Friday, April 23, 2010

Tie Me Kangaroo Down

Or something like that.
Here's a ditty that sticks in your head by Rolf Harris.
The only tune I know of that has a platypus in it can be found here.
I was thinking of that song while I changed out the cables on my bike.
The Shimano SIS shifter cables come in a complete set that includes the outer housings, cables, and all the small thingys you need to do one bike.
Also some other extra small thingys that always make me nervous cause I never know if they are actually extras or if I was supposed to use them:

I read up on many cable sets before going with Shimano. I was thinking of Gore and Yokozuna or something but it was difficult for me to justify the cost. I mean really, these are freakin cables!
I figured you can't go wrong with the good ole Shimano.
Replacing the cables is a simple operation on the XT shifters. There's an access hole where you just pull out the old cable and thread in the new one:

Man, check out the corrosion those bolts! I need to change them out to titanium or something.
By the way, you don't really need them, but it's nice to have a set of cable cutters when you trim the housings. Side cutters will take some wrestling with and your cuts may not be clean. I went out and bought a pair but I ended up only making two cuts.
Your mileage may vary.
The cables are different from my old Jagwires in that they are coated with what Shimano says is fluorine:

Now I figure if it's good for your teeth, it must be good for your cables right? No wonder my teeth feel all nice and smooth after those dentist visits.
Oh! Fluorine, not fluoride!
Wait! Fluorine is a gas!
Anyways, I sort of dig how they are black cause they match my bike and now it looks all stealthy and cool.
So it took me about twenty minutes to measure and cut all the housings and thread in the gas coated cables. Add about another ten minutes to readjust the derailleurs and in all it was about a half hour job.
How do they work?
Well, to tell you the truth, I never expected to see any difference in performance. I mean really, they're only cables.
Boy was I wrong!
The tightness that was in the shifting is gone!
I can really tell the difference in the rear shifter. The upshifts just pop, pop, pop. The downshifts are effortless.
By the way, I'm running a traditional, not rapid rise.
I mean compared to the old cables, it sure seems effortless. There is very little resistance in the thumb shifts.
The front seems to take a bit less effort also.
Of course this is all on the stand.
If there's any on the road difference I'll be sure to let you know.
So far the Shimano SIS cable set is Flat Tire Approved!
Now, the bad part.
I must get the brake cable set for it will bother me to no end knowing that my cables don't match.
You can get the shifter set on evil eBay for around $35 and the brake cable set for $25.
Good choices if it's time for a change.


John Romeo Alpha said...

I know what you mean about the cables matching. I just put new rear brake and rear derailleur cables on, and now, even though they work fine, it's bugging me that the front cables don't match. The thing about the purpose-built tools like bike cable cutters and a fourth hand tool for working on the brakes is that you don't realize how much you need them until you have them. Then you're like, wow, how did I ever do this job without them.

limom said...

The thing about the matching cables is I don't think about it while riding. Only when the bike is parked in front of me.
I mean it's not like they are a different color or anything.
Just irks me that they are different.
Oh, and Park and Pedro. Gotta love em.

limom said...

I think I obssess over symmetry too much.

John Romeo Alpha said...

That's OK, I lose sleep over not using enough Shimano SIS SP41 Shift Cable Grease.

limom said...

You're supposed to use grease?
Oh, my lord!
Freakin "special grease!"