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Gear cable inners - coated or stainless?

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by gazza1286, 7 Jan 2017.

  1. gazza1286

    gazza1286 Active Member

    Visited my local bike shop today and ended up chatting with the mechanic about gear inners.
    He told me that for 11 speed setups the gear inner should always be a coated cable. He mentioned that the standard cables caused premature wear to the shifters. This being due to the 90 degree bend in the wire given that the gear cables are hidden beneath the bar tape. He said that the additional stress at that point caused the standard cable to act 'like a cheese cutter' through the plastic guide.

    Having not heard of this previously I carried out some research online and didn't come up with anything.

    Has anyone heard of this or have opinions regarding the use of coated cables etc?
  2. Brandane

    Brandane Guru

    Can't answer your question, but why does it only apply to 11 speed? I have a bike with 10 speed Shimano 105 with the same set-up; i.e. gear cable runs under the bar tape alongside the brake cable. Presumably the same would apply?
  3. Tojo

    Tojo Über Member

    I've replaced a lot of the coated ultegra cables, the coating wears off and collects in the entry an exit point of the outers, all the rear shifter cables I have rplaced have failed in the STI assembly about a cm from the nipple. I buy bulk stainless cables and have fitted them to all the ones I've had in, the guys bikes I work on have had a longer durability from the ones I've fitted than they had from the original coated ones....All I can comment on is what I have found in my own experiences and have yet to find a reason to get the coated Shimano ones.......:cheers:
  4. OP

    gazza1286 Active Member

    Thanks tojo. I'd previously swapped the cable on the Ultegra front mech for stainless soon after buying the bike as it was frayed and cut too short. I'll leave it alone as the prospect of swapping the internally routed cables needlessly is never appealing...
  5. Globalti

    Globalti Legendary Member

    The first generation Shimano groupsets with hidden cabling suffered badly from cable friction and needed lots of maintenance to keep them working well and even then they were never perfect. Then along came the new 11 speed groupsets and Shimano have changed the pull ratio of the cable as well as providing polymer-coated cables, which seems to resolve the issue as the shifting is impeccable. However I'm sure plain SS cables would work just as well. In fact while trying to get the older generation to work well I used to resort to polishing the cables, which I thought made a difference.

    Threading the cables right through a frame isn't as bad as you'd think; amazingly they seem to seek daylight and they often pop out of the BB and then the hole at the end of the RH chainstay without too much wiggling and swearing. Just keep your wits about you when fitting the ferrules where the cable enters the frame otherwise you'll miss something and have to pull it all out and start again!