Cables are often a neglected part of a total high-performance component system. Many of us are willing to spend thousands of dollars on top end component groups to get the best shifting possible but we settle for standard cable and housing. While there’s nothing wrong with ‘normal’ housing and conventional stainless steel cable there are definitely ways to improve on it.
One of, if not the best cable and housing upgrade option out there is the relatively new Gore Ride On cable systems. Gore actually made cable and housing for a while in the ’90’s but stopped a little earlier this century. Now they’re back with an improved product that is light weight, and more importantly, shifts as smoothly as anything we’ve ever tried.
Set up is basically the same as with conventional cable and housing except that you also use provided sheaths to cover the cables between cable stops, and you use the provided ferrules in the appropriate spots. To be honest there’s no revolutionary technology here, at least none that meets the eye. The Ride On cable system simply has less friction than anything else available due to proprietary cable coating and housing lubrication.
We haven’t tested this product for long so we can’t comment first hand on durability just yet but early reviews from others indicate that it should hold up well. In fact the Ride On cable system has received the stamp of approval from Sram, who uses a version of the system on bikes sold with the top end Sram Red component group.
We have a few sets of the ‘Low Friction’ Ride On system in stock now (there are a few versions available) that are specifically designed for road bikes, and the complete system sells for $75. For a little more data on their shifting performance vs. other cable and housing designs check out the graph after the jump.