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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    shifter cable types??

    Just want to pick up a set of derailleur cables that are smooth and light.

    What's the difference between all the different cable types?
    stainless, PTFE, galvanized, stainless, zinc, etc.
    Then there's the Shimano SIS cables.
    There's a pretty big difference in price.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    I like stainless much better than galvanized. It's noticeably smoother, and it doesn't crud up and corrode like old galvanized cables do. I use Jagwire's L3 lined housing. I've tried teflon cables with that same housing and can't say that I've noticed a difference over stainless, so I just stick with stainless.

    If you get into brands, I like Jagwire's slick stainless cables. Lately though, I've been experimenting with the cheaper generic stainless from Jenson.

  3. #3
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    PTFE cables have black teflon coating on them. I like them, but people say the coating wears off quickly so it's not worth it.

  4. #4
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    Not a fan of PTFE or Teflon anything, just wears off at the ferrells. A good set of Jagwire Hyper, Shimano SIS, or SRAM Cable kits work great for me. They use "sanded" stainless steel cables which are plenty slick and durable.

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys for all the feedback. I'll probably get a set of the Shimano SIS cables or stainless sounds good too.
    Now I know what PTFE is. Must be the stuff that came on my Sram shifters. It does seem to rub off at the ends.

    I knew I could count on this forum to enlighten me
    Last edited by veritechy; 09-04-2011 at 08:52 PM.

  6. #6
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    Does it matter what kind of shifter or der you have? or everything universal when it comes to the cables? I'm slowly learning how to work on my own bike to save some $$ and I've got some inexperience and the fact I'm a girl that seems to be getting in my way!
    Last edited by ruff ryder; 09-12-2011 at 06:09 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruff ryder View Post
    Does it matter what kind of shifter or der you have? or everything universal when it comes to the cables? I'm slowly learning how to work on my own bike to save some $$ and I've got some inexperience and the fact I'm a girl that seems to be getting in my way!
    All the brands use the same cables.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by veritechy View Post
    Thanks guys for all the feedback. I'll probably get a set of the Shimano SIS cables or stainless sounds good too.
    Now I know what PTFE is. Must be the stuff that came on my Sram shifters. It does seem to rub off at the ends.

    I knew I could count on this forum to enlighten me
    A set of good new cables and housings will improve the performance..if the shifters are not limiting the performance.

    The teflon wears off the cable at the ferrules very quickly...but does not wear off throught the length of the housing so it still works to reduce friction...

    The Shimano XTR housings should not be oiled or lubed in anyway at all.

  9. #9
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    I have that problem too. LBS employees look at me crazy when I ask for cables or cable housing as if I can't possibly know what to do with the stuff. Not that I would mind having the money to just have someone else work on my bikes mind you.

  10. #10
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    Have noticed distinct differences in brands and styles. Just a couple of data points from my exp. QPB SS teflon coated tandem length cable will not work for me. One complete click up basically is taken up in stretch and yeilds very little derailluer movement. Just won't work. Had to toss out a few brand new ones as they were a waste of time and money. Dia Compe black coated SS cables are really stiff and work great. They do not last super long and tend to break at the pinch bolt all at once when they do fail. Makes sense as they are really stiff. Jagwire SS seems to have the best of both worlds. Transmits all the motion and when they do finally wear out the strands start breaking one by one giving you an indication that things are about to get ugly. I shift a lot and have given cables a real work out over the years. Single bikes tend to be more tolerant of cable quality due to the shorter length. I have solved a number of shifting woes for folks just by using a cable that works. Of course everyone has their favorites and what works for them. The tandem does point out cables that are better and worse quite quickly. I truly did not want to believe that there was that much difference but I actually cabled up the bike with several brands on the stand and the differences were obvious.

  11. #11
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    Tyvm everyone for all the info. Former 80's BMXer here; did all BMX bike work myself... but when it comes to bikes with gears/shifting i'm a newbie. Thanks again mtbr forums!

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