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What are the best cables/housings?

Old 01-12-19, 05:36 PM
  #1  
owen robinson
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What are the best cables/housings?

I am trying to find some relatively inexpensive cables for my Fuji S10-S to replace the stock ones.
I've never bought cables before and I am wondering what what other experienced enthusiasts recommend.
Also any tips or tricks would be nice. Thank you.
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Old 01-12-19, 05:57 PM
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you don't really need "the best". I like really good. I get stainless cables, you can find them on eBay now for under 50 cents each. Are there better cables than that? Sure, but at some point, they are not much better. I buy lined housing in bulk, not really a good idea for just a single project. Do you have a co op in your area?

What I don't like are galvanized cables and unlined housing, like you get in the Walmart cable kits.

Last edited by wrk101; 01-12-19 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 01-12-19, 06:08 PM
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Old 01-12-19, 06:22 PM
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Q: What are the best cables and housings?

A: The least expensive stainless cables and lined housings.

2 stainless derailleur cables on ebay under $1 (allow 2 weeks for delivery)

shimano brake cable kit under $7.50
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Old 01-12-19, 06:31 PM
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All the major brands: shimano, jagwire, sram, alligator, etc. are all perfectly good cables that pretty much give equal performance. Can’t go wrong with any of the above. So go with what you can get on sale? The best bang for your buck will be either shimano or jagwire, depending on which one is slightly cheaper than the other on that day. Just make sure that the cables are stainless, and you should be fine.

Last edited by seamuis; 01-12-19 at 06:48 PM.
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Old 01-12-19, 06:37 PM
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I just buy the full "Jaguar" kits in any color I want for around $14 on that auction site. I'm sure there were some corners cut in putting these together, but you can't ignore the value. Comes with all the handy bits and pieces as well
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Old 01-12-19, 07:20 PM
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As long as the cable housings are lined I'm pretty good. I usually get mine from PorkchopBMX on le'Bay. What others said on the cables - SS pretty cheap from the same place. Same for the derailleur cables.
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Old 01-12-19, 09:15 PM
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Jagwire is decent quality and reasonable price. The housings are lined, and the cables are die-drawn; what's not to like?
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Old 01-12-19, 09:22 PM
  #9  
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Even the low end cable kits included with some shifter kits are functional and good for a few years -- those usually have galvanized cable and low end but teflon lined cable housings, pre-greased. They'll do fine, although the cables might oxidize more quickly near sea coasts.

Stainless cable will last longer. Depending on the manufacturer there may be some stretch after installation so be prepared to re-tension the cable after a few rides. I usually run the bike on the indoor trainer through several shifts and brakings to get most of the stretch out of the way.

The main difference I've found with mid-range cable is they're a bit more flexible for looping for rear derailleurs, or under handlebars with bar end shifters. The cheapest cable housings from Shimano, like those included with RevoShift grip shifters and SunRace SLM10 thumb shifters, tend to be fairly stiff.

The Jagwire kits are handy but have increased in price over the past year or two. REI switched to a cheaper house branded cable kit. Nowadays it may be cheaper to buy mini bulk rolls of shifter and brake cable housing and stainless cables if you're doing two or more bikes. The bulk rolls from Jagwire, Sunlite, etc., include ferrule caps and cable end caps. Pretty good value, especially if I screw up or change my mind about replacing a shifter or brake position.
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Old 01-12-19, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Jagwire is decent quality and reasonable price. The housings are lined, and the cables are die-drawn; what's not to like?
The imprinted name on the housing?

Actually, I like them too. I bought some Aztec? brand cables for one project, teflon impregnated, die drawn, the run was for an internal/external shift cable, did the job. just appear carbon black, so not bright and shiny. 40 year old campagnolo shift cables (save the bar end braided units) were not stainless either but had the cool C in a diamond impressions on the ends.
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Old 01-12-19, 11:46 PM
  #11  
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When we had a local bike shop right here- they carried several different colors of housing. After they closed up, I found the other shops around only stock black or white- which was stunning to me.

What sucks about getting the Jagwire kits for an old bike- the brake housing generally isn't long enough for non-aero brake levers- a good 2 feet of the housing is metal housing that's meant to be taped to the bars for aero cables.

I've bought some of the Jagwire bulk housing off eBay- I was really disappointed- it wasn't the same quality as the stuff I got from the LBS or in the prepackaged kits. Which reminds me, I need to pick up some housing for a couple of projects...
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Old 01-13-19, 01:41 AM
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I dunno.....but I'm quite happy with the clear covered cable sets I get from Porkchop BMX....
They look exactly like the stuff I had on my bikes in the 80's and have plastic inner liners so they work nice and smooth.
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Old 01-13-19, 07:44 AM
  #13  
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I recently replaced the rear brake cable and housing on the Peugeot with whatever CycleQuest, a local bike shop, had in stock, and it greatly enhanced the stopping power of my Weinmann lever, Mafac centerpull caliper, and KoolStop pads.

I normally use just the front brake, unless I need to check speed on a long descent and/or come to a stop on wet or sandy pavement, but I had noticed that the rear brake was starting to become even less effective than normal.

Today's brake pads and cable housings are significantly superior to even the best offerings of the 1960s and 1970s, so these are areas in which I do not "go vintage."
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Old 01-16-19, 07:28 AM
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Years of the Teflon-coated cables had me spoiled. Now I use slick stainless. Never galvanized, I just don't like it. I had a bike shop I liked and respected, but if you asked for a cable, they always pulled galvanized out of a huge bulk box, mainly because customers almost always complained about the price.

Years of using Jagwire has me simply familiarized with it, but in the last few years, I've bought some gearing kits, both Shimano and Campagnolo, and if the cable/housing are included, I use it. I almost always use the RD housing that comes with Shimano now, as the Jagwire housing can tend to be fat.

Since I don't bulk build, I don't do inexpensive cables/housing. I want to ride the bike and I want it to work. I'd recommend spend an extra $10 on your cable/housing setup, and maybe get a can of Slick50 1-Lube. I coat my cables with it, and with all the bends and twists on many bikes these days, I think it's a good thing.

A pretty decent tri-bike mech told me that they sell a lot of SRAM lower end stuff, but use Gore cables/housing to "bring it up" to Red performance. TT/Tri cable runs need as little friction as possible, for the runs that often twist and turn inside carbon bars and frames.

That's my 2 cents, and I'm sure I owe some change; it may not be worth that.
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Old 01-16-19, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
The imprinted name on the housing?
Sharpie.
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Old 01-16-19, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by sdn40 View Post
I just buy the full "Jaguar" kits in any color I want for around $14 on that auction site. I'm sure there were some corners cut in putting these together, but you can't ignore the value. Comes with all the handy bits and pieces as well
Ditto Great value for the entire brake and shifter/ derailleur set . $13. A number of color options as well
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Old 01-16-19, 04:46 PM
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What cables do you guys use for Simplex shifters?
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Old 01-16-19, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by MB33 View Post
What cables do you guys use for Simplex shifters?
Same.
Great to meet you at Brazen
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Old 01-16-19, 05:33 PM
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Nice to meet you as well Robbie. Taking that bike for a spin was a highlight for me.
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Old 01-16-19, 05:44 PM
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Shimano and Campagnolo make the best cables and housing. By far.

Do not buy the overpriced 'kits', which cost multiples of what you should pay for housing pulled off of a roll. We charge $2 a foot for housing. $2 per cable.

Do not buy stainless cables. Stainless strands have less flexibility than regular steel, resulting in more cable breakage, particularly inside the tight confines of shifters. Why would you need a high resistance to corrosion, when the cables are protected inside the housing? I suppose a rain commuter bike might warrant stainless.

Make sure that when you cut the shifter housing, that the ends are filed flat and clean.
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Old 01-16-19, 05:57 PM
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...not the best in the Jagwire lineup, but more than adequate to all my needs:

Sport cables
Slick Galvanized or Stainless Steel An upgrade from basic cables, these galvanized or stainless steel strands are pre-stretched, then extruded through a die that removes the rough edges resulting in a smooth surface that reduces friction along the length of the cable. These cables are the most popular choice for riders balancing performance, durability and cost. The stainless steel option offers greater resistance to corrosion. Jagwire slick cables come in two types: GAS - pre-stretched, slick galvanized steel spiral-bound cables STS - pre-stretched, slick stainless steel spiral-bound cables
Sport housing (CGX)
50 Meter Shop Rolls with Slick-Lube Liner • CGX-SL - high carbon, super-low compression coiled steel brake housing with Slick-Lube liner
from the Jagwire catalog here.

​​​​​​​For my uses, the Pro stuff is not worth the cost for whatever performance enhancement it yields. But the Sport stuff is a significant upgrade from the Basic stuff.
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Old 01-16-19, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Fahrenheit531 View Post
Sharpie.
with colors it does not work that well for many of them.
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Old 01-16-19, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
with colors it does not work that well for many of them.
Oh right hahaha. I just assume housing = black. I can see where concealing the branding on pretty much anything else would be more complicated.
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Old 01-16-19, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
Make sure that when you cut the shifter housing, that the ends are filed flat and clean.
And put ferrules on the ends, to prevent the housing from splaying over time.
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Old 01-17-19, 01:11 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
with colors it does not work that well for many of them.
Can't stand the "billboard" on housing, especially Jag.

Try carefully scrubbing with brake clean, move on to carb clean if necessary, again carefully.
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