Decisions, Decisions

I am facing a major problem; one not easily solved.  One of our principal Keepers – Brett – had made mention of the most important element of cycling: the Rules.  While the Rules are ambiguous, they are also very clear.  Not so much “clear” in the sense that any of us really know what they are or what they really mean; more “clear” in the sense that it’s pretty fucking obvious when a rule has been broken.

I have it on the excellent authority of a man down the shop that Nokon cable housing makes a noticeable difference in shifting performance.  (I haven’t explicitly asked the question, but I assume this “difference in shifting performance” is a positive one.)  In fact, it appears this opinion is held almost universally.  Even Brett rides a set of them.  I had them on my XLEV2 back when it was my primary racing machine, but I was unhappy with the crooked path the cables took from the shifters to the downtube.  Being a man of obsessive/compulsive qualities, this proved to be too much for my already feeble mind to deal with while riding – especially given Shimano’s STI cable setup at the time.  The Nokon cables went.

But, in the six or so years since, Nokon has come to the forefront and people seem to like them.  Not only do they not compress – leading to improved shifting – but they are apparently lighter due to a lack of rubber or plastic or whatever cables are coated in.  This is an easy sell.  Every rational cyclist craves performance enhancement – even the legal kind – not to mention the added bonus that, given the weight savings, I should be able to add an extra noodle to my weekly pasta ration.  (Cyclists only “eat” about once a week, on account of our strength-to-weight ratio.  The rest of the time we fantasize about “food porn” while preparing our daily EPO/HGH cocktail.)

On to my problem.  It appears Nokon now comes in a variety of colors, several of which would look absolutely dashing on my R3.  The obvious relevant color choices are Red, Black, or White – with the possibility of running a silver set.  Black is understated and simple.  It would not call attention to itself and simply serve the purpose of shifting improvement and extra noodle rations.  However, red and white would provide an additional stylish twist, accenting the detail colors of the frame.  There is more red on the frame than white, but the handlebars and the frame’s text are white.  Red would provide a certain “grounding” effect, while the white would continue the “accent” theme already present in the frame.

If I choose the white cables, do I then need to switch to black bar tape, allowing the white cable housing the freedom to rock it?   Or would I stick with the white tape?  Are red cables too…well, red?  Silver is an option, but I would need justification.  Something like, “I really wanted to match my cables to the titanium bolts.”  But I feel funny just writing that explanation – even after the several glasses of wine I’ve already consumed tonight.  I struggle to believe I’ll feel good defending my choice while I’m sober and on the bike.

This is going to take at least another couple weeks to decide.  Any input is welcomed.  See below for current configuration.

I envy you your simple lives.


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60 Replies to “Decisions, Decisions”

  1. No violation there… Rule #26 refers to photographing a stationary bicycle only. It should probably also state that the valve stems be at the bottom of the wheel too, but hey, that would just be pedantic!

  2. Frank are you fuckin kidding? See rule five, and the answer is black

  3. This one popped up in the random articles & I was wondering if anyone is using the Gore sealed cable systems for their road bikes? I can see the advantages for cross or mtn. riding, but I wonder if these are an upgrade or just a money sponge for road riding.

    I have Campa on my three road bikes & have always recabled them with the Campa cablesets. Even though they ain’t cheap, especially if you wanted colors besides black, they are still considerably less expensive than the Gore stuff.

    Just curious. I have Jagwire cables mated to SRAM Force on my cross bike and that works nicely. Considering how often you need to recable when riding in dirt & mud, I went for the cheaper stuff & it has worked just fine.

  4. I’ve got Gore cables on my Look 695 and Serotta HSG (Dura Ace 7900 & 7800 respectively) and I think they work extraordinarily well. The cables on the Serotta probably have 6,000k on them, including quite a bit of rain riding, and they still feel really crisp and precise without any lubrication. In my mind, regardless of the grouppo, quality cables are a must. The Gore cables just seem maintain a high level of performance longer than others I have used.

  5. Some help please my fellow knowledgable V members, I know this is an older topic but as I have no experience on this matter I need to seek wise council

    I have my 2 new school roadies both equipped with Campy SR11. I love its form and function and aesthetically speaking nothing holds a candle from a bro set or a group san ti it. No disrespect to either as both make some fantastic equipment. However I am a Campophile due to the impossibly good fortune to have had a love of Campagnolo passed down to me by my father by virtue of the fact that it was as inherited by me as my actual cycling religion allows me to ride nothing less.

    Getting on to my question and sorry for my above extended diatribe so the question here that I am posing and I am looking to other Campy SR11 owners or past owners so I can make this an apples to apples comparisson is what cables to use for superior shifting. I have kept it proprietry thus far but sometimes wonder about that grass is there a clear cut better option out there maybe Gore, maybe Nokon or is it Yokozuna or should I just keep it stat quo as I am on the best option already for my group.

    Any and all feedback or experiences will be welcomed and greatly appreciated.

  6. @Sayba2th I have Chorus 11 but the 11s cables are all the same.  I can’t think of any good reason to go with non Campagnolo cables, and I am not sure the aftermarket cables are compatible with 11s anyway.  Gore has stopped making cables AFAIK.

  7. @Nate

    Thanks for the feedback. Gore are still around – there was however a recall on their Campy ones but they do have compatible versions – the Low Friction Derailleurs and Professional Kit. All the companies offer Campy users an alternative. What I want to know is if anyone has found one that is the clear cut best choice that provides a more sublime / improved shifting experience than what we currently getting.

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