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  1. #1
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    New question here. Suggestions on cable shifter sets.

    It's time for new cables on the bike and I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions. Looking at Avid Straight Jackets, Aztec Powerlines, Nokons, or anything else that works really well, preferably easy to install. Thanks!

    Oh yeah, this would be going on FS bike, using Shimano XT Rapid fire shifters and XT deraileur.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by RuLz
    It's time for new cables on the bike and I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions. Looking at Avid Straight Jackets, Aztec Powerlines, Nokons, or anything else that works really well, preferably easy to install. Thanks!

    Oh yeah, this would be going on FS bike, using Shimano XT Rapid fire shifters and XT deraileur.
    I have tried most options out there and keep coming back to XTR cables...
    Wave upon wave of demented avengers
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by RuLz
    It's time for new cables on the bike and I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions. Looking at Avid Straight Jackets, Aztec Powerlines, Nokons, or anything else that works really well, preferably easy to install. Thanks!

    Oh yeah, this would be going on FS bike, using Shimano XT Rapid fire shifters and XT deraileur.

    I just installed xtr cables on my bike and found them to be acceptable. They use a rubber skirt type of a thing at the end of each cable to keep the dirt out. Pretty slick I thought

  4. #4
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    I'm not very fond of the avid flack jackets. I used them for a long time and found them to be so stupid stiff they wore down on the inside bends and would drag terribly after a few weeks. Good old generic 4mm shimano cable still seems like the best way to go still. Its actually made by jagwire I believe which also makes some very high quality cable. I second the use of the nifty rubber sealed ends. Those things do an incredible job of keeping crud and water out of the cable allowing them to run smoother for months longer than traditional unsealed ends.

  5. #5
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    Thanks y'all for the feedback. Anybody have any opinions on the Gore stuff? I know it's no longer made, but a LBS has some they're recommending.

    Fender, you say the XTR cables are "acceptable?" That doesn't sound too convincing.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RuLz
    Thanks y'all for the feedback. Anybody have any opinions on the Gore stuff? I know it's no longer made, but a LBS has some they're recommending.

    Fender, you say the XTR cables are "acceptable?" That doesn't sound too convincing.

    I am not a mechanic. So honestly my experience with cables in general is limited. I have had three or four bikes all with the original cables, and they all worked fine. To me a cable is a cable. How bad could it be. The xtr cables though did seem a step above what I am used to. The cables themselves must be teflon coated or something because they were slick, and those rubber boots to keep the mud out immpressed me and seemed highly functional. I just put two bikes together for myself, I used xtr's on the first bike and liked them so much I used them again on the other bike. I think price is important also. If you can get a good deal on a set of cable go for it I think. You want to make sure the cable housing is the noncompessable shifter cable not the brake cable stuff and grease your cable before installing it in the housing and I think you will be satisfied for at least a season. Good luck.

  7. #7
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    Dry Cables

    I've had really good luck with a sealed shift cable set I bought over a year ago from Dry Cables. They are similar to Gore cables except they put a flange on the end of the cable sheath to stop the sheath from migrating. Very smooth shifting action after 12 months of muddy New England riding. www.drycables.com

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by RuLz
    It's time for new cables on the bike and I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions. Looking at Avid Straight Jackets, Aztec Powerlines, Nokons, or anything else that works really well, preferably easy to install. Thanks!

    Oh yeah, this would be going on FS bike, using Shimano XT Rapid fire shifters and XT deraileur.
    i've heard alot of horror stories about nokon for shift cables. i was going to pick up a set then ended up going with dura ace and i have to say i couldnt be happier with them. 12 bucks cheaper than xtr at the lbs here.

  9. #9
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    Personally I think most of the sealed "kits" are bs. Just try full housing runs, from shifter/brake lever to derailleur/brake without openings. Just regular housing, 4mm shift and 5mm brake, it eliminates much of the gunk that can enter the system and at minimum cost. Some bikes are better setup with stops for this, but there are options like drilling out stops or using adapters to keep your stops as stock. The less crap that can get in is all for the good and you don't really need special liners or housing to achieve this, unless you just like spending extra money without thinking. Being a bit creative with routing full housing runs can go a long way, just make clean cuts and watch your bends, it's not that big of a deal. I still wonder why so many frame manufactureres don't make this easier...
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikinfoolferlife
    I still wonder why so many frame manufactureres don't make this easier...
    Because fixed mounting hardpoints are more secure, 100% uncompressible, and create less drag were there's no cables. 100% runs are fine for braking but for shifting its better to use as less housing as possible and as much "hard" anchoring as is plausible. Complete or extensive derrailleur cable runs are a necesity on some frames but I wouldn't go around drilling out the cable stops on my frames when sealed end will do a dang fine job of keeping them clean.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikinfoolferlife
    Just try full housing runs, from shifter/brake lever to derailleur/brake without openings.

    Over the long run, those just don't work better, at least for shifters. The nature of shift cable and brake cable is entirely different of course. If you've worked in a shop for some time and worked on full-cable-housing bikes, you'd know what a pain it is. There's a magical solution called dry-slide that uses molybdenum. I can put that into cable housing and it works like magic to free up old gunky cables and make then run smooth and free. That obviously doesn't work when you have full length housing, and when a little moisture gets into a full-length-housing type setup, it wreaks havoc and usually results in siezed cables, something we rarely see with non-full-housing setups.
    I know in my heart that Ellsworth bikes are more durable by as much as double. AND they are all lighter...Tony Ellsworth

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jm.
    Over the long run, those just don't work better, at least for shifters. The nature of shift cable and brake cable is entirely different of course. If you've worked in a shop for some time and worked on full-cable-housing bikes, you'd know what a pain it is. There's a magical solution called dry-slide that uses molybdenum. I can put that into cable housing and it works like magic to free up old gunky cables and make then run smooth and free. That obviously doesn't work when you have full length housing, and when a little moisture gets into a full-length-housing type setup, it wreaks havoc and usually results in siezed cables, something we rarely see with non-full-housing setups.
    dry-slide is great stuff, i use that on all the cables for my motorcycles.

  13. #13
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    From my experience the best shifting and longest lasting setup I every had was with Gore cables "properly" installed. I am talking about 2 years of riding with no fuss. Everything else pales in comparison in my opinion. I can get great shifting for a while using other cables and housings but nothing has ever given me the longevity of the gore system. Almost totally sealed and their super slick cable against the slick full length housing made shifting a dream.

  14. #14
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    This is just the sort of feedback I'm looking for. Overall consensus, as quoted from Flavor Flav: "Don't believe the hype!" Still though, it's definitely time to change the cables on my bike. I'm leaning heavily towards the XTR cables. Univeral has a set for $22.00, which isn't too bad. In the long run, I just want something that works really well.

    Richwolf, I just saw your post on the gore system. I'm gonna call the place that still has some available and check their price, installed. Since I'm not too technically gifted.

  15. #15
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    Yes,

    Don't mess with Gore unless you or someone else takes the time to do it right. Properly installed it is a dream. Mess up and it is a nightmare. Make sure they know how to do it. In my opinion, unless they have done a few, and have an attention to detail work ethic, don't bother.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by richwolf
    Yes,

    Don't mess with Gore unless you or someone else takes the time to do it right. Properly installed it is a dream. Mess up and it is a nightmare. Make sure they know how to do it. In my opinion, unless they have done a few, and have an attention to detail work ethic, don't bother.

    Ageed...I have gores on my bike now for ~5 years. I set them up myself which was quite the pain at the time. They have run flawless ever since, but if you don't know what you're doing, you're basically wasting your money on gores. I just changed my brake cables out to teflon coated ones last year, but my gore shifter cables are still going. I will probably change them out to teflon this year if I need to.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by RuLz
    This is just the sort of feedback I'm looking for. Overall consensus, as quoted from Flavor Flav: "Don't believe the hype!" Still though, it's definitely time to change the cables on my bike. I'm leaning heavily towards the XTR cables. Univeral has a set for $22.00, which isn't too bad. In the long run, I just want something that works really well.

    Richwolf, I just saw your post on the gore system. I'm gonna call the place that still has some available and check their price, installed. Since I'm not too technically gifted.
    The XTR set is a little pricey but pretty nice. It brings everything you need including the teflon coated cables, pregreased housing, and all the required sealed end caps. I think the teflon coated cables are a nice touch since they are slightly slicker and don't react to moisture and seize up as easy as many generic notso-stainless steels cables. FYI there was an article posted a while back in a german mag about machine testing done on most of the popular cable systems measuring drag and the standard 4mm shimano/jagwire cable scored the best.

  18. #18
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    Thanks, I'll check it out.

    BTW, I called the LBS with the gore cables. $50.00 for the cables and fricken $30.00 for labor, plus tax. Ouch!
    XTR, DIY here I come....

  19. #19
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    Well I think that is not a bad deal. Most labor rates are around 40 to 50 per hour if the shop plans on staying in business. I guess you could spend less and get less. You should be able to at least get a few years out of the Gore. Some people go the cheap route and never have good shifting and always are messing with it. Funny how people spend thousands on a new rig but refuse to spend the extra it takes to make it shift, brake or run right. Sometimes it is the little extra you spend that makes things work the way they should. I bet they would charge almost as much to install XTR cables.

  20. #20
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    Yeah, I don't completely disagree with their labor charges. However, lately I've been getting slapped with the financial reality of the sport we all call mountain biking.
    Just in these last 2 months I've invested $500.00 alone in head gear (new light and helmet ) Granted, my last helmet was 9 years old (finally went out in a blaze of glory protecting my nogin) and I finally made the jump to HID (well worth it!)
    Right now, it's all about cutting corners where I can. And if that means buying a $24.00 XTR cable setup and installing it myself, then all the better. It's gotta be better then my 2-1/2 yr. old crappy-ass cables. Done ranting for now, thanks for the input.

  21. #21
    Jm.
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    BTW, I hate that grease that shimano puts in their housing and brake noodles. Makes the brakes run pretty "sticky". That's where the dry-slide comes in, but it's annoying to run cables through housing and have big gobs of grease come out.
    I know in my heart that Ellsworth bikes are more durable by as much as double. AND they are all lighter...Tony Ellsworth

  22. #22
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    XTR shifter cables and generic 5mm Shimano housing works for me. BTW they are not made by Jagwire.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jm.
    BTW, I hate that grease that shimano puts in their housing and brake noodles. Makes the brakes run pretty "sticky". That's where the dry-slide comes in, but it's annoying to run cables through housing and have big gobs of grease come out.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by lebikerboy
    XTR shifter cables and generic 5mm Shimano housing works for me. BTW they are not made by Jagwire.
    WTF does that have to do with me hating shimano grease?
    I know in my heart that Ellsworth bikes are more durable by as much as double. AND they are all lighter...Tony Ellsworth

  24. #24
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    Gore!

    Ran Gore on my old bike for 2 years. I bought a new bike and didn't think about them because they were new, but then they started getting crappy. I put Gore back on this bike and I am on my 3rd season without a hint of trouble. It is truly awesome to ride through anything and not have your shifting change at all. It is sort of like disc brakes vs V-brakes on a rainy/muddy ride.

    Best thing about 'em is you don't even think about 'em. I installed mine by using the directions that came with them. I love, but I am technically inclined.

    Ken.

  25. #25
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    I congratulate your helmet loyalty ...

    Quote Originally Posted by RuLz
    Yeah, I don't completely disagree with their labor charges. However, lately I've been getting slapped with the financial reality of the sport we all call mountain biking.
    Just in these last 2 months I've invested $500.00 alone in head gear (new light and helmet ) Granted, my last helmet was 9 years old (finally went out in a blaze of glory protecting my nogin) and I finally made the jump to HID (well worth it!)
    Right now, it's all about cutting corners where I can. And if that means buying a $24.00 XTR cable setup and installing it myself, then all the better. It's gotta be better then my 2-1/2 yr. old crappy-ass cables. Done ranting for now, thanks for the input.
    Helmets are like Klingons. They aren't happy unless they die in battle.

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