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Sticker shock: cables and housing

Old 12-12-16, 06:10 PM
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zze86
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Sticker shock: cables and housing

Went to the LBS to check out a couple of things and decided to buy a set of cables and housing (~6ft of each) and total came out to be over $40. Having never bought this stuff before I figured I'd pass along some good will funds to the LBS but that was kind of a sticker shock. I mean they look like high quality stuff, Shimano M-system or something like that, just
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Old 12-12-16, 06:19 PM
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$ USD? Did you get the gold plated cables and extruded silver housing/
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Old 12-12-16, 06:22 PM
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I know the feeling. I like to support the LBS, but will never get cables and housings there again. Cost me over $30.00 to redo my MTB. Since then I been using the Bell Pitstop 600 complete cable sets for $10.00 and never had an issue with them.
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Old 12-12-16, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by gringomojado View Post
$ USD? Did you get the gold plated cables and extruded silver housing/
I didn't realize those were an option...?

and yes USD$
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Old 12-12-16, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Johnny Mullet View Post
I know the feeling. I like to support the LBS, but will never get cables and housings there again. Cost me over $30.00 to redo my MTB. Since then I been using the Bell Pitstop 600 complete cable sets for $10.00 and never had an issue with them.
yeah, I feel ya. Bigger purchases or things were fitment may matter but cables and housing...?
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Old 12-12-16, 07:13 PM
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FAQ indicates the shifter cable set includes coiled housings, not compressionless, so it may not work well with some indexed shifters.

OTOH, I just received a new set of Shimano RevoShift SIS twisty grip shifters with cable (feels like galvanized) and housing, costing less than $10. The cable housing is labled Shimano SIS but it's thin, lightweight coiled cable, greased inside, not compressionless. Probably not a big deal for the entry level cruisers and comfort hybrids that typically use 7 speed Shimano RevoShift twisters. Especially for the short cable housing runs included in the kit. It'll be a good backup for my existing RevoShift bike, or to fix up an orphan or pound puppy bike.

My Globe Carmel comfort hybrid came with the appropriate Jagwire housings for the RevoShift shifters and Tekro V-brakes. Since these are long runs of cable housing threaded through the frame I plan to keep 'em for as long as possible and just replace the cables as needed.

Sunrace SLM10 friction shifter kits come with the same coiled cable housing and galvanized cable. Good enough for $8-$10 and fixing up many entry level bikes.

Last edited by canklecat; 12-14-16 at 01:16 AM. Reason: added info
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Old 12-12-16, 07:15 PM
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Is $40 for brakes and shifters or just one or the other?
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Old 12-12-16, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by johnny99 View Post
Is $40 for brakes and shifters or just one or the other?
both
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Old 12-12-16, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by zze86 View Post
both
Good quality shifter cables and housing will be $15 to $25 for the set. Brake cables and housing is usually cheaper. $30 to $40 for a name brand set including all the cable ends, ferrules, etc. is reasonable.
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Old 12-12-16, 08:36 PM
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Somebody's getting a Christmas bonus!
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Old 12-12-16, 08:53 PM
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compare with parts for an audi. or a cessna.

other than air fare to get there , things in Hong Kong are less
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Old 12-12-16, 09:39 PM
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That's not too far off of the price of decent cables/housing, especially if the shop gave you more ferrules than you need. Better cables are die drawn stainless steel (commonly called "slick"). Better housings are made with thicker/stiffer casings. Good ferrules have thick seats to prevent breakthrough of strands (in compressionless housing) or a solid surface to press against (in the case of brake housings).

Not everyone needs or wants top shelf cables/housing. Significant savings can be had if you don't need compressionless housing. In my opinion, though, stainless cables are a no-brainer.
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Old 12-12-16, 09:45 PM
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I buy SS inners on sale when they're $3-4 and housing and ferrules in bulk. I did pay $4/ft at the LBS for red housing for a project because I wanted to finish it.
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Old 12-12-16, 10:16 PM
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Why support a dinosaur that hasn't a clue about business? Prices like that wouldn't fly even if there were no internet. In today's world? That shop is headed for quick extinction. If a shop is going to stay in business today, they pretty much have to sell parts and accessories at or close to cost, and not try and subsidize their service/repairs/bike sales with high mark-ups on merchandise, but instead, charge appropriate prices for those services.

I don't think I've spent $40 in total on cables thus far in my entire life!

Paying 10% more than online if you need it now, is supporting your LBS. Paying about 800% more, is....insanity.
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Old 12-12-16, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Stucky View Post
Why support a dinosaur that hasn't a clue about business? Prices like that wouldn't fly even if there were no internet. In today's world? That shop is headed for quick extinction. If a shop is going to stay in business today, they pretty much have to sell parts and accessories at or close to cost, and not try and subsidize their service/repairs/bike sales with high mark-ups on merchandise, but instead, charge appropriate prices for those services.

I don't think I've spent $40 in total on cables thus far in my entire life!

Paying 10% more than online if you need it now, is supporting your LBS. Paying about 800% more, is....insanity.
Out of curiosity, where/what are you buying for cables and housing?
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Old 12-12-16, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by wschruba View Post
Out of curiosity, where/what are you buying for cables and housing?
I've been buying Sunlite cables [Had to go and check]. Get 'em when the price is low on Amazon. They last forever. Housings? Just whatever compressionless I find cheap. I lube the cables when I install 'em, and they just seem to last and last. Only time in recent memory I ever had to change any, is when I bought used bikes. I like vintage stuff, but modern cables and housings are something they really improved on in recent years. (End-caps, on the other hand, aren't what they used to be!)
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Old 12-13-16, 07:35 AM
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I bought some cabling at my LBS several months ago. Found same brand on Amazon for less than half of what LBS wanted. Recently bought 2 tires from Amazon and paid what LBS wanted for 1 tire. Bought a Brooks saddle from Amazon for more than $50 less than local. Hey... I'd love to be one of those "support your local business" people.... but I'm retired and we live on a fixed income. I have to get the most for my dollar. And since I've been a Prime member at Amazon since they started that program I not only get good prices, I get two day delivery. The Brooks saddle actually was delivered 18 hours after I ordered it.
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Old 12-13-16, 08:17 AM
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zze86
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Well, I didn't mean this to turn into a bash against LBSs. Just wanted to comment on the cost and how I was not expecting it to be that much. I'm sure I can find cheaper examples online but in defense of the LBS they did go over tools, prep, lubing and all that good stuff with me and as I commented before, this does appear to be high end stuff.

Having said that, and as mentioned above, I think some less expensive housing would have served me just as well.
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Old 12-13-16, 09:08 AM
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I don't support the LBS. I buy products and services from the LBS.

I support support my family, my parish and the Dominican Sisters who run a hospice in Atlanta. The LBS isn't the church or a charity and when their products and services cease to provide value I go somewhere else.

Performance Bike has done right by me. Cables from the corrugated cardboard box under the workbench, housings off the roll are cheap and work perfectly, and last time I asked about buying ferrules they just gave me a handfull. They have earned my business.


-Tim-
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Old 12-13-16, 09:22 AM
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Repeat after me: Despite what many of BF and elsewhere would have you believe, it's not a shame (or a crime) to pay more than you could have.
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Old 12-13-16, 09:30 AM
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To me, $8 is reasonable for road cable and housing https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004XUQ1UQ
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Old 12-13-16, 09:30 AM
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I like to patronize my local bike shop and buy as many things as I feel is reasonable; however, when it comes to things like cable sets, I buy on-line. You can get Shimano's top of the line Dura-Ace brake cable set for $22 bucks from Jensen. They are great quality and they provide a crisp "direct connect" feel that you don't get with lesser cable sets.

No need to bash my opinion here. I'm at a stage in my life that I can afford the good stuff. For years I bought rock bottom cables and housing and can tell you that the high end stuff is substantially better. Those cables will also make average brakes feel and brake more crisply.


-

Last edited by drlogik; 12-13-16 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 12-13-16, 09:34 AM
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Having once worked in a bike shop, I have some sympathy for the small shop owner who is trying to make a living. Not so for the fancy shops that locate in high cost shopping centers so their prices are so inflated. I buy a few services from the small guy but never set foot in the corporate bike stores.
I just looked up the bulk cable housing I bought for my trike. It's a 50 foot roll of Sunlite polyethylene lined spiral housing for $10.52. It works just as well as the OEM housing and that is good enough for me. Ditto for derailleur cables which I buy online for around a dollar each.
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Old 12-13-16, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by zze86 View Post
Well, I didn't mean this to turn into a bash against LBSs. Just wanted to comment on the cost and how I was not expecting it to be that much. I'm sure I can find cheaper examples online but in defense of the LBS they did go over tools, prep, lubing and all that good stuff with me and as I commented before, this does appear to be high end stuff.

Decent cables and housing plus installation advice? Sounds like you got your money's worth to me.


(Assuming your time is worth something. You could have spent a couple days online figuring out what you needed and how to install it!)
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Old 12-13-16, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
To me, $8 is reasonable for road cable and housing https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004XUQ1UQ
Again, to reiterate, this is great--if you don't need compressionless housing. That would work okay, even on a 7 speed indexed bike, and passably an 8 speed... But almost not at all on anything with tighter spacing.

From a practical aspect, most shops that I've either been to, or worked for, wouldn't carry these cheapest sets; SIS (aka, compressionless) housing is one of the best ways to improve the shifting feel of a bike, even one with relatively cheap componentry. Sorry to say it, but expectations are important--if a customer doesn't notice a difference after a repair, why would they return to have it done again in the future?

Of course, brake housing is a-whole-nother issue--but the difference between non-die drawn cables/unlined housing and die drawn cables/lined housing is painfully clear. You can even do one brake with one, and one with the other, if you don't believe it.

Again, these sets have their place, but you probably won't find them in a shop. As far as retail packaged kits go, the price quoted by the OP isn't far off. If it was cut by a shop hand specifically for him, it's still not a bad price, depending on what he got (which nobody knows except him/her). Hell, on a slow day, I had been known to cut-to-size and dress the housing for the customer, if they brought the old stuff to me.
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