Ok, cables are basically an afterthought for most of you non-weight-weenie-obsessive compulsive types, but I just wanted to give the early feedback on a recent " " upgrade. Last year when I purchased my Record 10 shifters on e-bay they did not include cables, but I e-mailed the seller and he threw a set in for me. The housings didn't look brand new and they didn't come in a wrapper, but the steel cables looked to be uncut and showed not fraying or signs of use, so I was good to go.
The original bars that I built the bike with were narrower and when I went to a wider bar I needed some extra slack to turn the bars fully (not that you really ever need to turn them 90 degrees, but what the heck).
I was a bit fascinated with the Nokon cable system with the aluminum links for housing. They promised a weight savings (they feel weightless compared to the stock cables)and crisper shifting since the aluminum doesn't compress at all. So after ordering the set for around $100, I installed them.
Now I don't claim to be a pro wrench, but I certainly know my way around the workstand, however the instructions were very unclear, with basically no diagrams of any worth. The system comes with a plastic cable liner, which they tell you to use from "brifter" to pinch bolts. One problem, this would require that I drill out my cable stops, nor would they fit through the guide under the bb. I consulted a few trusty forums and learned that the liner could just be used under the links or beads.
After reading the directions a few times, I came to the conclusion that I needed to cut the liner a few mm's short of the outer housing or beads. I'm pretty sure I nailed it just right for my rear derailleur cable and my brakes, however the front derailler housing is very stiff and seems to develop this ugly deformed look whenever I shift. Anyone who knows me (I'm a poster boy for OCD), must know that this drives me insane. I have taken it apart a couple times, but I still can't seem to get it to take on the natural curve I expect.
Looks aside, lets talk performance. I have only put a few hundred miles on my bike with this set-up so far, but my shifters have lost some of the telepathic gear changes that anyone who's familiar with Record 10 would understand. The cables themselves probably lack the stiffness of the standard campy cables. Let's see. I have done about 8 rides on this bike so far and have done about 6 workstand adjustments and countless barrel adjustments on the fly. I'm going to use them this year, but in '07 I'm going back to the stock campy cables. Bottom line, save your money. Nokon = Poseur Points, but little else.