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  1. #1
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    Cables - Teflon versus steel?

    Are teflon cables better and maintenance free compared to steel cables? Have heard that lubing steel cables over time leads to some build up and consequent stickiness, so better to use teflon cables that don't require any lubing. Any truth to this? Does it carry the same for brake cables too?

  2. #2
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    Are they 100% maintenance free, no. Last longer, yes.

    If I rode in the rain (or mud) a lot, I would make the switch. I don't so I change my cheap cables once a year as part of the full tear down maintenance.

  3. #3
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    You can't make cables from teflon itself.... they are used as a coating on the steel cable to reduce friction inside the housing. Sealed endcaps usually reduce the need for lubing (of the housings)....

  4. #4
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    Machine surface smoothed cables work just as well as Teflon coated cables. Quality brand cables makes such cables. It looks like Shimano's Teflon coated are first machine smoothed.

    I've been using full length housing, replacing each year, or about 3000 miles, no cable lube or other maintenance is required.

    Using intermittent housing, more dirt and water, sweat, etc. gets inside the housing, and periodic cleaning and lubing maintenance is needed to maintain similar easy performance as full length without lube.

  5. #5
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    I've had the teflon coating get rubbed off by dust/dand/grit and/or ferrules and cause the same problem as over lubing standard cable.

    As derby said the machined smooth (it think they call them 'Slick') cables are the best. I get the stainless version.

    I only lube cables by wiping the cables down with a rag with lube on it, then wiping it till it's 'dry' with a clean rag. Never drip lube into the housing.

  6. #6
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by weekendthrasher View Post
    Are teflon cables better and maintenance free compared to steel cables? Have heard that lubing steel cables over time leads to some build up and consequent stickiness, so better to use teflon cables that don't require any lubing. Any truth to this? Does it carry the same for brake cables too?
    I use teflon coated (steel) cables in full length (usually) housing with no lube. Lasts at least a year before I need to touch them.
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  7. #7
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    Gore cables generally last me 3+ years and only generally get replaced when I loose a RD or something. Regular cables (Jagwire teflon stuff) usually lasts me about 6 months.

    I run bb7 brakes and twist shifters so cables make all the difference. Other set-ups may not need to worry much about cables.

  8. #8
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    Gore cables generally last me 3+ years and only generally get replaced when I loose a RD or something. Regular cables (Jagwire teflon stuff) usually lasts me about 6 months.

    I run bb7 brakes and twist shifters so cables make all the difference. Other set-ups may not need to worry much about cables.
    I am using BB7s and road STI levers in the Pacific NorthWEsT. 12 months is the minimum for me. usually longer.
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  9. #9
    A guy on a bike Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    Gore cables generally last me 3+ years and only generally get replaced when I loose a RD or something. Regular cables (Jagwire teflon stuff) usually lasts me about 6 months.

    I run bb7 brakes and twist shifters so cables make all the difference. Other set-ups may not need to worry much about cables.
    Yep, Gore cables are my favorite too. Smooth and durable. Kind of a PITA to install, but worth it!

  10. #10
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    Teflons are great initially, but they do wear around the cable stops. Once some of the coating starts flaking off they are worse then regular cables.
    Rimmer - "There's an old human saying - if you talk garbage, expect pain"

  11. #11
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    Teflon cables are great. I replace cables frequently because I have zero tolerance for shifting that behaves poorly but I have never experienced issues from the coating flaking off and clogging the shifting.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

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