Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Jagwire cable review & thoughts on the Tour

Hey!  It's me, Blackie Bike here again.
Two things on tap for today.  First is thoughts on the Jagwire Racer cable set that Buttercup put on me a couple of weeks ago.  We've been riding it enough now to offer some insight, especially in our situation.

These things are awesome!  They are Teflon coated wire in Jagwire's special housing.  The kit comes with everything you need to replace all the cables on your bike.  You will need a cable/housing cutter.  Spend the $ on the special cutter- it's worth it.
These were no more difficult to install than any other standard cables- making them a good bit more attractive for the home mechanic than the sectional style ones that are best left to a pro.  So it didn't take any more time than your usual cable change.
How do they work?  Perfect.  I have Shimano Tiagra shifters.  They are a little touchy about shifting once in a while (though overall they are great for the price point), but the smooth shift of these cables really makes them seem like higher end gear.  I bet if you are using them with high end gear, they'd be the bee's knees.  What, BC?  Don't talk about bees?  Why not?  What do you mean they don't have knees- otherwise how the hell would their legs... nevermind.  Anyway.  The coated shifter cables are awesome.
This kit also includes coated brake cables.  Those are great, too!  But as a road bike, BC and I aren't really on the binders that much- do we really need Teflon coated brake cables?  Probably a little bit of overkill.  But nice all the same.
Verdict?  Totally worth the price.  These are an easy way to upgrade your shifting without upgrading your shifters!  Next time, we'll probably splurge again on the nice shift cables and stick with standard $5 steel cable for the brakes, though.

You may have noticed that none of us bikes have been commenting on the Tour.  BC has been watching, but none of us race or are really THAT into it that we feel like we need to pitch out a daily opinion on the dog, or Cadel not defending as well as everyone was hoping.  All that being said, we do have a couple of minor "outsider" observations now that it's over.

  • Hopefully the Tour officials can figure out some way to get some competition involved in it again.  Nibali making deals with dopers, and teams packed to overflowing with talent makes the thing a damned snoozefest.  The efforts put in by all of the riders were really impressive- and are feats that very few athletes could match.  Absolutely.  But to shake hands on the road and then go suck wheel for the rest of the week was weak.
  • Hopefully the teams can start putting 3rd party gag clauses in contracts.  What bike or fan gives a flying shit what a rider's girlfriend/wife/mother/kids/dog/hamster/or family cockroach thinks of that day's stage.  Oh wait.  None.  The rider's tweets and posts are sometimes funny (Voigt) or at least vaguely interesting- but YAWN at all the bickering and infighting.  When the Tour becomes a reality TV show, it's disheartening.
  • Lastly- what to do about the REALLY rowdy fans... I don't envy anyone trying to keep the cool factor of having fans so close to the athletes in balance with keeping out the psychos and dangerous people.  Beijing showed us just how shitty bike racing would be without any fans.  What a horrible situation for a sporting body to be in...
Ok- no more chatter.  See you on the road!

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