a daily commuter
a Cross Country Rider
from Yacolt, Washington, United States
Date Reviewed: December 31, 2009
Strengths: Hmm . . . they sure feel like they would work smoothly . . . for a while . . .
Weaknesses: I went to Performance cycles looking for Teflon coated cables, and the only product I found was a package of Aztecs. The packaging made it sound like it included both gear and brake cables, until I found small red words next to the bar code saying RD/MTN GEAR. I would give their packaging zero stars. It says "Zero Maintenance," and I saw what looked like standard nose caps. However, when I opened up the package, the nose caps had no seals! They wouldn't seal against anything but large "crumbs" of dirt. Furthermore, there was not enough housing to make a continuous line for the rear dérailleur (as I was going to modify the housing stops to allow) and have anything left for the front shifter. I looked into the Gore sealed system, and invested in some true No Maintenance cables. With the Grub seals and separate cable liner, there is no need to modify the housing stops to have a system that will last for the life of the bike.
Don't buy them because they claim to be no maintenance, they are only Teflon coated cables, which is fine. I'm just annoyed about their lying packaging.
Favorite Trail: high-speed highways that narrow to one lane, no shoulder. Not favorite, but what I ride every day.
Duration Product Used: Tested or demo'ed only
Purchased At: Performance Cycles
Similar Products Used: Gore sealed cables; Generic cables included with the bike (had to replace after the rear brake cable froze up from water AND unknown contaminates)
Bike Setup: Gary Fisher Mendota, set up for long-distance commuting in any weather.
a Cross Country Rider
from Astoria, Queens, NYC
Date Reviewed: April 23, 2007
Strengths: Teflon coated cables in housings that are thinner than most. Nice ferrells for keeping muck out of your housings and wiping off whatever gets on them.
Weaknesses: The things on the ends--I forget what they're called--are TINY. They will not work with my LX brake levers because of this.
First of all, yes, it is worth it to pay more for prestretch, teflon lined cables and/or housings. Your bike will shift and brake better than you could have imagined, and you're unlikely to have to get your bike adjusted or adjust it yourself due to cable stretch--which is considered normal. If you pay a shop person to adjust your derailers and brakes, then get prestretch, teflon cables simply because they're essentially maintainence free and perform extremely well.
But don't buy these.
If Performance had the Shimano XTR cables, I would have bought those--been using them for years--but they only had a few choices and so I thought I'd give these a try.
I never had a chance to find out if they were really good or bad because they simply don't work with my Shimano LX brake levers.
If something doesn't work with Shimano--the standard--then it simply doesn't work and is all but guaranteed to not work on whatever componentry you have other than Shimano.
Of course, Performance will refund me for the cables, but I doubt they'll reimburse me for $10+ in shipping to me and back to them. Since the Shimano cables cost me $25, that means just ordering these ill conceived pieces of crap raised my cable costs to $35.
Performance should simply dump these cables from their offerings. Why offer something that's unlikely to be compatible with 90% of the componentry out there.
Favorite Trail: In NYC? Woods surrounding Cunningham Park and beyond.
Duration Product Used: Less than 1 month
Purchased At: Online at Performancebike.com
Similar Products Used: Shimano XTR brake and derailer cables--which are still the best.
Bike Setup: Doesn't matter, we're talking cables here.
a Cross Country Rider
from Granite Bay, Kalifornia
Date Reviewed: February 25, 2007
Strengths: Teflon cables, ferrules
Weaknesses: Housings way too short
This review is for the standard Delta Aztec Teflon brake cables as pictured above. Some folks are reviewing the Powerlines which are a different product and which have their own review category.
As for these cables, the teflon cables are nice. I liked the way the ferrules went together. But my main issue is that they do not provide enough housing. I have disc brakes on both wheels and after doing the rear brake, I did not have enough housing for the front. I ended up having to use regular housing. Bottom line: for the money all I got were some nice Teflon cables.
Bike Setup: Klein Mantra Race updated to full disc brakes, Rockshox Reba up front, Cane Creek out back.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: January 29, 2007
Strengths: Looks good.
Weaknesses: Pure junk
These powerlines are pure junk! I thought they might be something good, they certainly look cool.But that's what i get for going on looks...lol. Set up was easy enough, (no,i didn't have any problem with those little interlocking things falling about or cracking the liner.) They worked OK at first BUT after about 2 months or so they started getting ALOT of drag. I refused to replace them on the reason of what i payed for them. So after about 6/7 months i had had enough so off they came. heh , i tried working the cable off the bike & they were literally screwed upon working back & forth off the bike! I mean with no exagerration they were nearly impossible. Do not buy these! Total junk! Another thing, if you need a new liner for some reason they are like $8! These truly deserve ten real terds in the belly of the creator of these things,no joke.
Similar Products Used: Jagwire ripcords & other Jagwire cable products,shimano,generic.
Bike Setup: a bike now set up happily & proudly with Ripcords.
from Folsom, CA
Date Reviewed: August 31, 2006
Strengths: Relatively lightweight.
Weaknesses: Extremely difficult to work with. Horrible braking response, mushy brake feel.
The Delta Aztec Powerline brake cables suck! It took me over an hour to set-up just one set of cables. Cutting the housing is a pain in the *#@$. It has to be cut exactly to length and you have to be careful not to loose the hollow pins that actually make-up the housing. Once I finally had it installed the brake feel was horrible. Very mushy. I double and triple checked to make sure I had everything set-up correctly. The cable set ended-up in the trash and I replaced it with Jagwire which is about 1000 times better ... easier to install and works waayy better.
Bike Setup: Cyclocross bike with cantilever brakes.
a Weekend Warrior
from Gran Canaria
Date Reviewed: July 10, 2006
Strengths: Good looking
Weaknesses: Totally useless, I have a sram XO rear derailleur, XTR front, Race Face Diabolous cranks on a Prophet and I never had a momment of trouble free Riding so I changed the cables to Jagwire and its as smooth as silk the difference is incredible!!! They flex far to much and crease too easy. And i thought they were expensive!! Not cheap!!
As I said above, they flex to much crease to easy. There is a lot of ghost shifting etc. I lived with it for 6 months then decided to cut my loses( I thought that I had just set them up wrong!!)But now I could kick my self its as sweet as a nut.
Bike Setup: Cannondale prophet, marzzochi 66RCX2, marzzochi Rocco,Chris Kings Hubs, Mavic rims, Race Face Handle bars, setpost,crank,stem(all Diabolous)grips.Hope mono 6ti front and back .
from Wausau, WI
Date Reviewed: May 9, 2006
Strengths: Complete junk. There are no strengths.
Weaknesses: too much cable flex for it to shift properly
Complete junk. I've been wrenching bikes for 15 years and after installing these bike would not shift. Way too much flex in the cable for shifting. I followed directions to a tee and no go. These are complete junk and a waste of money. Its hard to give these even one chili.
a Weekend Warrior
from King City, Ontario, Canada
Date Reviewed: September 17, 2005
Weaknesses: The cable is too frail - tends to crimp where the cable is curved and under load. The cable jacket compresses and expands to an unacceptable extent. The little nodules make a real mess if they spill out of the outer cable.
Expensive crap that doesn't work very well at all. For the reviewer that didn't use the teflon inner tube - that setup would be worse.
Strengths: Looked cool & high tech. Felt smooth initially. Cheaper than similar sytems. Not very difficult to install except got to watch for dropping links and fitting them the right way round
Weaknesses: Cannot comment on the Teflon coated inner cables alone as I have not used them before. Look as if they should perform fairly well. As regards the Powerlines. Felt smooth and looked cool initially. However gears never settled - always needed adjustment, sometimes 3 times during one ride. Brake cables were also very smooth initially, but seemed to be more spongy than my old cables when squeezed hard. After 2 or 3 races they lost their smoothness & started binding on the return. Took them off and found the inner plastic liner tube was cut in multiple places where it goes over the aluminum links. Also the links started corroding after some water got inside the outer plastic. Am giving up on them now and fitting normal OEM cables.
Very irritating to pay more for a product that makes things worse rather than better. The makers claimed to reduce compression and thereby improve efficiency and accuracy. Mine did not do this. Sponginess was evident from the beginning and did not go away as I hoped might happen. After a few races they started binding worse than my old cables ever did and to add insult also corroded badly. The gear cables could not retain their setting either. In future I will rather stick to conventional cables for the gears & go hydraulic for the brakes.
a Cross Country Rider
from New Mexico, USA
Date Reviewed: July 23, 2005
Strengths: Good-lookin; they look like they should work better than conventional cables.
Weaknesses: They don't - installation is delicate and they do not noticeably improve shifting.
The trouble here, in my opinion, is that the inner teflon lining is very thin; it has to be this thin to be flexible. If you accidentally kink (even just slightly!) this lining somehow, then it's all over - you need a whole new cable set. The kink gradually bunches up inside the housing, or it eventually wears through or breaks. If you manage to escape the problem of the kink, don't expect any better shifting performance or reliability than conventional cables. It's too bad, because this product looks like it should be an improvement over the wound or braided wire type of housing. I like to support innovations, but I just can't in this case, sorry.
Bike Setup: Cannondale killer V 500, Xtr front , Lx rear
a Cross Country Rider
from Joplin, MO
Date Reviewed: April 30, 2005
Strengths: Looks cool, Has nice outer casing that keeps the aluminum segments from marking the finish on the bike, Outer housing also makes installation easier than similar products that must be installed one segment at a time.
Weaknesses: This product doesn't live up to it's claims. The claimed improvement in shifting just isn't there; the solid aluminum segments are supposed to improve the crispness of shifting, but there was no perceptable improvement. The cables needed almost constant adjustment on the first couple of rides as the segments seated in to one another, but I also had to adjust the tension on EVERY ride after that at least once, and periodically had to screw in the adjusting barrel at the shifter, take the slack out of the cable at the derailleur and start the process over again. I only installed this cable on the rear derailleur and left the original cable on the front derailleur; I NEVER had to adjust the front derailleur during the time I had the Aztec cable installed. Also, the inner liner developed holes where the cable rubbed on it, and in one place, completely broke in two. I believe the idea of enclosing the cable is a good one, but this system does not work well at all.
Solid cable cover with good quality cables work better with less trouble to install and less maintenance needed.
Weaknesses: Tedious time consuming installation, easy to lose links, not enough "housing" for some frames
This system looks cool and it does its job. It shifts well and best of all it is completely sealed! Dirt can't get in, because first unlike Nokon or IRD's version where the aluminum housing links are exposed, this has a plastic sheath that covers it. Inside, there is a plastic liner that slides inside the aluminum links that the teflon cables slide through, this runs the entire length of the bike frame, from the shifters to as close to the derailleurs as you want.
Differences from the Nokon and IRD cables are 1) this housing has separate links and are not interconnected. Without the housing sheath, these links will scatter like marbles. 2) When Nokon and IRD cables get dirty, they will creak like a door hinge. Every turn of the bar or compression of the fork you will hear an annoying creak or squeak. Since this is protected I don't anticipate it to be a problem, especially since the links are not hinged and connected. 3) it is sealed somewhat like Avid's Flak Jacket. The main difference is that on Avid's system, the protective sheath for the cable only extends between the cable stops on the frame. Inside the housing there is no protective sheath. With this one the housing goes from the shifter all the way to the end near the derailleurs.
The shifting is crisp, quick, and so far no problems. It does what it says and I love it.
Potential problems, on some frames the housing included may be insufficient to span the whole bike. I have a small frame, but I had enough housing left over.
BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL when measuring the housing from your old frame. CHECK AND RECHECK the length you need before cutting the Aztec Housing. Chances are you will have enough, but if you screw up, you may not have enough to finish the bike. SO either get someone with experience to install these for you, or do it yourself and be very diligent in measuring. They provide you with just enough of what you need and little to no excess cable. Also, those little buggers will get everywhere if you drop the cable, or leave one end open. All those tiny links will slide right out if you don't place a ferrule or end cap on the housing, so always make sure it has one for both ends when installing, or immediately after you cut the housing.
You may need to add a link or two to the housing since the links will compress a little after initial placing in the frame. If you see the links slide back and forth inside the housing when shifting, then add a link to the section that needs it. The whole point is to have as little compression as possible and any sliding you see negates that.
Also, when sliding the inner sheath inside the links, be very careful not to bend it, since it will cause kinking in the line. I had a devil of a time trying to slide it through without doing so, and on a couple of sections it was impossible to slide it in without kinking at least one part. Its fine though, because once the inner sheath is in, the cable will slide freely, whether there is a kink or not. So don't worry about it, just be careful.
So basically to sum it up, the shifting is amazing, is pretty well sealed, and is a decent value. IT shifts great when dry, and when you ride in mud and grit, or ride in rain or wet conditions, the water will keep out and you won't have to worry about crap getting in your shifting lines. I'd think this would be ideal for cyclocrossers or if you ride in wet conditions. 5 Peppers!
Bike Setup: raleigh m8oo x/t drive line l/x v. brake on rear avid cable disc up front
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: December 4, 2004
Strengths: Easy to install, shifts accurately.
The teflon cables were easy to intall. The housing was easy to cut without using the Dremmel cutting tool (as recommended in the instruction). I just used a Park cable and housing cutter. I placed a short piece of old cable wire within the housing before applying the cutter, the old cable prevented the inner sleeve from collapsing under the cutting force; then I fished the new cable through to push the old cable out, and used a sharp pointed object to round out the inner sleever. That was it, just a couple of minutes. The cables come with a set of special ferrules that help to seal the housing and protect the inside. It's a pretty good design. The shifing now has improved, it requires less effort, and the shifting is precise. I used this to replace my old Shimano stock SIS cables.