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Shimano Cables HELP!

bmxboy10bmxboy10 Posts: 1,917
edited February 2019 in Road buying advice
I recently changed the cables on my internally routed Tarmac with Ultrega and made the error of buying cheap standard cables.

I am going to change them all again but its a bit of a minefield comparing cables and prices or is it just me! Ive been advised to get Optislick or Polymer coated and assume the Optislick is 105 grade and polymer more like Dura Ace?

What are the differences apart form the price?

Also what brake cables do I need as Standard, PTFE or Polymer?

Cheers!

Posts

  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    The cables from the big Shimano box on the shelf in the shop together with the outers from the box next to it are the best ones - the polymer ones come with a funny coating that peels up and clogs everything to pieces. Avoid at all costs.

    Standard brake cables.

    Who told you this? Bloke in shop or a clubbie?
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    Stainless, otherwise as above.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • bmxboy10bmxboy10 Posts: 1,917
    The cables from the big Shimano box on the shelf in the shop together with the outers from the box next to it are the best ones - the polymer ones come with a funny coating that peels up and clogs everything to pieces. Avoid at all costs.

    Standard brake cables.

    Who told you this? Bloke in shop or a clubbie?

    Bloke in the shop said the standard universal kit ( the ones that do both MTB and Road and costs a tenner from Halfords :oops: ) have a sightly different cable that does not sit properly in the Ultrega STIs. He did seem to know what he was talking about IMO.

    So the Polymer ones are the most expensive so thats great to rule them out. What should I get then Optislick or PTFE?
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    edited February 2019
    BMXboy10 wrote:
    The cables from the big Shimano box on the shelf in the shop together with the outers from the box next to it are the best ones - the polymer ones come with a funny coating that peels up and clogs everything to pieces. Avoid at all costs.

    Standard brake cables.

    Who told you this? Bloke in shop or a clubbie?

    Bloke in the shop said the standard universal kit ( the ones that do both MTB and Road and costs a tenner from Halfords :oops: ) have a sightly different cable that does not sit properly in the Ultrega STIs. He did seem to know what he was talking about IMO.

    So the Polymer ones are the most expensive so thats great to rule them out. What should I get then Optislick or PTFE?

    yeah - ignore the universal ones.

    ones from the big box on the shelf in the shop or some of these:

    https://www.merlincycles.com/shimano-st ... 45128.html

    or
    https://www.merlincycles.com/shimano-st ... 57503.html


    job jobbed.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    Stainless cables and SP41 outers.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • mfinmfin Posts: 6,726
    As above, decent stuff off the shelf, stainless inners. None of these sets like Jagwire etc.

    A good buy is to get some Rock n Roll Cable Magic https://www.merlincycles.com/rock-n-roll-cable-magic-1oz-56876.html, it works wonders anyway so is worth owning.

    On a new installation you can hold up a new inner and put a drip or two at the top and watch it roll down the inner like when that ninja tried to poison James Bond in Live and Let Die (I think he used fishing line and poison, but the same kind of technique).

    The bottle is tiny but you only ever use a drip or two. It's great stuff to have in your toolkit.
  • Always, always use SP41 outer. You just can't beat it. I've always used the polymer coated cables on my summer bike and not experienced the curl up of the coating others have mentioned. I've recently replaced the cables on my winter bike with the optislick cables and they seem to be holding up well.
  • Can recommend Lifeline performance cables e.g. https://www.wiggle.co.uk/lifeline-perfo ... anosram-1/

    None of this polymer nonsense for low friction, they just use a decent grade of steel then machine it so its smoother on the outside. They are much more flexible than standard cables, so great for internal cabling with tighter bends. And (comparatively) cheap.
  • bmxboy10bmxboy10 Posts: 1,917
    What are the cables that come with the shifters? They seem higher quality and have a brass like appearance?
  • rafletcherrafletcher Posts: 1,235
    The "brass like appearance is the polymer coating, horrible stuff IMO. Basic Shimano cables and outers do the job just fine.

    https://www.wiggle.co.uk/shimano-road-g ... nner-wire/
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I use the basic Shimano inner wires and SP41 outers, but I have nothing more sophisticated than 9 speed Tiagra and 10 speed 105 with side-exit cables. I thought the posh slippery stuff was recommended for 11 speed gear / under bar tape routing though?

    IME finishing the cut ends of the outer cable neatly (Dremel) and using the correct ferrules is more important than which cable you use. I also lube the inner wire before inserting.

    In the past I've found with some of the cheaper alternatives the nipple isn't quite the right size / shape to sit nicely in the shifter, so your bike shop bloke may have a point
  • rafletcherrafletcher Posts: 1,235
    keef66 wrote:
    I use the basic Shimano inner wires and SP41 outers, but I have nothing more sophisticated than 9 speed Tiagra and 10 speed 105 with side-exit cables. I thought the posh slippery stuff was recommended for 11 speed gear / under bar tape routing though?

    IME finishing the cut ends of the outer cable neatly (Dremel) and using the correct ferrules is more important than which cable you use. I also lube the inner wire before inserting.

    In the past I've found with some of the cheaper alternatives the nipple isn't quite the right size / shape to sit nicely in the shifter, so your bike shop bloke may have a point

    I've used standard (uncoated) cables on both Campag and Shimano under-bar-tape routing for in excess of 20 years, no issues.

    To cut/finish the ends, use a proper cable cutter designed for the job - which will also include the necessary crimping cut-outs for ferrule too.

    Shimano outers are pre-lubed, no need to add more.

    Manufacturer cables are so cheap why would you use anything else?
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    just use the ones i have put the link in for and everyone else has agreed with.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
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