These top end Ride-on brake cables from Gore would be the perfect complement to a smart road bike. At £45.99 they're not cheap, but given their performance they're worth the money.
The principle of the system is to eliminate friction and prevent corrosion. The cables themselves have a non-stick coating, the outer cables have a non-stick liner, and the whole system is sealed with rubber grub seals. Even the length of cable along the top tube is covered with a plastic protector attached to the ferrule. In fact, about the only bit of cable that should see the light of day is the last inch that runs from the brake calliper to the end cap… and even the end caps are protected with cute little rubber socks.
All of that protection should keep corrosion, and hence friction and braking deterioration, at bay for ages. Gore offer a one-year warranty on these cables but they should keep you going for way longer than that.
A measure of the care that has gone into the design is that the end section of the cable outer has a clear rubber casing, which is notably softer and bendier than the rest of the outer. That's to make life easier with modern brake levers, where the cable exits from the back of the lever and runs under the bar tape: the bendy section lies nicely along the curve of the handlebar.
What if you don't have modern levers? Not a problem. I fitted the cables to my 1974 Carlton, which has old-fashioned levers where the cable exits from the top of the brake hood. You just snip off the clear section and use the grey plastic reinforced section to fit into the lever tops. It took me a while to realise why the outers had a clear bit joined to the rest by an inch of harder grey plastic. When I understood, it all made sense. A nice touch.
For the sake of reviewing accuracy I should confess that the plastic ferrules didn't actually fit the cable guides on my old frame. But once set up, the brakes were incredibly smooth. Pulling the lever didn't distort the cable at all, which suggests that virtually no energy is lost to friction within the system.
Smoother than a polished eel and just as slippery, these cables are a perfect upgrade for any road bike.
Lovely smooth cables - trouble-free braking practically guaranteed.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Gore Ride-on brake cable system
Size tested: white
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Gore say:- "Designed specifically for road bikes, this cable system sets the new standard for shifting performance in any riding conditions. Ultra-long nosed ferrules and GRUB™ seals protect the cables where they are normally exposed. Trusted by SRAM®-sponsored professional road racing teams. Also works great for cyclocross bikes with down tube cable routing."
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
I usually ride: GT Rave - singlespeed conversion My best bike is: Guess SC1 scandium
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed,