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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey folks,

I just picked up a set for Flak Jacket Cables for brakes and shifters. I know the system is meant to be used with the shield lock ferrules and the cable shield tubing but is it necessary? I know not using it will allow more crud into the housing and possibly affect performance but they look kind of silly and assuming i maintain them regularly can i skip the tubes (i.e., the red plastic drinking straws that cover the cables between cable stops where no housing is run).

I dont ever recall seeing anyone use the tubes (they are quite obvious when installed)

cheers.
 

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Like Duc said, the 'straws' are what make the Flak Jackets work as well as they do. I used to use Gore RideOn cables which worked in the same way. Have you considered just using a single length of outer cable?
Peace,
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
not really

but your point is well taken.

I got them because the deal was too good to pass up. I've never had any problems with non sealed housings. I guess my question is more to the durability of the lining of the housing. If i didnt use the tubing will the lining degrade faster than the lining of a comperable set ouf unsealed housings (shimano, jagwire etc.).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It did occur to me

to run full length housings. But given my level of fitness and ability a small increase in performance would go unnoticed and is probably not worth the minor weight penalty (rear brake and both shifters) and the hassle of drilling stops and using cable ties. I'll likely use them, not keen on the red stripes but I've never been a slave to fashion as my wife can attest.
 

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I liked the RideOn system from a performance point of view; the cables were always super smooth, whatever the weather. However, all it takes is one awkward fall or a lapse of attention lifting the bike and the 'straw' gets a kink in it. When this happens, it's the end of it and there is no option but to replace or remove the 'straw'. It was this that made me try the full length outer. I'm hydraulic for brakes, but my rear mech has a single outer (no front mech) and it's not as much the performance (as you say, minimal) as it is the maintenance where I save. I ride in a lot of wet and muddy environments here in the UK, plus on the gritty roads, and I have zero issue with my cables. Here's a link to a thread on attaching cables/hoses without the need for drilling.
Have you considered heat-shrink tubing? I use it on my cable ends to stop them fraying and also as an extra seal on the ferrules on either end of my gear cable. You could always use it to cover the red 'straw' sections; it's quite inexpensive.
Peace,
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Lived in the UK

for about a year so I appreciate fully you maintenance concerns. More often than not i'm in the dry so dust is more of an issue.

the link for cable mounting will come in handy when i eventually go disc, and i too use heat shrink for everything under the sun. I usually put it on the cables before i cut them and then cut through the heat shring and cable at the same time. never crush or fray a cable that way. small sections work good on long runs of exposed cable to keep it from slapping the top tube, instead of those little rubber washers. I've even used it to replace the rubber sleves on the arms of sunglasses.

thanks again.
 

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I must be in the minority here, because my opinion on this is to just ignore the color and go by how well they work. I'll admit that I don't care for the redish orange color that much, but they do their job, which to me is vastly more important than how they look.

My concern with using other tubes for this purpose would be issues like whether or not the the tubes react to solvents or lubricants, how well they last in hot/cold conditions, how durable they are, whether they're UV resistant, etc.

Larry
 

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Just my opinion but the flak jacket is complete junk. The metal strings in the housing come through the ends, the red cable covers dry up and crack. You'll think they're the cat's meow for about two months and then you'll replace them with something else.
 

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I like the flak jacket housings because they move a lot more. My old Jagwire housing was so damn hard and wouldn't move to save it's self. If the cables can't move around to accomodate suspension movement and steering it can't be good.

I need to say though, the cables work amazingly on my bike. I rode yesterday in snow, mud, slush and crap. not a hint of friction and my XT derailleur pinged off every shift like a champ even with it being frozen.
 

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I installed Flak Jacket brake cables this weekend on my stumpjumper fsr w/ Avid mech BB5. The only exposed part of previous cable was about a 12" section under the top tube. I went full housing (one continuous piece of outer housing) with the flak jackets and have had no issue. They have been "silly smooth" as advertised so far. No dremeling or drilling necessary, but I did have to use a zip tie to hold the cable in place under the top tube.
 

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I too run full-legth FJ out housing for my 1x9 and mech discs. I didn't crimp the ferrules either, mostly because I didn't even consider it during installation, but haven't since becasue I don't anticipate that being an issue running the outers full-length.

Not intending to hijack the thread here, but anyone have any crimp-or-no-crimp-the-FJ-ferrule experiences? I haven't had the set-up running for very long here...

Cheers, Chris
 

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Hey Chris,

I don't much see the point of crimping any ferrule. When you first fit a new cable it's good to have everything moving so that it can 'settle'. Unless the ferrule is a tighter fit into the frame stops than the cable outer is into the ferrule, thus allowing the cable to jump out when, for example, the brake is released, I'd just leave it. I usually put 3/4cm of heat-shrink over the ferrule/cable join to seal out dust/moisture.
Peace,
Steve
 

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with compressionless housing, the inner wires will straighten out over time (effectively lengthening the housing) if you don't crimp the housing in place to prevent this. at least, that is my experience. also, crimping the ferrules will eliminate any creaking from the ferrule / housing interface.
 

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Doesn't crimping the ferrule run the risk of crushing the housing slightly, which in turn could cause friction on the cable? It seems like it would only take a TINY bit of extra pressure to crush the housing slightly. The instrucions for my Flak Jackets didn't say anything about crimping the housing.

Thanks,

Larry
 

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Larry,

As Cyco-Dude says, compressionless housings can be crimped... My Park cable cutters have a what appears to be a housing-sized crimp notch next to the cable crimp notch. I haven't done the housing crimp move yet because of what you mentioned - I'd be concerned about "over-crimping" too.

The FJ instructions didn't mention crimping; you are right about that. Some people with FJs have done it though. As I understand it, compressionless cable sets that would encourage crimping (XTR? I'm not sure) come with crimp-able ferrules also. I don't know how they specifically differ, and I can't say for certain that the FJ ferrules are (or aren't) designed to be crimpable.

I hope that ramble makes sense; someone smarter please chime in if I'm spewing bad info here...

I've only had a few rides in with my full-length FJs on; I'm not going to disassemble all of my cabling at this point just to crimp it.

Cheers, Chris
 

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there certainly is the possibility of "over-crimping" the ferrule such that it causes excess friction. in fact, i've had housing with the ferrules crimped from the factory where the cable couldn't even slide past the ferrule!

most cable cutters with ferrule crimpers (?) are designed to crimp just enough to hold the ferrule tight on the housing, but not crush it. if you're worried about it, i suppose you could slide some cable into the housing befor you crimp. i've never had a problem with it so far though using the crimper on my jagwire cable cutter.
 
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