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…
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.