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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am running dual-pivot tektro brakes and need to replace my cables and housing. I currently use a no-name steel cable and a matching black housing.

Stopping power is just fine (perhaps could be slightly better), but I am curious about other options such as teflon lined cables and other brands of cables/housing.

What are your favorite and recommended sets? Seems some people like Jagwire while others hate it, and so on and so forth. Is there really much of a difference between different brands and steel vs. teflon? I am looking for something that is strong and doesnt get mashed and is less prone to fraying.
 

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Militant commuter
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Jagwire works for me...I prefer the black Teflon-coated cables or stainless steel, personally, but any reputable cable/casing should work fine. If you really want good braking performance, the pads are far more crucial than the cables you use.
 

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n00bsauce
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Teflon coated cables are a waste. Teflon lined housing is good. Jagwire is a nice blend of price, performance and looks. However, plain old Shimano housing off the bulk roll at the LBS is fine too. Stainless steel cables.
 

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Carbon Fiber = Explode!
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The only thing that doesn't stretch is that synthetic stuff that costs $50+ per brake or derailleur set.

Steel is steel, and it stretches. I would not be surprised if powercordz stretch as least a "little".
 

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daivs_T said:
aww.. so i would have to take it back into the LBS after like 30 rides to get them retightened ( if i got jagwire) ?
You have adjusters on your brakes and shifters for a reason. I notice a difference in really cold weather vs warm. Its steel, it streches and expands/contracts. Learn how to adjust yourself. Plenty of knowledge here and around the net to help you out.
 

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no

daivs_T said:
aww.. so i would have to take it back into the LBS after like 30 rides to get them retightened ( if i got jagwire) ?
Just have them run the barrel adjusters screwed almost all the way in when they set them up initially. Then you can back them out to take up the slack as they stretch.

Also, its so easy to set these with an allen key; you don't really need a bike shop trip for this one at all!
 

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duh...
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daivs_T said:
aww.. so i would have to take it back into the LBS after like 30 rides to get them retightened ( if i got jagwire) ?


not if you learned to do it yourself
 

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duh...
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yakky said:
I notice a difference in really cold weather vs warm. Its steel, it streches and expands/contracts.


I've never heard of that... cable length should not change w/ the temp
 

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n00bsauce
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Cables will elongate but it's not from the expansion (or contraction) due to temperature. It takes hundreds of degrees of heat to get enough expansion to notice. Cables also don't elongate because the steel "stretches". It takes much more force than our wimpy hands can deliver (even with the mechanical advantage of brake levers) to actually stretch the wire. Cables are made up of many small strands of steel twisted together. What is actually happening is the pull on the cables causes the strands to twist more tightly together. Thus the cable elongates slightly and brakes have to be adjusted to compensate for the elongation. This only happens in a relatively short period of time after new cables are installed and a tweak to the barrel adjuster is all it takes.

Another thing that causes the need for brake adjustments is brake pad wear. As the material wears off the pad the gap between the pad and the rim widens. Eventually you will need to turn the barrel adjuster a bit to bring the gap between the pad and rim back to your preference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Mel Erickson said:
Teflon coated cables are a waste. Teflon lined housing is good. Jagwire is a nice blend of price, performance and looks. However, plain old Shimano housing off the bulk roll at the LBS is fine too. Stainless steel cables.
why is teflon a waste?
 

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I use teflon-coated brake-cables and I love 'em. The good ones have 7 separate cables inside the outer Teflon-coated case. They last forever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
so, is there really much difference in feel/stopping power/durability between the generic steel cables/housing that the lbs sells or the name brand steel cables/housing? or is this just a matter of upgradeitis?
 

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yes and no

geordi laforge said:
so, is there really much difference in feel/stopping power/durability between the generic steel cables/housing that the lbs sells or the name brand steel cables/housing? or is this just a matter of upgradeitis?
If there's a difference, I tend to think its:

(i) more in the derailleur housings than in the cables or in the brake housings, as shifting is much more sensitive to friction in the line than brakes, which tends to be a housing issue mostly (aside from those 20-yr-old rusty exposed downtube shifter cables some of us have witnessed); and

(ii) more of an issue of setup (properly sized, cut, ground, and awled housings) and longevity than anything else. In this last regard, the Gore system that SRAM is evidently starting to use is reputed to be superior. If you change your cables/housings ever couple of years, its probably not an issue for you.

Also, cables/housing are probably more of an issue in the mountainbiking world, where there tends to be more mud and dirt flying around.
 

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Roadie with unshaven legs
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geordi laforge said:
why is teflon a waste?
I bought some black teflon coated cables and used them with lined cable housings. After a few miles you can see that the teflon coating has been rubbed off of the stainless steel cable from the rubbing against the liner. Basically, I paid a premium to get something that'll just rub away after the first few miles. I never noticed any difference/improvement in braking feel or smoothness with them anyway so it was a complete waste of time and money. I won't make that mistake again.

When I buy cable and housing I buy the stuff hanging on the hooks at Performance unless it's going on my Campy Ergo-equipped bikes. That's because the little ends of the cables are smaller on Campy cables and trying to fit the larger ones into my Campy Ergos is just a headache waiting to happen when I decide to replace them down the road. With the newest Campy Ergo shifters you absolutely have to have 4mm cable housings for the derailleur cables or else you will not be able to get the housings installed correctly. Standard 5mm cable housings work for the brakes, though.
 
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