You may not give it much thought, but your derailleur housing plays an important role in the quality of shifting of your bike. For the most part, standard derailleur housings all look the same but it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Most housings hide a jacket of linear metal strands under a plastic outer shell that makes the housing stand up to compression. Without it, every shift would slowly squeeze the two ends together and make for mushy, inconsistent shifting.

While those metal strands make the housing effective, they also add the most significant portion of weight. Which gave Jagwire an idea. That idea turned into their new XEX-SL housing which claims to cut the weight in half while keeping all of the same performance…


Compared to a standard housing like the LEX-SL above in black, the new XEX-SL uses a braided wire strand to cut down on the number of strands needed while still remaining compressionless. Jagwire says that the XEX-SL has al the same performance characteristics of their best housings and includes a lubed cable liner, but it comes in at half the weight.

Now sold with their Pro Kits which include their polished Pro cables and XEX-SL housing for $35, the housing will also be available in 50m shop rolls. Not shown, Jagwire was also introducing a new addition to their cable line up with their new Pro cable. Having gotten away from coated cables, the Pro cable is electro polished like their Elite, just not quite to the same degree. That keeps the price to $12.50 and they will be available in Campy or Shimano heads in single packs, and 50 cable shop rolls in Shimano heads.

If you’re looking for replacement brake pads in an organic flavor, Jagwire will now have those as well. Their first true organic pad, Jagwire says they previously kept it to semi-metallic but had enough requests for a full organic that it made sense to offer it. Organic pads usually offer quieter stopping, though they tend to wear faster. The pads join the Sport Semi Metallic, Pro Semi Metallic, and Pro Extreme Sintered for their pad line up and are available now.


In addition to being a pretty rad build of the new Surly Fat Dummy, this Jagwire special also held a clue to what comes next in terms of rotors. The bike was fitted with Jagwire’s forthcoming two piece rotors which we’re told will be launched with their cooling rotors mid year.


  1. Surely I’m not the only home mechanic who gets perfectly good shifting from the factory housing and cables, and basically no effort except twisting a barrel adjuster. My STI triple is just fine despite the years, miles, storms, and even a kink that I patched over with duct tape.

    • With greater number of cogs on the cassette, shifting needs to be more accurate. Older systems didn’t need to be as precise and could tolerate some extra friction.

    • Try changing your cables and report back. I almost guarantee improved performance. Cables make more of a difference than anything else in my experience.

      • Exactly. It’s hard to notice a difference when it degrades over a long period of time–it doesn’t happen overnight, and the mind can’t tell the difference between today and 5 years ago, but if you change it, as Mike says, you WILL notice a difference.

        Also, can your 3X and get with the 1X times!

      • The old owner of Competitive Cyclist had a great review on Yokozuna cables.

        Here’s a tidbit of it:

        And Yokozuna — it will change your life forever. It’s the closest you’ll get to automatic shifting without having batteries hooked up to your drivetrain. And your braking will get an equally quantum leap in performance. In particular if you ride SRAM (since stock SRAM cables leave much to be desired), Yokozuna gives max ROI when you’re in an upgrade state of mind.

    • The factory cables on lots of bikes are Jagwire. Even when the parts are Shimano or whatever, the manufacturers will often still use Jagwire to cut costs. Jagwire claims these outs shift just as well as their other outs, like the ones that may have come on your bike. So I’m not sure what your point is.

  2. @ James + Champs
    You guys miss the point. The housing weight is cut in half. That’s actually a big thing considering the weight of housing and that nothing has been done about it before.
    The article says nothing of winning hill climbs, or that other housing is problematic in storms or any of the other fine points in company cycling you mention. As for mentioned hill climbs, STI triple, etc. and the performance of your current housings… sorry guys, no one is interested, keep your non-topic opinions off the forum, tell the stories to your wives or mothers.

  3. Cable performance in the wet is the most important aspect of cable performance…this factor separates the men from the boys… a new tech cabke that wont perform when it rains is useless….

  4. Or, just go electronic and batta bing, no cables needed. But, kudos to Jagwire for helping us with the last mile of weight weenie-ness. (We’re all on the spectrum.)

  5. Braided cable instead of linear, I was expecting something a bit more exciting like a composite or graphene lining. Having said that, halving the weight is good,keep it up Jagwaah 🙂

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