The hidden value of cables.
It will come as absolutely no surprise that many shops just fit bog standard, lower strand, stainless steel gear and brake cables, it is a small place where they can save a few pence and none, but the most discerning rider will ever notice.
However, one of the places that we concentrate on as we provide “Premium” services, is the cables. When originally looking for cables, I had always assumed that generic Shimano stainless cables were the go-to, but experience has steered me away from those. There is, if you didn’t already know, a .1mm difference in the diameter of Shimano, Sram and Campagnolo cables, the third of which we needn’t worry about, they use a slightly different nipple size.
Shimano’s higher end cables also come with a grey Teflon coat which supposedly extends the smoother shifting life, however, this also increases their diameter once more, causing the cable to effectively “fill” more of the SP41 and 42 outer cables. I would argue then, that the increased diametric value creates as much friction as the Teflon coating reduces.
When choosing cables for the Premium Services, I required that it not only had friction reducing properties, but it was also reliable and provided a modicum of longevity. My preference was for a higher count of stainless wires allowing a higher flexibility over a cheaper lower strand wire. I also required a 1.1mm gear and 1.5mm brake wire to allow smoother movement within the outer cables.
The Premium Services is primarily to provide you with a long-lasting yet smooth-shifting drivetrain and along with the best lubes and waxes, the cables we provide have also been chosen to fit within the above ethos.
Fibrax die-drawn inner cables, while not the most expensive (but certainly not the cheapest being almost double the price of their standard stainless offering), most certainly fit the bill. The die-drawing process flattens the outside curve of the cable creating a totally smooth exterior, thereby reducing friction along the whole length. To compliment this, we will now mate them to Fibrax’s ultralight compression-less gear outer, made of aluminium strands and Kevlar, covering a PVC liner allowing it to be oiled and greased as necessary. For those with exposed cables on older bikes, we can offer a fully sealed cable system for a small outlay with the premium service.
Fibrax cables are also British-made which i see as an added bonus.