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  1. #1
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    Teflon coated cables fix inconsistent shifting

    2004 Campy Veloce system, triple in the front. I've had stiff shifting w/the thumbs, and jumping, inconsistent rear shifting. Today I had the dancing chain problem in the back, slipped badly up a steep hill. Lightly dislocated my right thumb when the cranks spun suddenly and I lunged onto the brifter. Pain.

    I had another frame to change to, so I did. Put on teflon coated cables I just got. Also changed from a triple to a Ritchey compact. Same geometry frame, except for size (54 v. older one was 56). Now the thing shifts easier and stays synchronized. At least on a test ride around the block (our block is about 4 miles with hills).

    I only just discovered the teflon cables. Wish I'd know about them before. This has been a persistent problem for 2 years. And the front derailleur really likes the double better than the triple. And my legs like the reduced Q factor. And I like the smaller frame. Better materials, racier fit.

    And I even got practice getting my thumb back in the right spot. It is SORE.

  2. #2
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    With Shimano shifters, I usually change the cable housing (teflon liners) when I change the cables. Shimano cable housings are exposed and vulnerable to kinking (especially at the shifter). Campy and SRAM housings are under the bar tape and better protected, but also less convenient to change out.

    By the way, you should probably see a doctor about your thumb injury. What you are describing could be a ulnar collateral ligament injury (ulnar side of the thumb). It used to be called "game keeper's thumb" from the action of breaking birds necks which yanks the thumb outward. Now it is mainly seen as a ski pole injury. But catching your thumb on a brake lever hood is the same mechanism of injury. It is surgically correctable.

  3. #3
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    Yep, I Pretty much use XTR, Aztec, or SRAM Teflons for everything now. That and Super Stiff 5mm Housing...(really hard to kink) Along with the Jagwire black alloy 5mm End Caps (they're stepped down on the end so they fit the barrel adjusters on the Rear D, and slide easily into the STI's.

    EDIT: I forgot to add. I prefer to avoid any severe bends.....if the bar has cable housing grooves with agressive bends I like to avoid those and allow the housing to gently pass over those to allow for a more relaxed path. I also avoid agressively taping the housing to the bars. My preference is to let the bar wrap do the job. So everything flows smooth.
    Last edited by funhog1; 06-24-2007 at 09:07 AM.
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  4. #4
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    I'll look into the latter items. Setting up a new bike in the coming couple of weeks, so I can get that stuff in. It's full DA, which should avoid thumb fatigue. I just have a long ride today and didn't want any trouble. Figured as long as I had the time I could pop the components onto a better frame!

    Checked out my thumb this morning. No tears or anything. It's calmed down almost entirely. Just got knocked out a little bit. Checked with my captive doctor (who I've converted to cycling - he's on a trike. Needs to shed about 50 lbs and get more skill before moving to 2 wheels!). He ran me through testing my thumb for damage on the phone. That's a standard technique for me - call him and ask if I need to go to the ER or not! I work with sharp tools.

    On the Campy system, the cables both run under the tape. I've got fairly tight bends, but the system seems to work very nicely now. At least on a trainer and around the block. It's been iffy since I got the bike. Would get it working OK, then 200 miles later have things start to fail.

  5. #5
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    New cables

    It wasn't teflon coated cables that fixed you up as much as it was new cables/routing. There's no real magic in coated cables, because the Campy (and Shimano) casing lis lined, so it's just as smooth. Something else was fixed when you put in the new stuff. Also note that that coating will wear off quite quickly, so "teflon coated cables" aren't teflon coated for long. There was a big buzz when these cables hit the market years ago, but consensus is that they really don't bring much to the party.

  6. #6
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    Cool. Whatever happened, it's much improved. The compact double front is also rather different. I got used to it pretty quickly. Overall much improved. Wonder what the problem was overall. Has always been a bit dicey. So much for a LBS build.

  7. #7
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    "game keeper's thumb"? I guess I will be taking more care next time I have to choke a chicken, they sometimes put up quite a fight.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons
    It wasn't teflon coated cables that fixed you up as much as it was new cables/routing. There's no real magic in coated cables, because the Campy (and Shimano) casing lis lined, so it's just as smooth. Something else was fixed when you put in the new stuff. Also note that that coating will wear off quite quickly, so "teflon coated cables" aren't teflon coated for long. There was a big buzz when these cables hit the market years ago, but consensus is that they really don't bring much to the party.
    Exactly. When I do MTB builds I prefer no teflon cables and I run full housing. As mention above the coating gradually wears off and just provides an obstruction in the line. Jagwire L3 and ripcord are perfectly capable of running cable with a smooth as silk feel. If you prefer to run full length housing, you'll be amazed at the shifting difference.

  9. #9
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    Reputation: the Inbred's Avatar
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    ugh...teflon coated cables. much over-rated.

  10. #10
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    Ugggh. Most comments on line much overrated.

    Bike still working nicely. After disassembling and reassembling a couple of other new bicycles for folks, bikes alleged to be properly set up by professionals at the local LBS, I suspect simply a proper setup has given my bike proper operation. I haven't found anything particularly wrong with the setups, but there are lots of adjustments that aren't optimal, things bent instead of adjusted, cut casing ends left slightly deformed or irregular etc. These little things appear to add up.

    I still find the Campy shifters a bit stiff, but now I can ride without aftereffects. Also riding full DA bike. Less effort, cushy feel. I like both.

  11. #11
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    mando...sounds good. Running housing can be a frustrating thing if not done right, just as you mentioned. Took me a few expensive times to find the imortance of making a square cut on the housing. Being a bit of a Newb to road biking I'm seeing that full length housing isn't as praticle on road bikes as it is on MTB...living and learn'n...lol

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