Brake & gear cables
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.
Fibrax Pro-formance Sealed Derailleur Cables are weatherproof and ideally suited to harsh conditions: cyclo cross, winter and mountain bikes the most obvious candidates.
Made here in the UK, the comprehensive kit includes 2.7 metres of frictionless 5.5mm outer casing, clear inner sleeve and two stainless steel inner wires measuring a generous 1.8 and 2.1 metres long. Fibrax also offer a version for tandems and bikes with unusual cable routings.
Fibrax Powerglide sport stainless steel sport brake cables are a nice surprise. Cheap as chips, they'll do old faithful proud without impairing the performance of your sportier Sunday ride. However, be sure to leave cable stretch to do its thing overnight, adjusting and snipping come the morning.
The Alligator i-Link cable set has little to do with weight saving and more to do with precision and longevity. On the face of it, you'd need more money than sense to fork out 40 quid on derailleur cables...Then again, the outers aren't susceptible to corrosion in the same fashion as conventional types so should last many years, thus repaying the investment several times over.
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.
Jagwire Hyper Brake Cables are a low compression design aimed at the entry level to mid range road and mountain bike rider that with a bit of careful prep also make sound choices for winter and cross duties too.
The 4mm thick plastic coated conical outers have Teflon linings and the stainless steel inners feature snip to suit pear/barrel heads to suit drop or flat levers. Detailing is generally very good right down to the anodised aluminium ferrules, crimps and those nifty silicone cuffs that prevent the outers gnawing through paintwork.
There's not getting away from it, Nokon slimline cables are expensive in relation to top-flight weather sealed Bowden type cables, they're even more expensive than standard width Nokons,and installation is very time consuming too. On the flip side, performance is superb and the design's malleable characteristics come into their own on bikes with torturous cable runs and or/unusual cockpit configurations (e.g. long but relatively high stem and narrow bars) plus they are claimed to last much longer than standard cables which goes some way to jutifying the price.
Supplied as a complete brake and gear system and weighing a claimed thirty per cent less than your regular models, the Jagwire Racer road cable kit is not only the perfect complement to road, cross, tourer or indeed winter hack but designed with nominal maintenance in mind, under normal conditions should only require annual, as opposed to seasonal replacement. Gentler to paintwork than the builder’s hose sealed types, the Kevlar outers can still chomp through frame lacquer so the rubberised cable protectors are an absolute must-especially for older thin walled steel frames.
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.
Supplied as a complete brake and gear cable system and a claimed thirty per cent lighter than standard models, the Jagwire Racer kit is a complete cable overhaul for your road steed. It incorporates some very clever detailing, and performance is better than most. They're unusually pleasant to install and are fairly keenly priced to boot.