“What have you seen that’s interesting?” That’s a question that we often get at various trade shows, and it’s one that the answer is usually reserved for the biggest launches. But every once in a while, there’s something small that only the true bike nerds will appreciate that catches our eye. For me at Frostbike this year, one of those items was the new Pro Dropper Kit from Jagwire. Created to address a very specific issue, the cable kit should lead to better functioning cable operated dropper seat posts in the very near future.
How do you make a dropper post specific cable set? Apparently you start by creating a much thinner inner cable wire. Instead of the traditional 1.2mm cables used for shifters, the dropper cable measures just 0.8mm. Jagwire says this results in a more flexible cable which is superior for the tight bends often associated with internal cable routing as the dropper cables transition from the downtube to the seat tube. Like their higher end shift cables, the dropper cable is polished stainless steel to make it as slippery as possible.
The kit also includes a new Flex-SL cable housing which is still a 4mm outer diameter with the same linear strand construction as shift housing, but it uses a more ductile steel alloy, again for increased flexibility. Combined, the two parts work together to create a system with lower friction overall for better dropper post functionality. Note that Jagwire specifically says that this kit is not compatible with shifters – so it won’t be the answer to crazy internal routing for tri bikes and the like.
Sold as a kit for $19.99, the Pro Dropper cable kit includes the housing, cable, and necessary hardware – including two pieces of 0.8mm to 1.2mm heat shrink to use as a shim for certain dropper post/lever cable anchors. Not every dropper post/remote will need the shims, but some will need it to ensure a tight clamp on the smaller cables. These shims are apparently one time use only, so Jagwire includes two with the kit. In production now, the kits should start shipping in late May/early June.
It may seem like a bit of a departure for Jagwire, but the company is now branching out into bar tape as well. Their thought is that if you’re replacing your cables, you should probably be replacing your tape – and vice versa. By offering both, the company hopes that it may put both at front of mind when you’re doing your next routine maintenance.
But it also means that you’ll be able to get bar tape that perfectly matches your cable color. Jagwire is starting out with black, red, and white, but will expand to include all of their housing colors in the future – and they’re making sure that the colors of each batch sync up between the two.
Built from a 3mm, 3 layer tape with a polyurethane outer, the tape was supposedly developed for just the right tacky feel in all weather conditions. Sold with a set of locking bar end plugs, the tape will sell for $37.99.
Finally, Jagwire announced that they would be doing a few new colors in their Elite Link cable kits – but as an annual limited edition. First up is this green kit that will be available soon as a limited edition version, and once it’s gone they’ll move onto a new color.