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  1. #1
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    Flak Jacket vs generic cable question

    Let me first request that this thread NOT get hijacked into a debate over running full length housing. I realize the pros and cons, and I've chosen to run full length housing. Thanks.

    My question has to do with whether or not it's worth investing the money in a set of Flak Jackets when I already have enough cable and housing to run full length on this install. I'm replacing both my brake and shift cables and housing, so I'd be laying out expenses for two complete sets of Flak Jackets. I estimate the savings to be about $50.00, which could go towards something else I need.

    So who out there has had experience with running full length generic cables and housing as compared to full length Flak Jackets, and what, if any differences (good and bad) have you seen? This will help me to determine if the $50.00 is well spent.

    Thanks in advance for any help, and for not taking this thread in the wrong direction.

    Clyde
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  2. #2
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    Reputation: Ricko's Avatar
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    The problem with the Flak jacket cableset...either shift or brake...is that it's designed to NOT run full housing and you MIGHT not have enough housing to run full. I'm also considering ordering Flak Jacket shift and brake sets to re-cable my bike with full housing and if I run short will call Avid and see if they'l send me a couple feet of housing to complete the job.

    blueskycycling.com has Flak Jacket cablesets for $18.95. Brake and shift housing are interchangable (Avid sez so) so I might order 3 sets to make sure I have plenty.

    I'm in the same quandry as you as to weather the Flaks are worth it for full housing application. The highlighted feature (for lack of better terms) of the Flaks is the ferrules and red tubing stuff that give you a "completely sealed" cable system when running interrupted housing. You're not using this feature if you're running full housing so you gotta wonder if the housing itself is worth the extra bones. I'm starting to think that the main advantage with the Flaks when running full is that the housing has that snazzy looking carbon fiber look ...cosmetics ya know...
    Last edited by Ricko; 01-30-2005 at 05:55 AM. Reason: sp

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Call_me_Clyde
    Let me first request that this thread NOT get hijacked into a debate over running full length housing. I realize the pros and cons, and I've chosen to run full length housing. Thanks.

    My question has to do with whether or not it's worth investing the money in a set of Flak Jackets when I already have enough cable and housing to run full length on this install. I'm replacing both my brake and shift cables and housing, so I'd be laying out expenses for two complete sets of Flak Jackets. I estimate the savings to be about $50.00, which could go towards something else I need.

    So who out there has had experience with running full length generic cables and housing as compared to full length Flak Jackets, and what, if any differences (good and bad) have you seen? This will help me to determine if the $50.00 is well spent.

    Thanks in advance for any help, and for not taking this thread in the wrong direction.

    Clyde
    In short, the Flak Jacket will provide some weight savings, just take a short piece of spare housing and you see there's some noticable weight to it, though not a great amount.

    The benefits of running Flak Jacket over just generic housing is that Avid's cable housing itself is lighter and more compression resistant. Also for the straight lengths where you can run the red 'shield lock', there's almost no weight penalty for having it sealed than exposed.

    However, over time that red shield lock will get damaged or dry rotted just from the sun, the ocassional fall, and debris kicked up from tires (for shifter cables routed below the downtube). Not a big deal, but you will have replace this shield lock every now and then [see thread on replacement shield lock]. Ultimately you still have to replace cables since gunk will still gets worked up in the housing over time, but it will be much less frequent.

    I'm assuming you want to prolong the life of your cables and braking/shifting performance, and either way you go it will be fine. Your current cables will probably be fine as is, but if you find your brakes don't give a firm response, run full length compressionless housing (if yours isnt already). If you are a racer or a weight weenie and feel that the weight savings is worth $40, get the Avids you won't be disappointed.

    You could probably save alot more weight with $40 on parts elsewhere though, so it might be an upgrade you'd consider down the road if you've got other components you'd like to upgrade.

    Pricepoint also has them for $20 a set as well: http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/111...-Cable-Set.htm

    Good luck!

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