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.
The flexible Kevlar outers employ a unique concertina section to improve cable runs on aero brakesets where they exit the lever. This coupled with Teflon inserts translates into very low friction: exactly the standard demanded from increasingly sensitive ten-speed derailleur transmissions. Double ended stainless inner wires are what you’d expect, guaranteeing a near universal fit, although the wires temselves aren't markedly better than other reputable brands.
Installation is a delight, the flexible outers and clever concertina section ensure graceful, flowing and friction free performance, even entering the rear mech. While lacking the fit and forget simplicity of the latest generation of weather-sealed systems, they’re much quicker to dial in and don’t feel like a builders hose. However, while they're reasonably forgiving of mistakes, razor sharp cutters and/or hydraulic arms are essential for a clean cut. Completing the package are clever rubberised frame protectors that slip atop the outers, protecting frames and livery from abrasion-especially around the head tube, eliminating the need for expensive patches that lift and peel at the first hint of dirt.
Paired to reverse action TT levers and pursuit bars, they’ve been buttery smooth from the outset with no additional lubrication and transformed the performance of a budget dual pivot brake. Gear cables improved the shifting performance of a very highly strung ten-speed setup. While they're designed as a road system, with a periodic shot of Teflon based lube they’ll cope admirably with cross and rough stuff duties. Four-season slave bikes, especially those in coastal regions might be better served by trickier to fit, fully enclosed weather sealed systems but otherwise the Racers are a very fine cableset.
Nicely designed and reasonably priced performance cables.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Jagwire Racer gear/brake cable set
Size tested: n/a
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?
The racers are a generic lightweight performance cable system for applications ranging from road racing through to cyclo cross.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Derailleur 4.5mm outer housing, stainless steel inners, L3 teflon lining. Campagnolo, Sram and Shimano compatible. Brake cables-5mm kevlar outers, L3 teflon liners and stainless steel inners. Dual ended nipples ensure compatibility with both Shimano and Campagnolo systems.
157g per set seems very reasonable.
Good value for a complete system-especially given the technology employed.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Gear cables are excellent, although particularly impressive on the latest, ultra sensitive ten-speed set-ups thanks to nominal stretch and high standards of manufacture. Brake cables were a delight to install and the concertina sections ensure superbly smooth cable runs-especially exiting the levers. This translates into smooth, dependable all-conditions braking but slave bikes might be better served by a completely sealed system.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Ease of fitting, super slick performance and clever detailing.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes- in most contexts.
About the tester
Age: 35 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
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: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)