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EB16: Jagwire cuts serious weight from cable housing in more ways than one

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jagwire-proshift-xex-sl-ultralightweight-cable-housing03

Among the ways to trim grams from a bike, cable housing is usually an afterthought…if it registers at all. But considering the amount used, particularly on road bikes that are still running mechanical everything but may have full length internal housing for both shifting and braking, there’s ounces hiding in plain sight.

The new Jagwire XEX SL housing cuts at least 30% off that weight, likely more based on what we saw on the scale, and it’s interesting how they did it. Then they also gave you an even smaller inline barrel adjuster to shed just a hair more. They also displayed other new accessories and pads worth a look…

jagwire-proshift-xex-sl-ultralightweight-cable-housing01

Unlike the Gore “Fiber Optic” cable housing (sadly, no longer available), the Jagwire sticks with traditional materials for their XEX SL cable housing, they just use less of the wire inside. A typical cable uses a full stack of wire all the way around the inner lining to avoid compression, but the XEX uses a fraction of the metal to drop a claimed 30% of the weight.

jagwire-proshift-xex-sl-ultralightweight-cable-housing06

On the scale, it came in closer to half the weight for equal lengths (image on right is closer up, making it look larger/longer, they really were about the same).

jagwire-road-lite-sealed-shift-cable-and-housing-kits01

You’ll find the XEX SL housing on the new Road Elite Sealed Shift Kit (left), which comes with their Slick Lube Liner and a polymer coated cable. Already got the kit or worn through your new one? They’re now selling the Slick Lube Liner separately so you can refresh the system and get it shifting like new. Should you actually need to replace the cable, too, go with the new Pro Polished cables that were introduced just before the shows and offer a more cost effective way to get slick cables without coatings that can wear off and you’ve got a system that should feel very, very good.

jagwire-housing-frame-protectors-mini-inline-cable-adjusters02

Also new are the Pro Mini Indexed Inline Adjusters, which are a bit shorter than their regular Pro versions and way shorter than the standard inline barrel adjusters. They’ve also got new 5G Tube Top frame protectors that contort themselves onto the cable housing rather than needing to be slid on during initial install, making it easy to add them after you’ve figured out that you need them but before your frame’s finish has suffered the consequences.

jagwire-sport-organic-disc-brake-pads01

Lastly, they’ve got new Sport Organic brake pads with a compound made specifically for good power and modulation in dry conditions with no noise. They’ve got a steel backing plate.

These will pair with the new two-piece finned disc brake rotors they showed off just prior to the trade shows, which were an addition to (and improvement over) the original three-piece design.

Jagwire.com

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Rocky
Rocky
6 years ago

So…. It weighs less, but does it compress more? Removing all that steel has to have some negative impact on compression.

Steve @ G4G
6 years ago
Reply to  Rocky

The XEX-SL is listed as only shift housing on the Jagwire site. I wouldn’t be too worried about the compression.

lop
lop
6 years ago
Reply to  Steve @ G4G

Why shouldn’t we worry about shift housing compressing?

Greg
Greg
6 years ago
Reply to  lop

Because the eight steel strands that are left are plenty rigid enough for the task at hand.
Shimano made some Yumeya cable housing that replaced half the strands with aluminum.

Peter
Peter
6 years ago
Reply to  Greg

What Shimano did was smart, using the same number of strands but replaced some steel with alu. I’m not sure if removing strands is as smart.

DJ
DJ
6 years ago

Losing serious weight?
A 16 gram weight loss is the same as if you reduced a small water bottle (24 oz) from full to only 98% full.

mike jones
mike jones
6 years ago
Reply to  DJ

I think that was just to how weight for comparative length

Dominic
Dominic
6 years ago

Ounces? What are ounces?

S. Molnar
S. Molnar
6 years ago

If only Gimondi had used these cables he would have creamed Merckx.

TimB
TimB
6 years ago
Reply to  S. Molnar

marginal gains dude, marginal gains

Frank
Frank
6 years ago

Are the new barrel adjusters indexed? That’s the real Gauls with the Jagwire ones I have nose, the rear derailleur is always slowly slipping out of adjustment.

Frank
Frank
6 years ago

And this may be a dumb question but why not aluminum backed brake pads? Lighter and better heat transfer?

MickMolloy
MickMolloy
6 years ago
Reply to  Frank

My guess is that you don’t want to transfer the heat into the caliper where it will in turn heat up your brake fluid. Much better to lose it through the rotor

#outsideisgay
#outsideisgay
6 years ago
Reply to  Frank

Aluminum will run cooler. It probably has something to do with some calipers being magnetic so they hold the pads in place.

Douglas J. Rusho
Douglas J. Rusho
6 years ago

The Gore fiber optic housing and cables were awesome back in the day. Super flexible, super light and lasted much longer as the cables were coated in a hard plastic vs the paper thin gore stuff that wore off from exit points in a month.

Chris
Chris
6 years ago

Anyone who thinks this amount of weight makes a difference really deserves to be called a rube. Even knocking an entire pound off still amounts to a weight loss of well under 1%.

silverlining
silverlining
6 years ago
Reply to  Chris

I feel bad for you son. Unless you’ve got a 99 pound klunker, then a pound ain’t one. percent.

Eric Hancock (@eric_d_hancock)
Reply to  silverlining

Unless you weigh less than 80 pounds, you’re pushing nearly 200 pounds uphill.

Chris
Chris
6 years ago
Reply to  silverlining

Right genius, because it’s only the bike going uphill. No rider, no water bottles, no shoes. Bike weight is only one relatively small part of the total equation. An elite racer on a top of the line bike is still going to weigh north of 150 pounds so knocking a pound of weight of is less than 1%.

Tyni Tyres
Tyni Tyres
6 years ago

I think son (or daughter) is including the rider here. Regardless, there are many cases in engineering and other areas too where numerous insignificant quantities add up to a significant quantity. That’s what we are dealing with here.

Antipodean_eleven
6 years ago
Reply to  Tyni Tyres

This aint no aircraft or race car… there are not enough places on a bike where such small savings would actually add up to anything even close to having a good dump before you ride.

WannaBeSTi
WannaBeSTi
6 years ago

I’m sorry, but my shop has tried many times to use Jag housing. It is less expensive than Shimano or SRAM housing, but we had too many people coming back with shifting issues. Once we replaced with Shimano housing…poof!…problem is gone. I’ve had a SRAM tech tell me “Just replace the cable and housing with Shimano and the problem should be gone.”

It’s unfortunate so many new bikes come with Jag shift housing on them.

Phil Jones
Phil Jones
6 years ago
Reply to  WannaBeSTi

If you’re using Jagwire’s least expensive housing and cables and then comparing it to Shimano SP41 housing maybe… In my 10 years shop experience with Jagwire and Shimano the Jagwire is considerably better and longer lasting every time when using the higher end product (Ie: the old Ripcord, and mountain/road elite).

Auer Westinson
Auer Westinson
6 years ago

Sadly, many new bikes come with the cheaper Jagwire housings and cables. I often have to replace them with decent stuff from Shimano when the bikes come in for first checkup and shifting and braking feel horrible due to bad cables. For bikes sold by our shop, often this has to be done as a warranty job as well, which costs me time and money.

Also Campagnolo makes very good cables and housing.

But I have yet to see decent offerings from anyone else in ready-built bikes…I believe it when I see something halfway decent.

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