad to protect the frame from cable rub. I'm wondering how much friction would be eliminated (if any?) by using a coated cable over stainless. I have Avid Flak Jacket brake cables and I love em'. Not sure if it's worth the $20 for the shift set though, any thoughts?
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    This is funny, I am replacing all my cables (brake and shifter) tomorrow. The ones I am running now are the Flak Jackets. I think they are terrible ( have continued to stretch a huge amount for over 9 months). I am replacing them with generic housing and cables that I had my shop cut for me.

  3. #3
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    Teflon wears off in less than a month typically. Actually, we were working on a bike today at work that had "teflon" cables and the cables were rusted halfway through! Not an old bike by any means either. So apparently they are hosing down crap cables with teflon. For $1.99 ea at most shops stainless steel cables are the way to go. Just wipe em down with a light coat of lube every now and again and they will last forever, and at $1.99 ea you can afford to replace a lot of cables before you've paid for the teflon gimmick.

  4. #4
    Withdrawal Symptoms! Cornish_Rdr_UK's Avatar
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    I only replaced my gear cables yesterday, i use Shimano XT cables, and they're set up in the ame config as yours are wonder squirrel, never had any problems with them, and i just use the shimano casings...

  5. #5
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    I'm running PFTE Nervz shift cables on both bikes and have just recently inspected them after about 4 months of use - the teflon is still intact the shifting is as crisp as a fresh carrot (needed a metaphor so sue me) I just use them and Shimano SIS housing and get these results. For the brakes on my commuter I use Nervz as well with Jagwire PFTE core housing - silky smooth no wear issues save for the spots at my Travel Agents where it doesn't matter anyway as it doesn't reach the housing and it's on a pulley (a load the coating wasn't designed for in the first place.)

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    Would it be beneficial to lightly grease (wiping away excess) the teflon cables as you would a regular stainless cable?
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  7. #7
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    I would try them without lube first. It shouldn't be needed on new teflon cables and will proberly just accelerate wear by attracting dirt.

  8. #8
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wonder squirrel
    Would it be beneficial to lightly grease (wiping away excess) the teflon cables as you would a regular stainless cable?
    Lube, not grease If you use grease they will gum up faster than you can imagine... I use GT85 on my chain so I squirt some on a rag and wipe down the cables. Its got PTFE in the lubricant, so in a way, I guess I do use Teflon cables

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn
    I'm running PFTE Nervz shift cables on both bikes and have just recently inspected them after about 4 months of use - the teflon is still intact the shifting is as crisp as a fresh carrot (needed a metaphor so sue me) I just use them and Shimano SIS housing and get these results. For the brakes on my commuter I use Nervz as well with Jagwire PFTE core housing - silky smooth no wear issues save for the spots at my Travel Agents where it doesn't matter anyway as it doesn't reach the housing and it's on a pulley (a load the coating wasn't designed for in the first place.)
    Raiyn how are these cables holding up? How many miles do you have on them? Any adjustments needed?

  10. #10
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vrkelley
    Raiyn how are these cables holding up? How many miles do you have on them? Any adjustments needed?
    The cables are holding up just fine. I couldn't tell you how many miles I've put on them as my comp died and I didn't log the miles anywhere else. (Really frustrating as I was going to see how many miles I'd get out of my current drivetrain setup.) If I remember correctly I put them in around the start of the year and I've put on tons of miles between rec. rides and commuting over the course of the year so far. (Bear in mind that I'm not as hardcore a commuter as some on the board) No major adjustments have been needed just a couple minor trim adjustments.

  11. #11
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    On the el-cheapo cable. I'm readjusting about every 250 miles TOO often... I'd like to get 1000 miles between barrel adjustments etc. It sounds like your teflon cable could manage that!

  12. #12
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Iv'e only used Teflon coated cables once, well 3 times actually as I bought 5 in one go. They were were absolutely no problem, ran completely smoothly and were fantastic. Until the teflon chipped and caused friction. This seemed to happen about every 2 or 3 rides out, Now use Stainless Steel, and keep lubricated with Chain Lube and no problems. I change them every year as a matter of course, but that is mainly because the outers are worn, so preventive maintenance.

  13. #13
    snow DjRider04's Avatar
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    Heard great things about the Nokon cables....thats what im thinking about running next....

  14. #14
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Those are a pain to setup correctly. From what I've heard I'm going with the similar Aztec PowerLines for my next set of cables.

  15. #15
    snow DjRider04's Avatar
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    Ive heard of some really bad experiences with the Powerlines, at least im pretty sure thats the ones they are. A guy at a shop where I usually buy my stuff was going to give me a set of them....for free, because he had such bad experiences. Customers complained, even a few guys in the shop tried them. They pulled them off the shelves. You could try your luck with them....but I didnt even take them. I forget the specifics, but Im sure I could find out exactly what went wrong. Buyer beware

  16. #16
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    I'm trying to justify the $30 price tag...Sounds like there's some retro-fit iinvolved...So once you have the new housing installed, you just swap out cable every say 1K miles or so?

  17. #17
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vrkelley
    On the el-cheapo cable. I'm readjusting about every 250 miles TOO often... I'd like to get 1000 miles between barrel adjustments etc. It sounds like your teflon cable could manage that!
    Barrel adjustment would not only be for cable stretch, How about pad or block wear? I would like to get 1k between block changes, let alone adjusting the barrell for brake wear every other trip out.

  18. #18
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    stapfam,
    You can get pre-stretched brake cable that is supposed to prevent having to fudge with the cables every hundred miles or not. Whether that same cable can be used on shifters, I do not know. Maybe a guru can answer that one??????????

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  19. #19
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    Got an update here on the Flak Jackets. After months of use with Avid V-brakes, these worked great. But recently when I switched to the Avid Mech discs, these things were nothing but a headache. Since the cable is ran differently, it (the housing) has a tighter bend in it where it meets the caliper, and thats the downfall to these apperently. After some friction (just setting the brakes up, NO use at all on them from riding), the coating just becomes gunk, clogging the housing.
    The last of a dying breed..

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