I have had my Nokon cables for over 18 months now, and I couldn't be happier with the set-up! When I first started using them, I noticed how smoother the shifting was, compared to conventional housing, and it's still good to this day. Braking performance is very good, I found that I could modulate the brakes abit easier with the Nokons, than I could with my previous Campy housing, however that's just my POV!
Even to this day shifting is excellent, I'm still using the original cables, and I see no need to change them out, after over 20,000Km.of riding.
They are abit pricey, but they have far outlasted previous conventional cables/housing, that I have used, and changed over in the past! In time they will pay for themselves!
Installing them on the bike is a PITA, according to the LBS, but once all set up, you will notice a positive difference in shifting/braking.
Oh, and they do add to your bike's appearance as well!
I've ordered a set of Metawire. From what I understand they improve shifting and braking as mentioned, as well as reducing weight compared to standard cables and housing, although I doubt it will make a difference.
I'll be installing it this weekend. Pic of my new Merida and IRD Metawire will be posted next week.
I put Nokon cable housing on my bike as you can see in this picture. This was about a year and a half ago. I didn't notice any difference in shifting performance but saw a dramatic change in the feel of breaking - in particular for the rear brake. My bike requires that the rear brake has housing the whole way - this may have exaggerated the effect. It was a bit of a pain to install but nothing too bad.
The shiny metal finish started to flake off of the metal housing in just a few months and looked really crappy. I was, at the time, living at the ocean in southern california. The salt air may have had something to do with that but I was still suprised to find that the shiny metal look is just a finish. Underneath it's a dull grey metal (not cool looking IMO).
The other issue I had with them was that I was worried about the metal housing damaging my frame (which is bare carbon). They do supply some clear rubber/platic tubing that you can slip over the housing to protect your bike and it did it's job well but took away from the aesthetics a bit and started to collect gunk between the housing and the plastic over time.
I decided not to keep them on for the aesthetic reasons listed above (flaking finish and messy clear protective tubing). The brake feel was nice but didn't make me stop any faster
Many folks are just thrilled with theirs and for those of you who've already purchased yours, I hope that is the case with you.
I haven't had that problem, but here in Calgary, Alberta we're ways away far from the salt air, but the weather here can be as abusive to components/frames?
I have been wiping down my Nokons with WD-40 and a rag, especially when they get dirty, and they still look good!
To protect the frame finish from the metal housing, I have been using these clear adhesive discs, that came with a 'Stay Tuff' stay protector. The clear tubing that came with my Nokons wouldn't fit over them, so I just used the discs instead.( Don't forget to place one on the rear chain stay, where the R. Derailleur cable loop is!!)
I have just installed Nokon cables on my bike this weekend. I asked the mechanic in the shop how difficult it was to fit them and he said just to take your time and read the instructions carefully. He also said to make sure you don't mix up brake and gear cables as although similar in appearance, the beads are actually slightly different for both (I didn't check this, I just took his word for it).
I didn't think the instructions were great - quite a literal German translation it seemed. To do the whole bike including re-wrapping the handlebars took quite a few hours (I am VERY slow at bike maintenance), but this included fastidiously cleaning all the cable stops and the guides on the underside of the bottom bracket. I'd guess that it could be done quicker.
Initial impressions are similar to other posts here - brake feel, especially with the rear brake, is improved. However, this could just be down to the cables being new and me being 'used' to worn cables. It's funny how you don't notice a gradual decrease in efficiency of components until you sample something brand new again.
I bought the silver housings, but they're also available in black which was my first choice but were out of stock and I was desperate to have them. I'm pleased with the way they look now they're on. I was worried the silver might be a bit 'bling'.
Just one question - I thought that I did fairly tight cable runs when I installed the Nokons, and they're definitely neater than the original cables that were on the bike. However, looking at some of the pictures here, it seems that I could go even tighter. How far do you think you should be able to turn the front wheel before the cables get pulled too tight?
The cable doesn’t really bend that sharp. It’s the angle of the camera. On both bikes the cable comes out straight for about an inch then bends. The cables will droop down if there’s no or very little cable tension.
I wouldn't go any tighter than that what you had for your original cables! You should be able to turn the front wheel through it's full range, without excessive tightness from the cables. It's not so much when you're on the bike, you'll ever need or be able to steer to such extremes, but when you're placing the bike(in a car trunk, roof rack,travel case, repair stand) that front wheel will like to go everywhere.It will be at those times, that some damage may occur, if the cables are run to tight!
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