Hi, I've just bought and started to install new gear cable and found myself a little bit puzzled.
This is the stuff I bought: http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/sp/road-track-bike/cables-gear-shimano-roa...
And it comes with one black plastic ferrule (ribbed at one end), one smooth metal ferrule slightly shorter than the plastic one and 4 shorter metal ferrules with a groove at one end.
My gear cable had snapped. I couldn't believe it.
But it was entirely my own fault.
On the recent Avalon Sunrise 400km audax, as well as a couple of punctures, my gear cable snapped
This wasn't due to "bad luck" or anything more sinister than my lack of attention to detail. Full report on my stupidity here on my blog
Fibrax Powershift Sport Stainless Steel Gear Cables are affordable everyday replacements with looks and performance that are impressive for the price. Ours proved initially susceptible to cable stretch and fraying so leave them overnight before correcting, cropping and crimping come the morning.
Jagwire Hyper Derailleur Cable Kit hasn't wowed me in the same fashion as its more glamorous racer sibling but it successfully fills the void between budget and bling. Cheap enough to replace on a seasonal basis, the generous, sturdy and yet compliant housings go a long way to overcoming the problems presented by convoluted cable runs and ensuring the Teflon liners' uninterrupted flow maximises foul weather performance when combined with a monthly blast of PTFE spray.