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Gore Ride-on cables. Worth it? Read on….

Ok, so perhaps daring to post a product review that has anything to do with the necessity for two cables on a bike will have the downhillers running for cover, but let’s face it, we are all using two rings on our Freeride and all mountain bikes these days aren’t we.
Truth be told, I’d thought this may be more relevant in that over the course of time, downhillers and those that chose not to run more than 7-8-9 gears may benefit from using both of the supplied cables for the rear gears, giving them two cable changes. This in mind I opened the box to be faced with the words “The longer cable and liner are for the rear derailleur, the shorter cable and liner are for the front derailleur” oh well, that’s that then, gear specific cabling! See where assumption got me! So beware one is short and one is long!

So “summer” is gone and the crappy weather is due to stay a while, and I really think to evaluate something like this, you’ve got to run them for a few months, so if it seems a little late in the day to post this review, just remember, you probably live in the UK, so sealed cables are not just for Christmas. This type of product should see you through most of the seasonal changes we experience in our country.

Beginning with what is totally unnecessary packaging, it’s a well enough thought out arrangement. You pay your money and get your cables in a Velcro sealed box with a cool manual and stickers. It reminds me of buying Avid codes or anything similarly packaged, and with that in mind, how much cheaper would Codes and Gore cables be without all the nonsense of the presentation. Personally, I’d take them in a cardboard sleeve and save a fiver? That said, there is something satisfying about getting pretty stuff through your letterbox?

Too much packaging, but nicely done.

Too much packaging, but nicely done.

The Science is that they are sealed and offer less friction making for a smooth, clean shift, up or down, in all conditions, wait, did I say science? Actually, there is no real techno-babble on the box, other than the words “low friction” and “sealed” also listing Gore’s patented cable coating technology, (whatever that is)as the mail selling point. There is really no info on this in the pack, or online, so you’ll just have to take W L Gore’s word for it!

Actually, on first look they simply give the outward impression that they are just the equivalent of wearing two or three jumpers when it’s cold, basically, it goes like this: Rubber grommet over ferrule, over cable outer, over inner sleeve, over coating, over cable, you get the idea, and of course if you throw so many barriers in the way of something, then that something cannot get through, e.g. muck and water. Somewhere along the line, this also makes perfect sense, and the magic “cable coating technology” seems to let the inner glide through these protective layers with ease.

I do have to concede that they do seem to work?

I’ve had a few sets of these in my time, so fitting is second nature, and indeed if you follow the link at the foot of the page, there is a video on the Gore site that actually shows you how to do it, so if you are not sure watch this first, then have a go. Spending so much money on a product and then essentially butchering it can be a little daunting and as such taking a second to think is in order here.

More crazy packaging....

More crazy packaging....

Setting up gears is of course pretty easy, and apart from the order that you fit the various bits and bobs it is essentially the same as fitting a standard cable set. One problem I encountered first time was ingress of dirt and water from the front mech outer at the derailleur end, turned out that when I cut the outer, I hadn’t filed it flat and the ferrule had not seated properly, breaking the seal. The other symptom being that, the inner had been rubbing on the burred outer and worn the seal out, viola, £30 odd quid down the pan!

Pros: Nearly 2 months later, I have to say that they are still going strong. To my memory, I’ve adjusted my gears once (when I caught the exposed cable inner on a bike rack). Talking of bike racks, the last 3 weeks have seen more salt on the road than I’ve seen in years. My bike would rot away if I didn’t at least rinse it off, however, the gears are fine and cables clean.

Cons: Really just the cost, You can pay up to £40 for these or as little as £30 (sealed) I can’t help thinking that if the packaging was a little less vain, there may be a difference making it easier to live with.

Also, I honestly think it will bother some people that they are not dynamic enough aesthetically, I don’t care myself, but the only thing showing the world that you have “kick-ass” cables, is a wee red tab on the end of them. Personally, I liked it back in the day when the cable inners were yellow, then, you could be a smug smart arse from a distance!

Before Gore and after Gore, see...........nothing!

Before Gore and after Gore, see...........nothing!

In conclusion, I will continue to buy them, I think they are a good product, but the price will put off the first time buyer “how good can it be, it’s just a cable” is the question of choice from whoever buys them from the shop I work in. Give them a go once, I think they are slightly too expensive, but worth a whirl, if they are not for you there are plenty of good gear-sets out there.

But none of them do what it says on the Gore box.

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