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Cable Housing Ferrules (or Ends). Important yet often overlooked.

931 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  Harold
I haven't given these much thought over the years but recently I was buying some new derailleur / dropper cables and it brought to mind a few questions. I started doing some research and found little on the subject.

In your opinion, what is truly the best derailleur housing ferrule for MTB?
I've seen a few saying the sealed ones are the way to go to prevent dirt ingress and some say the open ones are the best because of the lack of resistance on the cable.
Some say the plastic are problematic and though I like the aluminum ones better myself, I can't say I've had a problem with plastic.

So a few questions: Do the sealed ferrules actually make a difference over a cable and housing's useful life?
Who's had issues with plastic ferrules? Any housing wires sticking through the tip?
Why are sealed metal (aluminum or brass) ferrules so hard to find in bulk?
What about brass vs aluminum; why one over the other?
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I don't think sealed are a big deal unless you're putting them on a bike with interrupted housing. THEN they're important (assuming contamination is likely).

I've had problems with plastic ferrules. By a pretty huge margin, the housing itself will outlast plastic ferrules. Because they're soft, they introduce a vagueness to shifts as they squish and deform (esp as they age). Metal ones don't do this. As for which metal, I'm not sure I've developed a preference there. I think like cable ends, they're surprisingly expensive to buy in bulk. You can get them, but you're talking about shop quantities and fairly large expenses for a home mechanic. I think "home mechanic" ferrule quantities are typically a dozen or fewer consequently. I think I've usually bought them in quantities of half a dozen at most, and that's been awhile.
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