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  1. #1
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    galvanized versus stainless versus teflon-coated

    Are there any objective pros & cons to different types of derailer cable: galvanized, stainless, teflon-coated?

    I've been using stainless, partly because it feels smoother than galvanized, and partly because I don't want to worry about rust. Will teflon-coating do much for me?

    For that matter, what about teflon-coated galvenized versus teflon-coated stainless?

    There are so many cable choices out there. What are people's experiences with the different types?

  2. #2
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    Some folks claim the teflon coated wires fare better, but I'm not convinced. You should use die drawn wires for the smoothness and SS because it'll weather better . After that I think it's gilding the lily.
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  3. #3
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    Stainless is still the best....

    The zinc coating on the galvinized calbes will eventually flake off a gum things up inside the housing, and I've had the same experience with telfon coated cables, the coating flakes after a while.

    A good die drawn ss cable and a quality housing is still the best IMHO.

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  4. #4
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    For full length housing setups I prefer straight stainless cables, telfon cables even xtr rubs off and gunks up the inside of the housing.

    For standard setups I like XTR sets, seems to run the smoothest for me.

  5. #5
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    Stainless is the only way to go.
    the only time I use teflon coated is with a new set of sram shifters, because they usually come with tef. When it is time for a cable change I always use SS

  6. #6
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    Another vote for SS. Any coating will wear off quite quickly at the tension points along the systems - basically anywhere where the inner is guided around a bend by the outer cable. As has already been mentioned, the material which is removed will tend to clog the system.
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  7. #7
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    Stainless here. Teflon doesn't really work past a couple rides because it just flakes off. They aren't adhered very well, or capable of adhering very well.

    Galvanizing just refers to a standard non-SS cable being dipped in Zinc to slow corrosion. Sometimes it lasts, sometimes not. I've used SS and Galvanized and haven't had rust appear. However, SS cables are available for little, so why not just stick with them?

  8. #8
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    I think I'm going to stick w/stainless then. Even the LBS guy couldn't really cite any advantages to teflon.

    I want to ask about housing too. Maybe I should begin a new thread for that. I've been running with basic, Jagwire housing. Sometimes I wonder whether I'm missing out by not buying, say, their Ripcord housing or some other, higher-priced option.

  9. #9
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    I think I'm going to stick w/stainless then. Even the LBS guy couldn't really cite any advantages to teflon.

    I want to ask about housing too. Maybe I should begin a new thread for that. I've been running with basic, Jagwire housing. Sometimes I wonder whether I'm missing out by not buying, say, their Ripcord housing or some other, higher-priced option.

  10. #10
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    Housings differ but use the same liner

    As far as functionality, and durability is concerned there isn't much difference between the various lined housings. The wire runs within the liner, and wears it on tight radius curves. Since most of the housings all use the same type of liner, you won't see much benefit for the increased cost of premium housings such as the Ripcord series.

    Possibly the more expensive liners might be more resistant to kinking if snagged on something, but you can't prove it by me.

    Good SS die drawn wires in decent lined index (non-compression) housings is the best bang for your buck.

    BTW- don't forget that you cannot use index housing for brake cables. Those still require the traditional spring wound cores.
    fb
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY
    As far as functionality, and durability is concerned there isn't much difference between the various lined housings.
    Actually, I would have to strongly disagree! Brand new, it's hard to notice any difference. Over time...that's a different story. While there's no apparent visual difference, my experience is that some housings are dramatically better than others. My story from last year:

    Brand A: Went through 7 complete cable sets between April and August. I was changing out cables almost constantly. They were rapidly getting gummed up, gritty, with sticking shifts, bad braking etc. Some installs lasted a week before I couldn't shift smoothly. These were a major brand which I had used for years, but something evidently changed in the quality control and the results for me were extremely frustrating. I was starting to suspect a bad shifter etc.

    Brand B: Last ditch effort, I decided to obtain "premium" cable set. Installed end of August, going strong today (despite all the sloppy rides over the past winter months). I exaggerate not one whit...they remain smooth as the day installed. Best purchase for my bike in recent years.

    My conclusion: There's a night and day difference.

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