Review Update: Jagwire Ripcord shift cable set

In Jagwire’s Ripcord semi-sealed cable sets,which I reviewed back in December,

“fairly standard (but smooth) L3 housing runs where cable housing usually runs.  At the cable stops, special ferrules with little straws that stick out of the stops are used, over which stretches of “sealing liner” fit, covering what would otherwise be bare cables runs.”

This setup makes the Ripcord set an easier-to-install and less expensive alternative to fully-lined cable systems, while offering much of the same protection from the elements.  After wearing out my first set in about a year and second set in seven months- but having grown attached to the SID Blue housing- I re-upped and bought a third set for my go-to trail bike. Unfortunately,

“When installing [my third] kit, I found that the little straws on the ferrules had shrunk, allowing them to fit into cable stops much more easily and presumably reducing drag.  Unfortunately, while this was a step in the right direction, the failure to shrink the tubing [which seals the cable between housing stops] correspondingly represents two steps back.  The revised Ripcord sets now have sizable gaps where the tube meets straw, with no o-rings or other seals to back them up.”

Ever vigilant, Jagwire USA were quickly in touch.  They’d identified the same issues as I had and already revised the supplied tubing to better fit the set’s ferrules.  Click through to see photos of the revised interface…

Much better!

Given my experience with earlier sets, I thought that

“If Jagwire were able to close the very visible gaps in their system, they might have in the Ripcord a reasonably priced, attractive cable set that could compete with other high-quality non-sealed cables and housings.”

At the moment, I’m having good luck with Jagwire cable sets on three full suspension bikes, including one with a long stretch of unbroken housing.  Though they still don’t seem to stay slick quite as long as Shimano’s XTR cable sets and suffer from a good bit of compression when new, the fact that Jagwire do not pre-cut housing lengths makes their housing a good choice for full suspension bikes or anything with long housing runs.  At $30, an annual cable replacement is easily the most cost-effective way to make a well-used bike feel almost new.  Jagwire’s revised Ripcord sets, available in several fashionable colors, are a reasonably priced, attractive cable set that can once again compete well with other high-quality non-sealed cables and housings.

marc

www.jagwireusa.com

Comments

Indiefab - 06/22/11 - 10:03am

I’ve been through 4 sets of Jagwire brake and shifter cables on two bikes over the past 5 years and have always found them to be easy to install, inexpensive and durable. I replace them out of habit, even though they still feel great after more than a year of use.
I’ve only used full housing without the breaks described above. Most frames can be easily adapted to this if not previously equipped. Its so much easier to install if you just run continuous housing and don’t mess with cutting. The weight is negligible and the housing kits come with enough for most bikes.
Plus, you can choose your color!
My LBS still gets peeved when they see I’m not using the grey, overpriced XTR cables they sell.

Michael - 06/22/11 - 1:29pm

I’ve installed two sets of ripcord cables on my trail bike, and both have had a loose interface between the ferule nose and the tubing. It annoyed me enough that last time I installed a small piece of shrink-wrap tubing to each interface to seal them up. Having tubing that actually fits the ferules sounds like a better idea! I wish my sets had been supplied with them.
Other than that gripe, I agree that they’re excellent cables for the price, and like Indiefab, I changed them out after a year out of habit, not due to a decrease in performance.

wigs - 06/22/11 - 11:15pm

Jagwire is crap. Every new bike I see with Jagwire has receding sheathing which results in shifting havoc.

Shimano is far superior.

Alex - 06/23/11 - 7:55am

If you want an excellent performance from your cable set – just buy Gore. It worth every cent you pay for it.

Marc - 06/23/11 - 8:05am

Wigs,

Many manufacturers spec extremely inexpensive OEM cables to save a few dollars- condemning the company’s best based on your experience with their cheapest is like saying that XT is no good because Altus doesn’t hold up. The my and the other commenters’ direct experiences with Ripcord show that this is not the case.

marc

Bad Bender - 06/23/11 - 2:52pm

If you do your research you’ll learn that Jagwire is the company that produces all but the actual coating on the cables for the Gore cable systems. The folks at Gore will tell you the same thing, I know I asked them at Sea Otter and they’ve been quoted in the media saying so. Gore owns the patent on their sealing system, hence Jagwire cannot use it in their own cable systems. The only way around the Gore patent is to run full length housings.

I like how Shimano now offers colored housings in response to Jagwire eating their lunch the last few years as people like me wanted to do something cool, something expressive with their bikes.

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