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Jagwire and other "performance" cable -- can you feel the difference?

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Jagwire and other "performance" cable -- can you feel the difference?

Old 05-08-11, 08:31 AM
  #1  
Don in Austin
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Jagwire and other "performance" cable -- can you feel the difference?

If you replace generic brake or shifter cables in good condition with a "performance"
cable will you actually feel a difference at the levers?

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Old 05-08-11, 09:19 AM
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Depends on how you define "generic". Moving from unlined housings to lined and/or from low end galvanized wires to die-drawn stainless will make noticeable differences.

But if you start with decent quality lined housings and stainless inners, additional improvements will not be as significant. You're also more likely to notice differences if the cable runs have a more or sharper curves.

Overall, I believe that the best value is found in the basic lined/SS cable kits. The money saved might fund earlier replacement as the housing liners wear.
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Old 05-08-11, 11:34 AM
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As stated, good quality lined/pre-lubed derailleur housing and stainless steel cables from Shimano or Jagwire will ensure decent shifting performance. As for mechanical brakes, the Yokozuna Reaction or Ripcord housing is a must on a good bike, especially if you have disc brakes - there is a very noticeable improvement in brake performance (And don't forget the steel tubes in SRAM's Full Metal Jacket brake kit for discs). One thing that's seldom mentioned but is essential, is the need to always use high quality machined steel, aluminum, or brass endcaps.

Keep in mind that good shifting and braking depends on all the parts of the systems being carefully sized/installed/routed and of the highest quality - including stiff brake handles, short throw shifters, brake pads, tires, rim surface and true, cables, housing, endcaps, etc - and keeping everything clean and adjusted.
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Old 05-08-11, 11:50 AM
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On my recumbent I use lined housings which I lube with Super Lube, a thin PTFE based lubricant. I also use Jagwire "slick" cables which are drawn through a die to round out the cable. I do notice a difference; easy, smooth, precise shifting. However, it is a small difference, occurring on a bike with very long cable housing runs. On a DF bike, with short housing runs, the difference may not be so apparent. bk

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Old 05-08-11, 11:54 AM
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Die drawing smooths the outer wires of the better cables ..
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Old 05-08-11, 12:00 PM
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Jagwire shift cable and housing is bottom of the barrel.

What you get with 'premium' cable kits is much reduced friction through the lines. You can feel this when braking or shifting. It's noticeably less easier to do with kits like Yokozuna. If you're running 10 speed shimano or sram, the premium stuff will make it shift even better than it does with the 'stock' dura ace or ride on kits.
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Old 05-08-11, 12:01 PM
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kevlar reinforced compressionless housing does offer a good feel at the brake if you are running a full run of housing
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Old 05-08-11, 01:02 PM
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No.
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Old 05-08-11, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by operator View Post
Jagwire shift cable and housing is bottom of the barrel
This assumes you're using worthy components (Yeah I'm an elitist), so note that most of the cable/housing brands come in varying degrees of quality. For instance the Yokozuna stuff can be had in standard grade, still pretty good, and in Reaction grade, much better. The same goes for the Jagwire & Shimano bulk and kits cables/housing (Though most of the SRAM seems pretty good). So be careful when buying whatever, stay away from house-brand stuff, and ask for lined, lubed, non-compressable housing in either 4mm or 5mm diameters, depending on the use; and stainless, drawn, small diameter cables with the correct ends for your application - and in my 30 year's experience installing/servicing thousands of upper- to high-end brake/derailleur systems, there's no performance advantage with teflon coated cables, and I've installed lots of them (There, I've said it). And it's usually better to measure what you need and ask for individual cables, lengths of housing, and endcaps/crimps, rather than kits (Tell them you want the stuff the guys in back use to set up their Red, Super Record, and Dura Ace shifters/brakes).

The reason I'm rambling on about all this is because of the huge numbers of service problems I see in my shop that are simply the result of poor quality cables/housing/endcaps, their lousey installation, and poorly maintained and dirty components.
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Old 05-08-11, 08:15 PM
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Might depend what you mean by `generic`. Jagwire cable is stock on some new bikes. And there are several grades of Jagwire cables. They also make cables for Shimano so you may just be replacing a brand name.

And like many other bicycle components - proper fitting and installation is hugely important. Optimal performance is determined by the cable run itself as well as the proper finishing of cable ends to minimize friction and the selection of ferrules appropriate for the job.

You`d be most likely to FEEL a difference on installations that use higher end shifters because they require less effort to operate in the first place. However, more accurate indexing (and therefore shifting) would be a benifit in just about every shifter. Accurate indexing becomes increasingly significant as the number of gears goes up.
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Old 05-08-11, 09:23 PM
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IMO Campy and Shimano are really pushing it with how little cable travel they use per shift... every cable system has a bit of spring and friction; it's inherent - and I reckon expecting a flawless shift from less than 3mm of cable travel is asking too much.

I bet you can get away with cheaper cables on SRAM.
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Old 05-09-11, 01:47 AM
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Originally Posted by operator View Post
Jagwire shift cable and housing is bottom of the barrel.

What you get with 'premium' cable kits is much reduced friction through the lines. You can feel this when braking or shifting. It's noticeably less easier to do with kits like Yokozuna. If you're running 10 speed shimano or sram, the premium stuff will make it shift even better than it does with the 'stock' dura ace or ride on kits.
Once again you unfairly "tar&feather" a whole family with one brush stroke. Jagwire makes a wide variety of quality levels from the basic bulk pack shop replacement stock for simple and cheap repairs to high end products. The higher end Jagwire "compresionless" kevlar wrapped brake housing I've used is at least as good as any other premium brand and model of housing.
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Old 05-09-11, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Overall, I believe that the best value is found in the basic lined/SS cable kits.
Can you be specific? For example I see Dura Ace and Jagwire Hyper road cable kits at about the same price point ($16 - 18 online). Do these meet the definition of basic lined/SS? I am looking to get better cables for a large touring frame, the cheap cables work fine in front but I am having issues getting much power in the rear and am hoping a cable upgrade will help
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Old 05-09-11, 09:20 AM
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I purchased REI's Novara brake cable kit which is a rebranded house brand of Jagwire. It even says so right on the housing. Now which level of Jagwire I am not certain. However, I can say that when I went from "standard" brake cables and liners to these the difference was and still is night and day some 6 months later. I installed these on my Tektros and boy was that an improvement. It literally felt like I was moving it through butter. I replaced the Tektros with APEX and it still feels like butter. What ever level the Novara kit is it is good stuff and I would repurchase and recommend it. I am going to put powercordz on the shifters because I am running friction and want to eliminate as much stretch as possible.

In the end I can say this from my limited experience. You can buy what you want for the bike that you think you have or you can buy what will work for the bike that you have.

BTW I install and maintain my bike, so I can say that unless you really muck up a brake job you the mechanic is not the issue.
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Old 05-28-11, 10:41 AM
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what grade or brand does Shimano use for the Ultegra 6700 set - does it make sense to replace for shifters and / or break cables?
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Old 05-28-11, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by gruppo View Post
The reason I'm rambling on about all this is because of the huge numbers of service problems I see in my shop that are simply the result of poor quality cables/housing/endcaps, their lousey installation, and poorly maintained and dirty components.
I'll agree that bad installs and what most people consider bike "maintenance" would make something appear bad. For the average person, so long as the install is done correctly, cheaper jagwire/shimano cables/housing do just fine. (Now the bikes I see with walmart/bell brand cables/housings - that is poor quality in the components.)
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Old 05-28-11, 06:39 PM
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I have been using Jagwire cables and housing for the past few years and find that it works very well. I take my time in cutting the housing and making sure everything else is done properly. This is the bulk product that we get at our bike coop.
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Old 10-11-19, 09:36 AM
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I guess I'm resurrecting another old thread. I have been using Shimano Ultegra housing full length on rear rim brakes. Soon to be trying some 'Ripcord' and will report on results. The Shimano housing is descent but may not be anything fancy, I don't know.

Cheers, MAC
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